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3 reasons why you should prefer English Medium schools for Indians

What is a better medium of instruction at schools? Should Indian kids go to English medium schools or to schools that teach in regional / local languages e.g. Hindi, Marathi etc? I believe there is an overwhelming majority in India who favour admitting their kids to English Medium schools.

I am a strong proponent of introducing the student early on to English. There are 3 reasons for it. 

 

Knowing English is vital

It is the language of computers. It is the language of conversation. It is the language of business. It is the language of Science and it is the language the world speaks. Lack of fluency in English can be a huge hindrance in the future. 


Early introduction will help to build comfort with the language

We think in the language we are comfortable with. And we are comfortable with languages we pick up early on. So sooner you introduce a student to English, the easier it is to adopt to it. In fact, science has proven that our linguistic abilities, i.e. the ability to pickup new languages, go down drastically with age. 


Early on, we can try without worrying about mistakes or failure

The older we grow, more conscious we are of ourselves and of committing mistakes. At a young age we are not afraid to commit mistakes or be corrected. However, as we grow older, the stakes are higher. That is why, most people will not try to practice something new at their jobs. 

 

The bottom line is that we need to teach our kids in English because it is vital for their future and for that we must start early. All this is great, but we still need to consider that children learn at their own pace. Also English is not the only thing that they have to learn at school. So we need to strike the right balance in introducing the kids to a new language. 

 

Comments (14) -

Gunjan Agrawal said:

I disagree with the author in the degree of importance author has given to English. I believe it is important and is beneficial to know English but its not as vital as author has mentioned.

You can see people in European countries don't know English but are they anyway behind us or Americans, I don't think so.

Also, I believe Language should not be barrier in anyone's progress.

laboratory chemicals said:

Definitely English has become the global for of instructions, and it is very vital to send you children in a school where they can learn English and start speaking in as very small age.

admin said:

@Gunjan: Thank you for your comment. The intent is not to say that language could be a barrier in determining one's success. On the other hand, I would say that knowing English increases one's chances of success just because there are more opportunities.

You took the example of Europe. Even there there is a strong focus in Schools to learn English. Though older Europeans may not know English, people less than 30 years of age and living in urban areas know English very well. And the trend is just intensifying.

admin said:

@laboratory chemicals: Thank you for your comment. It has become vital to focus on English. And starting early is equally important so that they can get a good hold on the language.

Путаны Москвы said:


        What is a better medium of instruction at schools? Should Indian kids go to English medium schools or to schools that teach in regional / local languages e. g.  Hindi, Marathi etc? I believe there is an overwhelming majority in India who favour admitting their kids to English Medium schools.

mystery said:

i think yes in today's world, there is a very much need of a person knowing english in our country (i am talking about INDIA), people give respect to the people who know this language.
and i respect the fact that the author has not mentioned anywhere hindi or any other language less than english. its just the fact that english is important and necessary in today's world. but i won't deny that hindi is essential in our lives too.

admin said:

Thanks for the very interesting comment. I agree, the importance of mother tongue can not be denied. Rather, conscious effort must be made to ensure that it is not margenalised.

Anees said:

An interesting article I read regarding India's low PISA scores (72 of 74 nations). It said that teaching in English so early on is actually harming students. It recommends that's students learn in the mother tongue until around the age of 12-14 (by which they should reach reading of 60 words a min) and then begin to learn second languages. It makes sense....

I for one have met many children who spent the entire life in English medium yet they still speak English with many grammatical errors. In addition they often have very little knowledge of their mother tongue or any other language.

In many Euorpean countries/Canada/Latin America etc. English is not taught until high school yet these students get a good grasp of the language anyway. (India now ranks 30th in fluency of English among non-English speaking nations)

Also high education should be in the mother tongue as students learn better when the language of instruction is the same as the language of their own thoughts. Remember learning in the mother tongue doesn't mean a student can't learn English.

Here in Canada where I know live many students learn both official languages and a third language fluently by the end of high school.

admin said:

Hi Anees,

Thanks for the comment. Relevant and correct observation. I mostly agree with you. Here I want to share 3 points
1. English must be started at an early stage because it helps breed familiarity with the language. It gives us enough time to learn, falter and relearn the correct language. It is exactly the same for the mother tongue. We know it well because we start early and have parents around to help us correct and improve.

2. The fact that people do not develop good english skills after spending 12 years in an English medium school has more to do with the school than the individual. The quality of the school, its teachers is mostly responsible for this. Many schools want to milk the "english medium" tag and charge parents for it. Thats about it.

3. Interesting observation about Europe. I agree that Europeans have traditionally not learnt English from early classes but that is changing. Also, if you leave out big cities in select western European nations, then the level of English or even familiarity with it is very less. Just try venturing in the towns of Germany or France. It is for this reason, that they are starting to focus on English early on. Not like us, but still.

What do you think?

Kunal

business directory said:

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payal said:

i just agree with is topic. It is right that there is importance of english language.

Mayank Patel said:

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Sunabha said:

According to your article "We think in the language we are comfortable with." The very fact is we think in the form of electrical nerve impulses and committed chemical messengers who code them. Then it is converted, not translated, into the language we chose to speak/ write in (of course, one that is known). Yes we generally chose the one we are more comfortable in and that in most cases is the mother-tongue, not English. But, at the end of the day the choice is ours.

Regarding, "science has proven that our linguistic abilities, i.e. the ability to pickup new languages, go down drastically with age." Well, do you have a sound and authentic proof?

In an experiment in Zambia, some children were taught both English and the local language in Class 1, while others started English writing only in Class 2. The difference was astounding. The first group had reading scores two grades below the standard benchmark in English, and three grades lower in the local language. But where English was introduced later, English reading and writing scores shot up 575% above the benchmark in Class 1, 2,417% in Class 2, and 3,300 % in Class 3. Scores in the local language showed leaped up too. This system was extended to all Zambian schools.Lesson: start with mother tongue, and introduce English later. The issue in India is not Hindi vs English. Rather, a good Hindi foundation improves English learning later. (blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/.../is-premature-english-making-india-a-super-dunce)

Amrut said:

English language is surely a popular and a global language in the world. English is the language of science and technology, computers, websites, internet, fax, commerce, parliament, journalism etc. Learning English is important because 80% of the information stored in computer is in English as it is the main language in the internet.

It's not a language for getting only business done but it's a rich language with many varieties and meets the needs of the modern world.

Thus English, a language has been expected as a second national language in India.


English Medium School In Ahmedabad

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