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Introduce English at later stage, says report on primary education
Should English be introduced as a medium of instruction in Class I? May be not, suggests a study on the teaching of English in government-run primary schools. Reason being that teaching of English in most government primary schools is no more than a teacher reading aloud from a textbook with no effort to develop listening or speaking skills in children, familiarising them with the rhythm and joy of poetry, contextualise grammar, or pay attention to learning gaps.
Policy planners need to 'rethink' about introduction of English as a medium of instruction from Class I, the study commissioned by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry said.
English has been introduced at the primary level in 27 states, it is a subject in Class I in 18 states, and the medium of instruction in Nagaland, Jammu and Kashmir, and government model schools of Chandigarh and Maharashtra. While the early introduction of the language is in response to people's aspirations for quality education, experts opine that the language must be introduced at a relatively later stage and the mother tongue must be the medium of learning at primary level.
Conducted by the National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT), the study says, "Teachers in all the states/UT have fallen into what is called 'the textbook trap'. The teachers and students were entirely dependent on the books."
Most teachers begin their lessons by reading from textbooks, finish lessons abruptly, do not teach word/sentence patterns, resort to local languages and offer no opportunity to children to listen to spoken English or speak in the language. In classrooms, the participation of students in the learning process was less in all states except Tamil Nadu.
At Level I — classes I and II — children only knew a few English words and phrases, could not read, write or speak simple and short sentences in English or narrate experiences, exchange ideas in the language even though they could recite poems and songs.
The study, covering J&K, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Union territory of Chandigarh notes the 'dismal picture'. It recommends correctives, including training teachers to teach English as a language, usage of multi-media for training to avoid transmission loss, certificate programmes, focus on phonetics by teacher trainers and creative usage of textbooks, among other things.
Why English SHOULD NOT be the first language of our children
Many people have been saying this for long that we (as a nation) are the only ones that put a foreign colonial tongue English over and above our rich native languages. We are just committing cultural genocide and cheating our children of our rich heritage of our ancestors. Even Paak places its Urdu over and above English.
New parents: Ps insist for English ONLY AFTER 5th Std or at least insist that the Kinder Garden years are in mother tongue.
Ps C these two great articles.
Poke Me: Why English should not be the medium of instruction in India
Indians are firmly convinced that the only way to learn English properly is to learn everything else through English. This is contrary to logic and empirical evidence.
I have no desire to turn into a man-eater, as many leopards in India have, after being maimed by porcupine quills. I hasten to clarify that this column is not against English. I am all for English and for Indians learning it across the board. But I am decidedly against English increasingly being preferred as the medium of instruction in schools.
In January, Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyar cited, in a column in the Times of India, research findings from those who study cognition to argue against teaching English in Class 1. The easiest language to learn for all human infants is the language they hear spoken at home, the mother tongue. When children who do not hear even a smattering of English at home are taught English in their first year of schooling, their entire learning process is impaired. If they learn to read their mother tongue first, and then learn English, they learn both languages much better. This is just about teaching English. It can be imagined that teaching maths or science or history through English would be even more disastrous. Kids end up learning by rote, not understanding a thing. They pass their exams all right, but end up unemployable graduates, their native capacity to learn damaged forever, and their creative faculties crippled. This is a tremendous loss, both at the individual level and at the level of society.
Indians are firmly convinced that the only way to learn English properly is to learn everything else through English. This is contrary to logic and empirical evidence both in India and around the world. Children in every country today learn English, but they learn it as a foreign language, and learn it well, in all countries where English is not the native tongue.
Consider countries like Korea, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Brazil and China. They have economies that are better than most. Their schools teach English, but employ their own mother tongues as the medium of instruction. Korea's population is smaller than Tamil Nadu's. Japan's,smaller than Bihar's. The Scandinavian countries are comparable, in population size, to Mayur Vihar, Thane, White Field or some other suburb in India. Their languages remain vibrant, they create new knowledge and literature in their own languages and produce Nobel prize winners and world-beating companies. Of course, they also learn English, the de facto world language. Except in colonised India, nowhere do people believe that unless they abandon their mother tongue and embrace English as the sole language of instruction, their future is doomed.
