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English ‘Clinics’: An Ethnographic Exploration of Spoken English Training Centres in Bangalore, India

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The view that English is the language of national development and individual socio-economic advancement is widely held in India. In the context of an increasing demand for English language skills and English language instruction in Bangalore – a south Indian city which has attracted global attention in its role as an information technology hub – my research explores ethnographically the complex impact that English has had on the everyday lives of people in the city, with a special focus on first-generation learners of the language. Drawing on participant observation and interviews conducted at English language training centres in the city, my presentation will attempt to bring out the overdetermined and complex nature of the demand for English, and the manner in which people think about and experience learning English.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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