Language Complexity and Multilingual Education in India – A Policy Perspective

Authors

  • Resmi P Bhaskaran Executive Director, CLIL@India, Manipal University, Manipal

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15415/iie.2017.52013

Keywords:

Primary education, medium of instruction, Mother tongue education, Multilingualism, Education policy, Language policy, Three tier language formula, Linguistic diversity, Market, Multilingual Education in India, Language Complexity

Abstract

Debate on the medium of instruction in the primary education in India has a long history. Initially it was between classical Indian languages and foreign language, English. Colonial rulers promoted English education with adequate fund and trained teachers with modern education background. In the advent of independence movement, the medium of instruction became a political issue. The issue of what should be the medium of instruction for mass education has received the attention in all the education commissions from 1853 onwards. Independent India delineated this issue within the context of national integration and brought out three tier language formula in 1968. Only a few Indian States implemented it, while majority ignored this policy proposal. Meanwhile, the demand for English as medium of instruction strengthened among the urban middle class, making way out for modern Indian languages also from the classrooms. The present paper is an enquiry into the strategy and the methodology delineated to handle the linguistic diversity of the nation as well as the socio-economic mobility of the people through classrooms by Indian State using policy history framework.

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References

This paper is presented at the CLIL India Workshop at Manipal on April 18, 2017. Acknowledge the critical comments of Dr. Rakesh Singh on the earlier version.

Kemp, C. “Defining Multilingualism” (2009). In L. Aronin, & B. Hufeisen (Eds.), The exploration of multilingualism: Development of research on multilingualism and multiple language acquisition. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John BenjaminsPublishing Company. 11–26.

Census of India 2001 cited in Agnihotri, (2007). (Agnihotri, R.K and Dewan, H.K (eds.). Knowledge, Language and Learning. Macmillan Publishers India.New Delhi. 2010.) 79-88.

Singh, Shiv Sahay.“Language Survey Reveals Diversity.” The Hindu. 22 July 2013. Retrieved25 July 2017

Banerjee, Paula; Chaudhury, Sabyasachi Basu Ray; Das, Samir Kumar; BishnuAdhikari (2005). International Displacement in South Asia: The Relevance of theUN’s Guiding Principles. SAGE Publications. 145.

Gupta, Suman; Allen, Richard; Chattarji, Subarno and Chaudhuri, Supriya(2015). Reconsidering English Studies in Indian Higher Education. Routledge research in Higher Education, Routledge, London.

She defined multilingual education as (1) multilingual: uses and values more than one language in teaching and learning, (2) intercultural: recognizes and values understanding and dialogue across different lived experiences and cultural world views, and (3) education that draws out, taking as its starting

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Published

2017-11-06

How to Cite

Resmi P Bhaskaran. (2017). Language Complexity and Multilingual Education in India – A Policy Perspective. Issues and Ideas in Education, 5(2), 199–214. https://doi.org/10.15415/iie.2017.52013

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