Developing Creative Thinking: A Cognitive Approach to the Teaching of English Literature
The study was conducted to investigate whether the application of cognitive teaching tools, strategies, and techniques through cognitive teaching model help develop creative thinking and other higher-order thinking skills of the students of literature at Master's level.
The study comprised two phases: phase I was survey, while phase II was experimental. In phase I (survey) three questionnaires were prepared: one for the students, second for the teachers, and third for the chairpersons of English departments. The questionnaires were used to collect data about the existing literature teaching methods in Pakistani universities and colleges. The data collected were tabulated and analyzed on mean score and calculated to find out the central tendency of responses. In phase II of study (experimental), experiment was carried out for two months. The sample was 138 students of M.A. English at International Islamic University, Islamabad studying Romantic Poetry and Fiction II (Modern Fiction). 68 students of Romantic poetry were randomly divided into two groups: 34 in controlled group and 34 in experimental group. Similarly 68 students of Fiction II were randomly divided into two groups: 34 in controlled group and 34 in experimental group. Relevant pre-tests were conducted on all the four groups before the start of the experiment and post-tests at the end of the treatment period that was two months.
The data collected through achievement tests were scored and analyzed by applying z test. Phase I of the study concluded that the existing literature teaching methods are traditional and do not develop students' creative thinking and other higher-order thinking skills. Phase II concluded that the application of cognitive teaching strategies and techniques through cognitive teaching model could help develop creative thinking and other higher-order thinking skills of the students of literature
The Role of Media in the Development and Promotion of English in Pakistan
This research study is centered on the role of media in the development and promotion of English in Pakistan. It relates to the national process and to the process of globalization in terms of information through T.V, radio and newspapers. It also deals with the challenges in this field, due to the advent of science and technology plus current innovations in this mode of communication. In recent years the media in Pakistan has developed at a fast pace and English has become one of its prominent languages. However, its lack of understanding by 90% of the population has created serious gaps in internal communication. To bridge the existing gap, the study looks at how media can be instrumental in the spread of English language and be a useful tool for improving the English language teaching situation.
The study addresses the topic by taking a look at the language situation in Pakistan. Unlike many post colonial states which replaced English with indigenous languages, Pakistan retained English as an official language. However due to lack of a clear cut language policy towards English language teaching it has remained a controversial issue, badly affecting the process of education and development. This has impacted the language situation and its impact leads us to think and reinvent the role of media for teaching it. Given its premier position as the language of international commerce and science, proficiency in English is increasingly acknowledged as vital attribute for any state attempting to establish itself as knowledge based economy. This need is imperative as we are living in a global world. Globalization and issues related to it force us to have a futuristic vision. There is a need to equip our people to meet the demands of modern education. Therefore, we must introduce our students to it at an early stage and provide this opportunity to a large number of people as opposed to the privileged few. Electronic and print media by introducing English to the neglected sector of the society can play a unifying role to integrate the nation. It is in this back drop, the findings of the study are expected to suggest an essential direction of using media for instructional purposes, particularly to bring a constructive change in English language teaching in the country.
A multi-method approach has been applied for the collection and analysis of the data. This has been done as triangulation yields more reliable results. This study has been concluded with the hope that media will look into this vital area and fulfill its responsibilities.
Teaching of English in the Elite Schools of Islamabad: A Case Study
The present research was conducted to examine the socio-cultural dimension of English language teaching in Pakistan in terms of identity construction of learners, the possibility of a language shift and social segregation in society. The position of English is compounded within its historical background, its global importance and Pakistani society's perceptions regarding its value. State policies of language and education have implicated English in power structures which have led to the emergence of private elite institutions. These institutions reflect the dual relationship between English and Pakistani society: on the one hand they are based on society's assumptions regarding English and on the other they help to establish these assumptions on the socio-cultural level. Societal attitudes regard teaching and learning of English as highly desirable based on its power to confer economic and social rewards and as the only means to access higher education. Private English medium schools fulfill the elite demand for quality English medium education but exclude the majority because of the expenses involved. This has created a situation of inequality, which impacts not only educational opportunities but also distribution of economic rewards which depend on literacy in English. These institutions contribute to elitist domains of power which has resulted in a very limited vertical, social and economic mobility.
