How to Write an Education Business Proposal

Do you have an idea for a new educational program or service? Maybe you want to apply for a government grant for an after-school program for middle school kids, organize a private high school, or develop a network of tutors for hire.

How are you going to get the money you need and explain your ideas to the influential people who can make it happen? The best way is to master the art of writing a proposal.

If you are replying to an RFP (Request for Proposal) or applying for a specific grant, you need to follow any instructions specified in the RFP or grant application as precisely as possible. An RFP response typically requires combining government agency forms with topics you need to write from scratch – based on what the RFP asks you talk about.

All proposals follow a basic structure: introduction, the recipient/client-oriented section, the description of proposed goods and/or services, and then the proposal writer/supplier-oriented section. The content of each section will vary from one proposal to the next, but this sequence of sections should stay the same.

Let’s break down those sections further. The introduction section is the shortest. The very first thing you’ll want for your proposal is a Cover Letter. A Cover Letter should be brief, and it should contain the following four elements: a brief explanation of who you are, a statement about why you are submitting this proposal at this time, a statement of what you want the reader to do after reading your proposal–call for a meeting, sign the contract, etc., and all your contact information so the reader can easily call you with questions or to accept your proposal.

The very first page of your proposal package should be a Title Page–just name your proposal something appropriate, like “Advanced Science Seminars Offered for the Jacobi School Gifted Program” or “Proposal to Create a New Charter School in the West Valley School District.” Next, if your proposal is long and detailed, you may want an Executive Summary or Client Summary Page, which is a summation of the most important points you want to make, and a Table of Contents to help readers easily see the contents and navigate through the proposal. That’s all for the introduction section.

The next section should be focused on the proposal recipient or client. Depending on what you are proposing, the readers you want to target might be members of a grant committee, potential students, parents of students, teachers, school administrators, a loan committee, or a governmental organization. It’s important to consider them carefully, and tailor your information to them. What do they want to know? What concerns might they have? Are there scheduling or budget restrictions? At the very least, this client-oriented section should have a Requirements page that summarizes what they have asked for, or what you believe they need. You may also want pages like Schedule, Deadlines, Limitations, Budget, Goals, Considerations, Special Needs, and so forth, to describe in detail your understanding of what the client needs. This is not yet the time to brag about your proposed program or your organization. Keep this section focused on information about what the client wants or needs.

The next section is a description of your ideas. Be sure to match them up with the previous section, explaining how you can address the client’s needs, how the client will benefit from your proposed program, and what your proposal will cost to implement. Don’t use generic sales jargon. Instead, be as specific as possible about what you plan to do. This section could contain a wide variety of topic pages, like Classes, Equipment, Schedule, Staff, Venues, Tutoring, Testing, Mentoring, Evaluation, and so forth–you’ll include whatever you need to thoroughly describe your proposal. At a bare minimum, you’ll want a Services Offered, Benefits, and a Cost Summary page in this section.

After you have thoroughly described what you want to do and how much it will cost, it’s time to tell the proposal readers all about you in the final section. What makes you or your organization qualified to take on this job? It’s not enough to simply say “I can do it” or boast about how smart you are. Keep in mind that it’s always best to provide evidence or testimonials from other parties than to do your own bragging. Do you have special Training, Certifications, or Education? Do you have an extensive Company History, a long list of Clients, or years of Experience in the field? Have you won Awards? Do you have Testimonials or Case Studies to offer to show how you have been successful in the past? Include any information that helps persuade the clients that you have the knowledge and professionalism to carry out your proposal promises.

At this point, you will have completed the first draft of your proposal. Congratulations! Now for the finishing touches. Have a qualified proofreader or editor read through your draft and fix any grammatical or spelling errors. It’s always best to enlist someone who is not familiar with your ideas to do this. That person is much more likely to catch errors and ask important questions than someone who knows your proposal well. It would be especially embarrassing to submit an error-ridden proposal for an education project, wouldn’t it?

After the words are perfect, make sure each page looks good, too. You might want to use visual details like splashes of color in titles or special bullet points to add interest, but keep the overall look professional.

