A State level webinar on the topic “Mother Tongue as a Medium of Instruction: Implementation and Implications vis-à-vis National Education Policy 2020” was organised by the Department of English on 3rd October, 2020, with Dr Mimi Kevichusa Ezung, Associate Professor & Head, Dept of Tenyidie, Nagaland University, and Dr Chubatola Aier, Principal, C-Edge College, Dimapur, as the resource persons.
In the first session, Dr Ezung presented on the topic, “Multilingualism in Nagaland: Meeting the Challenges vis-à-vis the NEP 2020”. Highlighting the recommendation in the new education policy for the “home language/mother tongue/local language” to be the medium of instruction till grade 8 and even beyond, the speaker outlined the gargantuan task ahead for Nagaland with more than 90 indigenous languages. She also deliberated on the orthography and literature and development status of languages, and outlined where the native languages of Nagaland stood in the process of standardisation and development.
In the second session Dr Aier presented on the topic “Mother Tongue as a Medium of instruction: Implementation and Implications from Language Learning and Language Teaching Perspective.” Mentioning that due to its multi-ethnic and multilingual composition, India had adopted in 1966 the three-language formula which remains the model on which the language policies are based, therefore the NEP 2020 recommendation does not have radical dimensions. But while it may not pose a major problem to a monolingual or a homogeneous population, a state like Nagaland with so many languages will face a multiplicity of issues. Re-iterating that there is cause for concern regarding the position of the mother tongue in the current language trend, she deliberated on the essential areas in language learning and language teaching studies, and highlighted the need for a clear-cut language policy to be put in place.
The paper presentations were followed by queries from the attendees and the programme concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by Ms.Temjeninla Imsong of 6th Semester, English Honours, DGC.
The programme was moderated by Dr Moangkala Longchar, Assistant Professor, Dept of English, while Ms Mithu Longkumer, Associate Professor & HoD, English, delivered the welcome address. Technical expertise and support for the webinar was provided by Dr Yelhi Vero, Assistant Professor in Economics, DGC.