Edu Quest

Embarking on Your Learning Journey

Affliction of English in Bangladesh: Second Language or Foreign Language

Affliction of English in Bangladesh: Second Language or Foreign Language

Mother tongue or 1st language is probably the most favourite thing for any man or woman. The concern of language has resulted into several conflicts and discontentment. The prime case in point of this kind of discontentment is the Language Motion of 1952 in Bangladesh. On the other hand we can not reside in isolation. We have to be in contact with the speakers of other languages. Bangladesh is regarded to be a monolingual region in which extra than 98{0ab341a6fd34e16d9389daa35d2cb0c8ddcdc2cced6a5892ed062f05d61eee5f} of the populace is speakers of Bangla language. However, there are additional than 10 languages in this sort of a smaller country like Bangladesh. Monipuri, Urdu, Chakma, Santali, Garo, Rakhain, Tipra- are just some of the other languages present in Bangladesh.

The attention-grabbing matter is that Urdu is a Indo-European language but composed in Arabic script, Santali belongs to the Mono-Khemar language family even though Chakma belongs to the Chinese-Barmese language team. So, although Bangladesh is frequently portrayed as a country of linguistic unity primarily based on Bangla language in fact it has notable linguistic diversity. To communicate with the speakers of other languages we possibly will need to know their language or converse in a Lingua-Franca that is comprehensible to both of those of us.

Currently, the environment has turn out to be a world village. Thanks to the advancement of communication process and know-how. Just about every state is dependent on other folks for trade and commerce, training, politics and so forth. As a final result, we have to continuously converse with other international locations and speakers of other languages. 3rd world nations like Bangladesh have to rely on foreign aid for the reason that they are not self-ample. As a outcome, many foreigners occur to Bangladesh. A third issue is the element of religion. The sacred language of the Muslims is Arabic, Sanskrit for Hindus, Pali for the Buddhists and Latin for the Christians.

All these variables remind us the requirement for mastering other language(s) in addition to our mom tongue. In accordance to this reality quite a few nations of the world have adopted a European language as next language which is normally employed in education and learning, legislation court docket, financial pursuits and authorities is effective. These languages have most of the time official status in the structure of those nations around the world. A lot of of the instances the nations have adopted the language of their past colonial rulers as the second language. In some cases these languages are also known as official language. In several African countries we can see this photo. On the other hand, some European languages have turn out to be quite crucial in the globe for literary and economic applications. For illustration, German and French are viewed as to be critical languages of the earth mainly because both equally of them have influential literature and economic features linked with them.

For illustration, many men and women in our region are intrigued to learn French due to the fact it may well help them to get UN employment and jobs in Multinational organizations. One more beautiful motivation for understanding French in Bangladesh is that it may help us to immigrate to Canada as talent in French language presents a individual some extra factors in the place system of Canadian immigration.

The title of my investigation is “Position of English in Bangladesh: 2nd language or overseas language?” I have picked this subject due to the fact from sociolinguistic position of check out the standing of English is a extremely appealing one particular. On the one particular hand English language is dominantly current in just about every aspect of our national lifetime even though on the other hand in our constitution it is obviously declared that the language of the region is Bangla. In truth, practically nothing is stated about the position of English language in our constitution. On a person hand, economic pursuits in the personal companies are carried out in English while there is a governing administration legislation (Bangla procholon ain1987) that govt workplaces ought to use Bangla in their official performs. So from the authorities place of look at Bangla is the nationwide- formal language of Bangladesh and English is the most crucial foreign language. But in reality English is the 2nd language of the nation and in many destinations English is much more vital than Bangla in Bangladesh.

Next language:

A second language is any language other than the first, or indigenous, language figured out it is usually employed since of geographical or social good reasons. The time period is to be distinguished from foreign language linguist Eric Lenneberg takes advantage of second language in his crucial interval hypothesis to imply a language consciously uncovered or made use of by its speaker right after puberty. In most circumstances, people today in no way attain the exact same level of fluency and comprehension in their next languages as in their initial language.

Historically in Europe, the most greatly employed second language (or lingua franca) was Latin. It was utilized by the Church by the Legislation (as it continue to is today) in Drugs (starting off much later on) Horticulture and biological classification of vegetation, animals, fruits, nuts, etc.

Latin was utilised so significantly across Europe that it was called the vulgar (or popular tongue) this is why the Latin edition of the Bible is identified as the Vulgate.

Presently, English is considered the world’s most prevalent second language it is employed in spots as assorted as the world-wide-web, television and radio, and international aviation.