Today, many Indian languages are slowly dying. The best and brightest among them learn only English. The poetry they write will be in English. Their creativity will not nourish the roots of their mother culture. Great Indian languages whose proto-sounds have resonated with sense and sensibility for thousands of years will languish and die. Sounds implausible? Welsh is almost dead. Irish writhes in its death throes. The print order for a book of poetry in Hindi, nominally the mother tongue of over 450 million people, is 500. But for Hindi films, Hindi poetry would probably be dead by now.
Premium advertising in the print media goes to English publications. When people have money to spend, they defect from their mother tongue to English. Everyone wants to earn more money, they will want to imitate the habits of the elite, who wear Fab India ethnic and converse only in English. The current fetish with English Medium destroys learning and creativity, produces unemployable graduates and sets Indian languages on an inexorable course of destruction. What is the alternative? Teach kids in their own mother tongues. Produce world class textbooks, translate them, by all means, from English, for all levels, and revamp the teaching of English as a second language.
With a proliferation of television channels in all languages and the coming spread of wireless broadband, use of multimedia to expand the scope of teaching English to cover speaking is not difficult at all. (Disclosure: I studied in Malayalam all through school and how I speak English is an endless source of amusement for my two Delhi-brought up, deracinated children).
English itself will be the biggest beneficiary from Indians deciding to teach their young in their mother tongue while also teaching them English separately and thoroughly.
Can Indian languages lend themselves specialised registers required for academic rigour in varied disciplines? But of course. In Europe, the language of science used to be Latin, till science and society got democratised. Many Latin terms continue to be used in science. Indian languages can continue with Latin and English for technical terms instead of going for long-winded artificial coinages. If Korean and Swedish can deal with microelectronics and Abba, there is no reason why Indian languages cannot.
Indians need to be multilingual, and they can be. Learn English, we must, but in a manner that does not kill off Indian languages, children's ability to comprehend or even English itself. Stop bristling, please.
jis ko na nij bhasha tatha nij sanskriti par abhimaan hai,
vah nar nahi nar pasu- nira hai aur mritak samaan hai.
Shri Maithilisaran Gupta.
30 Aug, 2012 03:23 PM
Every body is saying that English is universal language but English is only spoken in 10 - 20 countries of the 200 countries in the world, just because England ruled over many countries English is dominant language in our minds. The first thing what Japan did when it got independence was to burn down the English speaking schools and change their medium to Japanese. We were/ are not brave enough to do that but we should think in that direction
------ Johnson Thomas K (Milton Keynes)
31 Aug, 2012 01:03 AM
I go with the author! Having a foreign language as the medium of instruction leave the children emotionally scarred for life sapping away their confidence/common sense/natural communication skills/emotional intelligence. When we adopt a foreign language replacing a mother tongue we are like amputating our natural limbs and entering the battlefield of career/communication/interaction/writing/studying/literature etc. with an artificial leg. The ability to communicate effectively is a job requirement in almost all developed countries who have not replaced their mother tongues with a foreign language for law/legislation/theatre/medium of instruction in schools, universities, official and business communications/scientific research etc. be they from the USA, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Sweden, Austria, Belgium or any other OECD countries. India is like Nigeria in Africa who has an abundance of dialects but they chose English for their schools, offices, businesses, courts, laws aping the British! Nigeria too produces English movies but nobody hears about them but only English movies from the USA/UK/Australia. Of course there are Indian English authors including Booker Prize winners. The Booker winners in the business of literature are like the brand ambassadors for the promotion of more English readers (literary consumers) only creating jobs in the UK/USA/Australia for their literary agents, publishers, replica makers, dictionary, story/poem publishers & poets, dramatists etc.
R. Dayal (Pune)
30 Aug, 2012 07:39 PM
I fully support the author's position. It is well proven that original thinking can only be done through the mother tongue. Each one of us can experiment on himself or herself that we actually visualise everything first in our mother tongue and then mentally translate into English. This burden of continuous translation hampers the learning process specially in the children. This really ruins their creativity.
