Assignment on “Features or distinctive characteristics of Bangladeshi English”
Course Title: Introduction to Sociolinguistics
Course code: Eng 211
Submitted by: Israt Jahan Promi
Submitted to: Dr. Md Al Amin
Date of submission: 20.07.2018
Features or distinctive characteristics of Bangladeshi English
English is an international language. It has a standard form. People around the world use the language for different purposes. Around eighteen million Bangladeshis can use English as their second language. Newspaper, education, business and non-governmental organizations in English are dominated in Bangladesh. Also English is the main language of the Bangladesh upper judiciary including Bangladesh Supreme Court and the Dhaka High Court. Though Bengali is the only official language, English is used as a secondary official language for official works. It is widely used as a working language. Though people try to learn or use English as its standard form, they find it difficult to match the standard form of native speakers. Even in Bangladesh, there are varieties of English spoken by different people which is quite different from the standard form. In this paper, I am going to discuss how Bangladeshi English is different from the standard English based on pronunciation, teaching method and limitations of teachers.
Standard English is the form of the English language which is widely accepted as the correct form. Usually, the use of the native speakers of English language is considered as the correct form. Despite the fact that the number of native speakers is quite less than the number of non-native speakers, the standard form is considered which is used by the native speakers. Also, people all over the world try to learn the form of standard English. However, people find it difficult to match the level of speaking of the native speakers. Nevertheless, in Bangladesh, English is given importance as an international language. Students are taught English language from the very early class. But it is ironic that even if studying the language for twelve years, students are not able to use the language fluently. There are many aspects in which Bangladeshi English is very different from its standard English. There are several reasons behind it. For example, the way a second language is taught in a foreign country is very different from our country. Also, our teachers are not that much expert in this field. Especially, in the villages, the condition of students and also the teachers are very poor.
The main features of Bangladeshi English are our pronunciation, the way of teaching grammar and other things are very different from the standard one. From my perspective, I think the main difference is caused because of teaching system. In our country, our education system is more focused on result, hence teachers also focus on completing the syllabus. As our education system does not focus on the speaking skills and listening skills, our teachers do not focus on them despite having those exercises in our textbooks. For example, in foreign countries, while teaching second language teachers teach the students in a fun way, communicative way so that the students can use the language in their real life as well. On the other hand, in our country, there is no such way of teaching. Teachers teach students many rules, asks them to memorize, few can do but most of them fail to do that and eventually, everything goes in vain. That’s should not be a way of teaching a new language. As we all know that learning a new language is not an easy job. So, teachers also should think about the condition of our student’s condition. To make learning English easier as a second language, only teachers cannot change the system, the government also have to come forward to change the education system. If our neighboring countries are considered in terms of using English, they are far more ahead than us. If we consider India, there are many people who are very successful with the use of English fluently. With the comparison of India, we are far lagging behind.
In our country, there are varieties of English how people of cities or villages use, how English medium or Bangla medium students use. For instance, students of English medium are often better in speaking English as they use the language for communication purpose, also their most of the books are in English. On the contrary, the students of Bangla medium despite studying the language for twelve years, do not get chance to use it in their daily life.as a result, they struggle with the language more. However, there can always have exceptions. Furthermore, in cities like Dhaka, students get better facilities, teachers, institution and they get good command on English. On the other hand, in villages, students do not get such facilities nor teachers are expert there leading them weaker in the language. Sometimes, we can see exception, students of Bangla medium or villages can also have good command over the language. However, in other countries, they teach English in a fun way so that they can learn through fun and also have some implications in their real life. On the other hand, in our country only completing syllabus, getting good results are focused not on the learning. The importance which gets for learning grammar, if the half of that gets on using the language in everyday life, the condition of English in our country could be something much better. For example, there are people who are really bad in learning English the way we are taught in our country, when they are in a foreign country and learn the language by using for everyday communication, they do quite better in that way. Moreover, I observed a few of my friends. Most of them are good at writing English but is not that much good while speaking English. they are from Bangla medium. Another one friend from English medium is good at speaking but her writing is not up to the mark. That also shows the effect of our different teaching methods used in our country.
At last, this can be said that in Bangladesh English is given importance as a second language. But if some changes come into the education system, the way English is taught in our country, students of our country can have good command over the international language also can be more successful in their life. For bringing the chances teachers as well as the government have to come forward and work together for the betterment of our country and the students who can be the future leaders of our country.