[lg policy] English Language Teaching in Pakistan: Language Policies, Delusions and Solutions

Abdul Manan . rm_manan at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 3 18:06:20 UTC 2015


  EnglishLanguage Teaching in Pakistan: Language Policies, Delusions and SolutionsEnglish Language Education Policy in AsiaVolume 11 of the series Language Policy pp219-244Springer  http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-22464-0_10?wt_mc=alerts.TOCseries  1        Syed Abdul Manan 2.       Maya Khemlani David3.        Francisco Perlas Dumanig      AbstractEnglish is perceived as a passport tobetter employment and upward social mobility in Pakistan. In a societycharacterized by acute class division and intense class consciousness, parentsfrom the lower, lower middle or working strata of society aspire to enrolltheir children in the English-medium schools. Public demand for English mediumschooling has led to an exponential growth of low-fee/low-cost schools over thelast two decades where “by the end of 2005, one in every three enrolledchildren at the primary level was studying in a private school” (Coleman, H.(2010). The English language in development (p. 10). London:British Council). Importantly, behind the rapid spread and intense pursuit ofEnglish medium schooling is also a belief that the earlier the child is exposedto the English language, the faster she/he will learn the language. Employing amixed methodology, this study analyzes English-medium policy in 11 low-feeprivate schools in part of Pakistan. Based on evidence gathered through multipleresearch tools such as a questionnaire survey, classroom observation andinterviews with students, teachers, school principals and experts observers,the study finds that early English-medium policy appears counterproductive asmost students demonstrate poor English language proficiency. Factors such asunavailability of qualified English teachers, poor pedagogies, socioculturaldynamics, and overall institutional weaknesses contribute to the failure of thepolicy. The study concludes that the maximum exposure and greater learningbeliefs associated with earlier English teaching are delusional as thosebeliefs are underpinned neither by theories of bilingual/multilingual educationnor by the schools and social environment of the children. We argue that in broaderterms, the English-only policy poses potential reductionist effects on existinglanguage ecology, and English-medium private schooling furthers socioeconomicdisparities between the haves and the have-nots. Therefore, we propose that theearly-English policy may be reviewed, and replaced by mother tongue basedmultilingual policy. English is an important language; therefore, it may betaught as a language rather than as a medium at the primary level. As qualityEnglish-medium schooling stands the preserve of the elites only; therefore, weadvocate for the democratization of English and its equitable distributionacross all strata of society.Keywords·        Low-feeschools·        English-mediumpolicy ·        Mothertongue based multilingual education ·        Languagepolicy and planning Pakistan·         EarlyEnglish-medium education·         Additivebi/multilingual education ·        Institutionalpreparedness ·        Sociolinguistic/ethnolinguisticrealities versus English-medium education    
 

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Today's Topics:

  1. Linguist List Issue: Multilingualism in the Chinese Diaspora
      Worldwide: Wei, Martin-Jones (eds.) (The LINGUIST List)
  2. South Africa: Stellies 'committed to multilingualism' as
      council rejects new language policy (Harold Schiffman)
  3. South Africa: Stellenbosch Uni?s defence of Afrikaans wins
      day; but what?s true motive? (Harold Schiffman)
  4. Rise of the multilingual boss creates a ?monoglot ceiling?
      (Harold Schiffman)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2015 11:09:30 -0500 (EST)
From: The LINGUIST List <linguist at linguistlist.org>
Subject: [lg policy] Linguist List Issue: Multilingualism in the
    Chinese Diaspora Worldwide: Wei, Martin-Jones (eds.)
To: lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
Message-ID: <1461490276.4921449158970804.JavaMail.railo at server>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8


HFS thought you might be interested in this item from the LINGUIST List
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HFS says ...


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Message1: Multilingualism in the Chinese Diaspora Worldwide: Wei, Martin-Jones (eds.)
Date:01-Dec-2015
From:Giana Georgi Giana.Georgi at taylorandfrancis.com
LINGUIST List issue http://linguistlist.org/issues/26/26-5377.html

 




Title: Multilingualism in the Chinese Diaspora Worldwide 
Subtitle: Transnational Connections and Local Social Realities 
Series Title: Routledge Critical Studies in Multilingualism  

Publication Year: 2015 
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
      http://www.routledge.com/
    

