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English Shock!!

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English Shock!!

As I wake-up early in the morning and proceeded to check Gayatrivantillu for viewers' comments / feedback, on Youtube, once I found the following message from a viewer  


plzzz i beg you learn english!!!! "

Hosting recipes since September 2008, I'm not new to such comments and in-fact became accustomed to similar comments. At Tea when I open the newspaper, I find the following article depicting how two school children were humiliated & punished by their teacher for speaking in Telugu.

Both the above instances put a stream of thoughts in my mind. While some thoughts remained as questions, some got answers and a few were rationalization of these thoughts. I thought of sharing them here with you.

Unlike Japanese, Germans, Chinese, Russians etc. who have their own national languages, in India we don’t have a national language. Hindi is our Official Language for the Union of India while in States we have different official languages. I’m given to understand that children who pursue higher studies in Japan, Germany, China, Russia etc. have sufficient relevant reading material in their respective languages. In India barring to some extent in Hindi (because of official patronage) all other languages fall short of the requisite material for pursuing higher studies. The problem is acute in science streams where one has to necessarily depend on English originals for higher exposures. Thus in Indian context, English is an important language, provided a child desires to reach the upper echelons of scientific enlightenment. In fact that may be true for all other countries also, because its in English we have the largest collection of material for scientific advancement and its English that is spoken and written in most of the conferences and journals.

In India, who doesn’t want his child to be the budding Nobel laureate? Thus every parent in India would like to see his child to be proficient in English so that his pursuit of success is not hindered by lack of English knowledge. This must be the root cause for the proliferation of “English Medium” Schools and gradual closure of “Vernacular Medium Schools” in India. Nowadays “English Medium” and “Convent” words are synonyms. People, even from the lowest economic strata prefer to send their children to “Convents”, run by private sector!!! Two of the municipal schools which my husband attended in 1970s have been merged or closed.

My father is from a remote village of “Anantharam” in Guntur district while my father-in-law is from “Choragudi” village in Krishna district. They did their entire schooling in vernacular medium and had English as one of the subjects. They read Shakespeare while in high school and college, which we haven’t yet. They both did their Masters in Physics and Mathematics respectively from Osmania and Banares Hindu University. Later they taught in the Colleges of Hyderabad and Cuttack for more than 35 years. Their parents, i.e. our grandparents didn’t know English nor did they speak English at home. Yet this deficiency, if any, didn’t stop them from bagging Gold Medals in academics. Till date they find many mistakes to correct their children and grand-children's English who are from the so called English Medium schools!!! These elders are good at Telugu and Sanskrit too. The reason behind narrating the elder’s story is to appreciate that speaking English at home and school is not essential for mastering that language and succeed.

Probably it is we, the parents who over emphasize on English speaking, which the schools are cashing-in under the banners of “English Medium”/ “Convent”. Instead we need to emphasize on coherent and logical thinking, languages can be mastered in due-course. We need to encourage our children to write answers in own sentences and in the process shouldn’t be unhappy if he/she didn’t come first in the class. Recently my son narrated that in one of his classroom sessions, Professor Ramanujam from Mechanical Engineering Department at IIT-Kharagpur asked weak and shy students to come on to the dais and speak impromptu for five minutes each.

Similarly for Students from non-English speaking countries at Texas A& M University (where my son is presently pursuing his PhD), there were a few sessions on English. The English professor asked the Chinese and Indians not to twist their mouths to ape American accent, instead they should speak slowly by which many Americans can easily follow what they speak!

What's essential is that our children should be able to think instead of parroting their lessons. Their thoughts should be coherent and rational. The medium of expression can be in any language of our choice. Isn’t it a fact that non-English speaking students outside US take only a few months to clear TOFEL and thereafter pursue higher studies in prestigious US and British Universities? Do Chinese, Germans, French, Russians etc. over emphasize on English from Lower Kindergarten as we do in India?

To inculcate proficiency in English, we can provide story books in English - Chandamana etc. My son’s English teacher Smt Guha Madam of Campion School Bhopal adopted a practice of asking weak students to read out passages from the English Text book and thereafter explained these English lessons. This school regularly conducted elocution and debate competitions for the students in English also.

One should be clear in thoughts and be proud about his mother tongue and should be open to promote English with due diligence where required!!! Children should love English but not fear it.

