SYMPOSIUM
LANGUAGE ISSUES IN
ENGLISH-MEDIUM
UNIVERSITIES ACROSS
ASIA
UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
JUNE 8-9, 2006
LANGUAGE
ISSUES IN THE
CONTEXT OF
HIGHER
EDUCATION IN
INDIA
RAVINDER GARGESH
Professor
Department of Linguistics
University of Delhi
DELHI-110007 INDIA
General View
• Language use in education depends
on the linguistic situation of a
country
• Intimately bound are the issues of
language rights, language
empowerment, language promotion,
language policy and language
planning
• A multi layered or multi strata based
solution
• Serious problems in the formation
of educational policy in the context
of medium of
instruction/examination
• Problem of shift from one medium
to another
Plan of the Paper
This paper attempts to present
the Indian scene as follows:
• Presents the socio linguistic
perspective of the country with
special reference to the English
language
• Presents the de jure position in the
context of bilingualism and the
education scenario
• Presents a broad picture of the
universities in India, with special
reference to the medium of
instruction/examination
• Presents a broad picture of the
University of Delhi, with special
reference to the media of
instruction/examination
SOCIOLINGUISTIC
SITUATION
India has a population of over a billion people(1,027,015,247 as
per the Census of India 2001), 1652 Mother Tongues (1961
Census), 67 educational languages and an area of 3,287,590 SQ
KM. India is a multilingual giant.
Characteristic feature of Indian multilingualism:
Allocation of social roles to different languages
Pandit(1976: 172-173) provides an apt example:
Language use of an Indian businessman living in a suburb
of Bombay:
• His mother tongue and home language is a dialect of
Gujrati
• In the market he uses a familiar variety of Marathi, the
state language
• At the railway station he speaks the pan-India linguafranca, Hindustani
• His language of work is Kachhi, the code of the spice
trade
• In the evening he watches a film in Hindi or in English
• Listens to a cricket match commentry on the radio in
English
Languages of India
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
-Language families: Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic and
Sino-Tibetan.
Indo-Aryan and Dravidian cover over 97% of the population
Grierson - 179 languages to 544 dialects - Linguistic Survey of
India (1888 and 1927)
1951 census - 845 languages including dialects
More than 10,000 speakers each speak 60 of these
1961 census -1652 mother tongues corresponding to 193
classified languages
Classified languages belong to four language families:
Austric (20), Dravidian (20), Indo-Aryan (54) and TibetoBurman (98)
1971, 1981, and 1991 Census - distribution of household
population is presented along with the Schedule VIII languages
and other major languages
Census 2001 – Language figures not yet available
Mr. Jaipal Reddy, Union Minister of Culture, stated in the Rajya
Sabha on December 13, 2004., ‘There are 3,372 languages in
India, …10,000 persons or more speak only 216 languages.’
85 languages out of the 216 are subsumed under the 18
scheduled languages, the remaining 131 are classified as nonscheduled languages.
Multilingualism and
Convergence
• All major languages of India exist
beyond their home territory
• Border areas reveal a state of
diffusion -- contact patterns
• Frequent code-switching – vital
function for intelligibility condition
• Close contact – formation of Pidgins
• Halbi = Convergence of
Chattisgarhi, Oriya and Marathi
• Malwi= Rajasthani and Gujarati
• Saurashtri= Convergence of Gujarati
and Tamil (unrelated languages)
• Kupwar dialect= shows features of
Kannada, Marathi and Urdu
Bilingualism/Multilingualism and the Census
All major languages of India exist beyond their
home territory
Distribution of the 18 scheduled languages in some states
(Source: Census of India 1991)
Numbers of speakers in States
Languages
Andhra
Pradesh
Haryana
1,302
348
2,310
2,844
4,021
Bengali
30,281
9,995
161,497
263,917
58,541,519
Gujrati
43,844
2,266
2,016,381
11,311
38,319
1,841,290 14,982,409
6,168,941
66,761,621
2,602,268
Assamese
Hindi
Maharashtra
Uttar
Pradesh
West
Bengal
Kannada
519,507
936
1,060,701
3,727
1,624
Kashmiri
612
923
2,680
5,227
462
Konkani
3,794
148
312,618
364
944
66,409
1,257
340,597
15,721
17,215
221
75
748
576
824
503,609
3,088
57,894,839
17,698
11,849
6,634
5,823
39,751