Book URL: http://bit.ly/1Rjy4lT


Editor: Li Wei
Editor: Marilyn Martin-Jones

Hardback: ISBN:  Pages: 324 Price: U.S. $ 145.00

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
                    Sociolinguistics


Written In: English  (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/get-book.html?BookID=95094



Also you can take a look at it by visiting
http://linguistlist.org/issues/26/26-5377.html

Read other LINGUIST List posts:
http://linguistlist.org/issues/index.cfm

Get your own free subscription to The LINGUIST List:
http://linguistlist.org/LL/subs-index.cfm






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Message: 2
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2015 11:13:00 -0500
From: Harold Schiffman <hfsclpp at gmail.com>
Subject: [lg policy] South Africa: Stellies 'committed to
    multilingualism' as council rejects new language policy
To: lp <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
Message-ID:
    <CAB7VSRABNqB1qJbxUxsAk-f7ZhrcdpG0rnVFprzqb_PbWpPGZw at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

 Stellies 'committed to multilingualism' as council rejects new language
policy
<http://capetalk.co.za/articles/10065/stellies-committed-to-multilingualism-as-council-rejects-language-policy>
2
December 2015 5:48 PM

The Stellenbosch University’s council rejected the proposed language policy
<http://ewn.co.za/2015/12/02/Maties-SRC-to-continue-put-pressure-on-management>
to make English the primary language at the historically Afrikaans tertiary
institution.

Instead, council voted to retain the current language policy
<http://ewn.co.za/2015/12/01/Stellenbosch-Current-language-policy-wont-promote-inclusivity>
which places the languages at an equal status.

Communications manger, Susan van der Merwe, said the decision will allow
for the institution to expand on parallel medium learning, giving English
and Afrikaans equal status.

*Listen to the full conversation from The John Maytham Show:*
Primedia Broadcasting
Stellenbosch University on contested language policy changesStellenbosch
University on contested language policy changes
00:00 | 07:32

The crux is that we want to ensure that English and Afrikaans does not
exclude a student from a full academic offering. We want to be a
multi-lingual institution and there is an enriching factor for the students
in that.

http://capetalk.co.za/articles/10065/stellies-committed-to-multilingualism-as-council-rejects-language-policy


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Message: 3
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2015 11:15:34 -0500
From: Harold Schiffman <hfsclpp at gmail.com>
Subject: [lg policy] South Africa: Stellenbosch Uni?s defence of
    Afrikaans wins day; but what?s true motive?
To: lp <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
Message-ID:
    <CAB7VSRC_5uO6+uuSw7DLm4wK90PLTrMtF_=Eia_L-t54eYF9dg at mail.gmail.com>
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Stellenbosch Uni’s defence of Afrikaans wins day; but what’s true motive?
<?subject=Stellenbosch%20Uni%E2%80%99s%20defence%20of%20Afrikaans%20wins%20day;%20but%20what%E2%80%99s%20true%20motive?&body=https://www.biznews.com/leadership/2015/12/02/stellenbosch-unis-defence-of-afrikaans-wins-day-but-whats-true-motive/>

*Afrikaans is under sustained attack. Its antagonists, led by a group
calling itself Open Stellenbosch
<http://www.biznews.com/briefs/2015/12/01/open-stellenbosch-language-changed-rejected-opposes-transformation/>,
believe their actions are justifiable. Behind the rhetoric is the
retribution for the Apartheid Government’s idiotic 1976 attempt to push the
language deeper into Sowetan schools. That the riots it sparked happened
almost 40 years ago, seems to matter little to the revenge seekers. Because
on any rational assessment, that is the only motive which would have driven
the concerted attempt to eject the language from the tribe’s spiritual
heart at Stellenbosch University. Afrikaners are critically important
contributors to the health of the South African economy, providing the
biggest slug of private income tax and playing an enormous role in keeping
the country’s wheels turning. Although many Afrikaners have emigrated, by
far the majority have committed themselves to a long term future in the
land of their forefathers. Needlessly attacking their language and the
institutions they created and hold dear, is irrational. Historian and
academic Hermann Giliomee applied his mind to the attack on Afrikaans – and
the spirited defence. This piece is republished with kind permission of
Giliomee and Politicsweb. – Alec Hogg    *

*By Hermann Giliomee**

“Enjoy the war, the peace will be much worse”. These words were spoken by a
member of the Council of Stellenbosch University (SU) during a seven hours
debate yesterday on a future language policy.

