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date: 22 October 2021

Language Policy and Reform in the Indian School Systemlocked

Language Policy and Reform in the Indian School Systemlocked

  • Rupanjali KarthikRupanjali KarthikDuke University
  •  and George W. NoblitGeorge W. NoblitUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Summary

India is a linguistically diverse country and supports this with its Language Policy based on the “Three Language Formula” (every child is taught three languages in school). However, its implementation has exhibited monolingual bias as multiple languages are offered as subjects of study and not as media of instruction. The medium of instruction in the majority of government schools is the concerned state’s regional language. Due to a rise in the demand for English medium instruction, governments in various states have started introducing all English medium instruction in schools.

It is unfortunate that in a multilingual nation, a monolingual mind-set has dominated the language-in-education policies and effective pedagogical reforms have largely remained side-lined in such policy debates. There is no denial of the importance of learning English for the children in government schools in India. However, the success of any language-in-education policy in India will depend on a flexible multilingual approach that recognizes the languages existing in the ecology of children (which will vary from state to state as media of instruction), acknowledges the importance of learning the English language, and ushers in effective pedagogical reforms.

Subjects

  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Education, Change, and Development

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