English Language: As a Tool of Progression – By Ramsha Maryyam
English Language: As a Tool of Progression – By Ramsha Maryyam [
Language is a tool through which we are able to communicate our thoughts and ideas. Business matters are also carried out with the help of this tool. As we live in this society, it is very important for us to learn important languages. English is the language that is politically, socially, commercially and economically important. It is spoken by United Kingdom and United States as their first language. As it is the common belief that the better the focus on this language the more the civilized people become. English is highly developed language. A lot of linguists and authors have done massive amount of contributions.
Importance of English cannot be denied but access to English is not same for everyone in Pakistan. Pakistan is divided into classes according to the economic status. There are different private schools such as Beacon House, City School, Lahore Grammar School etc. But all of the sections of societies are unable to afford them. In these schools, English is the medium of instruction and these curriculum also contains a large amount of English language and literature. This practice prepares students for various significant social roles.
English plays an important role in countries which were under the influence of British including: India, Bangladesh and Pakistan are an important part for many professional jobs. Our science subjects are also taught in this language. Books are written in this language.
However this language is a source of failure for those who are poor and cannot afford private institutions. English is important for passing CSS, MCAT, ECAT and many other equivalent examinations. We have no proper teachers of English in our rural areas. As English has its perceived superiority so it has created problems for the people of low economic status students who have no access to this language at home. This language is also considered as a threat for other local languages and culture in these countries. Henceforth, English has divided us into few elites and alot of ordinary people. We are judging people according to their language and careers.
English language is not only confined to learning stories and poems, by memorizing their texts. It is the combination of all the aspects such as grammatical, vocabulary, reading, writing, speaking and listening. In elite schools there is much more focus on skills beyond the text books. These schools help them by improving their creativity, comprehension and critical thinking skills. The public schools run by government organizations are the only schools available to lower classes. In these school, Urdu is the medium of instruction for the students. Such students are unable to interpret native accent of English people. These speaking skills of that language is poor.
The current policy planners are aiming to implement the system according to which students should be able to learn appropriately. It needs attention of scholars and researchers to perform that task. As English is a second language so it is very important to be perfect in our language skills. It is the language which is understood by majority of people. When the trend of British education system begins, the demands of their students are increasing. Government of Pakistan now-a-days are realizing the importance of communication skills of students of our country. Apart from job opportunities, in international trade whether it is online, speaking power in English and confidence matters a lot. We should learn English but it doesn’t mean that we should forget our own culture but instead we should focus on our linguistic skills to improve much better.
There are unfortunately many language policy failures that are responsible for the fractured educational system. Language commissions have failed in performing their task appropriately. English serves as a lingua franca in many work places. A research by former British colonies has been conducted and it revealed that now-a-days for public as well as private white collar jobs, people having excellent language skills are required for their recruitment and upward mobility.
All the study participants who has experienced the Matric and O- level system, declared that O-level provides better access to English. It focus on giving presentations rather memorizing text books. Matric English is mainly for the examination purpose. An administrator of private school describes the difference between the two:
“In private schools, creativity is at its peak. They gives you a random paragraph and open ended questions. We are free in giving our own opinions about a topic. Class discussions are common in elite schools, no such activities are designed.”
These are extensive writing exercises in these systems. Comprehension, summary writing, composition writing and directed writing is common in such prestigious institutions. The concepts of such students are very well. Not only these are the important factors, school environment also matters a lot. Schools encouraging an environment of English speaking tends to learn an English speaking tends to learn an English language more appropriately. As maximum exposure of learners to listen language is very important. Language labs contribute a lot in this respect. This puts more pressure on the schooling systems to promote English more. Teaching staff and students are compelled to talk in English so that the great opportunity to develop language competence. School prepares the students for the social life.
Ramsha Maryyam has a BA (Hons) in Language and Applied Linguistics from Kinnaird College for Women University. She is currently studying for her MPhil Applied Linguistics.