English Language Day 2018 : Importance Of This Day
Created by Swapna Nair Updated on Apr 23, 2018
English is our link language and also one of our official languages. There was a time when modern UK, then known as Great Britain had an empire where the sun never set. A tiny island had brought most of Asia and Africa under its rule. English went onto become the link language in all these colonies. English is also one of the six official languages of the UN. Hence UN has decided to observe language days to promote cultural diversity. April 23rd has been selected as English Language Day because it is s also the birthday of one of the greatest writers William Shakespeare. Even after 400 years after his death we continue to enjoy reading and filming his stories.
Some Facts About The Language:Today English is spoken across 6-75 countries. It is still the language of International trade, Aviation and of science. Since it is the most popular language and used so widely we can call it the lingua franca or the bridge language. American English, British English or the Queen’s English are the most common forms of English. Now even Hinglish or Indian English is gaining popularity. This is because we have more than 2 million Indian speaking English. They are also paid better than their non- English speaking counterparts. There are more non-native English speakers than native English speakers!
English grew from three tribes speaking it. Old English is very different from the modern. Do you know that this language evolved from a West German tribe from the Anglia peninsula who had settled in England in the medieval times? English is a language that has absorbed and allowed words and phrases from other languages. Every year the Oxford dictionary updates the new words. Last year alone 70 words from Indian languages like jugaad, ‘vada’ (tamil), chup, timepass, keema, funda etc. have been added as part of Indian English. Each region/country has its own slang or version of English. If the British say petro, it is gas in USA.
Diapers in US and nappies in UK; pram in UK while it is stroller in US. All words having ou have been shortened to just using the letter u in USA. E.g. colour has become color, labour has become labor. In India we use what is convenient to us. Of course when it comes to formal exam we prefer British English but while using the computer and informal media we use American.
In a multilingual nation like ours English is a very practical language to use. Any language has its beauty and history. Learning a language is never a wasted effort.
English Language DaySo let us see how we can observe the English Language Day:
- All members can talk only in English on this day. It can be like a game. Award a balck mark if anyone uses any other language. It would be fun to see who receives the maximum. The one who receives the minimum black mark can be given a good treat
- Story telling session- organise or send your children to a session
- Fancy dress- Organise in your colony or street or apartment ( American, n=because the British say it as flats) a fancy dress on characters from English history or literature
- Shakespeare time- Use this day to screen a film based on his plays
- Shakespeare contest- organise a creative writing contest
- Shakespeare theatre- organise a skit or role play or drama at home. Give a month’s time to prepare. Use any of his popular plays( a section is enough
- Shakespeare declamation- Use any of his solo dialogues (Macbeth) for a declamation contest
- Have a scrabble night for your child and friends
- News reading or news reporting in English- either all of you watch the English news together or ask your children to report a news to you before dinner. You could even have Mock news presentation where the child can use wit and humour to current affairs
- Listening- Develop the listening skills by making children listen to radio or an audio book
- Cooking time- On this day lay out your dinner in a formal setting. Dress up for dinner. Bring out your fork and knife. Have an English meal following all the table manners. Or pick out food and beverages from the childhood novels and present to your children. E.g lemonade, scones, sandwiches
- Organise and play game of rugby, cricket or football
- Visit any of the heritage buildings in your city which are from the British period
- The train, telegraph, telephone, hill stations, postal system, the currency are some of the legacies left behind by the British. So you could organise a talk or a visit. The medium of conversation can be only in English
- Book reading- Take any of your favourite child hood English story books (Enid Blyton) or any of the poems and read out. Or make them read in turns
- Have a mock spelling bee session
- Letter- Take this opportunity and introduce the art of letter writing. Make you children write letters to grandparents or relatives and post them
Ta da. Cheers!
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