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Patois won't fit in global village

Published:Tuesday | April 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Why this romanticism with Patois, as if we owe the language some recognition? English is a discipline, just as math, physics or chemistry, etc., and should be mastered; but while math and physics are languages of science, English is a language of communication.

There is a reason why English is becoming mandatory as a second language in many countries, and the primary language in others such as India (along with Hindi). The reason is simple: English is the language of the world! At every major world event, English is the default language of choice.

Absurd focus

It is indeed absurd that as part of a global village where we need to extricate ourselves from the abyss of Third World imprisonment, our focus is on elements of our culture that can't move us forward.

The English language is being savaged at no less a place than where it is being taught - in schools. The failure rates in English tell the story, as do the languages of the sciences.

But what is the root cause of the high failure rates for English? Could it be that the majority of students who fail English have grasped Patois too well? I will not venture to say that the teachers have been lacking the requisite proficiency in the language; I will allow the inspectorate to make that judgement.

If we truly believe in becoming multilingual, teach Chinese (Mandarin) in schools. The future of the world is set to have China as the dominant world power with more than one billion people.

KARL JOHNSON

headbarnes@yahoo.com