Therefore “ILoveMac321" & ilk, I know a bit of English, but would love to stick to Telugu only, in my narration. Similarly the English protagonists belonging to the ilk of Kadapa school should realize that English needs to be promoted gently by making it interesting rather than imposing it rudely. Lastly as parents we shouldn’t be awed and overwhelmed by neighbors’ children who speak “English”, without substance!!!!!

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 Our Earlier discussions on the Blog
Neelima said...

namaste naa peeru neelima .idde naa first time visit .really almost anni vantalu unnayi.naaku traditional vantalante chala istam,and cheyatam kuda istam.reaaly meeru ee web ki enta kastapadutunnaro annipistundi(maintain cheyataniki).realy mimmalni mechukovali.teluguvalla vantalu mee dantlo super.meeru cheppinna prati aksharam correct.teluguvallamaiyundi,telugulo ne matladukovali.ammani gouravinchani vaadu entavaadaina waste.excellent job gayatri garu.communication anedi understanding ki matrame.really.... all the best.doing grt job.vantalantara meeru cheppi nattu try cheste vastayi .but prayatnam most imp. chala rasesanu.inka selavu.

April 2, 2010 4:16 PM
Anonymous said...

mee vantale kadandi me alochanalu kuda chala baguntaye. Matru bhasha pai me prema naku nachindi.
Nenu oka Maharastrain ni kani Andhra Pradesh lo ne putti perigyanu.
Nenu prasthutham US lo unnanu. Ma babuki rendunnara savacharalu. Vadiki Marathi lone matladadam vachu. Telugu mariyu english ardham avthaye kaani matladadam anthaga radu.Konni chinna chinna prashnalaku matram javabu chebuthadu.Na snehituralantha english nerpaka pothe chala kashtam antaru, kaani naku telusu vadu oka 6 nenlalo ne chala baga english nerchuko vachu.Chala mandi cheputuntaru "ikkada vadi thoti pillalatho kalisi povadaniki english avasaram". chala sarlu nenu gamaninchindi emitante pillalu kalisi povadamniki bhasha aatankam kadu. Vallu english lo adigithe ma vadu saigalatho chepthadu. koncham english lo kuda matladadaniki prayathisthadu.
Nenu chadavindi english meduim lone kaani memu eppudu intlo english matlade vallam kadu. anthe kadu, ma hindi period lo , telugu period lo english lo matlade the kopade varu. Kaani meru annattu vere period lo english lo matladaka pothe matram fine undedi. danni ma hindi teacher(memu avidini behenji anevallam) chala vethere kinchedi. Avida ma lo matru bhasha pai, mariyu hindi pai premani penchindi.
Matru bhasha pai ne kakunda nenu inko aluvatu gamanisthunnanu ye madhya tallulo. pillalanu baby care center lo kaani play school lo kaani vadaladam. Udyogalu chese vallaku yevanni tappavu. kaani urike intlo undi break kosam ani leka bayataku tiragadaaniki kosam ani ala vadili velladam naku chala badha kalagisthundi.
savacharam nara pillalani baby care center lo urke 2 gantalu vadaladam mariyu rendunnra savacharam pillalanu play school ki pampadam oka aluvatuga marchukuntunaru. adimiti ani adigithe manaku kuda break kavali kada antaru. ala break tisukoni em udharistharu naku teliyadu. pillalu rooju oka gantaina padukuntaru - adi manaku break kaada. mariyu nanna vachina tarvatha oka gantaina vari tho adukuntaru - adi break kaada.
Amma avadam anedi oka varadanam, oka badyatha kuda. adi manam nirvarthinchaka pothe adi oka aparadham.
ye vishayam pai kuda meru me blog lo rasthe baguntundani na abhiprayam.

April 2, 2010 9:20 PM

Gayatri Vantillu said...

Neelima Garu,

Thanks for your feedback and sharing your view points,

April 4, 2010 5:15 AM
Gayatri Vantillu said...

The post after Neelima's post is really good. It would be nice if people leave their real names after the post so that I can address them directly. Being a Maharastrian and writing in pure telugu is really commendable which speaks about the persons broad outlook. Thanks for the post.
I like the post very much and propose to host it directly on my website. To share a view point with the author -

While in Bombay, till my son reached the age of two and half years, I was a housewife only. I used to talk with him in Telugu at home. But whenever other children used to meet him in the community park, they used to all play together irrespective of their different languages.

