Thanks To My Mother I Am A Hubber Today

English the most influential language

In olden times-I'm talking about fifty years down the lane- English was not as important or as popular as it is today in non-English speaking countries. Today people feel it a handicap if they are not able to speak and interact with the others in English. In India in particular, we have this feeling that people who are able to speak and write good English are better off than the others who are unable to.

For people to become proficient in English, the language that I choose to call the queen of languages, the schools that lay the foundation in education right from elementary level should be good and should have teachers who are capable of imparting good knowledge in the subject. They should not only help students write good English but also equip them to speak well.

Nowadays, English is a must for people who want to be placed in good jobs. You have an aptitude test followed by a group discussion in English and then a personal interview for students who pass their professional courses before they can secure a good job. This is the situation in India though I am not sure about the other non-English speaking countries.

How my mother was instrumental in improving my English knowledge

My parents, hailing from a rural background settled down in Chennai, a metropolis after their wedding. My mother who was an excellent student in her high school wanted to study further but her father’s economic condition did not allow her to do so. She was married off to my father when she was barely sixteen (one of the worst practices in India 70 years ago) and bore three children, two sons and a daughter.

All of us attended an elementary school close to home and had to change school after completing grade V. My mother, who had had to bury her desire to go to college in her younger days, was very particular that all her children had the best education by attending convent schools where English was spoken. To this day, she feels sad that she is not fluent in English, a language that she loves to speak, and manages very well too.

My father sought admission for me in two schools, one, a convent school that was far away from home and a local school closer to home. The local school announced the admissions sooner and I secured a seat, so my father admitted me in the school not knowing if I would get admission in the convent. I had a very strong foundation in written English but could not speak a sentence without hesitation.

According to Linguistics professor David Crystal, of those nations where English is spoken as a second language, India has the most such speakers. Crystal claims that, combining native and non-native speakers, India now has more people who speak or understand English than any other country in the world.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language

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One week at the local middle school

I started attending the new school and was very happy to be there for the simple reason that it was just like my primary school where written English was taught but not spoken. So I felt very much at home with the other students who were from a similar background.

One week after my entry into this school came the bad news (it was bad for me then but I am so glad about it now) that I had secured admission in the convent school which my mother wanted me to attend. It had once been her dream to study in that school as her parents lived close to this school, but due to personal reasons, had sent her away to their native village to stay with relatives and study in a local school in a vernacular medium of instruction. So she wanted me to study in the same school and become a smart girl speaking English because people who spoke English then were not too many.

My father who had to feed five mouths with a single salary obviously didn’t like the idea of losing the fees paid here and paying a second fee in my new school. But my mother, who normally had no decision-making powers at home, for once, put her foot down and said that I had to be put in the English school. She wouldn’t take a ‘no’ for an answer from my father.

Half-heartedly, my father admitted me in the English school (Vidyodaya Girls' Higher Secondary School, Chennai), a school I am very proud to have been associated with for 6 long years and where I had my foundation (a very strong one too) for spoken English.

English today is probably the third largest language by number of native speakers, after MandarinChinese and Spanish.

Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language

My first week at the new school

Today I am very grateful to my mother for having made a wise decision but back then, I remember the traumatizing experience I had in the first week at this school. Almost all the children in my class had been studying there from their kindergarten and didn’t have any difficulty in interacting with the other children in English that was the only language used. It was a compulsory practice for the children to speak in English during school hours. It was just another girl and I who were new and both of us were from local schools and did not speak English.

Classes had already begun in this school as I was admitted late. Our class teacher, a very sweet lady, came to class on my 'first' day. She was very kind to us, and addressed the new children-just the two of us-and introduced us to the class. I was feeling very nervous and wondering how I would talk to the other students. The teacher who taught us Math asked me if I had brought my Math book. I stood up and answered, “I didn’t brought my book Miss”. Luckily no one laughed or at least I don’t remember very clearly. The teacher realized my problem and called me to her table and explained patiently with a smile on her face, “You should say ‘bring’ and not ‘brought’ okay?” I nodded and was very happy that she was so supportive. From then on I never felt scared about talking in English and as time passed, I picked up the language slowly but surely and when I left school after six years, I was confident about my ability to speak English fluently.

In college where I joined the Zoology class, my English professor Mr. Joseph was very appreciative of my English writing and called me "Queen of the English class". He was a great inspiration for me. I owe him too a lot in life. He would now be very happy to hear about my online activities as a freelance writer. My father who wasn't initially interested in putting me in the English school (for purely economic reasons) is very proud of my English knowledge today. His English was excellent because he learned it from native English people in the post-independence days (1950s) when he worked under them, so he used to appreciate my English skills and had to admit that my mother made the right decision at the right time.

Have you ever faced an embarrassing situation speaking a particular language like I did in my younger days?

