Mother tongue is one’s native language. It is the language that a child learns to speak first. He gains the knowledge of things around him through this. The early education of any child is carried out through it. But later he may have to learn things in a language that is suitable to the occasion.

The question of the medium of instruction arises in the field of higher education. As higher levels of education a student has to learn different subjects. He has to understand them thoroughly if the medium of instruction is his mother tongue this purpose is well fulfilled. One can express one’s ideas in one’s mother tongue better than in any other language. The teacher can also do well in his mother tongue. He can drive home any point with ease. The student can also follow him. Thus he has a thorough grip on the subject. With this view regional languages have been made the media of instruction.

In the pre-independence days English served as the medium of instruction. It made things difficult for many of the native students. After independence and formation of linguistic states regional languages are given prominence. Nowadays they are the medium of instruction even at post-graduation level.

There are, however many difficulties with regional languages as media of instruction. They are not well developed languages. Adequate textbooks are not available in these. Necessary vocabulary is not there. Books dealing with science and technology are almost written in international languages like English. A student has to depend on English for higher knowledge. Also, there are a number of regional languages. Each state in India has its own medium of instruction in schools and colleges. One who is educated in one state can not pursue further education in another state. A common medium throughout the nation will be beneficial to all. At present there is no other language that can replace English in this regard.

Efforts are being made to enrich the regional languages. Textbooks are being written in regional languages. It will take time for these languages to catch up with the development in the fields of science and technology. One way out is to use the scientific terminology, as it is, in regional languages also. This will help the student a lot.


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