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English medium means English will be and should be used as the medium of communication.
So an English medium school means, all the teachers, staff and students communicate only in English all the time. Teachers use books or teaching material that are written in English.
But unfortunately there are many schools where its the native or local language that is used for communication. The students in these schools lack fluency when they converse in English. Many even think in their native language and then translate it in English.
I have met many kids who think in Marathi or Hindi and try to translate in English. But the saddest part is that these kids are students of English medium schools since kindergarten.
Once a child from a very popular school in my area asked me to “remove photo” while handing over his mobile phone to me.
I was confused. How can I remove any photograph from his cell phone. I thought maybe he wanted me to delete the photo from his mobile phone. But then I wondered as to why would he ask me to delete the photos. After raking my brain for a while, I asked him finally to show me what he wanted me to do. He took the mobile and clicked a picture! That’s when I gathered that “Remove Photo” means “Click his Photo”.
Later when I started to understand Marathi better, I found out that in Marathi, when you want to ask someone to click a photo you would say “photo kadhoon” . Now the word kadhoon means to “take out” or “remove ” in Marathi. This boy had literally translated the word “kadhoon” to “remove”.
But in English there are specific words for each verb that we want to use.
In India we make do with words like “do this, do that, like this, like that, this and that, here and there” . We are not really taught in the schools to use good verbs in our conversations. Hence it is natural to translate the language in which one is thinking.
Hence when you look for any school, do make sure to visit the schools, listen to the conversations happening within and outside the school premises. Judge from the sentences and words used by the students of a particular school about the fluency of the English language.
After all, the future is going to be the age of those who communicate really well in English. Mind you, communication is not just speaking in good fluent English, but also having the ability to write powerful paragraphs, being able to comprehend any passage written in English or being able to read a book with very quick grasp of the topic.
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