Zafar Md. Saleh
the East India Company took many measures to make Bangla language
comprehensible for their own business purposes, fortunately
it brought many benefits to our sweet language.
from some radical Hindu nationalists, nearly all followers of
every religion in this sub-continent could well feel the importance
of learning English.
Muslims were not immune to this problem either. Among the Hindus
belonging to the highest caste of that time, practices of Sanskrit,
that is, Baidik was a taboo under the veneer of their own-set
creed, Kaurobong Norokong. Similarly, devout Muslims also designed
their propaganda so that learning a non-Muslim language is a
did not risk being cast out from society if they learnt English
and so they welcomed learning it for their livelihood. As a
result, Bangali Hindus made considerable advancement in their
pursuit of mental and worldly success. But this realisation
dawned on Bangali Muslims a bit later and because of this, they
lagged behind in all areas -- socio-economic, political and
still haven't been able to get away from the effects of this.
Bangalis' intense love for their mother tongue has paved the
way for such glorious achievements as the observance of Amar
Ekushey as International Mother Language Day the world over.
days back, while skimming through a newspaper I suddenly found
an article by Sirajul Islam Chowdhury titled "Headmaster
Shaheb Nijey Poran". In the beginning, the writer tried
to shed some light on the present situation and status of Bangla
and English in our country. His views seemed to me just and
reasonable, as no nation can prosper neglecting his mother language.
But we should not forget that learning English is indispensable
for a least-developed country like ours. Our country is not
like Japan, Austria, Italy, France or Spain countries that can
flex their economic muscle over the others therefore, until
our economy reaches that position, our first priority should
be given to learning English and it should be done in a way
by which our talent will be recognised across the globe.
the second part of the article, Professor Chowdhury criticises
the existing communicative method of secondary and higher secondary
level of our country. He is an advocate of grammatical method,
that is, learning through practices of grammar and translation.
Bangalis are very fond of grammar; more specifically, grammatical
rules; it is in their blood. Learning grammar is definitely
essential for learning English, but the problem arises when
one is faced with real language activities like prose, essay
or paragraph writing, speaking and communication, where rules
are generally integrated. The solution, therefore, is not merely
to know the rules, but to know how to use the rules effectively
in real language activities.
important thing is that the emphasis should not be only on the
rules, but should be also on the content, i.e., learning words,
idioms and phrases.
emphasis should be put on the communicative approach. But that
does not disregard the role of grammar. Instead of treating
grammar as a set of rules to be memorised in isolation, the
existing communicative method has integrated grammar items into
the lesson activities. This allows grammar to assume a more
meaningful role in the learning of English. Thus students develop
their language skills by practicing language activities and
not merely by knowing the rules of the language.
must not be parochial. Rather, we should accept English language
as indispensable in spreading our talent across the globe.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004