That’s it! Print out your proposal or package it into a PDF file, and deliver it to the client or committee. Be sure to use whichever delivery method was specified by the client, or deliver it in the way you believe will most impress the recipients (email, upload to a web server, print and mail, etc.). Remember, you want your proposal to succeed, not end up in the heap with a hundred others, so it might be worthwhile to hand-deliver it or use another special method. Then, after a reasonable period of time, follow up with a phone call to make sure your proposal was received and give the clients a chance to ask questions.

After you have written one proposal, you’ll find that the next one is easier and faster to write, and that you can re-use a lot of the same information in multiple proposals. But it’s important to customize each one to the specific recipient; that’s the difference between proposal writing and mass marketing.

Proposal writing packages can make your proposal writing and formatting easier. A pre-designed proposal kit will include hundreds of templates, including all the ones mentioned above. You can find a page for almost any topic. The writing and details to include are up to you, but each template in a kit includes examples and instructions that remind you of typical information for that topic, so you’ll feel like you have a guide throughout the writing process.

Use a professionally designed proposal kit, so your proposal will look great, too. You can find kits with design themes or insert your own company logo. Make sure to use a kit that includes a large collection of sample proposals, too, including some education-oriented ones. Sample proposals give you ideas of contents and looks for finished proposals. You’ll find that a pre-designed proposal kit gives you a big head start on your first proposal.

Free Life Insurance Quotes For Single Parents

If you are a single parent, life insurance will be one of the most important buying decisions you will ever make. In the event of the unexpected, life insurance proceeds will help finance the future needs of your children like their education and other bills when you die. Since you love your children so dearly, you will not want them to suffer any financially when you die. Therefore, you need life insurance. Life insurance provides cash to your family after your death. This cash (known as the death benefit) replaces your income and can help your children meet many important financial needs like funeral costs, daily living expenses and college funding.

Remember that as a single parent, you are the father and the mother. You want to give the best education to your children. Yet, it is surprising that nearly 4 in 10 single parents have no life insurance whatsoever, and many with coverage say they need more than they have. With so much responsibility resting on your shoulders, you need to make doubly sure that you have enough life insurance to safeguard your children’s financial future.

Do not think you do not need life insurance. Most single parent Americans need life insurance. To find out if you need life insurance, you need to think through the worst-case scenario. If you died tomorrow, how would your children you have labored so much to raise fare financially?

Would they be able to pay for your final expenses (e.g., funeral costs, medical bills, taxes, debts, lawyers’ fees, etc.)? Would they be able to meet ongoing living expenses like the rent or mortgage, food, clothing, transportation costs, health care, etc? What about continuing their education? Will they have the money to pay for their college education?

The truth is that if you do not plan for the future of your children, they will suffer when you are not there to take care of the expenses. Life insurance helps make sure that your children will be provided for financially, even if you are not there to care for them yourself.

Why Get A Life Insurance Quote Today

Life insurance is something that many of us tend to postpone. After all it is for an eventuality that is not likely to happen today or the next day. This procrastination is what gets many people and their families into trouble. Get a life insurance quote without delay.

The importance of life insurance:

In the event of your untimely demise, your family still has to pay the bills, educate the kids and pay back all the liabilities ranging from short term credit card loans to mortgages. Getting Insurance quotes is the first step in ensuring your family’s financial security.

Even when people get life insurance, many of them don’t buy adequate cover or the right type of insurance products for their needs. Getting the right policy requires some study of the available products in the market and then picking the right policies to meet your financial security goals. Getting a life insurance quote is the best way to start the analysis.

This gives you an idea about the types of products available to you and what they mean in terms of premium payments and benefits.

An overview of the options available:

There are two major categories of policies, the term insurance and whole life insurance. While term insurance has just an insurance component in most cases, whole life insurance has both insurance and savings components.

There are different types of term insurance policies. Each gives you an insurance cover for a certain number of years. Depending upon the policy, some of them give you the option to exit or renew the policy at fixed intervals.

These intervals could range from one to a number of years. Depending upon the type of risk cover they offer, the premium of these policies could increase or decrease as the years go by. Once the policy expires, all the benefits under these policies cease.

