Colonialism and Education: English Language Education in Sri Lanka

Marie Clare Fernando
2012 Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences  
The English Language was introduced to Sri Lanka by the British colonial rulers at the beginning of the 19th century. Since then the existence of the people of Sri Lanka changed significantly together with the values and attitudes towards life. Independence gained in the 20th century did not have a speedy recovery on the damages done to the thinking patterns of the people; making the languages people used as a wedge. The much debated 'Sinhala Only' policy in 1952 paved the way for the Sinhala
more » ... y for the Sinhala educated mass to come to the administrative strata of the country in the post colonial times. Yet, English was not dethroned; it enjoyed the prestige it used to have. The intension of this paper is to discuss the efforts taken to remove the colonial mind set from the people of Sri Lanka while opening doors for globalization through English Language education. The variety of English called Sri Lankan English emerged clandestinely; even the users of this variety of English were unaware of its existence. The new found identity can be the stepping stone in placing English language at its right place, and acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to compete with the global standards.
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