I am not surprised that many take the view that English needs to stay. In fact I wanted even to write (forgot it) as a warning that many of you won’t like what I wrote, as most of you are fluent in English and naturally want the status quo to continue.
But I wonder whether many of you and others (on twitter, too) really don’t get it or don’t want to get it. I consider English medium (studying all subjects in English) as a big drag on India, not learning English as a subject. Why not give up English medium and learn English as the rest of the world does? Is Germany or Japan really at a disadvantage because their engineers use German/ Japanese vocabulary? Those who go to US will learn quickly the English vocabulary. If you need to, a language comes quickly.
It is a big fallacy to think that “the world” speaks English. Check it out in Europe even among the well-educated, apart from U.K…. I am all for being able to manage in English, but if you put kids into English medium you sacrifice your own languages.
Imagine, you are posted in China by your company. Your neighbours there tell you that Mandarin is the upcoming world language and you should put your kids into Chinese medium schools. Even if you are convinced that to speak Chinese will be a great boon… will you put your kids into Chinese medium? Of course not, because the strain on the kids would be too much. All their books will be in Chinese and you can’t help them. They cannot do the simplest maths because they don’t understand the question…
That is the situation in my surrounding. Kids even in 5th class cannot make simple sentences on their own. They learn by heart and we, who speak English think, they know what they say. If you check, they don’t know. Their parents who don’t speak English want the ‘best’ for their children, and the common view is that English is a must, and they can’t distinguish between English medium and learning English as a subject. In both cases the kids won’t be fluent in English, but in the first case, they also won’t know their mother tongue.
Unfortunately this craze for English medium has increased in the last 10 years.
By Maria Wrath