“Speak in English. Hindi is not allowed in the class”.
As Indians educated in “English Medium Schools”, all of us have definitely heard this warning uttered by our teachers. But did we ever ask ourselves, “Why do we need to speak in English? What is the need when our mother tongue is able to convey our emotions?” Probably not. So many reasons can be cited to support the need of English as the lingua franca.
Well, let’s not just talk about the never-ending benefits of English. That is the topic for some other day. Let’s talk about language in the broader sense. What is a language? Is it a mode of communication in the classroom setup? Is it just a pedagogical subject whose importance can be shadowed by Science Or Accounts?
Let’s have a glance at some of the aspects of language learning:
Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing – these are the four macro skills of language learning. In the world of linguistics, all these four skills hold equal worth. A student may be said to have good communication and effective interpersonal skills only when these four capabilities seamlessly blend together.
But unfortunately in the Indian classroom setup, the emphasis is more on writing. Reading as a language skill is highly important but it is also highly neglected. Students seldom focus on reading. If students can read and comprehend a text, half the work is done.
Most students do not speak in the prescribed language of the school (for majority of the Indian scenario, it is English) because they are afraid. They are afraid of committing errors, afraid of being mocked at, afraid of retribution. But one must not forget that if the teacher does not speak, students will not get to learn. Similarly, if students do not listen and speak, they will miss out on learning.
Listening, albeit, is a difficult language skill to master, especially foreign languages such as English or French. This is why ASL (Assessment of Speaking and Listening) has achieved seminal importance in language teaching and learning. Our language lab provides ample opportunities to the students to hone their language skills.
2. Foreign Languages
A foreign language is a gateway to success. Be it your passion for language, wanderlust or a necessity, learning a foreign language is an asset. In today’s multilingual world, foreign languages play a very important role in effective communication. It also gives an edge in the job market. We provide an option of learning French up to the board classes to our students which helps them in becoming effective communicators in the global community.
3. The Science behind language learning
Just as you workout your muscles to augment them or to keep them in shape, workout of the brain is also imperative. Studies have shown that learning a language keeps the brain in good shape and enhances our cognitive skills and memory. It helps them in becoming multitaskers. It provides students with good concentration and decreases the chances of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
We have enumerated the importance of learning a language or improving one’s language skills. Don’t consider it as just a medium for communication. It’s a passport to success in the future.