The accomplishment of English all over the environment stems from two significant triggers: the far reaching affect of the British Empire, and the 20th century (and continuing) dominance of the United States in the fields of business enterprise and leisure.

French was for a time the lingua franca (the origin of expression) in Europe. In record, the two England and France were dominated by a one crown – the language applied by the royal court docket was French (English was considered “the peasant’s language”). Afterwards, as was the scenario with English, the French empire distribute its language as a result of colonization. French proceeds to be just one of the world’s most greatly spoken languages. (Resource: Wikipedia)

If we glance at the definition of 2nd language then we can conveniently say that English is the next language of Bangladesh. It is commonly applied in lots of elements of our nationwide lifestyle. Lots of folks check out English television channels and also use Online. The pupils have to study it for twelve yrs and all those who want to join civil services by attending BCS test also have to sit for English examination. The only detail that is missing from the over definition is the fact that besides for official events no a person speaks in English in Bangladesh. It is not the language used in residence between family members users and among pals in casual discussion.

Foreign language:

A foreign language is a language not spoken by the indigenous men and women of a specific place: for illustration, English is a international language in Japan. It is also a language not spoken in the native country of the person referred to, i.e. an English speaker dwelling in Japan can say that Japanese is a foreign language to him or her.

Some kids understand a lot more than 1 language from start or from a quite younger age: they are bilingual. These children can be stated to have two mother tongues: neither language is foreign to that boy or girl, even if a person language is a international language for the broad greater part of individuals in the child’s delivery country. For case in point, a baby finding out English from her English mom in Japan can speak equally English and Japanese, but neither is a international language to her. (Supply- Wikipedia)

From the higher than definition, it is observed that foreign language refers to a language that is not indigenous to a human being. From this level of check out English can be regarded as as a international language in Bangladesh since it is not native in our state. Hardly any Bangladeshi particular person speaks in English although several of them use it in schooling and organization.

Formal language:

An formal language is a thing that is presented a distinctive standing in the countries, states, and other territories. It is typically the language applied in a nation’s legislative bodies, however the regulation in numerous nations necessitates that governing administration files be made in other languages as perfectly.

Formally regarded minority languages are often mistaken for official languages. Nonetheless, a language officially acknowledged by a point out, taught in colleges, and employed in official conversation is not essentially an official language. For case in point, Ladin and Sardinian in Italy and Mirandese in Portugal are only formally acknowledged minority languages, not official languages in the strict perception.

Half of the nations around the world in the planet have official languages. Some have only a person formal language, these kinds of as Albania, France, or Lithuania, regardless of the fact that in all these international locations there are other indigenous languages spoken as effectively. Some have a lot more than one official language, this kind of as Afghanistan, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Eritrea, Finland, India, Paraguay, South Africa, and Switzerland.

In some nations around the world, this sort of as Iraq, Italy, Russia and Spain, there is an official language for the country, but other languages are co-official in some essential regions. Some nations, these kinds of as Australia, Sweden, Tuvalu, and the United States have no official languages.

The formal languages of some previous colonies, commonly French or English, are not the countrywide languages or the most greatly spoken language.

In contrast, as a consequence of nationalism, Irish is the “nationwide language” of the Republic of Eire and its to start with official language, even though it is spoken by only a little portion of its folks. English, which is spoken by the the greater part, is described only as the next official language (Structure of Eire, Article 8).

In some nations, the situation of which language is to be used in what context is a big political difficulty.(Source-Wikipedia)

From the over definition, it is observed that the idea of official language is sophisticated. According to our constitution English can not be termed as the formal language of Bangladesh since it has no status in our structure. The only language that is talked about in our structure is Bangla. But English is allowed in our parliament and many governing administration gatherings. For illustration, when there is a federal government event in which some foreigners show up at then in several scenarios the speakers use English language. Many crucial govt paperwork are written the two in Bangla and English. The parliament proceedings are held into these two languages. When a government physique organizes a truthful then generally the souvenir is published in English.


About the language of the place the Bangladeshi constitution obviously states:

“The point out language.

The point out language of the Republic is [Bangla].”

(Source: [http://www.pmo.gov.bd/constitution/consti2.htm#3].)

In the structure practically nothing is described about the status of English. English is not pointed out as a second language or official language. So if we just take the position of English in our constitution then we can not claim that English is a 2nd language or Official Language in Bangladesh.

