Tuesday 25 February 2014

Are you the same person in "English"?

Are you the same person in "English"?
Don't we get transmitted to a different "being" when we speak in English, a second language? It is not about mother-tongue v/s the other tongue but yes there is a shift, call it by any name!

Gandhiji exclaimed in his autobiography that he was becoming stranger and stranger in his own family because of English education (in English). What is "it" that comes with superficial structures of English words, syntax, pronunciations etc? 

We often hear expressions like "IT IS MY PERSONAL LIFE", "I DON’'T CARE","TO HELL WITH IT" to name a few. Where does such a carefree and assertive attitude come from? English as a second language has potential to affect and influence our thinking which is nourished by our mother-tongue-culture.   


English comes from a different culture-a culture that believes in 'extreme individualism' and 'exclusiveness' (I) whereas Indian languages are products of an extremely plural and inclusive (We) culture. English language-culture makes one conscious of ‘rights’ whereas Indian language-culture makes one conscious of ‘duty’.   
Superiority, arrogance and assertion come with English; very few people can identify these diseases and sieve them out while/after learning English.

Does our syllabus of English language, from KG to PG, across the disciplines take into account these aspects of English Language and thinking?

-Vishal Bhadani

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