Situation of English Language Teaching
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The English language is widely acknowledged to be the language of modern times; it is an international language for communication and education. English, according to the Time Almanac (2010), is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is spoken by approximately 1000 million people, which constitute almost 16 percent of the world‟s population. The vibrant use of English in all nooks and corners of the non-English speaking world has outnumbered native speakers by non-native users, involving 80% use of English between L2 speakers. (Deterding, 2006; Sarwar, 2001; Benecke, 1991; Crystal, 2000; 2003). It is so widely spoken that besides the internal varieties of English (varieties spoken within English speaking countries), the non-native English speaking part of the world has coined their own varieties of English, for example South East Asian English, Singaporean English, African English, and Nigerian English.
Pakistan has rich repository of language with Urdu as national language while hundreds of regional languages. Attitude of Pakistani society towards English has always remained ambivalent as it is language of Colonizers. This language has always been given status of outsider but on the same time it has been used to create a social identity. According to recent researches English is fast spreading in Pakistan, with 18 million Pakistanis (11% of the population) having a command over the English language, which makes it the 9th Largest English Speaking Nation in the world and the 3rd largest in Asia. Some people consider it second language while others call it foreign language. So before going further it is important to differentiate between second language and foreign language. Attitude and Motivation:
Attitude and motivation are closely related to each other. Learners‟ attitude towards English language basically determines their motivation. The relationship between motivation and attitude has been considered a prime concern in language learning research. Gardner and Lambert (1972) state that “his [the learner] motivation to learn is thought to be determined by his attitude towards the other group in particular and by his orientation towards the learning task itself”. Gardner (1985: 10) also sees attitudes as components of motivation in language learning. According to him, ‘motivation … refers to the combination of effort plus desire to achieve the goal of learning the language plus favorable attitudes toward learning the language’. McDonough (1983, p.142) states that “motivation of the students is one of the most important factors influencing their success or failure in learning the language”.
Another factor is learners‟ attitudes. This is because an ESL/EFL learner‟s motivation in language learning is affected by his/her attitudes towards learning the language. MOTIVATION: Motivation is a desire to achieve a goal, combined with the energy to work towards that goal. Brown (2000) asserts that studies of motivation of second/foreign language learners often refer to a distinction between two types of motivation namely, instrumental versus integrative motivation. Gardner (1983, p. 203) defines instrumental motivation as “learning a language because of someone or less clearly perceived utility it might have for the learner”.
More specifically, a learner is instrumentally motivated when he/she wants to learn a language “to pass an examination, to use it in one’s job, to use it in holiday in the country, as a change from watching television, because the educational system requires it” (Wilkins, 1972, p.184).On the other hand, integrative motivation was defined as “learning a language because the learner wishes to identify himself with or become integrated into the society” of the target language (Gardner, 1983, p.203). Therefore, a learner is integratively motivated when he/she learns a language because he/she wants to “know more of the culture and values of the foreign language group… to make contact with the speakers of the languages… to live in the country concerned” (Wilkins, 1972, p.184).
Integrative motivation is further divided in two types as: Assimilative motivation Affiliative motivation
It is a strong motivation to “belong” to the target group (give up one’s own culture to assimilate into the target culture).
