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English in Indian schools

January 21, 2007

Re "English as an unsanctioned language," Jan. 17

The Karnataka state government is keen to promote the local language, Kannada. As part of the multilingual nation of India, many states promote teaching in local languages. The schools that are being asked to shut down were in violation of a legal requirement. They switched to English, as English-language schools are an attractive business proposition.

H.N. RAMAKRISHNA

Sterling, Va.

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The Times' article seems to support the false premise that if the children in those English schools in southern India don't receive all their instruction in English, they won't learn the English language. The new laws seem to be asking those 2,000 mostly private English-immersion schools to offer instruction in Indian native languages. Nothing is said about prohibiting the teaching of English.

CONCEPCION M. VALADEZ

Tarzana

The writer is a professor of education at UCLA.

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