English and Scientific Research: Some Reflections

— Deepak Subedi

When I was asked to contribute an article on the importance of English language for scientific research, I felt I got an opportunity to express my gratitude to the language which gave me an enormous access to good books written by scholars around the world. Without the knowledge of English, I would have to rely on books written only in our native language, which would have certainly narrowed my thinking. My simple understanding is that our ability to think is proportional to the number of good books we read. Also, it is generally accepted that knowledge is for the brain as is food for the body, and that a person with knowledge of different languages has greater vision and wider horizon.

I was motivated to learn English by my revered father since my childhood. Although my father himself never had formal education, he had gained some practice of spoken English during his service in Indian army. He had a strong desire to educate his children in English medium. I think this might have been due to the influence of British officers in India. He used to tell me fascinating stories about the additional benefits he used to receive in the army unlike his colleagues by virtue of his knowledge of English, although limited. Even with this limitation, he was supposed to be superior to others, and was assigned some official tasks during the war time which avoided the risk of being deployed to the front.

In spite of a moderate income,  my father always stressed on educating children in good schools. Although our family was based on a village, my father settled in the town only to provide us good education with additional tuition in English.  So far as I remember, he was the first person in our town to arrange tuition in English from the primary level. It was during this time that I met my most favorite teacher of English, Balkrishna Shrama, who inspired me to learn. He was a noble teacher with amazing skills of delivering spellbinding lectures. With his guidance, I experienced the joy of learning new words in English and writing them nicely in four-lined papers.  Since then, I started learning English spontaneously.

I realized the real importance of knowing English when I joined I. Sc. in Amrit Science Campus in 1989. All our subjects were taught in English. Had I been poor in English, I would have certainly been discouraged from studying science.  The knowledge of English helped me in learning the major subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. I had a huge advantage over my classmates with a weaker background of English. Meanwhile, some of our teachers had just returned from US with terribly twisted tongue, and many of our friends who were from remote areas of Nepal got frustrated with the US-style pronunciation. Students who had their schooling in English medium had no difficulty in grasping the lectures in the major subjects.

Well, these were some of my recollections about my background in the English language. Let me discuss a little about the importance of the use of English in the field of science.

In 1931 Vladimir N. Ipatieff, a Russian-American chemist, had begun to take lessons in English at the age of sixty-four. He was already a well-known scientist but had to learn English in that age in order to continue his research in the USA. He probably was under the influence of the “publish or perish” dictum so common in the field of research. But his story simply highlights the necessity of knowing a language of wide international readership in order to popularize researches in science.

Michael Faraday said that any researcher has to follow three major steps: “work, analyze and publish.” All the three parts are equally important. However, the importance of the language appears in the third part — publishing. The real output of any scientific research is measured by its impact, hence the level of international journals is determined by their impact factor. How many people cited our papers is more important than how many papers we wrote. To make our papers accessible to a large number of readers, we have to publish our results in a language understood by a large population.  Thus one has to publish his/her findings in English.

Most of the world’s leading scientific journals are published in English. It has been reported that researchers from non-English speaking countries have to spend a significant portion of their time in getting their reports and research papers translated/written in English. This obviously steals their precious time from laboratory work. For example, in Japan English is becoming the language of basic science resulting in the gradual disappearance of  publications in Japanese. RIKEN, one of Japan’s most comprehensive groups of research facilities, has claimed that its scientists published about 2000 original reports in English in 2005, but only 174 in Japanese. One report shows that editing companies in Japan charge researchers $ 500 to $ 800 per manuscript. Language training can cost $2000 for a ten-week course. These costs are additional burdens and slow down scientific activities in laboratory.

In fact, this should not have been the period for spending so much time for writing the paper alone. Had their schooling been in English, as that of ours, the researchers could have devoted more time for their experiments than exercising for language. In this respect, we should feel fortunate; we learned basic sciences in English medium at school and the university. In several international conferences and seminars, I have observed the difficulty faced by scientists from the countries which are quite developed in science and technology but are non-native English users. In spite of their good research results, they are sometimes nervous during presentations due to the difficulty in expressing their ideas clearly in English.  On the other hand, researchers who studied their courses in English are more confident in presentations even if the merit of their research work is not of high standard.