The research findings indicate that English language teaching has become a major cause of estrangement between various social strata. Teaching of English in Pakistan is traditionally supplemented with English literary texts which are usually culturally and ideologically loaded. Combined with center-based curriculums and pedagogies, the texts' message could influence learners' identity and subjectivity. Learners could be influenced by the world views impounded in them and combined with the westernized environment and the emphasis on English as the only language within the school, these features could collude to implement a hidden curriculum of acculturization. The hybrid identities which would emerge would be a western-oriented youth, who would be empathetic with western cultural norms and would hold their own languages and cultures in low esteem.
The present study attempts to bring awareness about the present ELT practices in the elite schools. It is grounded in theories of language policy and planning, structuralism, postmodernism and deconstruction. Being a sociolinguistic inquiry, it draws on quantitative and qualitative data from stake holders in education and analyses it against documentary evidence. Based on research findings which indicate linguistic assimilation and a language shift towards English, the recommendations include changes in policies related to English pedagogies, teacher training and the regularization of private schools.
The teaching of literature at Graduate level through the structuralist approach
In the light of long years teaching in different institutions in Pakistan it has been felt that the prevalent method of teaching English Literature is not producing the desired level of competence among students. Hence something interesting and pedagogically sound need to be introduced on experimental level, which could make the teaching of literature more meaningful and interesting for the students, awaken their analytical abilities and at the same time develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. For this purpose certain listening, speaking, reading and writing activities in the class based on the extracts from the literary texts have been introduced.
Keeping in view the recommendations as well as the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum Revision Committee of Pakistan, an effort has been made to develop among the students at graduate level the habit of detailed reading of the literary texts, and interpreting them critically and analytically. I have used four novels of Ernest Hemingway and guided the students to analyze them through the Structuralis Approach with my chief focus on 'The Old Man and the Sea'.
The reason for selecting Ernest Hemingway's novels is his objective style of writing precise sentences which is much appreciated by the readers of English literature. Moreover, 'The Old Man and the Sea' is a part of the syllabus of English (compulsory) at graduate level and one of the other three novels 'The Sun Also Rises"A Farewell to Arms', 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' always remains a part of the syllabus at Masters level in Pakistani universities. The methodology used for research is a combination of Descriptive Research and Quasi-Experimental. The findings support the argument that the problem and the need to address it really exists. The suggested methodology can help us in moving a step forward towards addressing it.
Transcending the Raj: An Analysis of Rudyard Kipling's Kim in the saidian Orientalist Perspective
That Rudyard Kipling is generally perceived as a hidebound imperialist and calibrated as a canonical construct is hardly contested. "With a view to relieving Kipling of the pro-Imperial parochialism broadcast through a finite set of ideas subscribing to the glory of Empire, this research focuses on a missing link in Kipling studies. That link, in my view, is related to the corrective influence of Kipling's writings on the British colonial apparatus, hitherto either misread or unacknowledged. Kipling's rectification of Empire, subtle and nuanced in its own right, has been glossed over. His realistic portrayal of India, its people and culture belies the myths constructed by 'metropolitan' Orientalists since the early colonial times.
In his exploding the socio-cultural stereotypes about the East (particularly India) paddling in the West, Kipling transcends the Raj mantra It is true that he never seriously challenged the existence of Empire but the way it was conducting its business. In order to highlight Kipling's nonconformist position among the Orientalists at large, I take up Saidian Orientalist perspective and read Kim (with some other stories) vis-à-vis Said's theoretical assumptions in Orientalism (1978) and Culture and Imperialism (1993). However, `Orientalism' is not an unproblematic, singular or totalizing discourse, as Said has presumed it to be. Kim, written at the turn of the century (1901) and almost halfway through Kipling's life (1865-1936), is the only one of his longer works of fiction that can stand comparison with his extraordinary achievement in the short story form. Its magic has always gripped most of the Kipling readers and has, in fact, helped settle the complex Kipling question to a great extent.
