Standard of English in India

Just a few years ago, English was spoken by just five to seven million people and the language consisted of dialects spoken by monolinguals. But today there are more non-native users than native users of English. English has now become the linguistic key for opening borders. Now it is considered as a global medium of communication. English has become a world language, spoken by almost 1.5 billion people in the world. English is nowadays the dominant or official language in over 60 countries.

It is quite remarkable that India holds the third rank of consisting most English-using population in the world after the USA and the UK. Literatures in English are nowadays recognized as part of the national literatures, and English is also recognized in the over-all language policy of the nation. The language has deeply penetrated in the society, which has, in its turn, resulted in several varieties of English in India. The development of those new varieties is connected with historical and social factors. The new Englishes have all their own contexts of function and uses. They have also, in their turn, affected the native varieties of English.

Indian English is used mainly by Indians for whom English is basically a non-native language. It is a minority language, but yet it has well-occupied the standard of a language of national affairs in India. But the noticeable part is that the spread of English across different cultures and languages has meant the diversification of English in India, which, in turn, raises questions about the standardization of English in India.

If we notice precisely upon the standard of English used in India then we will come across a diverse picture of it. Though English is not the native language of India still there has to be maintained a standard in the proper and balanced use of it. The standard of use of the English language varies from place to place and region to region in India. For instance, the English used in the North-Eastern region of the country apparently differs from the English that is used in the South-Indian part of the country. The foremost reason for this distinction can be assumed as the diversity of languages used in these regions and the influence of their mother tongue as we know that India is a multilingual country. Moreover, the accent of languages of both the regions differs very emphatically. These types of differences obviously degrade the standard of the English language.

To minimize such dissimilarities and degradation of the standard of the language, there must be maintained a proper and a uniformly acceptable standard. And obviously, this is to be maintained from the school level itself. The students are to be well-prepared to be able to compete in the world level. They are to be taught reasonably proper English. They must be provided with the knowledge about the role of English language in various developmental fields.

In India, there are various boards and government recognized authorities who have adopted different significant initiatives in order to standardize the English language among the non-native learners of the language. These authorities lay importance upon teaching the language only by people who have attained special qualifications that make them eligible to teach the English language. To maintain the own standard of the English language, it is certainly not important to teach English as merely a subject in the school level, but to teach it as a standard language is of more significance. Therefore, every board or concerned authorities should lay significance upon appointing teachers who have studied the English language as the subject of honours in graduation or the post-graduation level. This is certainly not the ultimate solution but yet it can be a useful initiative that can motivate the students well enough.