Citation

Language policy and the Central Teacher Eligibility Exam in India: A critical discourse analysis

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Similar Titles



Abstract:

Purpose
Like many developing nations, India has enacted Education for All related initiatives to improve access and quality in primary education. For the past decade, this effort has centered on India’s Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, more commonly known as the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The RTE Act mandates a teacher certification exam called the Central Teacher Eligibility Exam (CTET), which includes two language tests. In this paper, I argue that the languages tests in the CTET have been used as showpieces to indicate India’s ‘commitment’ to multilingual education, while in actuality, the exam has done little to improve educational quality for ethnic and linguistic minority students.

Theoretical framework and analytical methods
This study uses critical discourse analysis as both theory and method. Following Fairclough’s framework of text as social practice for social change, I treat the creation of the RTE Act and CTET as examples of hegemonic projects that favor certain languages (Hindi and English) as the mediums of instruction, even though certain regional languages are included in CTET and the RTE Act calls for mother-tongue education “as far as practicable.”

I begin by examining the intertextuality and interdiscursivity of international agreements and the RTE Act to show that the multilingual aspect of CTET has been largely appropriated from global Discourses on education for ethnic minority students and the promotion of mother-tongue education. Then, I analyze the actual CTET in order to understand how regional languages are employed in the exam. Based on these analyses, I conclude by questioning the commitment and ability of the Indian government to supply adequate teacher education and certification for teachers who will provide mother-tongue education.

Data sources
The data for this study comes from international and national level policies, and also from the November 2012 CTET. The international policies I examine include Education for All (EFA), the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The national level policy is the RTE Act. I specifically use the November 2012 version of CTET because it is the only version of the test that is currently provided publicly in all eighteen supported languages.

Results
In my policy analysis, I show that India has engaged in significant policy borrowing to justify the creation of the multilingual CTET. There are numerous instances of intertextuality between the major international agreements and the RTE act that pertain to the language of education. Since India is ‘promoting’ mother-tongue education, it stands to reason teachers need to prove that they are capable of teaching in multiple languages, thus the multilingual CTET.

However, the evidence from the CTET language exams shows that regional and local languages are not highly valued. In fifteen of the eighteen exams, there are instances of English borrowing and translation, even when there are reasonable equivalents in the language being tested. The regional language tests also have several questions about English phonology, rather than phonologically or morphologically relevant questions about the language at hand. From this, and other indicators discussed in detail in the paper, I conclude that India’s commitment to mother-tongue education is ambivalent at best, and until teacher education and the CTET improve, many multilingual and minority language speaking students will continue to receive low quality education.

Significance to CIE
This issue gets to the heart of the educational quality issue in international development education and is directly tied to the major international agreements, including EFA. As we approach 2015 and reconsider Education for All, countries need to seriously address how they will improve the quality of education. In a linguistically rich country like India, the language(s) of education should be a primary concern. It is well documented that students learn best in their home language, and if India is serious about implementing mother-tongue education, they will work to recruit and train teachers with the requisite language skills. It does minority language students little good to have access to school if they do not understand the language they are being ‘taught’ in. India could become a positive example for other nations if they actually commit to mother-tongue education and provide appropriate teacher preparation and certification measures.
Convention
Need a solution for abstract management? All Academic can help! Contact us today to find out how our system can help your annual meeting.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

Association:
Name: Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference
URL:
http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p717721_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Farrell, Anna. "Language policy and the Central Teacher Eligibility Exam in India: A critical discourse analysis" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Mar 10, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p717721_index.html>

APA Citation:

Farrell, A. M. , 2014-03-10 "Language policy and the Central Teacher Eligibility Exam in India: A critical discourse analysis" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p717721_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Purpose
Like many developing nations, India has enacted Education for All related initiatives to improve access and quality in primary education. For the past decade, this effort has centered on India’s Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, more commonly known as the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The RTE Act mandates a teacher certification exam called the Central Teacher Eligibility Exam (CTET), which includes two language tests. In this paper, I argue that the languages tests in the CTET have been used as showpieces to indicate India’s ‘commitment’ to multilingual education, while in actuality, the exam has done little to improve educational quality for ethnic and linguistic minority students.

Theoretical framework and analytical methods
This study uses critical discourse analysis as both theory and method. Following Fairclough’s framework of text as social practice for social change, I treat the creation of the RTE Act and CTET as examples of hegemonic projects that favor certain languages (Hindi and English) as the mediums of instruction, even though certain regional languages are included in CTET and the RTE Act calls for mother-tongue education “as far as practicable.”

I begin by examining the intertextuality and interdiscursivity of international agreements and the RTE Act to show that the multilingual aspect of CTET has been largely appropriated from global Discourses on education for ethnic minority students and the promotion of mother-tongue education. Then, I analyze the actual CTET in order to understand how regional languages are employed in the exam. Based on these analyses, I conclude by questioning the commitment and ability of the Indian government to supply adequate teacher education and certification for teachers who will provide mother-tongue education.

Data sources
The data for this study comes from international and national level policies, and also from the November 2012 CTET. The international policies I examine include Education for All (EFA), the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The national level policy is the RTE Act. I specifically use the November 2012 version of CTET because it is the only version of the test that is currently provided publicly in all eighteen supported languages.

Results
In my policy analysis, I show that India has engaged in significant policy borrowing to justify the creation of the multilingual CTET. There are numerous instances of intertextuality between the major international agreements and the RTE act that pertain to the language of education. Since India is ‘promoting’ mother-tongue education, it stands to reason teachers need to prove that they are capable of teaching in multiple languages, thus the multilingual CTET.

However, the evidence from the CTET language exams shows that regional and local languages are not highly valued. In fifteen of the eighteen exams, there are instances of English borrowing and translation, even when there are reasonable equivalents in the language being tested. The regional language tests also have several questions about English phonology, rather than phonologically or morphologically relevant questions about the language at hand. From this, and other indicators discussed in detail in the paper, I conclude that India’s commitment to mother-tongue education is ambivalent at best, and until teacher education and the CTET improve, many multilingual and minority language speaking students will continue to receive low quality education.

Significance to CIE
This issue gets to the heart of the educational quality issue in international development education and is directly tied to the major international agreements, including EFA. As we approach 2015 and reconsider Education for All, countries need to seriously address how they will improve the quality of education. In a linguistically rich country like India, the language(s) of education should be a primary concern. It is well documented that students learn best in their home language, and if India is serious about implementing mother-tongue education, they will work to recruit and train teachers with the requisite language skills. It does minority language students little good to have access to school if they do not understand the language they are being ‘taught’ in. India could become a positive example for other nations if they actually commit to mother-tongue education and provide appropriate teacher preparation and certification measures.


Similar Titles:
English language policy in West Bengal, India (1981-2003): An analysis of specialized discourse of Commission reports.

A critical policy analysis of promoting female teachers in Ghana's remote schools

De Facto Language Education Policy Through Teachers' Attitudes and Practices: A Critical Ethnographic Study in Three Jamaican Schools


 
All Academic, Inc. is your premier source for research and conference management. Visit our website, www.allacademic.com, to see how we can help you today.