Another case where proficiency in English plays a vital role is in the preparation of research grants proposals. Even a promising project proposal may be rejected because of the lack of logical reasoning. It may be argued why a researcher should worry about English when one can easily consult with professional editors to prepare a proposal. But the fact is that professional editors may not know the technical ideas of the project, and that sometimes this joint venture may lead to negative results. Considering the growing need of disseminating research results to a wider population, many Asian and European countries, which used to teach science courses in their own native languages, are gradually adopting English as the language of science.

Summing up, today no discipline can function in isolation. Since a large number of interdisciplinary subjects like environmental science, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, engineering physics etc. are emerging, people of different areas of expertise have to work together. Professionals from different disciplines find English quite comfortable to communicate among themselves. Also, professionals in the discipline of English language must also constantly update themselves because the world is changing rapidly due to the advancement in science and technology.  For the survival in this competitive and rapidly advancing world, everyone has to be able to grasp the new challenges and opportunities. Due to the latest advancement in information technology, specially with the introduction of internet services and cellular phones, the world has become like a village. Whoever gets the latest information at the earliest will come ahead and those who miss will certainly lag behind. In which language this communication is being made in a broad scale? Of course, English.

17 Responses to English and Scientific Research: Some Reflections

  1. I had never read such a piece by a scientist before in English! Mr. Subedi has captured an incredible struggle of a village boy and his success story as in a movie. It was possible only because of English. Moreover, he has revealed how good English is important to win grants. I want to read more articles by him in coming issues, too.

    • Dr. Deepak Prasad Subedi says:

      I am glad to read your response. Surely, I will try to contribute more articles in future considering the interest of readers.

  2. Bal Krishna Sharma says:

    This is a good piece of writing. I appreciate that Dr. Subedi rightly points out the value and role the English language is playing in today’s world. But at the same time, we also need to consider another side of the coin to: because of the value and importance that we put for English, other cultures, languages, and local knowledges are devalued. We should also not forget that English today is another form of imperialism if we do not appropriate for your own local needs. It is not the language per se that generates knowledge, but the meaning we attach to it. Hope to hear more from the author in the future.

  3. Boomerang
    Firstly, I thank and congratulate Dr Subedi for promishing to write more in coming days.
    Secondly, I am interested to ask few qs to Balkrishnaji:
    1. I think you are one of the most patriotic men now, what has you made you so?
    2. If we love Nepali (language) equally, why not we have started NELTA CHAUTARI in Nepali version?
    3. Why is Samrat Upadhyaya is more populaar that Ace poet LP Devkota?
    4. Why is there non-stop exodus to go to America or Europe?
    5. Why can’t we stop to carry two fakes?

  4. Bal Krishna says:

    Thank your eak prasadji for asking such great questions. Let me put some of my personal perspectives.

    I could not get the meaning of the first question- I think you are one of the most patriotic men now, what has you made you so?-. If I understood it in a literal sense, I am not sure if I need to answer this question because being or not being patriotic is beyond our professional discourse. Regarding the second question, that we are English teachers does not mean we necessarily have to devalue or underestimate our linguistic and cultural heritage. Eakji must understand that we initiated this forum not only to interact with our local teachers but also to discuss and challenge professional discourses from around the world. But it is notable that if somebody wants to contribute in Nepali, that is more than welcome. Secondly, you might know that there are technical difficulties with typing in Nepali language. Only have we recently had programs to produce typing in English with romanized input. Hopefully in the near future, we will be able to work in the Nepali language more easily.

    I cannot answer the third question -Why is Samrat Upadhyaya is more populaar that Ace poet LP Devkota?- because I have read more of Devkota than of Upadhyaya. This is not the professional discourse I meant to initiate, but I doubt if the claim and question that you confidently posed is valid.

    Regarding question no. 4 and 5, I’m not sure how I can give satisfying answers. You must have heard of the terms ‘critical pedagogy’, ‘critical applied linguistics’, ‘critical discourse analysis’, etc. When I talk of valuing our students’ first language and culture, I mean we need to look back dominant teaching practices critically. I have never said we should not speak English or should not go to the US or Europe. Did I say that? I am saying we need to have ‘critical’ component in our pedagogy, research and practice. When we appreciate the positive fruits of the English language, we at the same time should not forget if there are critical aspects as well. Thank you Dr. Subedi for the wonderful post again.

    I would request Eakji not only to ask questions but also to elaborate his argument in a form of professional discourse. Healthy arguments create knowledge.

    • creation says:

      Mr. Bal Krishna, I am fully agreed with you. I am pleased to read your article and appreciate it. I wish your success and hope to read more analytical articles in future.