  • Yes, absolutely embarrassed
  • No, never
  • Yes, but it wasn't as embarrassing as yours
See results without voting

Thank you Amma

Now I am a freelance writer who works online and I owe all my knowledge of English to my wonderful mother who has been instrumental in making me who I am today. You should see her happy smile when she finds me talking to someone in English over telephone or in a public place. She feels very proud about her daughter's English even when I tell her that it is no big deal today with most of the youngsters being proficient in the language.

Thank you Amma (mother) for all the support you have given me in life. I owe you my success in life in general and in having mastered English (I have definitely not mastered the language-there's still so much to learn but I'm much better than so many others my age). But for your dream of making me fluent in spoken English, I would never have made it this far and be able to interact with my wonderful hubber friends today on Hub Pages.

Here is a table that gives you statistics of the English-speaking countries in the world where India too is featured.

Countries in order of total speakers

COUNTRY
TOTAL
% OF POPULATION
FIRST LANGUAGE
AS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE
POPULATION
United States
251,388,301
96
215,423,557
35,964,744
262,375,152
India
125,344,736
12
226,449
86,125,221 & 38,993,066 third language speakers
1,028,737,436
Pakistan
88,690,000
49
 
88,690,000
180,440,005
Nigeria
79,000,000
53
4,000,000
>75,000,000
148,000,000
UK
59,600,000
98
58,100,000
1,500,000
60,000,000
Philippines
48,800,000
58
3,427,000
43,974,000
84,566,000
Canada
25,246,220
85
17,694,830
7,551,390
29,639,030
Australia
18,172,989
92
15,581,329
2,591,660
19,855,288
New Zealand
3,673,626
91.2
3,008,058
665,568
4,027,947
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language

Countries with the highest number of native English speakers

According to a 2006 census:
The United States (215 million)
The United Kingdom (61 million)
Canada (18.2 million)
Australia (15.5 million)
Nigeria (4 million)
Ireland (3.8 million)
South Africa (3.7 million)
New Zealand (3.6 million)
Source: Wikipedia.org

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Comments 28 comments

Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

Your story was not only beautiful, but inspirational. What a wonderful tribute to your mother and so very happy to read this and get to know you a bit better. Have voted, shared and tweeted too :)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

A fascinating and beautiful story Rema! Thank you for sharing a part of your personal history with us and God bless your mother.


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Thank you Janine dear for the wonderful comment and so quickly too!!

Everyone owes a lot to their mother and I am no exception. Thanks for the share and the tweet. God Bless you! Cheers, Rema.


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Oh Bill, very kind of you indeed for the appreciating words. I decided it was high time I opened up and shared a part of my life with my friends here and weren't those young years so full of delight and enjoyment?

I am sure all of us have many stories to tell about our life and we should be grateful to HP for letting us do it. Thanks for the visit and your good wishes. Cheers, Rema.


mackyi profile image

mackyi 4 years ago from Philadelphia

Wow Rema, this is a wonderful story of your pursuit to mastering the English Language! Thanks also for the stats. This can certainly serve as an inspiration to many people who believe they cannot master this language. Voted up awesome, and will be socially shared!


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Thanks a lot Winston for the encouraging words. I love English for its beauty and elegance and I really hope that everyone realizes the need to learn this beautiful language that would help them interact with people all over the world. Thanks for the share too. Cheers, Rema.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Great story to share and it will certainly encourage many people with language barriers. Your mother was a wise woman to have provided you this avenue early in communication. Voted up, useful and interesting.


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India Author

True Dianna. My mother's prudent decision helped improve my status in the society so to say in addition to my proficiency in a very important and internationally acclaimed foreign language.

Thank you very much for your valuable input. Cheers, Rema.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

I hear ya, Rema.

Born in India...I know the importance of going to an English medium school and I am here thanks to my parents :)

beautiful hub and what a tribute


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Rema,

Your Mother is so awesome and it shows loud and clear in you.

Your diligence and determination is indeed inspirational and motivational. Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

A befitting tribute to your wise & sensible mother! I agree with you about the importance of English today and I learnt more from you concerning English many years ago. Once again, a wonderful hub! Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & shared on facebook


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Thank you very much Maria for your kind words. yes, my mother is really awesome. Thank you for all your compliments and the votes. Cheers, Rema.


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Hi Ishwaryaa,

This is the hub I mentioned to you once while commenting on your hub that you had written honoring your mother. I wouldn't be among you, my wonderful friends on HP if my mother hadn't acted sensibly then.

Thanks for all your votes and the share.

Cheers, Rema.


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Hi Ruchira,

You must have felt at home in your new place where English is the primary language and you must have thanked your parents then for your proficiency in the language. Thanks for the visit Ruchira and for the appreciation. Cheers, Rema.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Can you imagine what we would have missed if we were not able to understand, speak and write English? We in South Africa have had always, and still, endless struggles with English, trying to prevent it from completely destroying our mother tongues. We have eleven official languages in our country of which English belongs to the minority group, yet it is the official language medium. It does not only enable communication between all races in SA, but also between all people in the world.

