Abstract: country schools in multilingual settings. Research has demonstrated

 

 

Abstract:

Despite the fact that Urdu is the national dialect of
Pakistan however English is the dialect which is formally utilized as a part of
all private and in addition government authorities. In Pakistan English
language aptitudes are viewed as accommodating for understudies in finding a
high class work. In proficient life basic language is clearly English. This
research is being done to talk that a child ought to be presented to second
language that is English in critical period or not? and which type of schools
are suitable for the language proficiency of a child. Furthermore we also tried
to find out that which language should be the medium of education at regional
level. In light of confirmation assembled through questionnaire and meetings
with instructors, the examination finds that early English-medium approach
seems counterproductive as most understudies exhibit poor English language
capacity. In nations like Pakistan where English isn’t the primary language,
many guardians and groups trust their kids will get a head-begin in instruction
by going ‘straight for English’ and bypassing the home language. The
inspiration driving this is to center towards their financial prudence and
enhance the vocation prospects of their more youthful ages. For young students,
utilizing the primary language in early instruction prompts a superior
comprehension of the educational modules content and to a more inspirational
state of mind towards school. Utilization of the students’ home language in
school likewise decreases the burden on instructors, particularly where the
educator talks the nearby language well, which is the situation in most of the
country schools in multilingual settings. Research has demonstrated that in
learning circumstances where both the educator and the student are non-local
clients of the language of direction, the instructor battles as much as the
students, especially toward the begin of schooling. But when teaching begins in
the educators’ and students’ home language, the experience is more natural and
friendly for all. Therefore, the educator can be more inventive and creative in
planning materials and methodologies, prompting enhanced learning results.

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Introduction:

There is a famous saying by Jack Edwards that “What is a nation without a mother tongue?” Mother tongue is the
identity of the nation. Only those nations are emerged as prosperous nation in
the history who preferred their own language over any other language as the
world. It is important for the individual to get fluency in mother tongue
before learning any other language because an individual thinks in his mother
tongue and then translate his thoughts into any other language.

Many theorists are of the opinion that the
mother tongue is the better medium for instructions rather than English or any
other language. Max von Sydow said
about the importance of mother tongue that “I
think English is a fantastic, rich and musical language, but of course your
mother tongue is the more important for an actor”. Keeping the importance
of mother tongue for an individual as well as nation building the best medium
of instruction for early schooling of an individual is child’s mother tongue.
The stronger the children’s mother tongue, the easier it is for them to learn
new languages. Children
who have a solid foundation in their mother tongue, develop better literacy
skills also in other languages that they learn. When parents and other
important adults have time to discuss and read in the child’s mother tongue and
thus help expand the child’s vocabulary, the child will be better prepared when
kindergarten or school starts and can easily learn new languages. Children’s
knowledge and skills transfer over languages. Skills learned in the mother
tongue will transfer to the other languages learned in school, as long as all
languages are supported. Despite of too much advantages of mother tongue as the
medium of instruction, the government of Pakistan is failed to establish the
mother tongue based educational policy in the country. Because of too much
professional advantages of English language, parents prefer English-medium
schools over Urdu-medium schools because English is used more in professional
life of an individual and that is the main reason why English is considered as
the key to prosperity and intelligence of an individual is also judged on the
scale of its English skill. An individual who is more fluent in English
language but have low technical skills is considered more intelligent than the
one who is not very good at English but have good technical skills. For the
following reasons parents are more interested in teaching English to their
child rather than Urdu or mother tongue.

          In
our research, we shall highlight the medium of education in Pakistan. But our
major concerned is about that what students think about the language-in-
education policy of Pakistan and what should be the medium of education in
Pakistan, whether it should be English, Urdu or any other regional language.
For the building of future language-in-policy we took the valuable advice of
the teachers of various colleges. Keeping in view of the students and teachers
of various colleges we will conclude that what should be the medium of
education in Pakistan so that we should prosper in the field of education.
Following are the major questions of our research that we asked from the
students on social media platform.

·       
Which language do you consider more
important in professional life of an Individual?

·       
Is it better to teach English in
the elementary grades?

·       
Study finds that early
English-medium appears to be counter-productive as most of the students don’t
get grip in English as well as in Urdu. Do you support this argument?

·       
Linguistic expert supports the idea
that best medium for early schooling of a child is mother tongue of child. Do
you agree with this argument?

·       
According to you should Punjabi be
the medium of instruction in primary schools of Punjab like Sindhi and Pashto
are the medium of instruction in the primary schools of respective provinces?