It is a weak motivation and a desire for wider social contact with target language speakers. The Gardnerian theory of SLA motivation is based on the definition of motivation as “the extent to which the individual works or strives to learn the language because of a desire to do so and the satisfaction experienced in this activity” (Gardner, 1985). Gardner (1985) explored four other motivational orientations: Reason for learning, Desire to attain the learning goal, Positive attitude toward the learning situation, and Effortful behavior Gardner (1985) describes core second language learning motivation as a construct composed of three characteristics: 5 English Language Teaching Situation in Pakistan
The attitudes towards learning a language (affect), The desire to learn the language (want) and Motivational intensity (effort) B- Vroom (1964): Expectancy Value Theories: Learners’ motivation to acquire a second language is determined by: Effort Valence (perception of degree of attractiveness of goals/ its value) Expectancy (perception of the probability of attaining the goals) Ability (appraisal of their ability to achieve the goals). Instrumentality (connection of success and reward)
C- Oxford and Shearin (1994): They analyzed a total of 12 motivational theories or models, including those from socio-psychology, cognitive development, and socio-cultural psychology, and identified six factors that impact motivation in language learning: attitudes (i.e., sentiments toward the learning community and the target language) beliefs about self (i.e., expectancies about one’s attitudes to succeed, self-efficacy, and anxiety) goals (perceived clarity and relevance of learning goals as reasons for learning) involvement (i.e., extent to which the learner actively and consciously participates in the language learning process) environmental support (i.e., extent of teacher and peer support, and the integration of cultural and outside-of-class support into learning experience) Personal attributes (i.e., aptitude, age, sex, and previous language learning experience). 6 English Language Teaching Situation in Pakistan
These three theories are very much pertinent in Pakistani context as English is a foreign language. So it is very important to know which factor pushes Pakistani Learners to learn this language. The value which is attached to different languages actually determines the desire of learner to learn those languages.
Sources of Motivation
There are two main sources of motivation. intrinsic motivation extrinsic motivation In second language learning extrinsic motivation creates intrinsic motivation. Like prestige through language creates a desire inside a person to learn the language to gain high social identity. Extrinsic motivation is actually the external factors that push a learner to learn second language. These external factors are the social needs and these needs also act as an attitude of a learner towards language learning. Some of the needs are mentioned below: Fulfill school/university requirements Function and compete effectively in the global economy of today and the future Increase job opportunities and salary potential Develop intercultural sensitivity, increasing global understanding Improve English vocabulary and language proficiency in order to communicate with members of that language community. Improve critical and creative thinking skills Improve one’s education Enhance travel and study abroad opportunities 7 English Language Teaching Situation in Pakistan
Enjoy great literary and musical masterpieces and films in their original language Improve likelihood of acceptance into university and graduate schools Increase understanding of people in own country Gain social power (prestige)
Social need of English Language in Pakistan Pakistan and its educational system have cherished a long history of English language; it has indeed been recognized as one of the two official languages of the region. The English language has been an integral part of official, economic, educational and social life in Pakistan since its creation in 1947. Pakistan has shared its history of the use of English with India, much before the Partition of the Sub-Continent of Asia into India and Pakistan. English was first introduced in the Sub-Continent in 16th century by British Raj as a method to weaken cultural roots of Indians.
“Macaulay famous Minutes on Indian Education” 1835 are clear evidence of political conspiracy of British raj against Indian local languages. Since then it is enjoying political and social privilege which no Indian language is able to attain. At the time of partition of Pakistan and India, the English language was already so integrated into all walks of life that it gained the status of second official language in India and Pakistan. During the British Raj (16th to the middle of 20th century), people learned English either by the direct contact with native speakers of English or formally from schools. Even in schools, there were not enough British teachers to meet the demand; most of the school teachers were local. After the British left, schools and colleges were left with the English teachers being mostly 8 English Language Teaching Situation in Pakistan
trained local educators (Mahboob, 2009). The preceding generations were then trained by the local teachers, having little contact with the native speakers of the language. Slowly and gradually, the language got coated by the vernacular language and the natives of the region indigenized the language, hence converting it into another variety of English which is called Pakistani English. Such lexical borrowing is the direct result of constant contact of two or more languages (Baumgardner & Kennedy, 1993).
Most of the speakers of English in Pakistan identify themselves as the speakers of Pakistani English rather than British or American English. So when we say that the English language is so common in the social life of Pakistan and that most of the population is exposed to the English language through media and the newspapers, most of it is Pakistani English (Baumgardner 1993). We can coin another term Pakinglish— the Pakistani variety of English. This situation results in conflict between what is prevalent at large and what the teachers are supposed to teach in the schools. Mahboob (2002) throws an interesting question into this debate: How can we expect locally trained English language teachers, who are highly exposed to and are trained locally in the Pakinglish variety of the English, to teach the standard British English? On the final exams too, the examiners expect the students to observe the British standard of English.
