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Children taught in mother tongue perform better: Study

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New Delhi: Studies show that children learn the best in their mother tongue. For instance, according to a recent survey Telugu medium students surpassed their English medium counterparts and performed much better at the primary level in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Children studying in mother tongues face a lot of difficulties when it comes to higher studies and employment opportunities. Therefore, in a bid to analyze the potential link between medium of instruction and student performance at the primary level, the study used Math scores as a proxy for student achievement while taking into account various socioeconomic factors, The Hindu reported.

915 children from 233 schools from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh (coastal districts and Rayalasema) were surveyed for the study which was conducted by Sree Kumar Nair, an analyst at the Bharati Institute of Public Policy, Indian School of Business.

“The objective was to understand whether the medium of instruction affected the learning outcomes at primary level. It was found that it impacted the achievement levels of students,” Nair was quoted as saying by the newspaper, adding that Math score was a good indicator as a proxy for cognitive development. The analysis was done using Young Lives longitudinal data of primary school children.

Despite the fact that English medium students came from a wealthier background and their parents were better educated, the Telugu students fared better even though they faced odds such as lack of proper infrastructure, lesser nutritional intake and teacher participation.

The findings of the study were important in view of government schemes like mid-day meal programme.

“Improving the infrastructure, ensuring better teacher participation and taking care of the nutritional deficit would benefit the disadvantaged students by ensuring higher learning outcomes,” Nair added.

Sankrant Sanu – an entrepreneur, writer and researcher based in Seattle and Gurgaon – tells NewsGram that a foreign language like English is the biggest hurdle in India’s development and that his own experience suggests that children would be much better learning in their mother-tongues not only at the primary education level but also in higher studies.

ALSO READ: ‘India can’t progress without promoting Indian languages’

While travelling through Indian villages, Sanu took some IQ test papers with him. His intent and assumptions were that he would find bright children in Indian villages and the results thereof surprised him. In his sample of over 100 students, both in rural and urban schools, he found that rural children surpassed the urban ones by a good margin. However, the fact of the matter was that a large number of these students would usually drop out after class 8, as most of the competitive exams were in English.

“Learning English is no duck soup, as it’s a very tough language and takes years of painful labour and patience to become proficient. Therefore, a student could be a math genius but just because of his poor English, he would be deprived of all the opportunities he deserves. Nothing could be more atrocious than this,” Sanu opines.

Moreover, English is the medium of instruction in IITs and IIMs which further hampers a person’s growth.

“It is a pity that while a child in South Korea can become a doctor after studying in Korean, a boy in a Tamil Nadu hamlet cannot become one after studying in Tamil. Studies show that children learn the best in their mother tongue. Original creative thinking cannot happen in a foreign language. The education system has become so divorced from reality… BPO is not innovation, it’s coolie work,” Sanu laments.

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Why Do People Around The World Consider English Essential?

Primary Language of the Internet is English

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Why Do People Around The World Consider English Essential?
Why Do People Around The World Consider English Essential? flickr

Learning English is considered to be vital in almost all the countries. People living in nations, whose first language is not English, definitely, make it a point to learn and study it as a second language, right from their childhood. In fact, many parents resort to hiring private English Tutors in order to give their kids the much needed extra edge in English to stay ahead in the competitive world. As globalization is rapidly making the world a small place to live in by forging an interconnection between, almost, every part of the world with each other, English has rapidly emerged as a common global language, virtually eliminating all international borders.

Following are some major points to help you understand the importance of learning English.

  • Primary Language of the Internet

We, definitely, go online, at least for some point in the day. A vast majority of the websites present on the Internet detail the needed information in the English language. Not only the websites, even all the major software packages, and operating systems, for your smart electronic devices including mobile, PC etc, use English as their primary language. Hence, it can be safely said that English is the primary language of the Internet and digital communication.

  • You Stand a Good Chance of Landing a Great Job

If you are looking to work in a multinational company or thinking of moving abroad; the prospects of getting a good job increase, if you can communicate well in English. Almost 54 countries of the world use English as their official language. Moreover, it is the official language of both NATO and UN.

  • Ability to Communicate with a Tremendous Amount of People

English holds the spot of being the second largest language in the world in terms of native speakers as well as persons who study, learn and communicate in English as their second language. Hence, if you are comfortable in English; it means you are convenient and comfy enough to communicate and interact with a huge amount of people in the world. Apart from this; even when it comes to using a common language in business; English comes on top in terms of usage and popularity.

some words of English language
some words of English language, pixabay
  • Quick & Simple to Learn

If you compare the English alphabets with other languages such as Spanish, Arabic or Mandarin, you will find English alphabets a lot easier to grasp. Hence, with proper efforts, you can learn English much quickly as compared to other languages.

  • Get Access to a Host of other Learning Opportunities

If you are looking to widen your knowledge base by taking up additional courses or programs; you will, undoubtedly, agree with the fact that majority of the universities and schools, worldwide, offer a plethora of study opportunities and courses which are taught and instructed, solely and entirely in English. So, in order to enjoy the benefits of studying different courses, you need to be well-versed in English.

Also read: Yogi accepts recommendations Hindi English teaching madrasas

Conclusion

Above were the major reasons indicating and highlighting the importance of learning the English language. Apart from these, numerous other reasons are available as well. Hence, right from befriending people internationally to following your career-oriented goals; you, undoubtedly, need the support of English language. (IANS)