Here is another great talk from TED talks warning us not to force people to converse in English.  Conversation in any language leads to a sharing of thoughts and the creation of knowledge.

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/patricia_ryan_ideas_in_all_languages_not_j...

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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on April 1, 2011 at 4:32am

Dear Geoff,

 

Thanks for drawing my attention to Patricia's perspective on how English language could be a barrier to learning and growth. I had never given this a thought. In post-colonial India, English is considered to carry the most prestige. My father was a topper in his school where the medium of instruction was local language and English was the second language. He shared that when he went to medical college it was a big struggle for him as the books and teaching was in English. Fortunately he could cope and became a doctor.

 

In Botswana, which has a similar situation where English is favoured as the sole medium of instruction in  schools there was a recommendation few years ago of codeswitching during English lessons to enable English to be taught as a foreign language rather than taught exclusively in English.

 

Rituu

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