Is English language an obstacle for research scholars in India?

Scientific Essay 2013 6 Pages

Pedagogy - The Teacher, Educational Leadership


Is English language an obstacle for research scholars in India?

Through this article, I tried to bring into notice the problems that Indian research scholars face in India. I interviewed many research scholars from Jodhpur. The result that received is quite shocking when most of the research scholars agreed to one point that English language proficiency is must to write a thesis and many research scholars find it difficult to write thesis in English. Through this article I tried to bring some important points in notice as to why research scholars have to copy material from internet to fill the pages in thesis. I have also suggested some solutions which may help in improving the quality of research work in India


Now day’s English language has become more dominant around the world. We can’t deny the fact that English language in the present time is considered as a global language. It is mother tongue for some countries and second language for other countries which is learnt in schools. It has become the popular language among young crowd in many countries. In the era of globalization where all industries going global and flexibility in cross border trade makes the English language preferred language around the world. It is language of modern time. In India where many different languages are spoken, English language became the preferred language by many to communicate. In the era of internet, it is the language of computers that help to communicate with the people around the world through Internet technology and e-mail. Those who know English can deal with the Internet very well, which is the source of all kind of information and social networking sites are the communications revolution .One of the reasons that contributed to the spread of English is that it is the language of youth.

People use it in various field of life such as, education, business and medicine. It is the language which is used in the tourism industries. In India people who know English get jobs quickly than others, in India English is a professional language. That’s why people get motivated to learn English. Around the world, English is dominants in education field and used by universities and institutes in research work. English is an important requirement in most government jobs. It is quite clear that English has become necessity today. We need it in different fields of life.

If English language is so important, then why it is the problem for researchers in India?

As English language is so dominant around the world, is Indian government serious about teaching English to Indian people? If the answer is yes, then why all government primary schools are Hindi or regional language medium and when the time comes for selections in jobs, why they prefer English speaking candidate over non English speaker. Knowing the importance of English why government of India does not open English medium governments schools, so that Indian students can learn English language well from the beginning of his/ her education. Indian student has to learn three languages during his life time; one is his/ her regional language, Hindi as national language and English as professional language. This is the reason why today’s Indian students are not perfect in any of the three languages, the whole life, he/ she has to juggle between three languages. It becomes more serious when someone opt for PhD course, and the whole thesis has to write in English, and students those who have many things to write in thesis are not able to write properly because of less proficiency in English language, I still do not understand why the PhD scholars need to submit their research work in English. Research work must be written in the language in which the researcher feels comfortable.

According to Crystal in 1997, “The biggest setback for English would have been if Bill Gates had grown up speaking Chinese,” Through this statement crystal mentioned that in the era of computers and internet English has become the most popular and unavoidable.

Why research work should be written in English? I reviewed some previous works, here they are:

In 1992 Moxley wrote that each rhetorical situation-that is, different audiences and purposes-will strongly affect how you compose’. The main purpose of the research paper is to inform the audience.

According to Jordan in1997 research paper should be more

1) Analytical rather than impressionistic,
2) Objective rather than subjective
3) Intellectual rather than emotional,
4) Rational rather than polemical.

The writers of research paper or thesis should be cautious in maintain their tone, which should be

1) Serious rather than conversational
2) Impersonal rather than personal
3) Formal rather than colloquial.

Some of the writers say that the English language helps the researcher to disseminate their work to the world but what if the researcher is not comfortable with the language. It’s true that the international community may get the chance to get to know the author and his or her work well, but if the researcher is not well versed with the English language, how will he be able to communicate. Bakopoulous in 1997 mentioned that the researcher’s work is not in English, his or her work loose the opportunity to communicate to the world.

English is considered as the standard language in the international research community. That is why the Thomson Scientific tries to focus on journals that publish their full text or, at the very least, their bibliographic information in English. In fact within the academic field it has been said that one has to “publish in English or perish”

As Viereck, 1996, quoted in Spichtinger, 2000, As early as in 1980 when the universal acceptance of English language was not so strongly felt, two thirds of the publications of French scholars were in English. In some domains, English has, to a very large extent, replaced German as a scientific language.


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Title: Is English language an obstacle for research scholars in India?