Grassroot level research is rare. Dr Cynthia Groff lived for months with girls in a hostel in the Kumaun area of Uttarakhand (North India) and researched how the local language is used in different settings. Her PhD research has now resulted in a book: The Ecology of Language in Multilingual India: Voices of Women and Educators in the Himalayan Foothills.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Friday, April 8, 2016
It is fun to note when a good friend publishes on multilingual education in India. Dr Cynthia Groff has visited India many times and did her PhD research on the language and education situation among the Kumauni people in Uttarakhand.
The full tittle of the paper is "Language and language-in-education planning in multilingual India: A linguistic minority perspective." and is based on Nancy Hornberger's language policy and planning seminar. The abstract states: "This article explores India's linguistic diversity from a language policy perspective, emphasizing policies relevant to linguistic minorities". Here are the details:
- Groff, C. (2016). Language and language-in-education planning in multilingual India: A linguistic minority perspective. Language Policy, in press.
Available through 'online first', open access:
"The Language and Development Conference run by the British Council and held recently in Delhi had a number of very interesting presentations. While I could not attend the conference itself, many of the presentations are very helpfully on You Tube. These can be found under Plenary and Featured speakers here
There were several presentations focusing on Africa, such as one by Birgit Brock-Utne on the political confusion in the use of language in education, and others focussing on Asian countries including Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which may have some relevance to India, but here are a few highlights relating specifically to India:
- Rukmini Banerjee (Pratham) looking at how language affects learning and comes up with several strategies to help teachers become more productive teachers in multilingual classrooms starting with what children do and know.
- Giridhar Rao on the lack of learning that goes on in English Medium schools and that they offer a false promise.
- It is great to see D P Pattanayak on a panel with Minati Panda and Giridhar Roa, and with Ajit Mohanty chairing the session."
Friday, July 24, 2015
Kumauni & Gharwali taught at schools in Uttarakhand
The government of Uttarakhand has decided to have the two major vernacular languages of the state, Kumauni and Gharwali, taught at all the primary schools.
The article "Grads in Kumaoni, Garhwali may be taken as primary, junior school teachers" in the Times of India presents it an an employment opportunity, but it seems much more than that. The article quotes Prof Dr.. S.S. Bisht saying: ""This is very good news for us, as teaching the languages to students from class I will help revive not only the dialects but also their associated cultures," Interestingly now the state is struggling to find enough qualified teachers to implement this: "It will be difficult to meet such a high demand in so short time. However, from this academic year, we have introduced options to study the language as an elective or as a single-subject course to increase the number of students,"
For me personally this is fun news as we lived in the Kumaun for many years and Dr Bisht was our neighbor. Congratulations, Dr Bisht for your hard work!