'The central question involving this study is whether Kipling is a prototype Orientalist or the one who succeeds in transcending the Raj discourse built upon the nineteenth century racist notions of the white canonical writers like Lord Macaulay, John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle and others.' However, Kipling's transcendence went unheeded in the normative readings of his oeuvre. This research project is an attempt to bridge that gap in Kipling studies and, by highlighting the metonomic relationship between orientalism, imperialism and postcolonialism, Kipling's contribution is placed in a new perspective
Colonialism and its Effect on Literature: A comparison of Postcolonial Literature (Novels) of Pakistan and Nigeria
This dissertation derives from an interest in Postcolonial studies. It has been a means to look into the phenomenon of Colonialism and Postcolonialism. The study investigates the relationship between colonialism and literature. Literature is the most significant form of self expression through which the colonized can share their experiences. The postcolonial era has witnessed the emergence of voices from the former colonies. Drawing upon numerous background studies, the researcher has tried to present a case for colonial after-effects on literature (novels) of two former colonies, Pakistan and Nigeria. The postcolonial discourse theory formulates the theoretical framework for this study and textual analysis of the novels is restricted to issues pertinent to this discourse. Intertextuality is used as a tool for the research. Finally a holistic comparison of novels from Pakistan and Nigeria is conducted to provide an insightful view and for deducing the findings of the study.
In the final analysis these findings reveal similarities that are not equitable between the two literatures. The reasons can be attributed to the specific condition of the two cultures which suffered and endured through colonial times. The dissertation is divided into seven chapters. After presenting the background of research, review of relevant literature and description of the research methodology, textual analysis and critique on Pakistani and Nigerian novels has been presented. Finally this data is qualitatively analyzed leading to the conclusion of the study. At the end recommendations for further research are given.
Constructing Pathways to Translation: A Study in Translation Pedagogy and Process [From English into Urdu and Vice Versa] Part I&II
The study touches upon all the major areas of Translation, with special emphasis on Pedagogy (theories and methods), which is not much known and applied by translators, and where controversies still abound. The research analyses and explores all the theoretical and practical aspects involved in the translation process and various approaches to verge on the text to be translated, both in English and Urdu. The framework for translation has been worked out from multiple and diverse theories and models of translation and text linguistics propounded by various theorists. It has been devised in a linear order, beginning from text types, text descriptions, text linguistics and processing, and ending with text production as translation. The most crucial issue of Equivalence in translation has been analysed and applied, and various strategies, procedures and tactical tools for translation have been suggested.
The research also unveils the current state of Urdu translation pedagogy and process in Pakistan, and suggests ways for its improvement in the light of the suggested theoretical matrix. The devised exhaustive pedagogic framework is later applied to the content analysis of four novels and the Questionnaire Survey, so that readers can see them in operation and at the same time help to confirm the reliability and validity of the devised theoretical framework and the recommended strategies for translation.
The research endeavours to suggest a model translation curriculum, so as to lay down the foundation of Translation Studies as a discipline at the post-graduate level in all the public sector universities in Pakistan, in general and the International Islamic University, Islamabad, in particular. This is one of the pioneering work in Pakistan’s academia.