A very ugly peace would have broken out had the university’s top management
succeeded in getting their proposal accepted to make English the primary
medium of instruction and communication and the compulsory medium of
discussion at all university committees and assemblies. Afrikaans would
have been driven out from the class and committee rooms, leading to a
vicious backlash.
[image: The Ou Hoofgebou (Former Main Administration building, now the Law
Faculty) on Stellenbosch University campus.]
<http://www.biznews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Stellenbosch_University.jpg>The
Ou Hoofgebou (Former Main Administration building, now the Law Faculty) on
Stellenbosch University campus.

A year ago Council endorsed a policy in terms of which Afrikaans and
English would enjoy equal status as a medium of instruction and
communication. On 12 November the management suddenly drew a line through
that language policy to come up with one that one that installed English –
which it called “the common language of the country” – in a paramount
position and even insisted that it could be implemented from early next
year.

Since the Council, according to the Statute, has the final say on the
language matters the administration seemed to show it a middle finger. To
make matters worse the Senate, made up of university professors, backed the
executive, although it must have known that its vote was out of order.

The Council, to its credit, refused to be intimidated. One-fifth of Council
members were elected by the Convocation of alumni and the donors and they
run the risk of being thrown out at the next election if they appear weak
on maintaining Afrikaans on the campus. In recent times some illustrious
public figures have suffered painful defeats in Convocation elections.

Read also: Stellenbosch University: 30 000+ in bid to retain Afrikaans as
default language
<http://www.biznews.com/briefs/2015/11/30/stellenbosch-university-30-000-in-bid-to-retain-afrikaans-as-default-language/>

In the Council meeting the threat of the executive being repudiated hung in
the air but in the end sanity prevailed. It decided not to censure the
Executive and to revert to the 50-50 policy for Afrikaans and English.

What was completely unanticipated in 1994, when South Africa made its
transition to an inclusive democracy, was that at the campuses of the
Historically Afrikaans Universities Afrikaans-speaking academics and top
executives would take the initiative in steadily reducing the Afrikaans
offer. Narrowly pursuing their own individual or corporate interests, this
group did not feel accountable to students, parents, clients or the
Afrikaans community.

Referring to their actions, Gerrit Komrij, a Dutch literary critic, in 2003
described Afrikaans as*lewenddood *(alive-dead). He pointed out that an
elite was busily amputating limbs from Afrikaans despite the fact that the
body was healthy, and indeed alive and kicking. He concluded that as far as
the future of Afrikaans was concerned, the greatest threat to Afrikaans was
Afrikaans-speakers themselves. Over the next twelve years
Afrikaans-speakers had a leading hand in smothering Afrikaans on campuses
where they were in a position of power.

The mistake the present SU executive made was to try to get rid of
Afrikaans as university language as soon as possible. One could also call
it a *blitzkrieg*. What would have happened had the executive got its way?
A pointer is a poll conducted in 2008 by Lawrence Schlemmer.

Commissioned by the SU Council, he conducted a comprehensive attitude
survey of the language preferences of Stellenbosch students. It found that
only 15 per cent of Afrikaans would accept a policy that would make English
the only medium of instruction and more than two-thirds would be very
dissatisfied. More than 40 per cent of English speakers would regret it.

At the other end of the spectrum stands Open Stellenbosch, a small,
predominantly black pressure group that was instrumental in forcing US
management’s hand. One spokesmen responded to Monday’s decision to revert
to the 50-50 policy by calling the Council “incompetent” and “ignorant
about transformation.” Another spokesman said that Council missed the
chance to start the process of transformation but had chosen to preserve
the status quo.

It is a mystery how the US Executive could have allowed itself to be backed
into in a position where it was seen to have capitulated to this small
group. Piet le Roux, one of the younger Council members did not hide his
delight about Council’s decision. “This is victory for Afrikaans …it would
have been unthinkable that a few months after the Council adopted the plan
to give Afrikaans and English equal status to relegate Afrikaans to an
inferior position.”

In Monday’s meeting Council also withdrew its complaint against Le Roux who
had tweeted “Blade Nzimande and transformania will not triumph. Support the
new Afrikaans Alumni Association.”

In a certain sense we have a return of history. During the 1920s and 1930s
when the two white communities referred to themselves as two different
“races”, some English newspapers and politicians criticized the growing
demands of Afrikaners for single-medium institutions as a form of ‘racism’.

