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Why is English learning so important in Indian primary schools?

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

Technology-based teaching along with infrastructure development and curriculum enhancement must be taken into consideration for English Language training


Ever since the colonial era, Indians have had a wide exposure to English as a language. Despite the presence of around 121 languages and 270 mother tongues in India (as per Census 2011), the Constitution of India only recognizes English plus 22 Indian languages now. English is primarily learned as a second language/ foreign language for most parts of India with states like Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland etc. as exceptions where English is learned as the first language.

English as a Second Language
English as a Second Language

With rapid modernization and the promotion of a global culture, English has now evidently become unavoidable. One can barely imagine an India where complete education can be imparted through a vernacular/ regional medium. Also, there is a social differentiation in India where the English-speaking community is treated differently as compared to their vernacular counterparts. Undoubtedly, the English-speaking community dominates and the other remains neglected and alienated. Thus, there is a huge language problem when it comes to the matters of teaching, learning and overall education.

Till date, the Centre and major state governments have failed to find a perfect solution to this learning gap. There are millions of students studying in government schools where teachers are not fully trained and adapted to bridge this gap, still there exists the other set of students who are unaware of this gap by the sheer presence of private English-medium schools. It has been a forever debate in our nation as to how to solve this problem. One major solution which reformers have always focused upon is teaching English as a second language starting from the primary levels and gradually incorporating theory with practice at secondary levels.

According to data, around 230 million pupils enroll in primary school every year in India, the world’s largest school education system. English being India’s symbol of collective peoples’ aspirations and a way to participate fully in all spheres of life, demands for its presence in the education system. Both urban and rural masses hope that English as a medium of education and communication would help uplift individuals, families and communities out of poverty and indignity by providing access to employment, opportunity and social mobility. However, research shows that English learning across India is not up to the mark, especially at the primary level where the foundations are supposed to be laid.

Some major challenges faced by learners of English as a second-language (ESL) in India are—

  • Absence of qualified teacher/ teaching medium: the most overlooked issue

  • Inadequate learning environment

  • Prevalence and over-usage of native languages in the classrooms

  • Greater dependency on the teacher

  • Negligence on the part of the students

We, at Logical Learning Company, are committed to early language teaching for students of English as a second-language (ESL). Our dedicated ESL digital content provides advanced vernacular to English interpretations along with additional phonetics and grammar besides local curriculum which are critical for learning English from primary stages. Also, our greater initiatives for interaction of the students with the English-speaking teachers via multimedia (audio-visual) is immensely beneficial. In order to facilitate the process, we have designed a special device/ tablet-based self-adaptive learning technique which can be a game-changer for primary section pupils. Moreover, our innovative NANO PCs are specially developed for imparting quality education and basic computing skills in English for early learners based in remote areas where access to digital solutions and affordable technology is a big challenge. NANO PCs also come with solar cell batteries to last longer and can be revolutionary at the grassroots level. Thus, the presence of interactive learning & object recognition besides primary modules for computer training leads to faster growth of an early learner.

In a nutshell, learning any language is a process of knowledge building in a learner rather than knowledge transfer from a teacher. Thus, technology-based teaching along with infrastructure development and curriculum enhancement must be taken into consideration for English Language training. In today’s globalized world, Indian students have to be prepared to compete with their international counterparts and only implementing regional languages cannot serve this purpose. For better socio-political and economic development in the future, English has to be taught compulsorily even as a second language across the country.

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