When I joined SBI, I had to leave him in a creche managed by a Gujarati lady. In one weeks time he started speaking Gujarati words and could express himself in Gujarati within a fortnight.

April 4, 2010 5:29 AM
 Your Earlier comments on the Blog
Anonymous said...


mee websitu evale gamanichanu. nEnu eppudu Indialo undaleDu. Ma parents 1970's lo US vaccheru. ma ammagaru US lo professional aina intlo traditional vantalu anni chesevaru. Ippudu koncham tagicharu. Nakukooda traditional vantalu cheyatamu ishtamu. me situ choosaka naku confidencu ochesindi. E matramaina presna occhina memalni adagavachhu.

meeru Telugulo recipelu cheppatamu naku chala nacchindi. Nenu eppudu Telugulo mataladaniki prayatnistAnu. Nannu choosi ma bandhuvulu mariyu freindsu andaru Englishlone matladutaru. Idi ela marchalu teliyataledu. Ma pillalu ippudu Kg chaduvutunnaru. Valikikuda kodiga Telugu nerpichadaniki prayatnistuNanu.
meeru e siteu pettinanduku chala chala thanksu.


April 22, 2010 9:11 PM

Anonymous said...

Dear gayatri garu

Just now i browsed u r site for cone shape dosa.
God has given such a cute,sweet voice to you. It is God Grace to you. Everyone will not have such a nice voice. My daughter 6 yrs age,normally watch with me especially u r site. She says amma gayatri pettu gayatri pettu. Sorry . My only intention is to inform you how much u r site is impressed on a little girl. Rarely i will browse when she is at home. But she likes the site means there are so many points which helped to impress a little girl. Here i am not talking as a mother . How u r site is getting popular when u do in telugu is my priority.

1.You have a good command on Languages.
2. By the grace of God you have a good sweet voice.
3. For each and every minute , u will tell so many precautions with so much patience.
4. At the end you will give nice points to remember for every recipe.
5. You will show slowly in detailed ,you will not try to skip

Now a days as you said especially the telugu people feel shame if we speak in telugu with our own mother tongue people. Two years back we moved from hyderabad to bangalore. We stay in the outskirts of bangalore where IT offices located. In this two years , i have very bad experiences with telugu people except 2,3 families . We presently staying in the 2nd house during last 2 years. I know more than 20 families whose mother tongue is telugu . Noone speaks in telugu when we come together. They feel it is below dignity. I do not know why we should feel like that. Luckily we moved when my daughter is 5 yrs old. so now at home we speak in telugu only. When we are in hyderabad all my neighbours used to comment how nicely u r daughter speaks pure telugu. That is why she likes u r site and u r voice. Out of the 20 families some of them are recently shifted to india from UK,US,Singapore. We have to observe how much time they spent in the foreign land? It is hardly less than 5 years madam. Believe me after becoming R2I these people feel great and starts speaking with kids also in english. Here kids age is also immaterial whether kid is in months also. Like this people are there. Mana dhuradhrushtam kadha. When the other side person is Non Telugu speaking then never mind we can speak in any language which is comfortable.

When ever in a shop if any telugu people comes at the same time, sometimes my kid shouts looking at provision items amma u need this ,amma u need that then the other telugu family immediately changes their conversation into hindi or english or if they know kannada then into kannada language. that much fear in the telugu people i do not know.

Recently on emergency grounds, i travelled with my kid in flight. One lady she is also like me travelling alone with kids. During 45 minutes travel time from bangalore to hyderabad she and her kids had their dinner in the flight and their conversation is completely in english. When getting down from flight , her kid is not cooperating with her so she now started shouting in telugu. I feel normally people will shout in mother tongue only.

Your family also travelled a lot throught india and spent a lot of time outside AP till recently. Still you are maintaining such a sweet pure andhra telugu voice .That is why i Pray God to give you good health and wealth in u r life.So that we can get benefit from u r video recipes.You are the first person who maintains telugu recipes video site.It should continue forever.

Thankyou very much for showing how to make a cone dosa. I never tried and did not got an idea . After looking u r masala dosa video , my kid asked me for cone dosa.Yesterday night i made cone dosa.She enjoyed a lot shouting loudily cone dosa ,cone dosa.


December 21, 2009 7:56 PM

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