Whole life coverage on the other hand covers you for the rest of your life. These policies tend to be expensive when compared to term insurance due to two reasons. One, they involve higher risks and the risk increases with your age.

The second factor is the savings component, or cash value that they include. This cash value accrues throughout the policy period and is paid upon your death to your family.

The type of policy or policies that you should opt for depends upon your circumstances and goals. If you are confident that you will be able to pay all your debts and accumulate enough savings to support your family even after retirement, then term insurance may be enough.

If on the other hand you have dependents needing financial support throughout their lives, like children with special needs or suffering from disabilities, whole life plans could be the best for you. Most people usually have a mix of different types of insurance policies which gives them the optimal cover with minimal premium outflows.

Determining your life insurance requirements:

How much insurance cover is good enough? Again, the answer to this question depends upon your current expenditure, liabilities and anticipated future expenses and liabilities. Your life style and the kind of life that you would like to guarantee to your family also plays an important role. Here are the important factors to consider:

1. Your current monthly income and expenses and anticipated increases in the future. Your coverage should be able to generate funds that can be invested in safe assets to generate similar income levels.

2. The period that your family will need financial support. This could depend upon other earning members in the family and the likely earning members of the future.

3. Take into account your current liabilities like mortgages. Your family should be in a position to pay up the loans in case of your death.

4. Your anticipated future liabilities like the education expenses of your children.

Getting the optimal insurance cover:

The type of insurance and the options that are available to you depend on many factors. These include your age and the amount of premiums that you can afford to pay. Several other factors could also limit your choices to some extent.

The best way to arrive at the optimal mix of life insurance policies is to get a life insurance quote. Online life insurance quotes are the best because they allow you to input certain parameters and pull out the available policies for you from many different providers.

This helps you weigh your options and narrow your choices.

Whatever the method you use, don’t procrastinate. Start now by requesting a life insurance quote. Keep in mind two important things before you decide to buy any policy.

One is the reliability of the insurance company. Check out their ratings and customer service history. The second important thing is to read the terms and conditions very carefully. Life insurance is after all a long term commitment with critical implications. You certainly don’t want to go with the wrong company or pick up the wrong policy.

Higher Technical Education: Distinctiveness of Humanities, Indian English, and ESP

I am grateful to the organizing committee for thinking about me and inviting me to deliver a guest lecture on distinctiveness of Humanities and social sciences in higher technical education. I feel rather uneasy and highly septic, as I stand here with no pretensions of a high-brow professor or specialist whose discourse goes overhead. I speak to you as a practicing teacher of English language skills, especially for science and technology, and Indian English writing, especially poetry, with interest in what concerns us in the Humanities division, which, unfortunately, enjoys little academic respect in the over-all scheme of things in almost every technical institution.

Maybe, a conference like this augurs well for friends in the department of Humanities & Social Sciences, as they seek to explore interdisciplinarity, which indeed expands the scope of teaching and research. But I must provide a perspective to my several remarks that ensue from my reflections on the quality of intellectual activity in most technical institutions vis-a-vis the negligible support for scholarship in the Humanities, perhaps with the belief that the humanities are not ‘real subjects’ or that these have no bearing on learning of technical subjects, or these bring no demonstrable economic benefit.

The discipline has declined more perceptibly with, to quote Nannerl O. Keohane, “the creation of increasingly specialized disciplines and rewards for faculty members for advancing knowledge in those areas.” We have a marginalized status in technical institutions even if we may have been playing a crucial role as teachers of languages and letters. I don’t want to dwell on them here. But, we should be aware of the ground reality.

Yes, study in humanities is not always a matter of communicating ‘new findings’ or proposing a ‘new theory’. It is rather ‘cultivating understanding’ or thinking critically about some profound questions of human life; it is often the expression of the deepened understanding, which some individual has acquired, through reading, discussion and reflection, on a topic which has been ‘known’ for a long time. To me, practices in arts and humanities elevate consciousness, refine susceptibilities in various directions, create deeper awareness, and enable us to respond critically and independently to the ‘brave new world’ we live in. Arts and humanities alone can help us to explore what it means to be human, and sustain “the heart and soul of our civilization.” Perhaps, it’s the usefulness of humanities which is acknowledged by inviting me to speak to a distinguished audience like this.