Effect of First language on Second Language Learning in Pakistan: A Case Study
This study is an attempt to provide insights into the extent of use of first language (L1) on learning of second language .The use of first language in the foreign language classrooms has remained an unresolved controversy. There is a universal acceptance of the fact that English is presently the most important international language. Students interested in higher studies within the country or abroad, or even those seeking white collar jobs in any profession in Pakistan are expected to have a reasonable command of the English language. It is however, a stark reality that our Urdu medium educated students are virtually bereft of a meaningful knowledge and understanding of the language. They are unable to communicate properly in English or comprehend written texts. Whether we like it or not, English is our official language and it will not relinquish that position to our national language (Urdu) in the foreseeable future. Both the languages must co-exist harmoniously; on terms of equality, in our institutions of learning and in practical life. Consequently, the need for conducting research into causes of aforesaid linguistic hiatus led this researcher to assay the benefits of L1, essentially as an adjuvant tool for learning English. It is an established fact that through the identification of learning strategies utilized by the students and teachers, students are able to take advantage of cognitive skills in their native language and transfer them to the second language.
The Researcher observed many cases in which use of the first language had visibly aided the transfer of knowledge and skills to L2. Students who were literate in L1 displayed a natural facility for extrapolating and extending L1 skills to L2. There is considerable theoretical literature on the learner's use of first language to learn the second language. On L1 contributing back ground knowledge and linguistic cogency which enables learners to construct their own interim values for L2. On advanced cogitative language proficiency is a powerful means of second language development.
Researcher has found confirmation of ways in which these attributes work She has also noted the challenges confronting the students of English language, with and without the aid of L1.This research and its findings will attempt to identify ways and means to help students and teachers of English improve their linguistic/academic performance.
Humanism in Pakistani Novel in English form 1985 to the Present
The study was designed to find out whether or not the Pakistani English novelists have incorporated: Secular, Marxist and Religious categories of Humanism in addition to Human Rights in the themes of their novels, in the context of social political, religious and economic conditions prevailing in Pakistani society.
The research questions formulated to achieve these objectives of the study were: what is the extent to which Secular Humanism appears in Pakistani English Novel, have Pakistani English novelists succeeded to incorporate Marxist Humanism in their novels, does Religious Humanism figure in Pakistani English Novel, and are Pakistani English novelists successful in creating the awareness of Human Rights?
Population of the study was all the novels written in English by Pakistani English novelists and first time published from 1985 to the present (2005). Sample was taken randomly for the study which comprised 11 novels.
The categories of Humanism namely Secular Humanism, Marxist Humanism, Religious Humanism, and Human Rights were defined in the light of available literature about the movement of Humanism, and the operational definitions were developed for the study. The novels, randomly chosen as the sample for the study, were analyzed by using, 'Qualitative Content Analysis Technique'. The contents of each novel were analyzed paragraph wise, on the basis of the operational definitions of the categories along with their themes.
The data analysis reveals that Pakistani English novelists are not only well aware of the different aspects and facets of the movement of Humanism but also incorporate these concepts in their stories. Humanism, which is 'Human-being-ism', is that wave of conscience and realization which gives birth to such arts and literature that instil courage and confidence in the human beings to face and defeat not only helplessness but also show them the path of social, political and economic liberties. Pakistani English novelists are well aware of their responsibilities and duties as citizens. They are on the way to perform their role effectively in the establishment of a better human society in Pakistan at the creative level.
Impact of English Language and Literature on Punjabi Poetry (1849-1949)
The British imperialism, while it changed the physical landscape of the Punjab in many ways, made a deeper impact on the socio-cultural milieu by way of intellectual renaissance and political awareness. Besides other agents of change, diffusion of Western education and English language cultivated a liberal mindset that imbibed the spirit of occidental learning. The new cultural context, defined by English language and literature, strongly influenced Punjabi poetry and virtually transformed its medieval make-up and expanded its scope.
This study attempts to investigate this influence on Punjabi poetry (1849-1949), particularly in the works of those poets who had been exposed to Western education and literature, to determine the nature and range of its impact with a view to identifying the new trends and directions in form, content and style.
It analyses the gradual changes from words and images inspired by British presence to the new forms, themes and symbols introduced under the influence of English literature. It also explores the influence on Punjabi language and the manner in which new words, compounds and structures have been formed and integrated. The cultural imperialism, spread and strengthened through diffusion of Western knowledge, affected all intellectual activities including poetry. Punjabi poetry thus absorbed modernity in all its manifestations. This study attempts to determine whether the Western influences affected the traditional character, charm and appeal of this popular expression or changed it for the better?