·       
What is the most appropriate age to
teach foreign language to students?

·       
Are you satisfied with the
performance of low fees so-called English medium schools?

·       
Which type of schools are best for
language proficiency of student?

·       
What should be the medium of
education at regional level?

·       
How many languages should be taught
to the students?

 

Language Policy of Pakistan:

          Pakistan
is a multilingual country with six major and over fifty-nine small languages.
Urdu is the national language of Pakistan which is the mother tongue of 7.57
percent of the entire population and the official language of Pakistan is
English. Many of the people of rural areas are not even able to understand English
but still the most used language in the offices of Pakistan is English. The
most spoken language is Punjabi having 44.15 speakers. The major indigenous
languages of Pakistan are given below.

Languages

Percentage of
Speakers

Punjabi

44.15

Pashto

15.42

Sindhi

14.10

Saraiki

10.53

Urdu

7.57

Balochi

3.57

Others

4.66

 

However the importance of regional
languages are always compromised because the languages of the domains of
power-government, corporate sector, media, education etc. are English and Urdu.
The policy of Pakistan have favored these two languages at the expense of
others. It has also resulted in English become a symbol of the upper class,
sophistication and power. The people who speak their regional language let say
an individual who is speaking Punjabi is considered as illiterate. This is many
one of the reason that parents prefer to teach English to their children as the
English is considered as the key of prosperity, power and success.

 

The Context and Methodology:

The main purpose of our research is to
find the answer of our question that whether a child should learn his mother
tongue first then exposed to any other language or a child should learn his
mother tongue and any other foreign language simultaneously. For this purpose we
conducted our research in 7 low fee schools of Karachi (Haq Foundation
School, CSS Grammar School, Aligarh Schooling System, Usman Public School, City
Grammar School, AIMS School, IMAM Montessori School) and one Government of
Bahawalpur (Govt. Islamia girls school). We created the Google form
consisting of some questions regarding the research and ask students of NUST
and other universities including NED-UET Karachi, IST, COMSATS and few other
renowned universities of Pakistan to fill the form. We also asked from the
parents of the students that which type of school they prefer. Our schooling
system is divided into four categories Private elite English medium schools,
Private non-elite English medium school, low paid English medium school and
Government Urdu medium school. According to the survey most of the students are
currently studying in the low fees private schools because of their economical
fee structure. That is why we conducted our research in the low fees schools
and took interview from the faculty of that schools. A total of 4 school
principals, participated in the interview and almost 150 students gave their
opinion about the medium of education via the Google form.

 

Data Analysis:

Language-in-Education
Policy in Schools: Students of Different Universities      

Students are the pioneer of future and
pillars of the nation. You can never
hope for successful country if
there are no educated people and policy for better education. That is why it is
most important that in which medium they wanted to study. For this purpose we
asked the students of different universities to fill the Google form which
consist of some questions regarding our research and this form is filled by the
students of many universities including NUST and NED.

 

When students are asked to give their
opinion about the most important language in the professional life of an
individual, a vast majority of students opted English because English is the
official language of Pakistan and English is used in the corporate and
government sectors more than any other language. However some of the students
from Sindh also replied that Sindhi is used more than Urdu and even more than
English in the Government offices that is why Sindhi language also plays a
vital role in the professional life of an individual especially when the
individual belongs to Sindh. The following graph illustrates the responses of
the students.

 

 

When we asked
from the students that which is the most optimum age at which a child should be
exposed to English. Most of the students replied that at kindergarten level
students should learn the Urdu only then at primary level students should be
exposed to English and should learn English and Urdu simultaneously.

 

 

According to linguistic experts
English-medium education appears to be counter-productive as most of the
students do not get grip in English as well in their mother tongue when we
asked from the students that if they agree with this argument we get the mix
responses. Some of the students said that it is up to the intelligence of
student whether he can handle the two languages at the same time or not, but
most of the students support this argument.

 

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the research most of the
students of Pakistan are enrolled in low fees English medium school. When we
asked the students whether they are satisfied with the performance of these
type schools. Students replied that they are so called English medium school
where the teacher even do not know English and English teachers method of
teaching language is not up to the mark. They asked the students to memorize
the question rather than speaking English.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we ask the
students that which type of schools are best for language proficiency of
students. The students from different universities are of the opinion although
the private elite English medium schools are expensive but the teaching
methodology of these type of schools are better than any other schools in
Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

The most important question of our research is that what should be the
medium of education for early schooling of a child . When we asked from the
students , most of the students replied in favour of the English and almost
same amount of the students replied in favour of Urdu and comparitively low
amount of students replied in the favour of regional langauge of that language

 

         

This is also an important question that how many languages should be
taught to a child during his early schooling. The following graph illustrates
the responses of the students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we asked the students
that what strategy should be adopted for the lanuage proficiency of the
students. Most of the students replied that best strategy for the language
proficieny of an individual is that first student should get proficiency in his
mother tongue(L1) then should be exposed to other languages(L2) which is also
known as Additive Bilingualism”.

