Set standards for newspapers, Dua asks English teachers
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 6
“English teachers should try and bridge the divide between students who are conversant with English and those who are not,” said Mr H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, here today.
Mr Dua was addressing a group of college teachers this morning as part of a week-long seminar for English lecturers on “Revisiting pedagogic concerns” being organised by the Regional Institute of English.
Mr Dua traced the evolution of English to being a link language and then moving on to ascertain its position as the global language. “Having been ruled by the British for over 200 years, at the time of Independence we had an advantage, though willy-nilly, over other nations in the language. However, after Independence we frittered away that advantage, mainly due to the language chauvinism that gripped various states,” he said.
Pointing out that an entire generation of students suffered at the hands of this language chauvinism in West Bengal and Gujarat, and some Hindi-speaking states, Mr Dua added that most states had now realised the importance of English as an international language. “It is not about giving up of what is old and ours but to ensure that our students have the same opportunities as everyone else,” he said.
Knowledge of English not only facilitated communication with the rest of the world, but also helped in accessing ideas from across the world, he added.
He appreciated the scientific temper displayed by leaders of modern India, who at a time when controversies surrounded the three-language formula, set up institutes like the Central Institute of English (Hyderabad) and the Regional Institute of English (Chandigarh, Bangalore) to enrich Indian students.
In the process of gaining a hold over other languages, English has also been instrumental in inspiring people to invest in science and technology. During the interactive session with participants, Mr Dua apprised the participants of the opportunities for the youth in the field of print journalism. In order to hone reading and writing skills of students, he suggested that the teachers should try and put up wallpapers in colleges to showcase their creative works.
Stating that teachers of English should be setting standards for English newspapers, he, however, counselled them to work towards bringing an end to the divide among English-knowing students and those who had no training in the language. “While it is important to ensure that those who know English should not suffer from a superiority complex, turning into snobs, you should put additional efforts and help students who suffer from complexes if they are not good in English,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Sharda Kaushik, Director, Regional Institute of English, apprised Mr Dua of the deliberations of the participants attending the seminar on the standards of improving English in India.