Golden Jubilee & 14th International Conference
Theme: Right To English
English has percolated into the very psyche of the Indian subcontinent over the last four centuries or more, and a time has come when we cannot wish it away from our lives. The impact is only too visible in our business, industry, education and all other essential aspect of life. Knowledge of English is no longer the prerogative of a few, but the need of the masses. It is essential to review our priorities and methodologies related to English Language Teaching in India. There is also the concurrent anxiety about the status of our own pluralistic linguistic base, which is unique, and closely bound to the variegated cultural matrix of our country.
The present conference is a sincere attempt to address these apparently contradictory aspects, and hence we have chosen to call it Right to English. The Right to Education for all (RTE 2009) implies Right to English for all as well, as proficiency in English has become a global imperative today. At one point of time, some African countries even petitioned UNESCO to adopt the Right to English in its charter. Desirability of English is no longer questioned anywhere. English is the lingua franca of the global village that we are all part of. But there are attendant issues :
- How can this be taken to all?
- What kind of minimum grammar, spelling and pronunciation should be insisted upon?
- What methods and materials will help bring English to all at affordable cost and in reasonable time?
- How can promotion of English not be detrimental to the survival of native languages?
These issues are more pertinent and urgent for developing countries of Asia, Africa and South America. The Golden jubilee Conference of the ELTAI is set to discuss and draw the attention of the governments and non-governmental agencies to these issues with particular reference to India and other countries struggling to bring quality education to its masses.