The Afrikaans language was of lesser importance than the task of welding
the two races into a nation. At some point in the 1920s the writer C.J.
Langenhoven replied by asking an English politician the simple question:
‘Why is my politics always racism and your racism always politics?’

He satirized the approach of the nation-builders as follows: ‘Friends, let
us make peace and keep the peace. Let the lion and the lamb graze together,
the lamb on the pasture and the lion on the lamb … The lamb will soon be
part of the lion. The lamb will get the honour and the lion the pleasure.”

In recent times a similar dynamic had developed with bodies like Open
Stellenbosch demanding the pleasure of devouring the Afrikaans lamb at
Stellenbosch. For the moment the US Council has managed to ward off the
threat.

https://www.biznews.com/leadership/2015/12/02/stellenbosch-unis-defence-of-afrikaans-wins-day-but-whats-true-motive/


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Message: 4
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2015 11:20:04 -0500
From: Harold Schiffman <hfsclpp at gmail.com>
Subject: [lg policy] Rise of the multilingual boss creates a ?monoglot
    ceiling?
To: lp <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
Message-ID:
    <CAB7VSRCii-SF3qw6EnvrDozZ2fU+YAEvUf-cGUbhPZ4HgM6ikQ at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this
article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article.
See our Ts&Cs <http://www.ft.com/servicestools/help/terms> and Copyright
Policy <http://www.ft.com/servicestools/help/copyright> for more detail.
Email ftsales.support at ft.com to buy additional rights.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0dbf22c2-9824-11e5-95c7-d47aa298f769.html#ixzz3tH7jIKgC

[image: Financial Times] <http://www.ft.com>
ft.com <http://www.ft.com>/management <http://www.ft.com/management>

December 2, 2015 12:50 pm
Rise of the multilingual boss creates a ‘monoglot ceiling’
<http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0dbf22c2-9824-11e5-95c7-d47aa298f769.html#>

  -


Having another language can aid your brain. Not having one can hurt your
promotion chances

When Isabelle Allen joined KPMG
<http://www.ft.com/topics/organisations/KPMG> in 1991, she says, the
professional services group valued, promoted and rewarded those people who
had deep expertise.

“We were looking for people who were master of a task and getting better at
doing the same task year on year,” says the French executive, who is now
global head of sales and markets at KPMG.

Andrew Hill

*irst*FT is our new essential daily email briefing of the best stories from
across the web

These days, the company is looking for breadth as well as depth, seeking
staff “who thrive on change, people who are comfortable with ambiguity —
solvers of problems that didn’t even exist two years ago”.

Having studied the latest research into the cognitive benefits of
multi­lingualism, Ms Allen wonders whether knowledge of foreign languages
may be one hidden signpost pointing towards those future stars.

“The multilingual brain might actually be better at doing business than the
monolingual brain,” says Antonella Sorace, professor of developmental
linguistics at the University of Edinburgh.

Multinational companies have long recognised the functional benefits of
multilingualism as a bridge between business cultures. Not speaking other
languages may even be a block to promotion these days, according to early
findings from the British Academy’s Born Global research
<http://www.britac.ac.uk/policy/Born_Global.cfm> into language policy in
the UK.

“We are being told that there’s a ‘glass ceiling’ developing for monoglots
within global businesses,” says Richard Hardie, who chairs UBS in London
and heads the Born Global steering committee. Staff will not get into “the
more rarefied atmosphere” of the senior ranks unless they have had
“overseas experience, cultural awareness and probably have [another]
language”.

Increasingly, though, there are other ways to achieve operational
efficiency in foreign languages. Google Translate
<http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/8cae0fec-3aac-11e5-bbd1-b37bc06f590c.html#axzz3t59QQKCm>and
other machine applications seem to be eroding one justification for
learning languages, by performing — adequately, if not perfectly — some of
the basic functions of translation. Native English speakers can simply take
advantage of the rest of the world’s desire to learn the lingua franca of
international business. Even non-English speakers can avoid the wearying
long route to fluency in English and take a short-cut to Globish
<http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/f1672ac0-69e4-11df-a978-00144feab49a.html#axzz3t59QQKCm>,
a system that teaches a basic working vocabulary of 1,500 words.

If they do so, however, they may potentially miss out on the cognitive
advantages of learning and speaking other languages, according to much
recent scientific research.

