Language Education in India: Dialoging English and Vernacular Languages and Literatures

Kapur, Kirti
May 2011
Sino-US English Teaching;May2011, Vol. 8 Issue 5, p307
Academic Journal
Post independence the challenge before educators and policy-makers was to ensure that the diverse socio-cultural, linguistic and economic backgrounds of India's children are respected and represented in the school curriculum. The need for a comprehensive plan to devise a national system of education was therefore felt. The same mandate holds relevance in contemporary India as many languages are becoming endangered, while some have actually become extint despite claims of multilingualism and maintenance. The loss of a language is equivalent to the erasure of an entire culture itself. This is where schools can play a critical role in preservation and perpetuation by relating the home language to the school language of learners. The integration of one or more language can lead to progressive understanding and use of another language without losing the former. The result would be maintenance of languages in a complementary model. It is also important that in this scheme English is not contextualized in a western ambience, but is taught through a contextually rich local perspective because English is no longer a colonial language per se but a global language in a multilingual milieu. It must therefore find place among local and vernacular languages.


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