  5. Ground reality
    Dear Balkrishanji
    I’d like to appreciate your mind-blowing thoughts and enthusiasms. If I write I just want to criticize you, that’s not true. What I want to make clear is whether we can come out from the hallucinatory circle created by the WHITES.
    It is crystal clear subjects like ‘critical pedagogy’, ‘critical applied linguistics’, ‘critical discourse analysis’, etc. are nothing but their tools to brainwash non-whites. What I know is that so as to stop non-whites coming neck to neck to them they have thrown these cards from the sleeves.
    For example, last year I took a month long rigorous TEFL training. Before training, my friends and I were told that we would be equal to native speakers and the world will be open to you. I worked so hard (even lost my job), and excelled even the White trainees, so I became very confident. Nonetheless, I happened to realize it was the castle of cards when I opened the sites. There were thousands of opportunities across the world. Still I could apply to not a single place. Not because I didn’t have required qualification. Actually, I didn’t have British, American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealandian or South African passport.
    Also my belief is that unless one understands English, one cannot love Nepali because one always feels inferior to in that case.
    Now, I also love Nepali so much. Didn’t I take English exposure; I could be ignoring the value of my mother tongue.
    Balkrishnaji, my thesis is that we should encourage our friends to write in English. There are many other Nepali writers who have been languishing for years because of lack of English. So they can help translate Nepali master pieces into the world literature.

  6. Bal Krishna says:

    Eakji,

    That’s true. Language has political as well as other several types of powers (e.g. economic, academic, etc.). Like English any language privileges its native speakers. If I turn the mirror to my own society, I have been one of those privileged members who has Nepali as a native language and has been put higher in the social hierarchy of so called caste. If we apply the implication of the discourses that we are making, I am also in the category of those who have been exercising hegemonic power in our society. All I can do right now is to be critically aware of this.

    I also refrain from blaming a particular ‘race’ or ‘color’ in terms of the power English is holding today. As you said there are pragmatic reasons why we should have one language as a lingua franca, and we cannot imagine if the world would function so efficiently had there not been any common language of communication, research or publication. However, why should ‘English’ , not others, be that language is beyond my point of argument because that would be more hypothetical and any language, be it Nepali or Chinese, would have privileged its native speakers.

    You have very rightly pointed out that when we apply for the jobs for English teachers or related ones, the job openings always asks for English native speakers. I faced that when I was in Japan between 2004 to 2005. I am now teaching academic writing to international graduate students from around the world. Last week I got end-semester anonymous comments from my students and most of them said that they preferred native English speaking teachers instead though they rated me high in terms of my pedagogic skills. At this point, I am careful to make claims: it is not the native speakers of the language but it is ‘we’ the second language speakers who ‘value’ native speakers of English or the so called ‘standard’ English though nobody speaks that variety. You very much know the teaching posts in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and in several other countries die for native English speaking professionals. Just take an example of our NELTA conference that I attended: 4 years back, the rooms Native English speakers’ presentations were full of audience while there were only handful of audience in the Nepalese colleagues’ presentations though the quality of work might have been equal or better in the latter.

    As I said earlier and to reiterate your thesis, because we know the reality, we should be real and critically aware.

    Note: Eakji, Can you please send some writing for the next month’s post in NeltaChoutari. I will really appreciate your contribution.

  7. Dear Balkrishnaji
    Thank you so much for your exclusive nature of sharing and invitation.
    Since I don’t have your pesonal Email ID, please send it to: eakprasad.duwadi@gmail.com
    Then, I can send articles to you.

  8. faiza farid from pakistan says:

    dear sir …Deepak Subedi…i am very thankfull to u ..and i appreciate your effort for this article i just read it..sorry em little weak in English..i just want to thank because i m going to attend a group discussion on topic English needs for researchers..so ur article helped me alit..may God give you more success ..take care

  9. Praveen Kumar Yadav says:

    Dear Subedi jee,
    First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Subedi who linked the importance of English language from his schooling days to Japanese people facing difficulties, from scientific researches to publication in a fantastic way.

    Behind learning English language, everyone has their own stories. Abhi Subedi, Govinda Raj Bhattarai, Jay Raj Awasthi and Vishnu S Rai and others have their own stories. However, it is really a good effort of Subedi to share his story.

    I would like to highlight the things mentioned in the article that are appreciated by me. Firstly, Subedi says, “My simple understanding is that our ability to think is proportional to the number of good books we read.” This is universal truth and it has been realized by all.

