Importance Of English Language

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According to Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, “English is the only means of preventing our isolation from the world and we will act unwisely if we allow ourselves to be enveloped in the folds of a dark curtain of ignorance”.

Languages are important in the life of people and of any nation as a whole. The members of a social group need language to communicate with each other, for all social purposes, for public administration, for commerce and industry, for education, and so on.

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There are many important functions of any language in general for example:

instrumental; it is used to express people’s needs or to get things done, regulatory; It is used to tell others what to do, interactional; it is used to make contact with others and form relationships, personal; this function of language is used to express feelings, opinions, and individual identity, imaginative; it is used to tell stories and create an imaginary environment.

India is a country with a multilingual and multicultural social environment. Social aspirations can be best fulfilled when they are allowed to function through the mother tongue. Therefore it is natural to think of mother tongue for education. But the necessity to have a common language for interaction has led to the learning of English.

The English language set foot in India with the granting of the East India Company Charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600. The English language publicity instruction began in India in the 1830s during the rule of the East India Company. Lord Macaulay played a major role in introducing English and western concepts to education in India. He supported the replacement of Persian by English as the official language, the use of English as a medium of English in all schools, and the training of English-speaking Indians as teachers. During the British Raj, lasting from 1858 to 1947, English language penetration increased throughout India, this was driven in part by the gradual increase in hiring Indians in the civil services.

After India got its independence, the view of the English language among many Indians has gone from associating it with colonization to associating with economic progress, and English continues to be an official language of India.

While there is an assumption that English is readily available in India, many studies show that its usage is actually restricted to the people from upper-class societies, because of inadequate education to large parts of the Indian population. The use of outdated teaching methods, the usage of guidebooks by the students, overpopulation, and also the fact that many people still prefer to speak their own mother tongue while conversing with each other gives India only moderate proficiency in English.

The role and importance of the English language in modern India cannot be denied. India has been moving towards progress in this age of science. Almost all of the books on higher studies are either written in or translated into English. The sound knowledge of English helps the student in his studies.

Knowledge of English promotes the specialized study of literature and philosophy. The charms of Shakespeare and Milton can alone be appreciated in their original works written in English. The abundance of English vocabulary stands unrivaled in the world. Thus, with the knowledge of English one can temporarily stay or live within the different kinds of literature of the world. Without the knowledge of English, many opportunities cannot be availed by people, especially in this age of specialization, if one wants to visit a foreign country the knowledge of English is a must because without it such opportunities can never be reaped.

India is now an independent country. India is famous in history for its liberal philosophy. India as a nation has given to the world what is good in her and has generously accepted from others what is good in them. Unlike the old times, English is no longer the language of just one particular country, it has been universally recognized as the international language.

Hence, India will retain the English language permanently, and focus on making the English language accessible to all the citizens of all the nation. 

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