Looking back into history, knowing that Latin was once upon a time the language medium of the world - and it was eventually overpowered by English - one cannot help but wonder what would the language be in the far future, although I cannot yet see any threats on the horizon.

Interesting hub about English in India. Voted up and beautiful. Thank you remaniki :)


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Hi Martie,

Like you, I too don't see any threat, not only in the near but far future too, to this wonderful language that links all races and cultures in the world.

Thank you very much Martie for this great input from South Africa. Thanks for the votes too. Cheers, Rema.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Hi Rema,

What a wonderful tribute to your mom. Parents want the best of us at all times and I'm glad what all they do for us. This realization mostly comes to us when we become parents because we then start thinking on these lines for our children and want them to be adept in everything while at the same time not making the mistakes we did as children.

Voting this up, useful and interesting. Sharing this too.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Your mother's amazing and I'm sure you know that, but I thought I'd make your aware of that also. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. When a woman is on a mission there is just no stopping her and you are a woman on a mission. I'm glad you are a fellow hubber :)


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Hi Rajan,

It is always refreshing to hear from you and thank you very much for your remarkable views on this topic. Yes, you are right in saying that we realize the greatness of our parents and how much they have sacrificed for us only when we become parents ourselves, very true. Thanks for the votes and the share.

Cheers, Rema.


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Linda,

Your opinion and words mean a world to me, hope you know that. It is indeed a great compliment to hear from you nice things about me. Thank you very much for the compliment to my lovely mother too. I asked her to read this hub and she was touched by this gesture of mine. Thanks again Linda for your visit and your kind words.

In fact, I consider myself lucky to be in the midst of wonderful people like you.

Cheers, Rema.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi Rema, well I for one am so pleased you learnt to speak English, I love reading your hubs, and being able to speak to you too this way. I remember trying desperately to speak French when I was in Morocco! I just remembered a bit of it from school, it was a nightmare! lol! I totally forgot most of the words, and asked for the wrong things! wonderful hub, and your parents look lovely, nell


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

Rema your story is not disimilar to mine.. its a testament to the wonderful spirit of our mothers that we write here. My mother too put her fut down and mande sure I went to a english speaking school even though my Father could not afford the fees... I'm ever so grateful for that journey...


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Nell, I too am very happy that I am able to speak to wonderful people like you through these hubs. I can't imagine how much fun I would have missed had I not learnt English. Though we were enslaved for quite a while, I am thankful to the British for the legacy they left behind when they freed our country. And of course I thank determined people like my mother who wanted their children to get what they missed in life, in my case, proficiency in English.

That was quite a terrible experience for you trying to speak French!!

Thanks for the compliment to my parents. Glad you liked this hub Nell. Cheers, Rema.


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Oh, Mohan, thank you very much for sharing your story on this hub. Whenever I read your hubs I always think that your English is excellent and I am in awe of your writing skills. I am nowhere near you when it comes to presentation which only you and you alone can do beautifully. I am very happy for you and proud of you too Mohan.

I am grateful for your comment here. Thank you very much. Cheers, Rema.


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 3 years ago from On Top of the World

Fascinating story of how your mother encouraged you to study English.

If you ask me, your English is excellent and even better than many native speakers I know. Seriously!

I learned alot from the great information you presented in this hub and I can see you researched very thoroughly before writing this. The sign of a first-class freelance writer.

I'm convinced you must be a member of several freelance writing sites as your writing is top notch! :)

Pretty soon, I shall also begin putting feelers out on those freelance writing sites because it is my dream to write for a living. We shall see...

I also owe much to my mother for all the encouragement she has given me throughout my life. Most certainly my biggest supporter.

Good work, once again!

Peace :)


remaniki profile image

remaniki 3 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Richard,

This is the finest compliment that I have ever received from my hubber friends so far and I am grateful to you. I work as a freelance SEO consultant for a few companies now. I got this opportunity through a good friend of mine.

I have published a hub on a popular freelancing site (iwriter.com) but some people felt that the pay is too low. You might just glance through this hub anyway. I have collected a little bit of information about a few freelancing sites. I'll pass it on to you through HP mail.

Thank you very much Richard for your kind words and encouragement. Cheers, Rema.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

rema - This is the most beautiful and inspiring story. I hope your mother realizes what an intelligent and splendid writer you are. I am privileged to find you here on hubpages and to read your unique and exceptional writing. You are a very courageous person filled with perseverance. You are my heroin. I voted up, awesome, useful and interesting. I will share your story with many others. Peace and love to you!


remaniki profile image

remaniki 3 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Oh, how very kind of you Audrey to write such a beautiful comment here! I feel honored by your visit. Thank you very much for all the compliments you have showered on me here. Thanks for the votes and the share too. It is indeed a pleasure and privilege to be connected to you on HP. Thanks again Audrey for your kindness. Cheers, Peace and love, Rema.

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