Weapon to attack, Symbol to show or a Key to Opportunities

Posted on October 31, 2008



English is more than a language in Sri Lanka. It is used as a weapon to attack the enemy. It is a decoration some one can wear. It is a way to show power; like stars and stripes in a general’s uniform. It could be a symbol to represent imperialism, neocolonialism and a proof of belonging to the oppressor class.

On the other hand it also could be a key to a new world of opportunities including jobs and business and a handy tool to learn.

Because of the multifaceted nature of the English language (in the Sri Lankan context) it confuses a logical mind that works on simple logic. School being a place where simple logic is operated confusion could be severe.

This background was given because the story I am going to tell relates to English and a leading school, where English medium classes are conducted.

Once there was an assembly (unusual one at an odd time) where students suddenly were called to attend. All the students came out of their classes except the sixth grade of the English medium. When the head master came to know about it, he was furious. He not only sent a message to the class but went to receive them personally on their way to the assembly, with a hatred mind and an energized hand.

Students who came in a row were assaulted one by one by the Head master querying why they could not come in time and whether that has to do anything with the swollen heads they carry since they got enrolled with the English medium class.

Students did not know why they were assaulted, what link it had with their being in the English medium class and why their heads appear bigger to the Head Master.

Many had been looking at English with their past experiences in mind. It is high time to look at English as a mere language, with the future in mind. It is with this intention this story is given publicity.

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