Indian Students Writing Issues: Common Problems ESL Students Face

Hindi is one of the numerous official languages which are in use in India. With the unbelievable growth of population in India, the role of Hindi language has become incredibly huge. However, English is still predominating in the world among the universal languages and India has got English as one of the officially recognized languages. It would also be interesting to mention that Hindi is widely used in Nepal, Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and even Pakistan.

More and more young Hindus wish to master the language, but only 5% out of a total can boast of the full mastery of written academic English. Students from India prefer the opportunity to study in a foreign country as it grants them a better potential of work and more options to choose from. A better knowledge of English is the key to their brighter future. The article covers the major problems with which the Indian people have to face during writing the essays which can potentially result in receiving a scholarship and being accepted into the university.

Basic Differences between English and Hindi Languages

All the mistakes that take place during writing are usually caused by the differences between the languages. This principle is universal for all the languages in the world and can be applied for further research of the English language teaching for the students of various nationalities. That is why it is necessary to review the fundamental differences between the English and the Hindi languages.

The Origin Peculiarities

The fundamental thing that leads to mistakes is the difference in the language history. Hindi is strongly connected with Khariboli – an extremely old dialect which remnants can still be traced in Delhi, and it belongs to the Indo-European language family. English belongs to the Germanic language family and has deep roots of connection with Celtic, Norman, and Anglo-Saxon languages, and we shouldn’t forget about a huge influence of Roman Empire which made a huge impact on the development of the English language.

Being the languages of totally different language families, English and Hindi have differences in the very core of grammar and lexicology.

Writing Differences

The type of writing is the next thing that leads to the growth of mistakes. The writing in English includes 26 Latin letters which are quite simple to master. The Hindi language utilizes specific Devanagari alphabet that consists of 10 vowels and 40 consonants. The outer look of Devanagari writing is more similar to hieroglyphic writing than an English one. Hindi writing includes special additional symbols and marks to define stress and pose. Hindi is a strictly phonetic language. It means that all the symbols that the person uses are supposed to be read as sounds. Such peculiarity makes Hindi easier as spelling defines reading and meaning. The English language does not strictly follow the rules of spelling and there are numerous exceptions and that is why there are so many issues with omitted letters with Hindu students which tend to follow the natural rules of their native language.

Grammar Basic Differences

Grammar is a universal skeleton of each language, so there is no wonder that with even the slightest difference, there might be some issues with writing good flawless academic papers. English and Hindi have the same set of tenses: present, past, and future. The basic difference between English and Hindi is that the English language has tense forms which accentuate on different types of actions like continuous, perfect, and simple.

Hindi concentrates on simple tenses only, and that is why the Hindu English-learning students can use simple tenses, where perfect should be used as they do not understand the meaning of the English peculiar tenses. There are no auxiliary words in Hindi and there is no word “do” at all. The English tradition of organizing questions seems alien to Hindu people, and they frequently ignore it using a simple affirmative form in writing while considering the question intonation in mind. Some students even place the question mark at the end of interrogative sentences.

Regarding Sentence Structure

When we are talking about standard word order in the discussed languages, the standard order in Hindi is subject-object-verb, while the English language is based on the principle subject-verb-object. Prepositions in Hindi usually go before the noun and that is why the written order of words in the sentences is so uncommon for English-learning Indian students.

The Vocabulary Peculiarities

This made the situation quite hard as the process of globalization introduced a lot of words from English into the Devanagari script. However, this process has got a negative side as well. The words from English which penetrated the Hindi came in a changed manner that is better suitable for Hindu mentality. There’s a great number of such words and when the person starts using these words in academic English, there is a tendency of using the words according to the phonetic tradition of Devanagari script with its simplicity.

In the nearest future, we will observe an even greater increase in the quantity of Indian originated English studying students. In order to improve their performance during writing, the above-mentioned peculiarities should be taken into account and applied in the development of new methods of English teaching depending on the nationality of people. India with the growing quantity of potential students is an excellent starting point for the development of such effective methods.