English in Law court in Bangladesh:

Following Independence the federal government took the initiative to employ Bangla language in legislation court. As a outcome, now the lessen courts carry out their functions in Bangla but English is but extremely influential in Superior Court and Supreme Court docket. If a law firm needs to practice in Supreme courtroom then he must have a great command more than English language. Lots of of the judges nevertheless give their verdicts in English language. It appears that this development of making use of English will stay for the forcible long term.

English in Training sector in Bangladesh:

Formal and institutionalized education procedure begun in Bangladesh in the course of the British rule. At that time Bangladesh was section of British India. There was a discussion about the medium of training. Raja Rammohan Roy argued that the medium really should be English relatively than Sanskrit or Persian. For the duration of the British interval the medium of schooling was mostly in English. Calcutta College took an initiative in 1935 to introduce Bangla as a medium of education and learning alongside with English. In Bangladesh the use of Bangla in faculty stage began in the 1960s. Now college students can remedy in the examinations in Bangla or English. In the college or university stage and college degree soon after 1971 the federal government experimented with to patronize Bangla and employ it by replacing English in the instruction sector but this did not came into truth mainly because of some primary problems. The very first difficulty is that there have been not adequate books of any field in Bangla language. This challenge is a lot more acute in science and technological know-how. For illustration, there are pretty much no guides in Bangla about pc technological know-how that can be applied as a reference ebook in the College stage.

Basically there are a few forms of education and learning units in our state- Bangla medium, English medium, and Madrasa method. Bangla medium colleges can be divided into two sections- government schools, and kindergarten universities. In the kindergarten educational institutions extra emphasis is provided on English language than authorities universities. Some of the famed kindergarten faculties of Dhaka are Vikarounnesa, Holycross, Willes Very little Flower, and so on. Though these faculties belong to Bangla medium the learners have to examine 3-4 English textbooks like: Radiant Way, Lively English, Desk Operate, Essential English, Brighter Grammar, and so on. On the other hand in the authorities colleges there is generally a person English book (English for Currently) which is released by Bangladesh Textual content Reserve Board. The English medium educational facilities do not abide by Bangladeshi training technique and are under the supervision of British Council. The medium of instruction in these faculties is English and quite a few of the pupils of English medium are even very weak in Bangla language. There are two varieties of Madrassas – Dakhil and Kawmi. The Kawmi Madrassas are not recognized by the governing administration and do not receive any help from the authorities. In this Madrassas emphasis is given on understanding Arabic, Persian, and Urdu even though Bangla and English are neglected. On the other hand in Dakhil Madrassas emphasis is mostly offered on Arabic and Bangla and English are not so significantly neglected.

So we can plainly see that the change in instruction method in Bangladesh is entirely centered on the variance in the medium of education. Even though Bangla is the Nationwide-Official language of Bangladesh it is the English medium instruction institutes who get far more money. The increase of non-public universities has only improved the position and worth of English language in Bangladesh. There are now extra than 50 non-public Universities in Bangladesh and the medium of instruction in all of them is English. These universities charge 2 lakh to 5 lakh taka for Bachelor study course. If the medium of instruction was in Bangla then rarely any pupil or moms and dads would get fascinated to shell out this kind of massive cash for the education in non-public universities.

From the higher than dialogue it is clear that in our standard education and learning technique English has equivalent if not far more relevance than Bangla. In our instruction process English is truly the Next language as all the pupils have to examine it as a obligatory issue for twelve years.

English and Administration:

For the duration of the language motion the people today of Bangladesh have been frightened that if Urdu was established as the Point out Language of Pakistan then all the authorities activities will be carried out in Urdu and our people today will suffer. As a final result of the language movement, the Pakistani Routine retained on carrying out authorities functions in English language. Soon after Bangladesh became impartial the governing administration of Awami League made a decision to replace English with Bangla in administrative works but just after the death of Sheikh Mujib this procedure arrived to a halt and English continued to keep on being as the dominant language. It was all through the rule of Ershad Bangla Procholon Aeen of 1987 was established and implemented. From that time English begun to eliminate its importance in administration. However, it has to be stated that all the global interaction of Bangladesh federal government is carried out through English.

English in Economic activities:

The economy of Bangladesh is dependent on overseas aids and export of some common products like prepared designed clothes, jute, tea, fish and so forth and also we import a large amount of factors. Bangladesh is not self sufficient economically. Investing is a lot more well-liked than creation. Buying and selling demands continual interaction with foreign organizations. A lot of of the organizations who are included in investing have to use English in working with foreigners. Suppose, a company is doing trading with China which is not an English talking place. Then the company has to get in touch with the Chinese enterprise in English. If we look at the commercials of the non-public sector positions then we can effortlessly notice that most of the position advertisements are posted in English. Even most of the private sector position adverts that are posted in Bengali newspapers are posted in English. Nearly all the non-public employment point out that the candidates have to have very good proficiency in English language. Virtually all the public restricted organizations publish their once-a-year reports in English. Some of these firms create a Bangla variation of their yearly report but the emphasis is often on English. So it is obvious that English is the dominant language in our economic things to do.

