Discuss English as First and Second Language Concerning with Indian Education System

According to the framework of NCERT (2005),

“English in India today is a symbol of people’s aspirations for quality in education and fuller participation in national and international life … The level of introduction of English has now become a matter of political response to people’s aspirations, rendering almost irrelevant an academic debate on the merits of a very early introduction.”

The language policy in Indian education is still something that is in progress. The three-language formula was introduced as a policy to safeguard national and regional interests. The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) also raised some serious concerns about language such as the number of languages that need to be taught, the role of Hindi and English, the teaching of Sanskrit, and more. In 1961, the Conference of Chief Ministers simplified the three-language formula and approved the following:

1. The regional language must be used when it is different from the mother tongue.

2. Hindi must be used in Hindi-speaking areas and other Indian languages in non-Hindi-speaking areas.

3. English or some other common European language can be used.

Importance and need for the English language as Second Language in India


English is important to achieve various employment opportunities in India.

Better Opportunities

Having access to good education gives learners access to good opportunities as well.


Having good knowledge of English also gives you more chances of being successful.

Universal Language

A good knowledge of the English language also comes in handy anywhere in the world as it is the universal language.

Official Language

Many administrative works in India take place in the English language along with the Hindi language. Therefore, it becomes quite important to learn the English language In Indian academic institutions in order to communicate through official documents.

Global Opportunities

An insightful knowledge of the English language leads one to receive many global opportunities.

Using the three-language formula has been seen as a convenient strategy to incorporate all the significant languages in education.

According to Graddol (2010),

“Throughout India, there is an extraordinary belief, among almost all castes and classes, in both rural and urban areas, in the transformative power of English. English is seen not just as a useful skill, but as a symbol of a better life, a pathway out of poverty and oppression.”

He further added,

“The challenges of providing universal access to English are significant, and many are bound to feel frustrated at the speed of progress. But we cannot  ignore the way that the English language has emerged as a powerful agent for change in India.”

The national language policy for school education, the three-language formula recommended by the National Commission on Education 1964–1966, was incorporated into the national education policies of 1968 and 1986.

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