Postcolonial Discourse theory and appropriation: an analysis of Bapsi Sidwa and Arundhati Roy's Fictions
The deployment of English language and its discursive practices entailed the emergence of appropriated English and its counter discursive practices. The postcolonial creative English writers in the invaded and partly in settler colonies nativitized the colonial language in the context of their multi-linguistic, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-racial colonized experiences. However, this dissertation is an attempt to focus on the dismantling and appropriating strategies inducted by Bapsi Sidhwa and Arundhati Roy in their narratives in the perspective of the geo-political and socio-linguistics settings of Pakistan and India. Both the novelists’ innovative linguistic and textual practices demonstrated in their texts denote the deconstruction and decolonization of the colonial language and its discursive practices.
The induction of their appropriating strategies also implies the deconstruction of the western dominant ideologies as well as the indigenous hegemonic normative practices in the context of their complex colonized experiences. Likewise, both these creative English writers installed the subverting and appropriating strategies like neologism, transliteration, untranslated words, code-switching, code-mixing, translation equivalents and glossing on the linguistic and grammatical format of their mother tongues to foreground the lexico- semantic richness repertoire of their indigenous languages and the lived socio-cultural and geo-political concrete realities. In addition, these novelists employed the linguistic and textual practices to shoulder the weight of their hybridized experiences as the Standard English language and its norms were inadequate to address the hybridity, split identity, multiplicity of languages and variant culture in terms of the non-western settings of Pakistan and India. Consequently, their induction of appropriating textual strategies in their texts; demonstrated the alterity, resistance and difference from the privileged centre of epistemological and ontological norms.
Accordingly, the dissertation in the postcolonial discourse theory and appropriation perspective attempts to investigate that the authenticity and purity of Standard English language is unsound and unrealistic. It also demonstrates that the purity of the western culture is based on myth and transcendentalism. The study explores as well that all language is marginalized and hybridized and all culture is intrinsically syncretic. It also substantiates that the nativitizing strategies inducted by Sidhwa and Roy in their texts de-hegemonized the Standard English and its coded referentilaity. Hence, their appropriating linguistic and textual strategies demonstrated in their narratives are also authentic and realistic as these incorporated and carried the ‘lived experiences’ and ‘message event’ rather than to some presumptive fixed referentilaity. Linguistically, the western purists may label Pakistani and Indian appropriated English and its counter discursive practices as mistakes, vernacular, atavistic and primitive but politically these variant englishes have de-marginalized and decolonized the linguistic and cultural hegemony of the metropolitan centre.
The study motivates that appropriation of the colonial language is an accessible and trustworthy alternative instrument for the postcolonial creative English writers of Pakistan and India in terms of irreducible and irrevocable cultural syncreticism and linguistic hybridization.
Stylistic and Communicative Dimensions in Translations of Surah Yasin into English
A matter of great concern is that the universal Message of the Qur’ān could not be effectively communicated throughout the world through English translations. This challenging task has been treated lightly. The present study envisages a blending of linguistics and the Qur’ānic translations into English, relatively an unattended area of research. Linguistic stylistic analysis of the Qur’ānic translations’ is the subject matter of the study. The interaction between the two is very essential for better translations of the Qur’ān, deviating from the traditional literal and dictionary translations. A linguistic study of the Qur’ānic translations seems extremely fascinating, for, the translator may reap its fruit in the form of effective communication and comprehension of the Qur’ānic Message.
The study in hand is a humble attempt to make the two disciplines shake their hands in the field of the Qur’ānic translations, by analyzing linguistically various translations of Sūrah Yāsīn into English as an epitome. The work will certainly encourage further studies in the field of the Qur’ānic translations and comparative linguistics. It may however, be pointed out that it is almost impossible to translate in entirety the thematic, stylistic and rhetorical standards of a Divine revelation. Hence the study will go to the extent that it can.