    Secondly, Knowledge is for the brain as is food for the body. We have to gain knowledge to quench the thirst of our brains.

    Last but not the least, it is good to know that Subedi has linked the importance of English language with projects. As I myself work in Plan International which works for rights of children, all the activities from planning and implementation to monitoring and evaluation of the projects are bound to be reported in English language.

    The quotation ‘Slow and steady wins the race’ is not going to be applicable in the age. Now we need to be fast to run the race of knowledge in the modern age. That is what Subedi says in his write up, whoever gets the latest information at the earliest will come ahead and those who miss will certainly lag behind.

    Praveen Kumar Yadava
    NELTA Birgunj

    .

  10. Shyam Sharma says:

    The conversation based on Dr. Subedi’s article about the importance of the English language has got to such interesting points that I couldn’t help joining. (Part of this feeling comes from the fact that I’ve been working on a similar issue, as in this draft of a multimodal book chapter: http://www.shyamsharma.net/sharma-exhibit/introduction.html). I am sorry that this response is so long (which reminds me of Mark Twain: “I am sorry for the length of my letter but I didn’t have the time to write a shorter one.”), but let me share some thoughts about two of the key ideas in the article as well as respond to the subsequent conversation among my dear colleagues.

    1. “Most of the world’s leading scientific journals are published in English. It has been reported that researchers from non-English speaking countries have to spend a significant portion of their time in getting their reports and research papers translated/written in English. This obviously steals their precious time from laboratory work. … One report shows that editing companies in Japan charge researchers $ 500 to $ 800 per manuscript. Language training can cost $2000 for a ten-week course. These costs are additional burdens and slow down scientific activities in laboratory.”

    These are hard facts. But it is precisely when people and societies are not satisfied with certain state of affairs in the world—which facts can only represent—they start thinking, talking, and addressing the situation as a challenge. Let us take an analogy: More men in Nepal are educated than women, and in general men are more educated as well, so let’s say that they are more productive at work, in using technology, … they also have more freedom from family burdens so they can work overtime, and so on and so forth. Now, would we accept if employers argue on that basis that they will only employ men, that they won’t contribute anything towards educating women and filling that gap? Maybe we would accept that argument from employers, because we may accept that they are more concerned with benefit than with contributing to social change. But would we accept if educators start making the same argument? I would not. I would say that educators are responsible to think, intellectually challenge the status quo, address inequalities and injustice in the society–letting education serve those goals. I don’t expect every fellow teachers to accept this position, but that is my position and I strongly advocate it as an educator.
    Yes, the English language is so dominant in the world of publication that it seems counterintuitive to even invest one’s personal time, energy, and resource in trying to develop writing skills in Nepalese or Tagalog instead of just putting all the energy and resources in the pursuit of English. Alas, I wish the world of linguistic and cultural power dynamics was that simple! As Bal Krishna has pointed out, besides being a neutral tool of communication, language also serves as a political tool, as an economic force, as a vehicle for advancing the agenda of particular nations and societies. For example, because the Indian government and society promote Hindi vigorously (including, of all places, in Nepal’s parliament) Hindi language has not been excluded from academic, professions, and social life in spite of the colonization and systematic suppression for a long time, in spite of the internal conflict among linguistic communities, in spite of the huge popularity of English among younger generations. In fact, because of the continued promotion of Hindi, Hindi films make billions around the world, Hindi songs are on the top list of India’s “soft power” in the world. Hindi is a powerhouse and vehicle of economic, political and socio-cultural forces around the world. It is at the level where language embodies or reinforces these other phenomena that it becomes extremely important for educators to discuss how (not whether) we can invest our energies and resources for promoting scholarship in local languages, exploring local epistemologies through a global language, respecting local cultures–while we also improve our society’s ability to perform better in the global, English-dominated intellectual and professional platforms.
