Classroom Discourse in Bilingual Context: Effects of Code-Switching on Language Learning in Pakistan TEFL Classroom
In the last decade, a number of previous research studies in the Applied Linguistics, TESOL and TEFL focused on the issues of language alternation and their role in the interaction between teachers and students. But no such research was conducted to address these issues in the context of Pakistan to understand the reasons for teachers’ code-switching between English and Urdu in the TEFL classroom. Pakistan is a multilingual country, and educational institutions are essentially bilingual and cannot be made free from the influence of bilinguality. Moreover, English courses are designed for teaching English as FL and SL (in some cases only) and the execution of these courses in the classrooms includes code-switching. Since both trainers and trainees are bilingual, they code-switch to perform different functions in the EFL classrooms.
The present research tried to explore these functions of code-switching in the bilingual classroom discourse with special reference to the Diploma TEFL classroom at AIOU. The unifying thesis of the work is presented in chapter one alongwith the definitions of the terms, basic concepts, and sociolinguistic background of Pakistan and framework of the study. Chapter two provides a review of relevant literature, specifically addressing bilingualism, classroom discourse, and various aspects of code-switching. Chapter three deals with two research methodologies (qualitative and quantitative) used in the process of collecting and analyzing the data. In chapters four, five and six, analysis of the findings is presented.
These chapters might be viewed as vital chapters because the researcher presented the analysis of all the findings in these chapters. In chapter seven, the researcher re-examined and re-visited the research questions by focusing on the bilingual classroom interactions and the education policy in relation with the medium of instruction. In the first part of the last chapter, results are analyzed in the form of the triangulation of the data, and then reiteration of the principal results is presented to emphasize the important findings which reveal that code-switching is used by all the teachers included in the sample of sixteen teachers except one. Thus, it is an unavoidable and inevitable phenomenon in the bilingual classrooms. The teachers’ code-switching or the alternate use of two languages is quite common in Pakistani EFL classrooms. The analysis of the recorded Diploma TEFL sessions shows that the teachers’ code-switching is function oriented and it is related to classroom discourse and socializing discourse in most of the cases. The teachers achieved different kinds of pedagogical purposes by code- switching, for instance, clarification, giving instructions effectively, emphasis, and creating a sense of belonging etc. In the second part of the last chapter, contributions of the study and various theoretical and practical implications of this research are presented, followed by the suggestions for future researchers.
It is found that there is a need to devise clear language policy about the use of medium of instruction(s) at different levels of education and this fundamental clarity can bring a qualitative change in the infrastructure of Pakistani bilingual classroom discourse. The results of the study have implications for research methodology, EFL classroom teachers, administrators and policy planners. These implications are discussed in detail in the last chapter and a change in the teaching/learning methodologies has been suggested at the policy level as a crux of the whole discussion. The principal result is that unless we determine the percentage of the use of code-switching and L1 in the classroom and devise a clear cut policy on the medium of instruction according to the need of the bilingual society, qualitative and quantitative changes cannot be incorporated in the educational system of Pakistan
Semiotic Analysis of English as Media Language: A Colonial Perspective on Media language and its Nexus with President George W. Bush's Speechs
Semiotics has been inherent part of media and media discourse. It has also been exploited by the political leaders of all ages to construct a world view sanctioned by the power structure. However, after 9/11 semiotics was used to win people's sympathies and propagate ideas of American superiority and hegemony through media. The opportunity was also grabbed to influence the global public, using to the full, the advantage that the status of English as international language provided. American news media and President George W. Bush used colonial references in conventionalized linguistic practices to consolidate the nation in face of challenging danger and fan war hysteria to channelise the public opinion in war against terrorism.
Colonial legacy, efficiency of modern mass media machine and international status of English provided an effective triangular tool to rally the western society as well as influence the entire world. Colonialism, which previously was a national phenomenon i.e restricted to particular nations, now became universal one because this time it has the most effective tool at its disposal to form and craft public opinion at massive scale—the media.
Through comparative thematic analysis the study in hand reveals the linguistic features semiotically exploited by US. Print media and President Busad h's political discourse to create international public opinion in favour of their stance in war against terrorism. It is for the first time in history of the world that linguistic communication has that much far reaching impact.
Such use of language is manipulative, hegemonic and leads to emergence of new colonialism under universalism, however, in today's horizontally segregated and vertically rifted world, the study of such semiotically organized linguistic communication, may help in creating homogeneity, streamlining governments and the public opinion and resolving conflicts in wider perspective.