This paradox for sure is one of the challenges that English language teaching situation facing in Pakistan. Granted that English has always been a dominant language in Pakistan, it has seen so many political ebbs and flows. During the regime of General Zia-ul-Haq, which lasted from 1977 to 1988, all the English medium schools were strictly instructed to switch to Urdu language, strict enough to damage the status of the English language in Pakistan.
However, the governments after the Zia tenure, like those of Benazir Bhutto (1988-1990 and 1993-1996) and General Mussarraf (2001-2007) mostly supported English language in schools as an essential tool of progress. That is how the language started reclaiming its lost status. Even today, Pakistan lacks specialized and proficient English teachers. In this situation, the schools and colleges both in the public and private sector ask the teachers who are better at English than others to teach English. It leaves some individuals with no language teaching training and proper English language background teaching English to hundreds and hundreds of the students (Mehboob & Talaat 2008).
English ESL/EFL in Pakistan:
In some non-English speaking countries, English has assumed the status of official language. Pakistan, for example, is such a country where English is an official language. All government documents, military communications, many shop signs, business contracts and other activities are done in English. The language of the court is also English (Mahboob, 2009). English in Pakistan is used as an official and a second language. It is spoken and used by a relatively small but extremely influential portion of country‟s population in the domain of government administration, law, the military, the higher education, commerce and mass media (Baumgardner 1993:43). As it is Pakistan‟s official language, so all official record is kept in English language. Official letters, summons etc. all are written in English language. Though medium of oral communication in all professional institutions is more or less regional language depending on the area where that communication is taking place.
It is difficult to define English as second or foreign language Pakistan. English is the language of higher education and wider education and not the home language of the population except in the upper strata of society where it is spoken as a status symbol. As majority of the population cannot speak and understand English so it can be categorized under foreign language. Unfortunately British Raj agenda to incorporate English in the lives of colonized and devalue local languages has been extended by the government of Pakistani sovereign state as well. Thus English with its controversial position enjoys „higher status‟ and plays a vital role in all major domains of power, which, as a result, motivates adults, well aware of the linguistic utility in socially prestigious networks, to learn it for a better future in emerging markets of the city. (Mansoor, 2005; Haq, 1993; Rahman, 1999). Education is also playing important role in influencing status of English as second/ foreign language and it is also being influenced by English language. As education is job oriented in Pakistan. People get education to get a good job. Mode and medium of instruction as well as importance of certain subjects all are socially determined.
People who are living in an English-speaking community/country are learning
English as their SECOND language. “The learner of the second language is surrounded by stimulation, both visual and auditory, in the target language and thus has many motivational and instructional advantages.” (Oxford & Shearin, 1994)
As for those who are not living in an English-speaking community/country, they are learning English as a FOREIGN language. “Foreign language learners are surrounded by their own native language and have to go out of their way to find stimulation and input in the target language. These students typically receive input in the new language only in the classroom and by artificial means, no matter how talented the teacher is.” (Oxford & Shearin, 1994)
Education system in Pakistan
English medium Institutions
Middle/lower middle class school
The Pakistani educational system is quite complex. There are numerous types of schools that are different from each other in some way or another. The formal education system in Pakistan consists of five different yet attached levels. The primary level is comprised of five years; the middle level consists of three years. Then, there are two years for secondary or „matriculation‟ level, and the two-year higher secondary or intermediate level. And finally fifth level covers college and university education leading to the attainment of bachelors followed by master degrees. Diploma education other than these five levels is also very popular especially in language learning. Foreign language learning institutions are earning a lot of money due to the trend and monopoly of English language.
