I studied in what is popularly called "an English-medium school" in India. We studied two Indian languages which were compulsory, taught like foreign languages. I had French (optional), Hindi and Marathi(compulsory) and of course English, the medium of instruction. Marathi is my mother tongue. In India we have about 25 distinct languages with different writing scripts, depending on which region one belongs too. The government wanted us to learn Hindi and the state we lived in wanted us to learn the local language. As we moved a lot (my dad was in the Army), the only language I learnt rigorously was English. If I am fluent in my mother tongue it's because of my parents, both of whom studied in Marathi-medium schools. I've been to 13 schools, including 3 in Africa. and English was the unifying factor everywhere I went. I am not sure whether I can call English my second language any more. My mother tongue, Marathi, is my second language. And Hindi, my third. I abandoned French in the fifth grade. I don't think I am at a disadvantage as compared to native English speakers when I am writing, although when it comes to pronunciation, I am!