Study of Status and Role of Arab Muslim Women with Special Reference to Fatima Nernissi and Nawal El Saadawi
The present research is motivated by a desire to explore the nature of conflict mechanisms over reevaluations and accommodations on the subject of the status and role of Arab Muslim women in highly transformed circumstances. 'Feminism is considered a travelling theory that travelled to the Arab world and thus it is considered foreign and extraneous to the Muslim culture. This goes on despite abundant information provided by travelling theorists highlighting major developments a theory undergoes in the context of arrival. Feminism is modified in different contexts and thus is symbolized in plural form `feminisms'. Arab feminism is deeply rooted in the local problems and priorities. The Arab Muslim feminists, Fatima Mernissi and Nawal el Saadawi, demand serious recognition of incompatibility in the status and role of Arab Muslim women at the level of ideology and at the level of reality.
They explore forces restricting Arab Muslim women's mobility and resulting in their relegation to the private domain. They also explore the economic, social, cultural and technological forces of globalization impacting even the space bound women's lives, preferences and participation in the public world. They project serious awareness of local and global forces impacting the status and role of Arab Muslim women. The forces impacting Arab Muslim women are evaluated in the broader perspective of domestic, national, and international forces much more interlinked in the period of globalization than ever before. The two feminists suggest serious reevaluations and adaptability patterns based on principles of justice, democracy and ijtihad, and urge collaboration between different progressive forces as well as greater understanding between both the sexes of the matrices of powers oppressing them and clouding their prospects of a better life.
Transhumanism: Natural Language and Innovative Concepts in Communication
Transhumanism promotes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and evaluating possibilities for moving beyond human limitations. It is connected with both present day technologies like genetic engineering and artificial intelligence and future technologies like molecular nanotechnology. In this research, Transhumanism refers to the improvements and enhancements in the related fields of speech technologies and improving and supporting the human —machine communication act using the existing and the anticipated technologies of the future. The language of communication is essentially natural language with a vibrant social context of the real world. Transhumanism is used in this research as theoretical reference to discuss in detail the technological advancement and state of the art support systems in the field of natural language communication, speech recognition and speech generation systems to support a reliable and meaningful communication act between humans and machines and possibly machines and machines. The overall aim of the research is to look at the evolution and developments in the field of natural language speech technologies with reference to Transhumanism from a linguistic and secular point of view.
The objective of the research is to signpost the research work for the future - researchers in this particular area of research and in general linguistics. The research is aimed to explore the scope and impact of interdisciplinary technological advancements for artificial intelligent systems using natural language as communication tool independently through speech input and speech output.
Diagnostic Cum Remedial Study of ELT in Pakistan - Reasons of Failure or Partial Success
The present study is an investigation into the causes of failure or partial success of ELT in Pakistan. The study also suggests measures to remediate the situation. In a multilingual society like Pakistan English is taught as a second or foreign language. English, therefore, has been taught as a compulsory subject almost at all levels since Pakistan came into existence. However, ELT programmes either failed or partially succeeded in achieving the objectives in terms of developing learners' communicative competence in English. The researcher has attempted to identify the problems and make recommendations to resolve these problems.
Research procedure adopted for this purpose is based on action research. The data was collected and analysed by using observation, questionnaires and interviews as research instruments. Observations were based on the professional practice of the researcher. Three questionnaires were designed (a) for the students, (b) for the college teachers and (c) for the trainee teachers. The sample for the research was 214 students of intermediate studying at different colleges of Islamabad. 51 college teachers, 29 trainee teachers, and 07 teachers who were interviewed. The analysis of data revealed that the components of an ELT programme were not adequately and properly dealt with. The components examined in this study are (1) Needs, (2) Syllabus. (3) Objectives, (4) Methodology, (5) Materials, (6) Assessment, (7) Untrained teachers.
It has been suggested that needs are required to be analysed in depth, the syllabus should be functional, communicative and skill oriented; the conditions of second/foreign language learning/teaching should be kept in view while launching an ELT programme. Objectives need be clearly defined; criteria for selecting materials be observed for prescribing reading text; eclectic methodology be adopted; assessment procedure in terms of' designing question papers be reviewed discouraging rote learning and aiming at assessing the language proficiency; extensive and comprehensive training programmes should he regularly conducted.
A Linguistic Perspective of "Extremism" by Analyzing Discourse of Extreme Rhetoric in Forming Xenophobia and Xenophilia in the 21st Century
Of all the variables of extremism, such as religion, economics, stratification or ethnicity; language is one of the most effective means of inculcation of extreme attitudes and behaviors in societies. Since centuries, men have studied how language creates and generates ideas, concepts and thoughts; however, little is done to understand the use of language in promotion of extremism. The manifestation of extreme behaviors is xenophobia and xenophilia which create conflict in a society and produce disharmony leading to extreme social environment. Consequently, strong divides can be seen and felt in a society due to these contrasting behaviors, which powerful social agents like clerics or politicians exploit to further their agendas. Thus, language is a potent tool in the hands of such agents with which they tap the emotions of susceptible audience as a stimulus to elicit an emotional reaction, resulting in an anti-social response. The effect of word – extreme rhetoric and discourse in societies is visible as “extremism” and has become a powerful psychological, social, international as well as linguistic phenomenon at the global level. The explored causes like poverty, religious beliefs and injustices have been explored at length.
