Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 17

Accepted Abstracts

Language and the Self

Aruna Bommareddi, Indian Institute of Technology Mandi (India)


Language is viewed as a means of self expression in the modern world. This paper examines how a group of Rajasthani students underwent a slow change of identity in their tryst with life at one of the Institutes of Technology. Their efforts at grappling with life in general, firstly required the learning of English as a step up. For this purpose they are introduced to what is known as the English and Communication training programme for five weeks to begin with and then if one proves to be in need of the language or communication skill one is further recommended for another twelve weeks of intense English learning course. It so happens that, all students who were recommended for the intense twelve programme were students from Rajasthan whose language skill was limited mainly to one language that of Rajasthani and a smattering of Hindi. But upon completion of other courses like Communication Skills and Science Writing, it gave them the skill in vocabulary, sentence structure and the conversational ability. There is also a marked change in their approach to academics and life. This study mainly examines their approach to academics which is mainly engineering and language both the newly acquired English language and their own native language and the over all attitudes to life ahead. We also had a small quiz to understand how proficient they were in their own language as opposed to their vocabulary in English. The result of the test at the beginning was native language proficiency was more and gradually they got busy with the English vocabulary and grammar. The study shows interesting aspects of the learning process which is also the transformative phase of the cultural self into a modern English or blended self with added aims given at the Institute.

Keywords: Language, communication, identity, self.

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