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Chronicles of the English Language in Pakistan: A discourse analysis of milestones in the language policy of Pakistan
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, I will be investigating educational policies with a focus on English as a medium of instruction. The medium of instruction in Pakistan varies with respect to each province and the social status of the school. Consequently, English is not taught only as a foreign language but is a medium for upward mobility.

I will be investigating the chronicles of English as a medium of instruction in Pakistan both before and after the partition (1947) of British India. I have selected three phases: the mid-eighteenth century, the 1970s and the present decade. I will be tracing the similarities and differences in the language policies of these eras, and identifying any patterns which transcend these eras. I shall deal with each phase separately with a brief introduction and the rationale for their selection.

The Colonial period which I have marked as an important phase is before 1857; the First War of Independence (also called the War of Mutiny). This is a period of the British East India Company Rule, and indirect involvement of the British Crown. My thesis revolves around the principle that language policy of an alien origin has played an important role in South Asian history which segregated between the colonized and the colonizer, which later turned to the segregation of the masses on the basis of Anglicised and non-Anglicised. I will also be looking at this segregation, in the LPP documents of the present decade as well.

The language policy of the 1970s will be analyzed for the patterns in contrast with the present decade. The 1970s in Pakistan are a period of extraordinary chaos, beginning with a language-based separatist movement in East Pakistan gaining independence in 1971, the execution of a deposed elected prime minister and a nationalist language policy. Here, I would like to shed light on the reason of my label “nationalist” for this policy , as this was the only policy which determined, and made some concrete steps towards the establishment of Urdu as a medium of instruction, and Zia’s reinforcement of Urdu as a symbol of nationalism and Islam. But ironically this could not be implemented, in its true spirit either. This policy will not be dealt in detail, but the effect of its annulations on the present decade, if any.

This decade will also be analyzed for patterns linked to the past colonial trajectories and the continuity of policies in favour of the English language as a medium of instruction. I will also be investigating the link between the present decade in relation to the interplay between colonial and Post- colonial influences.

I would also like to bring forth the research carried on Pakistan’s language policy. The research carried on colonial India is vast, with researchers like Robert Philipson, and his influential book Linguistic Imperialism (1992). Pennycook (2001) also sheds light on the introduction of English language in colonial context and its implications.

My contribution in this field is the comparison between the colonial and post-colonial policies with, Discourse Analysis. The selection of the policies of 2008 is also an advancement in this paper, which has helped in looking at the current policies in Pakistan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , 33 p.
Keyword [en]
Language Policy, English, Pakistan, Discourse Analysis, Education, British India
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-65526ISRN: LIU-IKK/MPLCE-A--08/03--SEOAI: diva2:396419
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-02-18 Created: 2011-02-09 Last updated: 2011-02-18Bibliographically approved

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