 

 

 

 

Language-in-Education
Policy in Schools: Principals and School Teachers:

The role of
the teacher represents a fundamental difference in the Language Futures
approach. Whilst the teacher may be an expert linguist with a deep
understanding of how languages are learnt, and therefore the strategies to be
used to support this, in the Language Futures classroom he or she will not be
the expert in all or even any of the languages chosen by the students. When we
asked school principals that why they do not teaches regional language to the
students (like Sindhi in Sindh) most of the school principals said that there
are no competent teachers available to us who are able to teach the regional
language to the students and it is extremely difficult for the schools to find
such teachers. When we asked the principals of some private non elite English
medium school about the performance of their school, one of the school
principal (IMAM Montessori School) of such school said;

 

But the
reality is totally opposite to this argument. Study finds out that the students
of private non- elite English medium schools and low paid English medium school
are not good at English as well as in their mother tongues because never learns to speak English or expresses
himself in English. The answers he writes in English are copied or memorized
from the book. When we asked about that what is the most optimum time at which
the schools should start teaching English to the students, principal of CSS
Grammar School said that ;

 

But the
principal of Adamjee Government Science College (Dr Naseem Haider) provided us
with totally opposite answer to the same question;

                             When we asked that
what should be the medium of instructions in the schools. School principal of
Government Islamia College replied that;

          The following is a brief account of
the opinions of the principals and teachers of different colleges and the
rationale given for the choices they make about language policy;

·       
Students
can learn mother tongue in their home.

·       
Mother
tongue is applicable only in family and friend gatherings.

·       
English
has more uses in professional life than English and Urdu

·       
Some
of the teachers supported the idea that lectures in institutions should be deliver
in Urdu because easily understand Urdu.

·       
It
is better to teach English during early schooling of the students.

·       
The
most suitable medium of education is English.

·       
It
is difficult to find the teachers of the regional languages.

·       
It
is better to teach English and Urdu to the students.

·       
It
is not good to teach many languages to the students because its lead to
linguistic confusion.

 

CONCLUSION

Due
to extensive increase in demand of English due to its uses in professional life
of professionals and academic life of an individual students are mostly
inclined towards the English language and of the opinion that students should
learn English and Urdu simultaneously, 36% are of the opinion that Urdu should
be the medium of education while almost 37% students are of the opinion that
English will be better medium of instruction because English is more applicable
in practical life. Almost all of the scientific books whether of engineering,
medical or social sciences are mostly written in English. That is why mostly
students are in the favor of teaching English from the elementary grades of the
student (almost 85% of the students who responded to our google forms). 3 out
of 4 principals who participated in the interview are also in favour of teaching
English from early stages of schooling but they are not satisfied with the
teaching methodology followed by the schools. Mostly English medium schools are
not teaching English in the appropriate way and that is one of the reason that
most of the students from such type of school are not very fluent in English
because the main focus of such schools are memorizing the course rather than
teaching English to the students. But according to our opinion teaching English
and Urdu simultaneously will only create linguistic confusions in the future.
Because student will not be able to get proficiency in either of the one
because it is the proven fact that an individual think only in one language. So
it will be better that student should get proficiency in one language and later
introduce to English or any other language. But teaching Urdu only is not the
solution too because most of the syllabus books are not available in Urdu so
this will also trouble the school if they are not familiar with English. If we
wanted Urdu medium education system in our society then it is necessary that
all the books should be translated into Urdu. So in this circumstance teaching
both English and Urdu will be better. However teaching methodology of low free
private English medium type of schools should be corrected. Debates and such
activities should be held in the school from the early classes in which
students should able to speak as much as possible because most of the students
use mother language in homes and in their daily routines and speaking English are
not in their practice. This is one of the reasons that most of the students are
not very fluent in English. But I am not in the favor of teaching regional
language such as Sindhi, Balochi etc because this will create ethnic divisions
in the society because it will be very difficult to manage this for any type of
school. Students belonging to different ethinicity wanted to learn its language
and not the other . That is why it is better that regional languages should be
limited to the home and English and Urdu should be the medium of instruction
inany institute.  

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