mangalore today

Impact of colonial rule on Indian languages minimal, Ganesh Devy

Mangalore Today News Network

Mangaluru, Nov 08, 2017: The Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Resource and Training Centre of CLIL India Project, led by Manipal University, was inaugurated at the Edu Building in Manipal. 

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The initiative, to develop an alternate bilingual model for primary and secondary schools in the region, was inaugurated by renowned linguist, activist and chairperson of the People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) Dr Ganesh N Devy in the presence of Ms Gisella Lang, senior advisor, Italian Ministry of Education, and Ignacio Hamilton, Cultural and Press Attache at the Embassy of Spain in India.

Dr Devy spoke on how languages have suffered and even become extinct in some countries. "India is a rare example of a country that did not lose its linguistic diversity despite a Colonial experience," he said.  "In an age where 35% of the world’s eight billion people are migrants of some sort, the individual question of language identity becomes as important as the collective question of national identity," he added.

Dr Devy made a strong case for using translation as a practice to bridge the gap between "the language of knowledge" and the "languages of everyday lived realities."

Recounting her experience as a doctor, Dr Poornima Baliga, Pro Chancellor of Manipal University, reiterated the need for multilingualism as a way to connect with people and extended the university’s support to the CLIL@India project that will open similar research and training centres this week in Pune, Chandigarh and Puducherry co-funded by the Erasmus programme of the European Union.

Prof Neeta Inamdar, principal coordinator of the project, said, "All the centres will make a concerted effort to build school students proficient in two languages, with emphasis on the mother tongue. The effort is to make multilingualism in India more meaningful by enhancing the proficiency of the languages thus acquired."

Gisella Lang, senior advisor, Italian Ministry of Education, drew on similarities between the Indian and the European Union’s experience in terms of managing the tension between different languages. She expressed optimism for the CLIL methodology to resolve some of the most recalcitrant problems of managing the language question in education.

Her sentiments were echoed by Cultural and Press Attache at the Embassy of Spain in India Ignacio Hamilton.