Last week on our blog series "Where to Improve Your English," we scoped out the U.K. This week's country? Let's take a look at where to go to improve your English- India!
Since the 17th century, India has been an important player in international trading. Many European countries, such as England and France, set up trading posts throughout India, making colonization easy as the Mughal Empire and Maratha Empire disintegrated. After the fall of Indian ruler, Tipu Sultan, in 1799, British power and influence expanded throughout the entire Indian subcontinent. Arduous trading competition between the British and the Dutch started in the 17th century. Both the English (British) East India Company and the Dutch East India Company paid attention to the “Spice Islands” as an important market for trade. Tensions softened after Dutch prince, William of Orange, ascended the English throne. The Netherlands handled the spice trade while England was responsible for the textile industry. As textiles became more profitable, the East India Company came out on top. After the famines in the late 19th century, India slowly developed a reform movement which turned into the Indian Independence Movement, and India gained independence from Great Britain in 1947.
Today, India claims to be the second-largest English-speaking country in the world. English is the lingua franca of the country, spoken for commercial reasons, in higher education, and national media. Hindi is supposedly the official language of India, but only a small percentage of the population speaks it.
5English has become the language of the elite in India, leaving only about 30% in the entire nation able to speak English, a population of about 1.324 billion people. India’s schools are very diverse, making it a good place for international students to study. The school year typically starts mid-June and schools are open 200 days of the year, with holidays in between. The country itself is an affordable place to live for internationals. Because of its large population and its 22 official languages, funding for English courses in schools is lacking. This makes it a great place for people to teach English, since more and more people are seeking to learn the language in a globalized society.