25. Reading Skills Comprehension: ENGLISH

Read the passage given below and answer the questions/complete the statements that follow:


The cross-cultural spread of English is unprecedented in other ways. It is more widely used than any of the other colonial languages like French, Portuguese or Spanish. It even has a wider use than some of the languages associated with international non-western religious traditions like Arabic or Sanskrit. In countries like India and Nigeria, English is used at all levels of society: in local English, language newspapers and broadcasting, in public administration, in university education, in major industries, in the courts and the civil services.

Its global stature is backed up by massive English-language training programmes, an international business that in textbooks, language courses, video programmes and computerized instruction is worth hundreds of millions of pounds or dollars to the economies of the US and the UK. The English language is now one of Britain’s most reliable exports. It is an ideal British product, needing no workers and no work, no assembly lines and no assembly, no spare parts and very little servicing; it is used for the most intimate and the most public services everywhere

Indeed with nearly 200 languages, India needs English to unify the country. Professor Lal, a champion of Indian English who runs a well-known writers’ workshop and claims that in simple numerical terms, in a country of 840 million, more Indians speak English and write English than in England itself.  Even Malcolm Muggeridge said – ‘The last Englishman left will be an Indian’. Malcolm Muggeridge’s insightful observation underlines the importance of the English language for India. The people of India have begun to understand the potential of English in terms of better job opportunities in the corporate world. There is, therefore, a strong desire among parents to admit their children in public school where the standard of English is very high. Our educationists are working towards improving the standard of English in state-owned schools. Government schools need to improve their standard of teaching English to compete with public English medium schools.

(a)          Why is English more important than other colonial languages?

(b)          Why is English so important in India?      

(c)           What is the importance of the English language for the economies of the US and the UK?

(d)          Why does the author consider English as an ideal British export product?

(e)          What is meant by the word ‘traditions’? (Para 1)

                (i)  ways                                               (ii) habits

                (iii) customs                                        (iv) ideas

(f)           What is meant by the word ‘reliable’? (Para 2)

                (i) truthful                                           (ii) honest

               (iii)  decent                                         (iv) dependable

(g)          What is meant by the word ‘opportunities’? (Para 3)

                (i) offers                                              (ii) rights

              (iii)  possibilities                                 (iv) payments

(h)          What is meant by the word ‘improve’? (Para 3)

                (i) progress                                         (ii) upgrade

                (iii)  beautify                                       (iv) solidify

Download the above passage in printable worksheet PDF

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