As for the institutions themselves, there are mainly two types of schools: Urdu- medium and English medium. There is a whole continuum in between these two extremes. Then there is another type of division among schools that is, some are purely government institutions, some are semi government while others are private institutions. As majority of people in Pakistan live in rural areas and they cannot afford expensive private schools so their children go to government controlled schools.
Government system of Education
As mentioned earlier, education in Pakistan is job- oriented, and education standards are set by social institutions. Educational institution prepare students for professional life. In this regard English language has been given a lot of importance. Written English is given importance over spoken English. One have to pass the written test to qualify for interview and finally to achieve a good job. As the first criterion is to pass the test, it shows that written text is given a lot of significance. All the competitive exams are test oriented. In all competitive exams like CSS, FPSC, all college, university entry tests keep a considerable portion of tests for English proficiency testing. Ironically indigenous scholarships are also given on the basis of English proficiency. IELTS, Gre, GAT (see index) all keep one third portion for English competence. So all this leads to the popularization of English language particularly written English. Due to this reason people emphasize more on written expression and they ignore communicative competence.
Due to this reason English is not taught as a language, it is taught as a subject. Like other subjects, for example Urdu, social studies, mathematics and Islamiyat, English is considered a subject too. It is usually divided into two parts: English A and English B. English A contains a text book with some short stories and some poems. Students are supposed to simply translate the stories and poems into Urdu using the Grammar Translation Method and answer comprehension questions which they memorize word for word from the helping books. English B covers the grammar side of the subject, and students are usually more concerned about it than they are about English A. The curriculum of English B consists of essays, moral stories, letter writing, application writing, tenses and translation from Urdu to English. What happens indeed is that teachers make the students learn some selected essays, stories, letters, and the rules of grammar by heart. Students reproduce these rules mechanically on tests and exams. No attention is paid to the speaking part of the language. As long as the students reproduce everything word for word, they pass the exams. Little consideration is given to developing their creative capabilities or critical thinking with language.
Learning/teaching Status of English language in Pakistan
The teaching and learning situation in Pakistan is strictly traditional. Teachers adhere to the old teaching approaches which have been declared obsolete by many in the Western world long ago. They are not aligned with the needs and standards of the modern age. Teacher-centered instruction is extensively employed in Pakistani classrooms. They use the lecture pattern of teaching and the student is a passive learner as the teacher talks without any interaction or break for the whole period (Sarwar 2001). The teacher is considered to be the final authority. Students are not given any opportunity to demonstrate their creativity; they are just supposed to be on receiving end, cramming the material provided by the teacher blindly and reproducing it in the exam. This approach hampers students‟ development of critical thinking and stops them from being productive in their practical lives. The teacher, in this teacher-centered instruction, is the leader of the class and is responsible for content, leading lessons, recitation, skills, and seatwork and assigning homework.
He uses the commercial textbooks; the whole class is moved through the same curriculum, at the same pace. Little degree of individualized instruction is provided to the learners; the main target of the teacher is the whole class. Students are not allowed to move around freely in the class and mingle with other learners (Chall, 2000). Teaching creative writing is very rare in schools and colleges. Students heavily rely on the „patterned compositions‟ given to them by their teachers or bought from the book markets to memorize and reproduce faithfully. Students are never encouraged to choose their own subjects and topics for their writing assignments, nor are they asked to write a research paper or an academic paper. The examination compositions are checked not paying attention to what is communicated, especially in English; the examiner checks for the correctness of mechanics and the form, giving little credit to the subject matter.
English is still a foreign language in Pakistani context. Jobs are given on the basis of competence in written English. As education is job- oriented so usually English has been taught as a subject where students are evaluated on the basis of written test. Written exam is based on grammar questions and students‟ creative is not checked. Due to this English curriculum is based on grammar and some literature. A little attention has been given to students‟ creative potentials. Students have not been encouraged for critical thinking. English has been taught in isolation and communicative competence of the students has been ignored. This is the reason most of Pakistani students cannot communicate in English language till their graduation.
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