My article in AsiaMag.

21 07 2010

Some time back I had written this article on Why Indians speak better English than Koreans. This article generated both curiosity and agitation amongst the native English Teachers.  And some did put across their views on my blog. Brian shared it too on his blog which was a great honor for me. And now it is also published on theasiamag.com, which is an online magazine about Asian people and their perspectives.

You can read the above article on the asiamag website here.

Thanks Vivienne from Asia Mag for publishing my article on your website. 🙂





Can Indians teach English?

14 06 2010

Yes, Definitely!

Its not that we can.. but we do…

But there are many a native speakers who have certain misconceptions or doubts about Indians and their ability to teach English.  And I do not blame them because they are more or less speaking from their experience or their interaction with the Indians they have met so far.

But a mere percentage of Indians one would meet would not represent the whole of India. With this article I would like to clarify that there is more to India than meets the eye.

So what are those misconceptions…

“If I wanted to learn Chinese, I’d much rather learn it from someone who grew up in China (even if they were white!) than from someone who studied it in school for a couple of years.”

Let me clarify, Indians do not study English in some school for couple of years. It is rather the only language in which they study, finish their degree and later work. The corporate world in India does business in English. From media to publication everything is printed in English most of the time. Yes an Indian may not be qualified to teach languages like French, Chinese, German etc. because as rightly pointed out above they study it only for a few years. But that is not the case with English. All the subjects are taught in English from the time a kid starts attending kinder garden.

“Are  Indians are more qualified to teach English than their current E-2-qualified counterparts? Do you think most people would agree with that mindset?”

An average Indian would not be qualified enough to teach English. But I am talking about that section where a) They have majored in literature / English b) Have been trained in a call center to interact with natives c) Are working as writers, journalists d) Have cleared their TOEFL, IELTS, CPE, ESOL etc. or e) Are qualified to teach English via TESOL, TEFL, etc.  A teaching certification or degree (along with experience) is a must for non-natives. They should have an aptitude for teaching English. Also from what I understand Korean Government is testing out this approach of hiring Indian Teachers and depending upon their performance they may or may not hire more teachers. It is more like an experiment so people will agree after they see the result for themselves.

“So would a student prefer learning English from a native or an Indian?”

It is true that the vox populi of the students in Korea is that Natives can be better English Teachers. But to a great extent the belief is more to do with the exposure. Students here are more exposed more to the native English speaking teachers as compared to Indian teachers. Also, the Indians which they (and I) have met here do have problem with their fluency. But that is just a small portion of India that the Koreans are exposed to and the very reason they (including me) are here is not because of their English Speaking skills but their technical or Business skills.

But then the Fluent English Speaking junta of India would normally prefer working in any native country, Singapore, Malaysia, Middle East or India. India offers a lot of opportunity for them to work as writers and journalists. Writing has created a lot of job opportunities in India – copy writing, content writing, technical writing, instructional designers and so on. And with the demand for education abroad a lot of Indians also work as English Teachers in India to help students clear their TOEFL and IELTS.

Given an opportunity, any of these guys with considerable experience in teaching and writing will take the initiative to teach English to non English speaking countries like Korea and in a few years put (or rather push) India in the list of preferable countries for teaching English.

It is all about awareness. And with this and my previous post here and here I m doing my bit to create awareness about the English Speaking junta of India.

This is just the beginning..