Neha Bhatwadekar (undefined)
30 Aug, 2012 07:37 PM
Mostly people says there are lots of languages so how we can use our language at workplace but I think English is also not our country's language , so if we can learn to speak English so why we can't learn to speak Hindi language which is our national language? Now a days people are learning different - different countries languages like, German, French etc so if we can learn these language so why not Hindi? If Hindi language will be our first language at every place like at work place, job ... so I don't think here will be unemploycy. In India is full of talented persons but because of only language barrier they can't grow.
Ashfaque Motiwala (Aurangabad.(INDIA))
30 Aug, 2012 05:00 PM
Knowledge and Education are both separate things and both are required to be a good human, unfortunately our education system just educate us how to earn money how to be no one ....&..bla...bla... but it doesn't give us knowledge how to be a good human. We are mixing both the issues, for studies it should be in a global language but to really educate our children and give them right knowledge we should do it in our own language.
Manish (Mumbai) replies to Venkat
30 Aug, 2012 06:05 PM
I care to write that I feel Hindi should be our national and official language. It is connected to our roots. We think in Hindi, dream in Hindi excluding for some who talk in English in every front of their life especially in cities and thus making English as the mother tongue of their children.
Ms. S Jadhav (Mumbai)
30 Aug, 2012 02:06 PM
I agree with the author's view. My father did his schooling in Marathi but did his B.A. (hons) in English & mother too did her schooling in Hindi & later M.A. Our parents neither interacted with us in English at home nor were they worried about how we'll cope up with it; however I & my younger brother can speak decent English and also our mother tongue Marathi. On the other hand one of our family friend was adamant on sending her toddler only to a CBSE school & would always speak to her in English the sad part is whenever we try to talk to her in Marathi she gives us an alien look!
P. SENTHIL SARAVANA DURAI (MUMBAI)
30 Aug, 2012 01:23 PM
Dear Sirs, [Greatness Of Mother Tongue] THE former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai had held even the native speakers of English spell bound with his astounding speech in English, the only reason being his in-depth knowledge of both Tamil, his mother tongue and undoubtedly English. It was scientifically proved that only those who are talented in their mother tongue can also become a master in other languages.
Sekar (Madurai) replies to P. SENTHIL SARAVANA DURAI
30 Aug, 2012 04:26 PM
C.N.Annadurai was a born orator and exceptional. Exceptional cases cannot be taken as an Example. Equal chances of learning English should be made available for people from poor economic background. Language should not be made a yardstick to measure one's talent. There are many talents in India who could not shine because of non-fluency in English. In the name protecting regional language, people should not be prevented from learning other languages. For example, writing and singing in English prohibited for Govt officials and it is a penal offence in Tamilnadu State Government department. It is irrational. Let us give equal chances of learning English, and Hindi other languages in India.
Devendra Singh (Panipat)
30 Aug, 2012 01:10 PM
The author's point of view is quiet appreciable. I strongly agree with him that medium of instruction should be mother tongue but everybody would accept that people with better abilities to speak English are more employable. Being an engineer i have seen the IT companies recruiting the students who can speak fluently English and on many occasions brighter students but not very good in spoken English suffer. One cannot imagine to qualify in the NDA SSB, MNC interviews or IIMs' vigorous personality tests without being fluent in English. So I suggest we must ban the English as medium of instruction and promote it as a second language.
30 Aug, 2012 12:56 PM
I totally agree with the thought that teaching in India has to be in Indian languages. This has to be incorporated in constitution and implemented by both Center and State governments as India has different languages in different states. Language is the medium which introduces a person to outer world and describes him more or less. Indian langauges are phonetic, contains more words and far better than English. India has to shed colonial past and return to its roots. English & other Indian & foreign languages shall be taught as second languages.