*How to talk the talk *

• Build language training and hiring of multilingual staff into longer-term
strategic plans for executive development.
• As managers, set an example by learning and speaking other languages.
• Champion policies to support multilingual workers and language-learners.
• Include multilingualism as one attribute for members of diverse teams.
• Don’t forget the importance of written communication: develop or hire
people who can write as well as speak foreign languages.

Researchers at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University found, for instance,
that people seem to make more rational decisions
<http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001002771300228X> in
their second language — possibly because it distances them from the
decision. Other benefits could include a greater ability to negotiate —
because multilingual people can see others’ perspectives more easily
<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3593058/> — improved capacity
to switch between tasks, and a greater focus and ability to set priorities.

It makes no difference whether the second language is widely spoken, such
as English or Hindi, or a less common language such as Gaelic, says
Italian-born Prof Sorace, who is also founder of Bilingualism Matters
<http://www.bilingualism-matters.ppls.ed.ac.uk/>, set up to spread
science-based information about languages and language-learning.

Languages acquired later in life can have the same effect. As well as
hiring more multilinguals, companies should devote more time to training
language skills, work with universities to promote the research, and
support the workforce in raising multilingual families, says Prof Sorace.

Sending English-speakers to foreign postings, she points out, “is a
wonderful opportunity for the children to learn languages, rather than
being protected in an English-only environment”.

It still takes time, though, to get fluent enough in a language to find it
useful in business — and linguistic ability is not a catch-all way of
overcoming cultural differences in business.

When Jo Dawson, who studied German and Swedish at Cambridge university,
went to work in financial services, friends said, “You’re not using your
languages — you’ve given up. Why did you bother studying?” Now an executive
coach with The Alexander Partnership, she notices that senior managers with
English as a second language still cannot “read” a room of native
English-speakers or uncover others’ hidden agendas. They do not know “what
people are really saying”, she says.

Cultural blindness such as this may not have much to do with whether
executives speak another language, says KPMG’s Ms Allen: “I’ve met a lot of
people who are totally monolingual and can’t read a room.”

A more serious concern is that time spent learning a language could be
better spent acquiring other skills, some of which — such as learning to
play a musical instrument — also offer proven benefits for the brain
<http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/44993988-6f65-11df-9f43-00144feabdc0.html>.

Bill Anderson, a senior vice-president at Pearson English, which recently
hosted, with the Financial Times, a discussion on bilingualism’s challenges
and opportunities, warns that tight annual operating budgets do not allow
for long-term language-learning goals. Make a “short-term commitment [to
language courses] and you will get very short-term benefits”, he says.

Pearson (until this week the parent company of the FT) is devoting energy
to measuring the return on investment from the language services it sells
but Mr Anderson says that clients claim an improvement in productivity of
45 hours a year for each staff member they put through English classes.
Prof Sorace says: “It is not an either/or choice: having languages can
benefit whatever one does.”

Some research suggests that the ef­fects of language learning on the brain
— specifically in improving multilinguals’ ability to screen out irrelevant
information and set priorities — may not be as dramatic
<http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/bilingual-advantage-aging-brain>
as first thought. One paper <http://pss.sagepub.com/content/26/1/99> shows
academic journals prefer to publish positive studies about bilingualism.
Your opinion
Should companies spend more on teaching foreign languages to their staff?
YesNoOther:
VoteView Results

Even so, there is no evidence that multilinguals are disadvantaged and, as
they become more interested in their staff’s cognitive potential,
businesses see an opportunity to reap any benefits. Ms Allen says companies
have not done a good job of “harnessing the huge pool of potential of all
the people around the world that are multilingual”.

In countries where many languages and dialects are spoken — or among
immigrant communities — having to know more than one tongue is sometimes
regarded as a burden, rather than an asset.

Even those countries that take bilingualism for granted — Norway or the
Netherlands, for example — tend to focus on the most direct advantages.

Where does this cognitive and cultural head-start in business leave
citizens of countries that are more resolutely monolingual?

Training in how to handle cross-border business is helpful in bridging the
gap, but, referring to the UK’s position as the EU laggard in language
skills, Mr Hardie warns against falling behind in the linguistic chase.

“Others will continue to widen their language base,” he says, “but we can
at least get into third gear and give a reasonable proportion of the ‘born
global’ generation the chance to operate as global players.”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0dbf22c2-9824-11e5-95c7-d47aa298f769.html#axzz3tH7J2aOo


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