99,859
860,403
129,697
2,634
38,183
14,742
70,001
Punjabi
24,773
1,170,225
225,511
661,215
1,376
Sanskrit
199
81
277
44,847
41
Sindhi
12,919
369
618,696
52,168
5,404
Tamil
753,484
5,202
427,447
15,569
25,797
56,375,755
2,402
1,122,332
10,597
108,443
2,836,179
261,820
5,734,468
12,492,927
1,455,649
Malayalam
Manipuri
Marathi
Nepali
Oriya
Telugu
Urdu
Bilingualism/Multilingualism and English
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
1961 bilingualism returns of 15 states and the union
territory of Delhi show:
Hindi-Urdu (H-U) and English (E) together = ½ bilingual
population
(52.5% = H-U 26.8% + E 25.7%) (Khubchandani 1972)
Overall picture is one of growth:
National average for bilingualism is on the increase
9.7% in 1961  13.04% in 1971  13.34% in 1981 
19.44% in 1991. (Vijaynunni 1999)
Hindi a language of wider communication/link language
for trade/commerce, mass entertainment and informal
inter-group interaction
Khuchandani (1994: 19): Consolidation of English during
1961-1971 –
bilinguals with English increased from 26% to 35% of
the bilingual population. The present figure till the arrival
of new data stands at 57.3
Hindi – returned as second or third language by 70
million (of 807 million) speakers of scheduled languages
(8.67%)
English - returned as second/third language 90 million
people (11.15%= 8% report it as second language and
3.15% as a third language)
Functional Role of English in
Multilingual India
Social
Function
Auxiliary
(1)
Supplementary
(2)
Complementary
(3)
Equative
(4)
Library
Language
Vehicular
Language
Link
Language
Alternate
Language
• (1): for acquiring knowledge - ‘library language’
- creates ‘passive’ bilinguals
• (2): for restricted needs – tourism - ‘vehicular
language’- ‘unstable’ bilinguals with partial
competence
• (3): complementary function - ‘link language’creates ‘stable’ type of bilinguals with partial
competence
• (4): equative function - an alternate language in
all domains - ‘ambilinguals’
De Jure Status of
Languages
• The Constitution of India adopted on Nov.
26, 1949 in the Constituent Assembly
• Effective date: Jan 26, 1950
• Provisions about languages:
• Part XVII deals with the official language
of the Union in 4 Chapters.
• Chapter I: Language of the Union
(Articles 343 and 344
• Chapter II: Regional Languages (Articles
345-347)
• Chapter III: Language of the Supreme
Court, High Courts etc. (Art. 348-49)
• Chapter IV: Special Directives (Articles
350-351)
Chapter I: Language of the Union
(Articles 343 and 344)
• Article 343: Hindi in the
Devanagari script as the official
language of the Union stipulates
Art. 343(3): English should
continue to be used for another
period of 15 years
• Article 344: The President
empowered to constitute an
official language commission
after 5 years and then to review
the progress made by Hindi after
10 years
Chapter II: Regional Languages
(Articles 345-347)
• Art.345: Empowers Legislature of a
State to adopt as official language
any one or more languages in use in
that State or Hindi
• Art. 346: Official language of the
Union shall be the official language
for communication between one
State and another State, and between
a State and the Union
• Art. 347: On demand the President
may direct the use of language if
demanded by a sizable number of
people
Chapter III: Language of the Supreme
Court, High Courts etc. (Art. 348-49)
• Art. 348: The language of the Supreme
Court and the High Court shall be English
until the Parliament by law otherwise
provides
• Bills, authoritative texts of Acts, Byelaws,
Rules, and Regulations etc shall also be in
English
• States in addition may use their official
language/languages for this purpose but
English text/texts will be authoritative
• Art 349: No change in the language of
Bills, Acts, Rules, Bye-Laws etc can be
contemplated for 15 years and after that
period the President must be satisfied of
the need for a change
Chapter IV: Special Directives
(Articles 350-351)
•
•
•
•
Art. 350 provides for every person to submit a
representation for the redress of any grievance to any
officer of authority of the Union or a State in any of the
languages used in the Union or the State, as the case may
be
Article 350A: Every State and every local authority is
directed to provide adequate facilities for instruction in
the mother tongue at the primary stage of education to
children belonging to linguistic minority groups.