Computer-Mediated Communication for Effective English Language Teaching Programme Through Distance Education at Post Graduate Level in Pakistan
The study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) for English language teaching programme in Pakistan in distance education context. The researcher tried to find out the effectiveness of CMC in terms of students’ learning, interaction, access and cost. The experimental study was done during Autumn 2007 and Autumn 2008 semesters, through pretest treatment-posttest experimental control group design. A CMC-ELT blended model was applied in two phases. In the first phase, two groups of students enrolled in Dip TEFL programme were selected from four AIOU regions and in the second phase, two groups were selected from all over the country. Online tutorial support was provided to the experimental groups. Data was collected through AIOU documents, questionnaires, tests, and focused group discussions.
The results of the study proved the effectiveness of CMC in distance education. Using a t-test for independent samples, it was found that after six months the students (n=26) who were instructed using CMC achieved significantly higher scores (t=6.94 and 6.29, p<.05) in the tests of ‘The Language Skills’ and ‘EFL in the Classroom’ (Autumn 2007) than did the students (n=18) whose instructions did not include CMC. The experimental group also performed better (t=2.06 and 2.31, p<.05) in the AIOU final assessment (n=25 and 66). In Autumn 2008, another experimental group of students (n=25) achieved higher scores (t=10.92 and 11.61, p<.05) in the same courses than did the students (n=19) in control group on pre-post tests and performed better (t=2.01 and 1.68, p<.05) in the AIOU final assessment (n=24 and 301). A substantial decrease was observed in dropout rate and cost. The dropout rate in CMC-based learning was 3.7% to nil as compared to 5.3% to 8.3% in existing distance education from 2007 to 2008. In addition, the cost per course in CMC-based learning was 29% less than of the existing distance education system.
In focused group discussion, all the participants acknowledged the effectiveness of CMC based instructions. A CMC-ELT blended model in distance education proved its effectiveness in terms of access, quality, interaction and cost-effectiveness. The study has implications for distance education institutions, course designers, tutors, students and administration at institutional, national and international level.
Post-Independence/Post-Colonial Pakistani Fiction in English: A Socio-Political Study with Focus on Twilight in Delhi, The Murder of Aziz Khan, Ice-Candy-Man and Moth Smoke
Since Independence in 1947, Pakistan, as a nation and state, has been grappling with socio-political and economic problems, the issue of national identity and even an existential dilemma. Its postcolonial existence has also been threatened by the failure of its leadership that lacked imagination and vision. Therefore, questions like "Can Pakistan survive?" have often been posed by the political pundits. The subject of this research is how Pakistan's national texts, particularly creative writings in English, reflect socio-cultural and political transformations since Independence. Ethnically and linguistically, Pakistan is a pluralistic, society, but the state has pursued centrist and unitary policies. Islam has been (ab) used to justify the unitary character of the state.
Thus state and 'ideological state apparatuses' have been in collision with the natural pluralism of its society. Therefore, various conflicts have been raging and boiling over to shake the foundations of the state and the society. The response of Pakistan's creative writers, with few exceptions, has been ambivalent towards these issues, until a new generation of young writers since early 1990s began to respond more openly and critically. In 1967, Zulfikar Ghose, with the advantage of geographical distance, gave a powerful critique of Pakistan's new ruling elite in his novel The Murder of Aziz Khan.
The same sentiments are expressed by Mohsin Hamid in his 2000 novel Moth Smoke. By analyzing these texts I have tried to show how Pakistan is frozen in time: its socio-political problems still persist with the same frequency and intensity. While analyzing Pakistan's texts in English, I have tried to make use of the theoretical frameworks expounded by such social theorists as Michael Foucault, Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser as well as the theoretical underpinnings of larger postcolonial theory. The study has a topical significance as Pakistani writers in English, in my view, after a long period of marginalization, are registering a strong presence in the global academia. This dissertation aims at contributing to the growing field of Pakistani literary studies and the wider English Studies.