I intend to divide my brief into two parts: I would reflect on technical institutions as schools of higher learning; and then, I would say something about the business of English language teaching, which is my prime professional concern. Yet, much will remain unsaid, for I am aware of the controversies I may be raising.

I strongly feel most university level technical institutions in India, like the general ones, have failed in promoting or upholding healthy intellectual attitudes and values, and academic culture and tradition, expected of a university, just as, it’s painful for me to observe, the culture has been virtually dismal in the case of studies in arts and humanities in the last four decades. The dullness and sameness has marginalized both creative and critical performance, or the standards handed down to us have become obsolete, or we have fallen into an abyss of unbecoming elitism, or we have become used to a cornucopia of pleasures formerly denied us: I won’t comment. But an opportunity, such as this, is necessarily not to offer any authoritative judgments but to reflect on, or to provide insights into, issues that concern intellectuals at the top of university teaching hierarchy. Should I say ‘non-university’? for I fear most of the faculty do not want to move beyond the parochial confines of narrow exclusivity. It’s the age of specialization they say, and discourage diversity, tolerance and inclusivity: they do not strive for intellectual mobility and change of attitude; we, as seniors, too, have not tried to reach out, or explore!

As a university, we are not oriented to the transformation of our social order, nor are we obligated to act as a moral deterrent in inhibiting the growth of selfish motivation. We think of education in terms of laboratory or industrial practices in mineral and mining sectors, energy, electronics, engineering, computer application, environment, management, law, health sciences, life sciences, and all that, but hardly care for ‘producing’ fully competent and spiritually mature human beings. We do not pay attention to the growth of individual creativity and to an intuitive understanding of individual purpose. We do not bother to educate with, to quote Rabindranath Tagore, the “knowledge of spiritual meaning of existence” which is also the ethical and moral meaning. We have been, unfortunately, bogged down in schemes that inculcate a habit of the mind which indulges in seeking only better opportunities to survive, or higher pay packages.

I’m afraid for too long we have practiced the “how to” of life and neglected the “why”. I believe it is comparatively easy to learn how to accomplish certain material tasks, but much more difficult to learn “what for”. If our educational system has failed over the years, it is because we have never come into a working knowledge of our humanity. We have gained incredible amount of technical knowledge, perhaps more than enough to resolve many problems with which mankind is presently faced, but we have never tried to reflect on how to apply it constructively and successfully for the good of all, with a sense of human dignity.

Some of us rightly worry about the general lack of mutual respect for the rights and feelings of others, the tendency to be suspicious of the unknown, the tendency to take liberty with the sanctity of the individual person, and complain about the general lack of character and integrity, despite higher education. I see our failure in communicating with the spiritual insight which is marked by a balance between individual desires and social demands; I see our failure in creating the awareness of the world of values and principle of the spiritual oneness underlying the great variety found in the world. I see our failure in the humanity being torn apart by intolerance and fundamentalism, the suicidal urge for self-destruction. I see our failure in the rising ethnic, linguistic and religious tensions that now belie the scientific, technological and enlightened euphoria of the sixties.

We seem to have lost a sense of obligation toward creating a good, tolerant, forward-looking society. Thanks to the role of money in democratic processes and institutionalization of corruption at all levels, people have lost faith in politicians, bureaucrats and government. The invasion of governance by the criminal-politician-bureaucrat nexus has done the country greatest harm than the shift of power following the wave of globalization, multinational capitalism, corporate economy, politics of war on terror, environmental concerns, human rights and all that. There is a reshaping of self, values and norms with dominance of the Western discourse in critical reasoning and reflection through perils and delights of growth and change; through survival skills vis-à-vis emigration, sex, parenthood, and age; through re-visiting past and present with vested awareness; through political orthodoxy in the name of democracy, religious fanaticism, casteist dominance, and repression of the liberals and the simple; and through the new processes of fossilization of the pre-colonial/colonial/post-colonial that renders many of us in the profession irrelevant. I wonder if we are not terribly dislocated in our small world.