Art 350B: A special officer for linguistic minorities to be
appointed by the President who is to investigate all
matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic
minorities under this Constitution and report to the
President upon these matters at such intervals as the
President may direct, and the President shall cause all
such reports to be laid before each House of Parliament,
and sent to the Governments of the States concerned.
Art 351: Govt. to promote the spread of Hindi language
in such a way that ‘it may serve as a medium of
expression for the composite culture of India and to
secure its enrichment by assimilating … the forms, style
and expressions used in Hindustani and in other
languages of India … and by drawing… for its
vocabulary, primarily on Sanskrit and secondarily on
other languages’.
Some other provisions
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Art. 120 in Part V and Art. 210 in Part VI of the
Constitution vest powers in the presiding officers of the
Union and State legislatures to use their discretion for
allowing any member to speak in his mother tongue if he
is unable to speak in the recognized official language or
languages.
VIII Schedule today has a total of 22 languages in the list
of ‘scheduled languages’ In 1949 these were 14
languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi and Urdu
In 1967 Sindhi was added to the list
In 1992 Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added
In 2004 Dogri, Maithili, Rajasthani and Santhali were
added.
The languages of the Eighth Schedule are more
concerned with Art. 345 and 351. The former empowers a
State government to adopt one or more languages or
Hindi for official use in the State.
A demand for the inclusion of English in the Eighth
Schedule was made in a meeting of the CABE (Central
Advisory Board of Education) in early August 2004. One
of the issues widely reported was the discussion on the
“inclusion of English in the list of modern Indian
languages” (The Times of India August 12, 2004, p.2)
Languages in
Education
• The Three Language Formula was first
devised for school education by the Central
Advisory Board of Education in 1956,
subsequently modified by the Conference
of Chief Ministers in 1961, and formalized
by the (Kothari) Education Commission
(1964-6) (see Aggarwal 1993: 175-193)
• Based on the following three factors:
• (a) recognition of the right of ethnic
minorities to get educational instruction
through their MT,
• (b) promotion of state official language as
a major regional language for bringing the
different ethnic groups of the region into
the socio-cultural mainstream,
• (c) development of pan-Indian official
language of the Union for the integration
of the country as a polity.
The Three Language Formula
Recognizes the following languages:
•
The first language to be studied must be mother tongue or
the regional standard.
•
The second language : In Hindi speaking states will be some
other modern Indian language (MIL) or English, and, in nonHindi speaking states will be Hindi or English.
•
The third language in Hindi speaking states will be English
or an MIL not studied as second language, and in non-Hindi
speaking states English or Hindi not studied as the second
language.
•
Implications: Teaching of the first language commenced
from class I, the teaching of the second language was
recommended from Class VI or a bit earlier from class III, or
at a convenient stage depending upon the resources of a
state. The third language was also recommended to be
taught from Class VI
(Gargesh 2002: 191-203)
•
Presently - an increasing trend to begin teaching of English
as a subject from Class I, e.g. Delhi, Haryana and Bihar have
begun to teach English as an additional subject from Class I
from the year 2000, 2002 and 2003 respectively.
•
The 1967 Official Language Amendment Act has ensured
the continuation of English and this has affected the domain
of education
Language for higher
education
Debates regarding the medium of instruction in education in India since
independence:
1. Education Commission (1948):
“… English has become so much a part of our national habit … English
cannot continue to occupy the place of state language as in the past”
2. Kunzru Committee (1955):
(a) Change in the medium of instruction at the university stage should
not be hastened;
(b) Even after the change English should continue to be studied by all
university students;
(c) English should be retained as a properly studied second language in
our universities
3. The Education Commission (1964-66):
(a) Concerted effort needed for Hindi/regional languages as the media of
instruction;
(b) The medium of examination should be the same as the medium of
instruction;
(c) English should be studied and taught as a library language;
(d) No student should be allowed to graduate unless he is proficient in
English;
(e) The universities should offer special courses in remedial English and
English for Special Purposes.
4. National Integration Council (1962): observed that:
Need to make regional languages as media of instruction at the university
stage.