Comparison of English with Arabic, Sanskrit, and Pali in Bangladesh:

Arabic, Sanskrit and Pali are the religious languages of Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists respectively. Even the uneducated folks attempt to study these languages as they are considered to be holy. If we examine the mastering of English with these languages then we can see that English is given extra relevance. For illustration, the tuition payment of a English coaching middle is considerably better than that of an Arabic coaching centre. English personal tutors get 4-5 occasions far more money than Arabic non-public tutors (Huzur). So whilst Arabic has spiritual sentiment attached to it English is regarded to be a lot more critical as it has economic profit.

Comparison of English foreign languages like French, German, and Farsi:

French and German have come to be very popular for financial reasons in our place. Studying these languages assistance us to boost our risk to get a UN position. Discovering French is also handy for receiving immigration to Canada. Also there are great facilities to master these languages in Dhaka University, Alliance Francaise, and Goethe Institute. Lately, the English Institute of North South University has launched French program. On the other hand through the Muslim reign Farsi was the language of the Royal administration and legislation court docket in Bangladesh. At present, a scholar can show up at Farsi program for 1 semester by just shelling out tk. 250 in Iran Cultural Center but there are not many pupils who are interested to learn Farsi, French, and German. On the other hand, hundreds of pupils each individual calendar year seem for TOEFL and IELTS examinations in English language.

From the previously mentioned photograph it is apparent that the position of English is a lot increased than overseas languages like German, French, and Farsi. We can not deny the truth that if a human being is fantastic at English then he can make money in any portion of Bangladesh but if a individual is good at French, German, or Farsi he has hardly any scope to get paid funds by employing his skills in these languages.


From the discussion so far there is no doubt that English is the next language of Bangladesh but this reality is not mirrored in our structure. Formally Bangladesh is not acknowledged as an ESL country to the outside globe. So Bangladesh really should be declared as an ESL state by the government without the need of any hold off. We learn English not mainly because we like Shakespeare or Dickens. We study English from out of every single working day necessity. If Bangladesh is declared as an ESL country and English language is offered a clear standing in the constitution then it will not only replicate the truth but also it will enable us internationally. Now Bangladesh is desperately seeking to catch the attention of foreign investors. Right before any company arrives to Bangladesh for exploring the financial commitment options one of the critical areas they would search for is the availability of pool of English graduates and they also hope that the standard personnel will have simple knowing of English language. If we turn out to be an ESL nation then these foreign companies even though browsing about Bangladesh will get confident about the strong existence of English language in this nation.

The same picture is there about academic sector. Lots of Bangladeshi students want to go to developed nations around the world like Usa, Uk , Canada, and Australia for greater instruction. If Bangladesh is declared as an ESL place then these students will be benefited due to the fact then the Universities of people nations around the world will get the concept that English has special significance in Bangladesh.

So I endorse to the governing administration of Bangladesh that English must be declared as the 2nd language of the state by amending the constitution.


Bangladesh is the only nation in the earth whose folks sacrificed their life for the language. Now the historical language movement of 1952 is acknowledged internationally as the Worldwide Mother Language Day. It is real that our individuals are emotional about their language, Bangla. Nevertheless, it is equally real that now our folks have turn into determined about acquiring competent in English language. As a end result, there are additional than fifty personal universities now in Bangladesh. If North South Supplied BBA and Pc Science programs in Bangla medium then they would not get even 10{0ab341a6fd34e16d9389daa35d2cb0c8ddcdc2cced6a5892ed062f05d61eee5f} of the quantity of learners they have now. It is now fantastic time that we finish the wonderful contradiction about the language difficulty and declare Bangladesh as an ESL state for our possess benefit.


1. Dr. Musa, Monsur. BHASHACINTA PROSONGO O PORIDHI. Dhaka:Bangla
Academy, 2002.

2. Dr. Musa, Monsur. BANGLADESHER RASHTRABHASHA. Dhaka:Bangla
Academy, 2002.

BHASHATATTA. Dhaka:Bangla Academy, 1996.

4. Dr. Musa, Monsur. BANGLA PARIBHASHA: ITIHAS O SAMASYA. Dhaka:Bangla
Academy, 2002.