Oral reports of educators whom I met while delivering two workshops for MLE teachers and materials developers, and documentary evidence reviewed since, indicated that a key aspect of MLE was being misconstrued; namely, the number of linguistic groups that could be combined in any particular classroom. Educators remarked that MLE was the perfect way to handle the linguistic diversity typical of many Nepali classrooms. This comment suggested that MLE was being interpreted as a panacea for high levels of societal multilingualism and the educational challenges that it poses.2 The present chapter recognises that many educational models designed in and for Western contexts must be reconceptualised to account for the social, linguistic and economic realities of countries such as Nepal. Therefore, it adopts a multilayered approach in its review of key tenets of MLE and analysis of how misinterpreting these tenets can undermine the theoretical underpinnings of the programme. It also takes a multilayered,

context-sensitive approach to viewing implementation glitches and examining how materials development fits into the overall picture. To begin, the bases of MLE are reviewed.