5. The Working Group of the University Grants Commission (1978):
(a) English has the advantage in publications and reference materials over
RLs
(b) Employment prospects of students educated through English medium
are better
(c) The shift from RLs to English in universities (instruction) ia a problem
(d) English continues to be the status symbol in society
Language for higher education
•
•
•
•
•
English in higher education was viewed as India’s
window to ‘the world’s technical and scientific
information and knowledge’
The Report of the Committee for review of National
Policy on Education 1986 notes that “the regional
languages are already in use as media of education at the
primary and secondary stages. Urgent steps should now
be taken to adopt them as media of education at the
university stage” (Ramamurti: 1990: 250)
It also mentions that the Education Commission of
1964-66 “had called for a changeover to the regional
language media over a ten-year time frame;” but that
“progress in this regard has not been uniform or
satisfactory” (Ramamurti 1990: 265)
The Ministry’s document Programme of Action (1992:
178-179) acknowledges that “university teachers having
received education through English find it difficult to
teach through Indian languages,” and that “Indian
language-medium courses are generally not popular
amongst the students because of lack of professional
comparability and poor employment potential.”
It is true that the higher we move in education and the
more we aspire for professional excellence the only
medium left at the top is English.
De facto language use
in society
• English is used throughout the length and
breadth of the country
• Number of speakers of English in India:
Between 30-50 million (estimate basis 35% as per Kachru 1986: 54) to about 200
million (estimate basis 20% as per
Encyclopedia Britannica 2002: 796 and
Crystal 2003: 50)
• Positive attitude towards the language
• Most significant language for obtaining
information
• Language of prestige in higher education
• Careers in business and commerce,
government positions of high rank
(regardless of stated policy), and science
and technology (attracting many of the
brightest) continue to require fluency in
English
Attitude towards English
• Some studies related to attitudes towards English
• Abbi, Gupta and Gargesh (2000):
• English is overwhelmingly sought as a medium of
education but not as a mother tongue.
• Agnihotri and Khanna (1997: 74) “more than 90%
informants want some amount of English to be
used, in teaching at all levels of education”
• One of the major reasons for learning English is the
‘instrumental function’ that “it is also seen as a
means for enhancing social mobility and individual
personality (ibid: 85)
• 77% of the informants believe that progress in
science and technology will be hampered without
English” (ibid: 90)
• Attitude towards English speaking Indians: More
than 60% informants considered them to be
sensitive to Indian culture and they also perceived
them to be progressive and honest.
• There is strong parental encouragement for the
study of English. The extent of positive attitudes
towards English indicates that English is here to
stay for quite some time as a valuable tool.
Major language for
obtaining information
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Narendra Kumar, President of the Federation of Indian
Publishers says that ‘a sizeable portion of this clientele [higher
education] is the reader of English books’ (1998:41).
Of the about 3000 ‘active’ publishers in India about 1/3 publish
in English and the rest are shared by 21 other languages (Kumar
1998: 44)
Newspapers: Published in India in about a 100 languages
Amongst the multi edition dailies, The Times of India edited
simultaneously from seven cities has the largest total circulation
of 1,695,945 copies followed by Malayala Manorama (eight
editions) with a circulation of 1,132,813 copies, Dainik Jagran
(12 editions) in Hindi is third with a circulation of 1,122,544
copies (Press in India 2000: 21).
Radio: A total time of 12 hrs 20 minutes is devoted to news in
the Home Service out of which 2 hours 25 minutes are taken up
by 21 news broadcasts in English while Hindi takes up 2 hours
and 30 minutes for 20 news broadcasts. The remaining
languages get between 10 to 40 minutes each.
TV:In the National Network News in English gets six slots in a
day which totals a 100 programs in the English medium. The
educational programs too have a high percentage of programs in
English.
Abbi, Gupta and Gargesh (2000) – more of English is used in
India when the aim is to provide information.
Higher Education in India:
A glimpse
University Network
About 324 Universities including:
• 95 Deemed Universities
• 162 Traditional Universities
• 40 Agricultural / Forestry / Fisheries / Veterinary
Universities
• 36 Engineering and Technology Institutes such as
Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institute of
Science, etc.
• 18 Medical Universities
• 11Open Universities
• 18 National Institutes of Technology
• 17625 Colleges of Engineering, Medical, Arts,
Humanities, Social Sciences, Commerce, Science
and Management Education.
Language as medium of instruction
and examination 2003-04 (108 Univs.)