Let me not digress any further. Ladies and Gentlemen, every university is a school of higher education, but how high is high? If we are only interested in technical education for the sake of developing professional ability or skill in some area of life, then we are talking about a vocational school or polytechnic, and not a true university. Unfortunately, most universities (and technical institutions) have been vying with each other to become professional schools, not committed to the teaching of better morality, higher philosophy, universal order or universal culture. They are not producing morally and ethically conscious good citizens. I am afraid all one can expect from the present priorities in the so called higher education is survival, pursuit of money, and power.

When science is transformed into technology, it becomes a form of power. And, as history would testify, power is the power for good and for evil. The technological culture we live in pervades and shapes our lives. The computer and internet culture, electronic gadgets, microwave, fridge, mobile phones, antibiotics, contraceptives and several such devices have been more than new means. Our sense of vulnerability has been changing fast. The new consumerist culture has taken away what was earlier meaningful and rich experiences of life.

We in the Humanities & Social sciences department need to debate the multifaceted reality that modern technology offers-not only its devices and infrastructure which are its material manifestation but also skills and organization, attitudes and culture, perhaps constructively and contextually. Thinking through technology should make possible for us to develop and contribute to humanities philosophy of science and engineering just as different visions may be possible to discuss through social philosophy of technology. Researchers in the West have already been talking about technology as liberator, technology as threat, and technology as instrument of power. Our lives and ideas have thus changed and will continue to change. In fact, every field has been changing rapidly these days. The discipline (HSS) needs to incorporate their study, especially as media such as internet and social networking have already modified and redefined human relationship and identities everywhere and at all levels.

Then, there is the emergence of what has been called ‘knowledge society’. The growth or creation of knowledge society that we have been talking about since the beginning of this century presupposes our capacity for idea generation. But if knowledge is not made freely available to all who seek it, how can one promote humanity or make it power for a liberal democratic society. Moreover, as scientific and technical knowledge spreads or becomes more powerful, it would become more problematic for the scientific community to assume moral responsibility for the use and abuse of scientific knowledge. To mitigate this challenge, one needs an education not so much in science but in humanities. When scientists say they want to live up to their social responsibilities, what they seem to mean is that they want more power than they have; it means they want to run things, to take charge. They should not end up ‘doing politics’ in the name of improving the world or society. Let them be interested in themselves, in facing the task of their own self-improvement, and learning how to think about their own responsibilities in a more serious and reflective way, their own moral education.

As a faculty in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in one of the leading technical universities in the country, what I think the scientific and engineering community has to face up to is its own self-education, its own social education. Our budding engineers and scientists have to explore answers to such basic questions as: what is a good society? How do we go about achieving it? How do we-what do we-learn from history? What do we learn from political philosophers of the past? Or, why scientists think and speak the way they do? They cannot neglect this kind of educational enquiry in technical education because there is more and more to know as the fields proliferate. Which means, the department of Humanities and Social Sciences should equip them with the basics that helps them demonstrate understanding in and across the major disciplines: scientific understanding, technical understanding, mathematical understanding, historical understanding, artistic/humanistic understanding, cross-cultural understanding, and understanding of moral and political philosophy, and philosophy of science etc. There is need for providing new unfamiliar concepts and examples to promote such understanding which will later enable them to take enormous decisions vis-à-vis the complexity of the world science and technology has brought about.

With the present consciousness, accept it or not, we, in educational establishments, have perpetuated living with a world in upheaval, and in some cases, have even shown a preference for it. But, with a higher order of awareness that approaches intuitive levels of understanding (something arts, culture and humanistic studies essentially seek to develop), we should be better able to look at an issue from many different dimensions, and rationalize how we ought to live in the future “as complete citizens who can think for themselves, criticize traditions, and understand the significance of another person’s sufferings and achievements,” to quote Martha Nusbaum from her book Not for Profit.

A technical university needs to provide for education which also elevates the consciousness and extends the power of the soul; that is, we need to shift a part of the current educational priorities from the intellect to the heart, and from scientific and technical thinking to soul cognition. The end and aim of a university, be it technical or general, is the perfection of man, striving to evolve the consciousness in tune with the universe.

