The language medium “divide”: Ideologies of Hindi-English use at four all-girls’ “public schools” in North India

  • Meghan M. Chidsey
  • International Journal of the Sociology of Language, August 2018, De Gruyter
  • DOI: 10.1515/ijsl-2018-0022

Language use at all-girls, private schools in North India

What is it about?

A number of all-girls private schools in North India were established by Indian queens and British women during the early 20th century, the tale end of colonialism. These schools often used English as their medium of instruction in order to create an educated and worldly elite. Now, the fact that these schools were particularly for upper-class girls altered many of their educational goals and, as such, how language was used. This article, therefore, looks at the history of language use at the schools up to the present. It compares the impacts of school policies, standardized exams, competitive for-profit tutoring agencies, family desires, and student practices.

Why is it important?

It provides a more nuanced examination of the impacts of class/caste and gender on language-use in schools. It problematizes previous work on prestige and gendered empowerment in post-colonial settings.


Meghan Chidsey

It is my hope that this article exposes the complexity of post-colonial educational settings, particularly in terms of those populations labelled "elite."

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The following have contributed to this page: Meghan Chidsey