    In this regard, I have to admit that I find most of Ekji’s earlier questions rather confusing: they seem to be based on the binary opposition between Nepali and English, global and local, patriotism and cosmopolitanism, realism and idealism, etc. I think that the world of educational and socio-cultural theory (as well as this conversation) has long gone past that kind of binary oppositions. Even my 19-23 year old American students, most of whom have neither seen nor had to care about the world outside, quickly recognize the advantage of multiple languages, socio-cultural experiences, academic backgrounds… and they often tell me how much they envy me for those things. They have their American citizenship, they have the vast difference in the opportunity compared to my students back home, they are automatically privileged by legal and economic foundations of their society–but they too make me believe that I have something that they do not. When I read the either/or logic of my fellow intellectuals from home, I feel depressed. Dear friends, let us be proud as multilingual, multicultural, multiethnic, and I would add multi-epitemological people and society. Let us promote both our capacities with English and our own local language and knowledge-bases. Since it would be absurd to dream of a Nepalese society that has adopted English to the point of not needing or caring for the languages spoken at home and work and flowing in the heartbeats of our cultural expressions, let us not dream that we can adopt a foreign language unless we can also adopt the culture and art and political domain and religion and worldview of the Anglophone world and become one with it. No, we are not going to get those privileges by dreaming of them; we will have to build our dreams from the local resources that we have and expand them, partly through gaining higher proficiency in major world language(s) but more importantly through the advancement of academic/professional knowledge. It would be absurd to think about leaving Nepali and other local languages behind in the intellectual and professional domain just because we want to become more capable of communicating our intellectual ideas in English. How about both? Simply, how about both?
    Scholars of linguistics and ELT have long accepted that people can be effective communicators and writers as multilingual/plurilingual individuals. You and I and Bal Krishna and Dr. Subedi are doing well with at least two languages; I read and write and speak and listen highly successfully in both Nepali and English (besides fluently communicating in several others) without hurting my brains. More and more European and Americans are learning other languages because geopolitical power dynamics are rapidly shifting in the world, because the world has been further shrinking due to information technologies, and because people understand the benefits of multilingualism. As for the question of why we don’t have people write in Nepali on this blog, I think that’s because this is an ELT blog, not NLT blog. But the fact that we are English teachers should not stop us from thinking critically about the spreading domination of one language in the world and its political, cultural, and epistemological implications. In fact, we as English teachers are in a very unique position to honestly address this issue. The fact that there is a continued intellectual exodus to Europe and America should remind us, if we think about it, that the solution to that challenge is not further promotion of English in Nepal but the promotion of local knowledge and languages alongside the increase in people’s ability to communicate in a world language, which at this historical point happens to be English. Of course, we as English teachers should happily and proudly contribute to our society’s capacity to communicate with the rest of the world in English–and it may soon be time for us to also have other Biswa Bhasa Campuses if we are a little far-sighted; but we certainly don’t have to do that at the expense of Nepali and other local languages. The solution is multilingualism not monolingualism: both English and local languages not one OR the other. The solution is the advancement and promotion of local knowledge through the means of local as well as global linguistic vehicles. I remember my high school social studies teacher (a Kerelean) who used to tell us that there is only one thing under the sun that can contain everything under the sun, and that is your brain. If teachers have a strong will, they can do far better than Nepalese English teachers on the issue of multilingualism and multiculturalism.