The education we ‘sell’ needs to be re-tuned towards creativity, innovation, and respect for fundamental freedom; our policies and curiculums should help in strengthening the culture and values of a global society which is characterized by multiculturalism, intercultural interactions, mutual respect, tolerance, dignity and respect for values, and consciousness of ourselves as one human race, human rights and global responsibility for change in attitudes. We must, at every level, strive for a balance between the traditional attitudes and the need for a modern multi-cultural society.

I believe most of the new technical institutions can maintain their distinctiveness by seriously opening to the diversity of our times, by sharing freely with students representing the diversity of our larger society, culture, and future needs. The enclave approach which seeks to shut out or at least seriously limit the diverse socio-cultural needs and understanding may not help any more to maintain distinctiveness of the institution.

I also worry about the system’s unwillingness to nurture the ethos and sensibility that sustains a university spirit even as, according to the current govt. policies, an institution of higher learning is expected to run as a business enterprise which in days to come, will modify, perhaps irreversibly, our attitudes to teaching and research, our notions of knowledge, our administrative practices, and our relationship with the state and society. We need to make a move from the concerns of the immediate present to the future and visualize a different typology of cultural, linguistic and educational problems against the backdrop of a very fluctuating socio-political climate and pressures of all types.

As part of the language and literature teaching fraternity for over 38 years and working in a specialized university, I know how significant Humanities teaching is to hone the mind, critical thinking and communication skills. I am tempted to quote Erwin Griswold (of the Harvard Law School): “You go to a great school not so much for knowledge as for arts or habits; for the art of expression, for the art of entering quickly into another person’s thoughts, for the art of assuming at a moment’s notice a new intellectual position, for the habit of submitting to censure and refutation, for the art of indicating assent or dissent in graduated terms, for the habit of regarding minute points of accuracy, for the art of working out what is possible in a given time; for taste, for discrimination, for mental courage, and mental soberness.”

Now, let me talk about the business of English Language Teaching. I say ‘business’ because it has developed into a multi-million dollars commercial enterprise outside the native bases. We too, have an opportunity to capitalize on it in our own way, if we can. We can reach out to people in over 70 countries where English is one of the main languages.

The global diffusion of the language has now taken an interesting turn: the ratio between the native speakers of English (in countries like the U.K., the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and the non-native speakers (in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore, Ghana, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Philippines etc where English is used along with the mother tongue) is almost 40: 60, and it has expanded fast to other countries (like China, Japan, Egypt, Indonesia, Korea, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Taiwan, the Gulf Countries, and the countries of the erstwhile Eastern Bloc). It is virtually a native language in South Africa, Jamaica and West Indies. Its acculturation, its international functional range, and the diverse forms of literary creativity it is accommodating are historically unprecedented.

As Braj B. Kachru notes, the situation today is such that the native speakers have an insignificant role in the global spread and teaching of English; they seem to have lost the exclusive prerogative to control its norms of use or standardization; in fact, if current statistics are any indication, they have become a minority.

This sociolinguistic fact and its implications have not yet been fully recognized by most linguists, ELT practitioners, ESPists, administrators, language policy planners, and college and university teachers in India. What we need now are new paradigms and perspectives for linguistic and pedagogical research and for understanding the linguistic creativity, including the scientific and technical writing, in multilingual situations across cultures.

You will appreciate the English we all speak is not like the English the native speakers of the language speak. We don’t need to. The yardsticks of the British or American native speakers, or their standards as reflected in GRE, TOEFL or IELTS etc, or their kind of tongue twisting, are simply damaging to the interests of non-native speakers. We have to develop our own standards, instead of teaching to sound like Londoners or North Americans. Pronunciation must be comprehensible and not detract from the understanding of a message. But for this nobody needs to speak the so called standardized English that makes inter- and intranational communication difficult. David Crystal too appreciates this reality and favours local taste of English in India and elsewhere.

