1. is the legacy of British Raj.

are conducted in English (Haque 1982; Rahman
2001). Rahman (2008) argues that Pakistan is a multilingual country having six
major languages. According to the 1998 population census (cited in Rahman 2008)
Punjabi is spoken by 44.15 % of the total population, Pashto 15.42%, Sindhi 14.
10%, Siraiki 10.53%, Urdu 7.57% and Balochi 3.57%. Besides these major
languages some 57 minor language are also spoken throughout the country. It is
argued that from 1846 to 1947 Pakistan has inherited certain policies of
language and education from British India

He argues that working of federal and provincial
governments, proceeding of courts, and communication in the field of science,
technology, information, industrial and business sectors is carried out in

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Private schools offer ‘quality’ education to
elite children in highly resourced classrooms through the medium of English.
The outcomes for these children, who also have acquisition-rich home
environments, are higher levels of proficiency in English compared to those
children studying in poorly resourced classrooms who have little or no exposure
to English outside the 30–35-minute English class every day in school

This discussion also shows that parallel system
of education in Pakistan is the legacy of British Raj. The parallel system of
education favours the rich and elite, and the majority of people in Pakistan
cannot afford quality English medium education.

). Joseph (2006) argues that “language
determines who stands where in social hierarchy, who can be entrusted with
power and responsibility. There is further linguistic-political dimension in
how those in power or desiring power deploy language in order to achieve their

All native languages of Pakistan should be given
liberty to flourish and this will ensure the preservation of our languages,
culture, unity and pride by ensuring respect among the various ethnic and
distinctive groups of Pakistani nationhood.

The terms ‘Urdu medium’ and ‘English medium’ in
Pakistan are heavily loaded with economic and socio-cultural connotations.
Hence their use denotes more than just the medium of instruction through which
a person has studied in school or in an institution of higher education. In
fact, a person with an ‘English medium’ education is considered superior in all
dimensions compared to someone with an Urdu medium educational background. Thus
we seem to be moving towards a state of language apartheid.

? The exercise hypothesis: ? Early in life, humans have a
superior capacity for acquiring languages. If the capacity is not “exercised”
during this time, it will disappear or decline with maturation. If the capacity
IS exercised, however, further language learning abilities will remain intact
throughout life 2 interpretations of Critical Period Linguistic input Critical
Period continuous learning impoverished learning

the first language continues to be supported as
the learning of second language is also fostered ? Subtractive bilingual
environment: the second language is supported at the expense of the first

Multitude of determining factors (e.g.,
individual, home, school, community, nation, incentives to speak multiple
languages, society’s attitude towards groups that speak different languages) ?BICS:
Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills Everyday face-to-face conversation
within context High-frequency words Emphasis on fluency Develop in 1-3 years in
young children?BICS:
Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills Everyday face-to-face conversation
within context High-frequency words Emphasis on fluency Develop in 1-3 years in
young children?CALP:
Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency Abstract thinking and reasoning
abilities normally tied to literacy (e.g., mathematical and counterfactual
thinking) Low-frequency words Develops more slowly and graduallyAbstract
thinking and reasoning abilities cultivated through L1 may be transferred to L2
Discontinuity in learning age-appropriate skills/abilities in L1 (Tagalog in
Maui’s case) may slow down academic development in L2

The report said the
existence of pseudo English-medium schools was rampant in Pakistani society,
which claimed to have English as a medium of instruction but the entire
conversation and communication between the students and teachers was in Urdu.

Prof Chris Kennedy, a
research fellow at the University of Birmingham, stressed that initial learning
should be imparted to children in their mother tongue.

and writer Ghazi Salahuddin said proficiency in English or any other second
language could not be ensured without imparting education to the school
beginners in their first language. He said children’s genius could only
flourish by teaching them in their first language. He said English would remain
a barrier to progress in Pakistan until this fact was recognised.

14.   Dr Shahid Siddiqui, a linguistics scholar,
discussed historical perspective of language evolution in Pakistan. Stressing
the connection between the language and society, he termed linguistic capital a
pivotal force guiding economic, cultural and social capital of any society.

15.   At the time of independence, he said, Urdu
became a strong language in Pakistan and now the same was true for English.

16.   Dr Siddiqui stated that 27 out of 67
languages currently being spoken in Pakistan were endangered.

17.   Earlier, British Council’s Director
English Mussarat Shahid shared the key findings of the research and vowed that
the council would go the extra mile to bridge the gap between the
ever-increasing demand for the English language and the supply of
fully-equipped institutions in this regard.

18.   She also highlighted the salient features
of the Punjab Education and English Language Initiative (PEELI) launched by the
British Council.

there is no doubt about it that in a world of
global interdependence and mass communication, knowing more than one language
is a key factor for economic, societal and educational success.

When we try to peep into our classrooms, we find
not only English but other disciplines at all levels in general and at tertiary
level in particular are taught with a blend of English and Urdu/native language
in Pakistan’s higher education institutes. Despite knowing this ground reality
unofficially, the official medium of instruction is said to be English at
higher level. This dichotomy appears because the amount of research done and
data collected in this field have not been presented before us in a systematic
and coherent manner; as a result we have developed an apologetic attitude about
the use of native language, especially in our classrooms. Here the question
arises: Why don’t we accept this reality? The answer is: We are biased. The
factors responsible for this include the low status given to the use of native
language in classrooms and other professional scenarios. As mentioned earlier,
in Pakistan people have a bit apologetic attitude towards Urdu/native language,
and that is why they shy away in accepting that they use Urdu/native language
in various real life situations such as in classes, at work places, in the
market, at social gatherings, during interpersonal and even intrapersonal
communication. In addition, other factors are the international importance
given to English language and the myth about English medium institutes in urban
areas as keys to success in life in the modern world. This biased view is
further strengthened by the transitional approaches of teaching of English as a
second/foreign language that aim at teaching target language through the target
language medium. Hence, when we look at bilingualism in this perspective, we
find why research in this field has been hindered a lot. However, this
continual hesitation for researching the potentials of this field is not going to
get us anywhere in a world where bilingualism is Explorations Volume 21 (2010)
69 being explored with a great momentum and programmes like immersion
education, inclusive education, Content and Language Integrated Learning
(CLIL/EMILE, 2002), dual language education, etc. are becoming the norm that
are allowing the use of more than one language in education keeping in view the
benefits this approach has

according to Baker (2001), it refers to
education in more than one language, often encompassing more than two
languages. Its importance has been internationally realized in recent years. In
1953, UNESCO, responding to the educational failure of children in colonial
situations, issued an important resolution declaring: On educational grounds we
recommend that the use of the mother tongue be extended to as late a stage in
education as possible. In particular, pupils should begin their schooling
through the medium of the mother tongue because they understand it best and
because to begin their school life in the mother tongue will make the break
between home and school as small as possible (UNESCO, 2003). The challenge of
twenty-first century is to prepare learners to balance their own linguistic
ecology (Fettes, 2003), enabling them to go freely back and forth in their
overlapping languages and literacies. Mühlhäusler’s “ecological approach”
(2000, 2002) calls for “a situation of equilibrium whereby languages
automatically readjust themselves to fit into the environment, and perpetuate
themselves through language contact, rather than isolation”(Tsai, 2005: 11). At
the same time, in the twenty-first century we are aware of the linguistic
complexity of the world in which monolingual education seems utterly
inappropriate. Language differences are seen as a resource, and bilingual
education, in all its complexity and forms, seems to be the only way to educate
as the world moves forward. This development is shown in Figure 1.