Discourse on English: A linguistic dilemma in West Bengal

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Sun Mar 12 20:06:32 UTC 2006

Forwarded from Linguist-List,

Discourse on English: A linguistic dilemma in West Bengal

Institution: Calcutta University
Program: Ph.D. Program
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Anuradha De

Dissertation Title: Discourse on English: A linguistic dilemma in West

Dissertation Director(s):
Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay
Amitav Chaudhry
Mina Dan

Dissertation Abstract:

The thesis (a) analyzes the discourse on English in the colonial and
post-colonial context of India as a whole and West Bengal in particular ;
(b)  studies the language planning policies as well as educational
policies in the context of plurilingual repertoire of India and West

A corpus of published official reports on language education, education,
research works in the related fields, various public opinions available in
the printed form, media reports, and the empirical evidences collected in
a planned sample survey on the Bangla medium school students of West
Bengal have been critically analyzed by deploying the post-structural
methods of Discourse Analysis and Likert method of language attitude

In the first chapter there is a brief prologue on Muciram Gurer Jiboncorit
(A Biography of Muciram gur) by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and I Has by
Kedarnath Bandyopadhyay. The second chapter contains the goal, scope and
methodology of the thesis. The third chapter concentrates on the colonial
discourse on English language in India and Southeast Asia. The fourth
chapter is on the status of English in post-independence India. A brief
diachronic survey of the language planning policies in administrative as
well as academic sectors and debates over linguistic decisions involved in
reconstruction of Indian nation-state is the theme of this chapter.
Polemics on learning English language in the Bangla medium schools of West
Bengal during the last two decades has been dealt in the fifth chapter
with reference to both governmental and public discourses.  The sixth
chapter contains a survey on the linguistic attitudes of students,
teachers, guardians and language-managers. The sample survey data have
been analyzed deploying Likert Method in statistics in order to
substantiate the hypothesis extended in this thesis. In this concluding
chapter attempts have been made to understand the implications of such
diachronic discursive formations in the linguistic policy making with
special reference to literacy, status and corpus planning for languages
and its implications.


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