Our Indianness is clearly reflected in the pronunciation of certain vowels and consonant, in the stressing of words, in the rhythm and pauses, in the vocabulary and lexical acculturation, discourse patterning, code mixing, usages, grammatical deviations etc. The prolonged linguistic and cultural contact of English in various states of the Indian union has given it a unique character which deserves serious academic exploration. It has acquired a considerable functional range and depth, and it is preposterous to expect that the language would not be ‘shaped’ or ‘moulded’ according to the local needs or remain unaffected by the influences of local languages and literatures, cultures and users. It is, in fact, the result of such deep-rooted local functions, that we have now an institutionalized model of English for intranational uses. The way India’s multilingualism and ethnic pluralism have added to the complexity of Indian English, apart from ‘mixing’ words, phrases, clauses and idioms from the Indian Language into English, and in ‘switching’ from one language to another, perhaps to express the speaker’s ‘identity’ or linguistic ‘belonging’, the role of ‘native speaker’– the British or American– as become peripheral, as Kachru rightly asserts, unless he or she understands the local cultures and cultural presuppositions.

I am not very much concerned with the literary perspective of Indian English here, even if I have been actively associated with Indian English literary practices for over thirty five years. I am professionally interested in the language use and usage of Indian writers, and scholars and researchers of science and technology, the localized educated variety they have developed to communicate indigenous innovations. You can appreciate this if you have noticed development of local registers for agriculture, for the legal system, for entertainment industry, for Environment, and so on. The publications of Indian practitioners of science and technology have certain discourse features which are unique to Indian English, but not examined.

I suspect Indian English is not yet recognized as an important area of research for ‘English for specific purposes’ (ESP) that we teach. [It is also, however, very sad that though ESP as an approach is now firmly established, it still has fewer supporters in India, possibly because nobody wants any changes in the conventional teaching-learning practices?] Having been in the forefront of ESP movement in the country for over twenty five years, I am aware of the localized linguistic innovations in the huge output of Indian researchers, some of which has the potential for serving effectively and successfully as pedagogical texts or teaching materials. But it is unfortunate the English teaching academia are slow to recognize the pragmatic contexts–the importance of intranational uses of English and according to local needs – and continue to stick to the external norms of English. It’s more regrettable that the conceptual and applied research on ESP in the West has avoided addressing issues which are vital for understanding the use of English across cultures.

The way ESP has turned international, teachers and researchers in Applied Languages in our country need to explore: what accommodation a native speaker of English may have to make for participation in communication with those who use a local (or non-native) variety of English; what determines communicative performances or pragmatic success of English in its international uses; what insights we have gained by research on intelligibility and comprehensibility concerning international and intranational uses of English; and what attitudinal and linguistic adjustments are desirable for effective teaching of ESP based on a non-native English, like Indian English. These are a few basic questions, not convenient to Western ESP enthusiasts.

I have noticed in the Western ESP in general, and science and technology in particular, a strong bias towards ethno-centricism in approach and neglect of intranational motivation for the uses of English. It is not possible to practice ESP effectively unless we respect, what John Swales call, “local knowledge” and “localized pragmatic needs”. After all, we use the language as a tool and we cannot ignore the localized innovations that have “code-related” and “context-related” dimensions. We ought to view non-native innovations in ESP as positive and consider them as part of the pragmatic needs of the users. It is the attitudinal change that I plead for!

Teaching of ESP in a university in the second language situation like ours is largely a “collaborative sense-making” with the class. When I say this, I am pointing to the interactive nature of formal instruction, which, in terms of actual language use, is essentially Indian in tone, tenor and style. I am also referring to the need for understanding the dichotomy between the rhetoric of EST teaching and the practice enacted in the classroom from the viewpoint of adult learners, and language skills development and competence in the Indian social setting. We need to evolve a dynamic model of ‘communicative teaching’ of ESP which seeks to develop (i)linguistic competence (Accuracy), (ii)pragmatic competence (Fluency), and (iii) sociolinguistic competence (Appropriacy), without ignoring interrelated aspects of local practice, research and theory and at the same time emphasizes language awareness, which is a significant concept in ELT, in that it covers implicit, explicit, and interactive knowledge about language and provides for a critical awareness of language and literature practices that are shaped by, and shape, sociocultural relationships, professional relationship, and relationship of power. The approach can also facilitate cross-cultural comparisons and contrasts, and promote genre-based studies (i.e. how language works to mean, how different strategies can be used, how meaning is constructed), basic to ESP, in that it truly develops individual’s performance competence.