MOI MOE
MOI
MOE
Faculty/Subject EEH/RL- H/RLArts
52
53
30
30
Science
Comp Science
64
32
64
32
07
03
07
03
H/RL
Languages
H(18), P(2), G(3),
K(2),T,B(3),Mar(2)
H(4), G(2), T
H, Skt, G,
Commerce
MBA
Engineering
36
37
34
36
37
34
06
03
01
06
03
01
H(2), G(3), T
H(2), G
H
Medicine
Education
19
38
19
38
02
16
02
16
H(2)
H(10), G(2), K,B, Mar(2)
23
16
12
58
23
16
12
59
08
02
01
26
08
02
01
26
Law
Agriculture
Vet. Science
Others
H(6), G, P
H(2)
H
H(17), B(3),Mar(2)
G(2), Mal,T
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL= 421
422
105
105
H=66, P=3, G=15,
K=3, T=4, B=7
Mar=6, Mal=1,Skt=1
105
Medium of Instruction and Examination
in University of Delhi
Faculty-wise Distribution of Students during the Year 2003-2004
UNDER-GRADUATE
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Name of Faculty
REGULAR
NON-FORMAL
TOTAL
M
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1. Arts
41826
102427
144253
E/H
2. Ayur. &
Unani-Medicine
605
605
H/S/U
3. Inter-Disciplinary
1782
1782
E
4. Mathematical Sc.
5768
-5768
E
5. Medicine
2149
2149
E
6. Music & Fine Arts
486
486
E/H
7. Science
15449
15449
E
8. Social Science
16249
2798
19047
E/H
9. App.Soc.Sc.
1799
1799
E
10. Commerce
& Business
27877
73236
101113
E/H
11. Technology
3958
3958
E
12. Education
763
763
E/H
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Grand Total (U.G.)
118711
178461
297172
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medium of Instruction and
Examination in University of Delhi
Faculty-wise Distribution of Students (2003-2004)
POST-GRADUATE
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Name of Faculty
REGULAR
NON-FORMAL
TOTAL
M
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------•
1. Arts
3121
3149
6270 E/H
•
2. Ayur. & Unani-Medicine
0
0
0
H/S/U
•
•
3. Inter-Disciplinary
418
418
E
•
4. Mathematical Sc.
1199
231
1430 E
•
5. Medicine
1042
1042 E
•
6. Music & Fine Arts
309
309 E/H
•
7. Science
3269
3269 E
•
8. Social Science
1873
601
2474 E/H
•
9. App.Soc.Sc.& Humanities
243
243 E
•
10. Commerce & Business
801
1662
2463 E/H
•
11. Technology
366
366
E
•
12. Education
697
697
E/H
•
13. Law
3913
3913
E
•
14. Management
575
575
E
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Grand Total (P.G.)
18057
5412
23469
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Perceived benefits of Englishmedium education
1. English is a highly developed language
and is at present best suited for the
country’s industrial and scientific progress
2. English is less divisive because of its
neutral character
3. English enables the educated Indian to
move about inside and outside the country
4. English brightens the students’ prospects
of getting prestigious jobs
5. English is still the language of
administration at the Center and in many
States.
6. Beneficial for good effective education
7. Helps the country in maintaining a
competitive edge in the production
technical manpower
Problems Perceived in Englishmedium education
1. Very large population does not use
English in daily life
2. Those who come through the RL
medium find it difficult to cope
with English medium at higher
levels
3. There is a need for creating
effective intermediate language
courses so that the shift in medium
at any stage doesn’t remain a major
hindrance
4. Need to perceive English as a
functional language rather than as
an elite language that creates sociopolitical conflict.
CONCLUSION
I.
English occupies a special place in the domains of
education, law and administration.
II. It is widely believed that one cannot become an
engineer, doctor, lawyer, scientist, pilot etc. without
proven proficiency in English.
III. It has been absorbed in the multilingual fabric of
India.
IV. Creative writings reveal that English in India is
undergoing a process of decolonization.
V. The main Educational goal is to minimize social and
economic disparities and to create a positive
discrimination in favor of the weak by giving each
person an opportunity to learn this language.
VI. Intermediate programs of English need to be created
which may enable students to smoothly switchover
from a regional language to English as a medium of
instruction in higher education.
VII. The present system of English Language education
is unable to meet the growing aspirations of the
people in the new globilized contexts. Hence, the
mushrooming of private English medium schools.
VIII. In the emerging new situation using RP would be an
impractical goal with so many varieties of Indian
English today. We are gradually moving towards an
indigenous standardized Indian English.
THANK YOU
Descargar

ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION IN INDIA:AN APPRAISAL