INDIAN DIL (mumbai)
30 Aug, 2012 12:29 PM
I personally feel that medium of education should be mother tongue of the pupil initially. The child learns quickly when mother tongue is used. Any other language can be learned at a later date. But the current scenario in India is like everybody want their child to talk in English language rather than mother tongue. And schools are also concentrating on English medium than other languages. U won't get good school with non- English medium education. Some with passion and others due to having no other option have put their child in English med. schools. I understand that because of the literacy in English language only our country has grown recently, but u should not avoid other languages. English can be learnt any time
Gautam Sakhiya (Vadodara)
30 Aug, 2012 12:10 PM
I think it depends whether we want to produce Noble price winners or call centre executives. If we want to produce people having top class understanding on the subjects, we need to make mother tongue as the medium of education which gives best comprehension to any person from grass root level. Let it be Medical Science, Engineering, Technology OR Accounting, Economics or Social Science, a student can understand the concepts best in his mother tongue. With this, I must say that knowledge of English is very important to keep in pace with global developments. Hence, English must be taught well as a foreign language as done in most developed countries like Japan / Europe. We must teach English terminologies along with the mother tongue to make a student comfortable understand the global discoveries / research by foreigners. In India, we have been trying to replace our mother tongue by English to achieve some illusive status. Practically, this is an impossible task even with any kind of stretch of human capability. Further, in doing this, we are not able to advance our knowledge / understanding of core subject. This is the reason we have very few patents on Indians' name. Education in mother tongue and good knowledge of English as a foreign language will make a person much more competitive than a westernized geek.
30 Aug, 2012 11:50 AM
Two reasons ....
1) We in India like to learn English as a culture rather than a language. Mimicking anything English brings us "status". I stayed and worked in US as well as in Europe. I observed that the cultural pride is most amongst Europeans. They don't think English as necessity. Same is with East Asians. They treat English as mere language of commerce rather than language of status. I guess, lack of self esteem caused by prolonged British rule makes us think like this. Source - Internet. It's not at all fun to learn illogical thing.
2) We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes; but the plural of ox should be oxen not oxes. One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese, yet the plural of moose should never be meese. You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice, but the plural of house is houses, not hice. If the plural of man is always called men, Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen? If I spoke of my foot and showed you my feet, when I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet? If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth, why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth? If the singular is this, and the plural is these, Why shouldn't the plural of kiss be kese? Then one may be that, and three would be those, Yet the plural of hat would never be hose. We speak of a brother and also of brethren, But though we say mother, we never say methren. So plurals in English, I think you'll agree, Are indeed very tricky, singularly.
Introduce English at later stage, says report on primary education
The main reason, to me, is that whatever is instilled in a child's mind at an early age, remains with him throughout his life. It is fairly evident that English educated children imbibe western values, shown amply in convent school students. English can be learned later on as a necessity, and won't interfere in students' thinking concepts. The issues many Bhaaratiya parents face in America regarding their children's westernization, lack of Hindu values, etc. are mainly due to English education (unavoidable) and less attention paid at home (doable) because parents either do not have time (both parents working) or it's not their priority, or they themselves lack these values.
Many Hinduu temples; many music schools; many dance schools; many pundits teach Hindi in English script all over the world ---
Hindi must be taught in Devnagri script
PLEASE NOTE-------- ---HINDII WORDS ARE WRITTEN IN ENGLISH ACCORDING TO
ONE OF THE HINDII-SANSKRI`T- ENGLISH - GUIDES to write HINDII-SANSKRI`T words in ENGLISH---
अ = a , आ = aa , इ = i , ई = ii , उ = u , ऊ = uu , ऋ = ri` ( रि = ri , री = rii , ऋ =ri` )
ए = e , ऐ = ee or ai , ओ = o , औ = oo or au , अं = an , अ: = a: ]
क = k , ख = kh , ग = g , घ = gh ङ =n. ||| च = ch , छ = chh ज = j , झ = jh , ञ = n`
ट = t. , ठ = th. , ड = d. , ढ = dh. , ण = n~||| त = t , थ = th , द = d , ध = dh , न = n
प = p , फ = ph , ब = b , भ = bh , म = m ||| य = y , र = r , ल = l , व = v , श = sh
ष = sh. स = s , ह = h , क्ष = ksh , त्र = tr ||| ज्ञ = jn.. , श्र = shr , ड़ = ad , ढ़ = ad. ] }
PLEASE NOTE :--हिंदी should be Hindii not Hindi which is = हिंदि ||| हिंदू should be Hinduu not Hindu which is = हिंदु-------