Friends, I have hopped from one point to another, perhaps jumbled up, in my zeal to draw your attention to several aspects of English, Indian English and ESP that have wider and deeper implications. They touch attitudinal chords of English language users, teachers and administrators too. Teaching of English, both language and literature, today is not only academically challenging but also opens new refreshing avenues for applied research. This is because of the spread and changing status of English, which has grown from a native, second, and foreign language to become an international language of commerce science and technology, spoken among more non-natives than natives in the process of their professional pursuits or everyday lives. I have also placed certain facts of science and technology education in the context of Humanities before you, raised issues, expressed my view, and now it is for the profession to accept, reject or explore their implications. Thank you.

Copyright:
Professor R.K.Singh
Head, Dept of Humanities & Social Sciences
Indian School of Mines
Dhanbad 826004 India

[This is the Text of my specially invited Lecture at SRM University’s International Conference on ‘Role and Responsibilities of Humanities and Social Sciences in Technical Education’ on 17 March 2011]

How About a Cheap Term Life Insurance Policy

There is nothing crucial in buying term policies. The term prices offered are cheaper compared to other insurance policies. Though there is no difference between various types of insurance policies but major difference between term and whole life policies is that former is bought in cheaper rates and is meant for particular term period only. As term policies don’t have any cash value except death benefit term prices always remain low and affordable. Anyone can buy such policies without having additional financial burden.

Policies are bought with the sole aim that they give coverage to your life and after. Since in term life policies there is no cash value and the beneficiaries get only the death benefit, these policies hold value if the insured person dies within the stipulated term only. The beneficiaries do not have the right to claim any amount against the policy once the policy period expires. The terms and conditions of these policies are simple and the premium is fixed according to the total insured amount. The rates of term policies are also quite low.

Uncertainty always involves in term policies. Such policies are considered pure insurance and term prices paid in them in the form of premiums are completely invested in insurance account rather than invested in saving which is the case with whole life or universal insurance. Nobody knows about one’s time of death but still buys term policies by keeping the fact in mind that death may happen anytime. Buyer of term policy is made to understand about the rules through quotes about benefits and losses when policies are bought. Policy buyers must understand the fact and agree on term prices after knowing such facts.

There are various factors that are considered while determining the term insurance rates. They are mainly:

• Health factors
• Smoking status
• Drinking habits
• Undertake high risk activities like adventure sports.
• Family medical history
• Age
• Gender, etc

In today’s scenario if one speaks of it does not apply to only life cover. Rather the policies are coupled with many other additional factors that make insurance a saving option also. To broadly categorize, policies are of two types:

• Term policies- this as stated refers to only life cover and death benefits.
• Whole policies- these policies act in a dual mode of life cover as well as saving and investment options.

The major difference in both the policies is their insurance rates. Term policies have lower rates as compared to whole life as they have cash value and the beneficiaries are entitled to both death benefits and the built-up cash value.

Although there is no concept of refund of premium in these policies but there are some that also have premium refund options. Term policies are purely risk protection options whereas universal or other types of whole are also bought for investment purpose. There are countless usages and benefits of policies. Financial security is one of the key factors. Some types of policies are bought for purely death benefit. They don’t have any cash value hence they are pure form of.

On the other hands policies meant for investment and those taken for pension or old age benefit has enough scope for good financial gain at a time in life when there is no other source of income. policies are primary bought for life coverage and fulfilling financial responsibilities. Perhaps it is the key factor that every individual is augured to get them insured without delay. Major responsibilities of an individual are caring dependents, debts, bearing educational expenses of children, marriage, funeral costs and mortgages or old age security.

It is a great way to secure the future of your loved ones and while you are not with them, you at least will have provided for them. So whatever is the type of policy you should have one, no matter what your income is. You should take a policy the price of which is at least 15 times your annual expenses so that your family can be supported in a proper way. If you do not want to take risks then there are also provisions for guaranteed returns wherein a fixed cash benefit is assured irrespective of the market conditions and the status of your investments.