Sunday, July 5, 2015

English children being taught English

I just learnt that my younger sister - the history prof settled in the UK - takes free remedial classes for British high-school graduates who cannot write three lines of their mother tongue sensibly and grammatically. Reminded me of the fact that so many of my daughter's pen-pals from English-speaking countries have complimented her for writing far better English than they do! This is ulto-puraan with a vengeance. It all comes from forty years of 'experimental/progressive' ideas about how education should be 'comprehensive and enabling and enjoyable', combined with language acquired through social networking via computer. Even two decades ago they were saying in 'Yes Minister' that teenagers could be sent compulsorily into the military, so that they might receive a 'comprehensive education' that could make up for their 'comprehensive education'! Now the results are there for all to see.

The tragedy is that, as with so many other things, we have been blindly copying the west in this too, trying to make education continuously easier and more 'fun'. God help us. 


Shilpi said...

I think the contents of this post of yours got through to me in layers, Suvro da. I’m not English but this post and the contents feel shameful to me from one angle and yet I’m more than pleased that a few Indians not only use the English language really well but also show the English how it’s used. Across a decade I’d seen that maybe 4% of American college students could write decent English but somehow I’d had this rosy idea in place that the young Brits in general were still doing well with the grand English language…This post of yours now makes me want to put up a post soon.

DEBANIK said...

I am "thinking aloud" on my keyboard now.

Returning to your blog after several years - perhaps not even the same one - I am struck by a row of icons after each post.
(FB, twitter, G+1, etc)

I actually blinked,
recalling robust words from you and your daughter on how her classmates spewed meaningless (and ungrammatical) chatter on FB all day.

Then came
the post on English children being taught remedial English.

I recalled your anguish (in posts back then) over the decline in standards of even the IITs.

A tangential context (please excuse the digression):

In our times,
in the English language, one could only speak TO someone ; not WITH him. Along came the glitter of half Americanism.
Today everyone speaks WITH everyone.

An uncommonly sharp girl had once asked why I no longer point this out and had begun to overlook it in class.
If you allow 'spoke with', why don't you allow 'married with'?"
she shot.

She was prophetic.
I do hear 'married with' nowadays.

To stray further,
a "relationship" was a mutual thing India and Pakistan currently lack and Suvro and my cousins in Durgapur then had.

In present day English,
I am, for some strange reason, am so glad they never did.
I mean Suvro, Leena and Munna ; not the two nations)

Then came a note on "femalegulo'r dhong", sticking out unfashionably in times that claim a woman's right to expose her chest in public.

Talk of dhong!

After a few more posts came one about how people pained in relationships were more active on FB.



Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thank you for writing in, Debanik. What kept you away for years?

If you are looking for the other blog, it's But all you have to do, if you have come to this one, is to click on the link which says 'Try this other blog' at the top right hand corner.