    2. “Had their schooling been in English, as that of ours, the researchers could have devoted more time for their experiments than exercising for language. In this respect, we should feel fortunate; we learned basic sciences in English medium at school and the university. In several international conferences and seminars, I have observed the difficulty faced by scientists from the countries which are quite developed in science and technology but are non-native English users.”

    Indeed, if I too were to think about myself only—a socially privileged bahun’s son who could afford to go to a Catholic English medium school in India and since then remained on top of the class due to those privileges compared to 99% of my fellow classmates—and a few people like myself, I would say that I too am proud about English. It gave me so much privilege in life. But as teachers of language, and of science for that matter, should we not also be talking about the society at large? Yes, if like Dr. Subedi and me and Bal and Ekji, all or most of our fellow Nepalese people could, by any stretch of imagination, if not political magic, get a good education in English medium (please note: both “good” and “English medium,” since one is not the same as the other), then that would be truly amazing.
    Now, should we try to promote English to the point of making everyone as proficient as we are, or better? Should we replace Nepali and other local languages as the medium of instruction with English so that everyone may enjoy opportunities at a global level–including publishing research articles in English journals published from the west? Alas, I wish that the world was such a straightforward place! There is a wonderful book “Buying into English” by Catherine Prendergrast, an American professor who studied the role of English in pre- and post- revolution Slovakian society. After closely studying the lives, work, and social progress of the generation that straddled those situations, she found out that becoming highly proficient in English did not necessarily guarantee opportunities to climb the social and economic ladder, neither at the national nor at the global level. From the global perspective, Slovakians’ national, racial, and political identities/affiliations still made them second class citizens—unless they left their country, gave up their citizenship, and fully integrated into western society, which only very few were able to do. At the national level, political dynamics of a post-revolution society made even the lives of the most highly English language proficient people still precarious, while those who had political clout were able to get ahead with or without English. Much mainstream scholarship in global English–especially the kind that is promoted by powerful Anglophone organizations around the world–has continued to show a few successful examples of those who rise to multinational professional or corporate organizations supposedly through English; Prendergrast looked at the big picture of the society as well as individual lives and found those grand narratives to be only ideologically motivated. In place of Russian, Slovakians now had English. The force that held Slovakians back, it turned out, was not their Slovakian language; the solution, it turned out, was not the English language. A far more important problem was the national and global political dynamism, social and geopolitical structures and forces. Yes, many of those who learned English were able to get better opportunities both at home and globally; but at the same time, and on a much broader level, English did very little other than to create a new “caste” and class of people. Having read a lot of studies like Prendergrast’s, when I came across Ekji’s questions, especially like No. 5, I wondered what it means for teachers like us to have two “fakes” (faces?) when we try to tell the kinds of truth that Prendergrast tells us. (Honestly, I am sorry but I don’t think that that’s a very civil way for teachers to have a conversation.)
    I work in a field that deals with language somewhat indirectly, but even in this field I can suggest quite a few scholars—Canagarajah, Pennycook, Braine, Flowerdew, Prendergrast, Horner, Kramsch, Lillis, Curry, Lu, Pratt, Santos, Spack, Zamel—who have clearly shown us that the promotion of bi-, multi-, and plurilingualism—and by implication the promotion of plural knowledge systems—is not even a questionable goal for language teachers. I was totally confused by the implied argument that Samrat Upadhyaya’s success in the twentyfirst century global makes another Nepali writer of the last century insignificant. How about reading “Yatri” as well as “Arresting Gods in Kathmandu”—and here I have to admit that I haven’t read the latter. How about producing a powerful Nepali song with English transcription based on that poem and selling it to the world? How about using that poem in a world literature course in Europe or America? Actually, Ekji, I used “Yatri” while discussing “extended metaphor” in a British literature class last year here in Kentucky :). I have always taught (“in”) English, but even in Kentucky I delight my students by helping them look at things from multiple perspectives including Nepali, South Asian, non-western. It’s the knowledge that language carries along, not the language itself, which matters. It is the lives and experiences and work and realities of the millions, not the opportunities that English gives to a few, that should be considered when we talk about language policy, medium of education, and our place in the world. We don’t have to give up Nepali to learn better English. In fact, our schools already give such shamefully many years in drilling English into the heads of our students that the state of English when they come out of schools and colleges gives me a pause.
    Let us teach English, no doubt, but let us also think about the joy that a Nepali young man or woman has when listening to a touching song in his or her own language, when he or she can speak both in English with the world AND also in Nepali/local language to the rest of our own society (which is not likely to switch entirely to English unless one is being delusional about such a thing happening any time soon), when he or she can write scientific articles in popular press for the millions of Nepali masses in Nepali (as well as produce and present knowledge from Nepal’s nature, society, and culture in English for the rest of the world). Let us, please, talk about promoting NOT ONLY English but also other languages and knowledge cultures. And as English teachers, we would be socially callous and intellectually shallow if we take facts for granted and fail to even envision alternative situations that we can affect or bring about if not alternatives worlds altogether. If we feel inadequate when we can only write academic articles in our local/national languages and not as well in English, let’s talk about how we can write those articles equally well in both English and our other languages.

    From either/or debates, let us move on to not only but also.

  11. Bal Krishna Dhakal says:

    Dear Deepak Sir,

    This article is very useful to get the idea about learning English. But, most of us can hardly afford the books as of the native writiers one. I am trying to focus on your first paragraph.

    Learning English is like breathing, these days. If you don’t know English, you’ll have very hard time for your survival. But, the thing is how to learn it in what ways and extent. There is no limit for learning. It goes beyond and beyond. The only thing about learning, I know is we must not limit our learning. If you stop learning, your life be very boring. There will be no excitement. The words “work, analyze and publish” by Michael Faraday means to keep on your learning throughout the whole life. As the Scientist started learning English at the age of 64.

    Thanks.

  12. quangtam1988 says:

    Thanks very much for your article. Actually, i will do the PhD program next month in France. I’m vietnamese. My english is not very good. As i ‘m in France now, i study all of my courses in French. I know the importance of english but maybe i didn’t bother to learn english. Your article encourage me a lot. Thank you very much.

  13. KP Subedi says:

    Keep dialogue going, it’s interesting.

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