It is pertinent to delve into the study of cause and effect – emotional responses to extreme rhetoric and discourse. Anger, hatred, revenge are some of the emotions associated with phobias, while extreme rhetoric also feeds on positive ideas related to philias like self-fulfillment, ideology, glory and fame. This also leads to logical questioning of the role, media is playing in projecting and promoting extreme tendencies using rhetoric and discourse both in print and electronic mediums. Media is a powerful instrument which can be used and abused, by various social agents to project their ideas and sentiments, which may be one or the other form of extremism – xenophobia and xenophilia. It is crucial hence, to check the language and its usage in media to curtail the contagious ideas based on extreme behaviors. This mental contamination – extremism; is not territorial, but has gripped the whole world. It is thus, socially, economically and politically prudent to try and curtail the effects of extreme ideas spreading across the globe via language by reviewing the language in vogue.
Phonetic Flexibility and Phonological Process of English: A Comparative Study of English and Pashto Sound Systems)
English language like every other spoken language consists of sounds and patterns of sounds. English phonetic system has 44 phonemes or the basic contrastive units of sounds, also termed as International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). There is a lot of variability and discrepancy in pronouncing these phonemes within the language from context to context. Like human beings they are affected by their neighborhood or contiguity. This of course, gives rise to very interesting and strange phenomenon. On account of variability of the same sounds or phonemes, the pronunciation of words become easier, this in fact shows the flexibility of the phonetic system of English language. This reality of change of pronunciation in the basic sounds of English language is also observed among the non-native speakers of the language. Perhaps on account of flexibility and phonological processes, English language has adopted various forms such as Black English, African English, American English, Canadian English, Hindish, etc. No doubt, this is one of the reasons of diversion from the standard language, yet a very strong one.
One of the hazards for the users of English is that the language has many more speech sounds than it has letters of the alphabet. In some of the cases it lacks in one to one correspondence between sounds and letters. We some times know what a word means through our reading experience but we are not sure whether a particular vowel is short or long, whether a particular consonant is silent or not, where the stress should be or not etc. This discrepancy proves to be problematic for the non-native learners of the language. The main purpose of this thesis is to focus the problems faced by Pakhtu/Pashto learners of English relating their pronunciation.
An attempt is made to highlight those problems caused by certain phonological processes such as assimilation, elision and linking etc. An effort is also made to make it clear for the Pashto learners that there is a great deal of difference between the way the words are pronounced in isolation and in connected speech. It is difficult for any non-native as well as Pashto speakers of English language to speak hundred percent like native speakers. Two speakers may not pronounce the same utterance exactly alike and no two pronunciations of a single word uttered by the same speaker may be exactly the same. Within an utterance there could be infinite chances of variation. Deviations in pronunciation from Standard English are a common and natural phenomenon throughout the world.
As long as the content of the utterance is understandable such deviations are accepted worldwide. Moreover, by accepting such variations English language proves itself to be a living and versatile language. This research tries to make it clear that the element of flexibility facilitates to get ease in spoken expression and encourages the speakers within limits of tolerance to speak in a liberal atmosphere.
The Projection of English Through the Electronic Media of Pakistan
The present research is about the projection of English through the electronic media of Pakistan and can be taken as an extension of the works carried out by Tariq Rahman, Robert J. Baumgardner, and Riaz Hassan. The research has been carried out in order to determine the variations emerging in the variety of English spoken/used in Pakistan.
It has been observed that this variety abounds in phonological deviations which are so recurrent in their frequency that they have emerged as a distinct linguistic feature of this variety. The phonological variations have affected the regular sound values of English alphabet, allophones, morphological units, structure words, and syllables etc. The prime cause behind these changes is the interaction of English language with the local culture and local languages. In addition, the orthography of English as well as Urdu has been found to be two major causes.
The research is conducted on 750 participants taken from 200 current affairs programmes from four domestic news channels, and the participants are observed for the phonological variations in their speech. The selection of electronic media namely television for data collection has been specially done as this medium is considered to be the fastest and strongest source for the spread of language change
Communication Theory: The Problems of Self-Expression, Comprehension and Communicative Urge
The thesis hypothesizes that communicative competence is situational and relative because it is theme as well as age reliant. The potential of a theme of communication for inducing communicative involvement is different for different age-groups. Communication is a reciprocal process and the communicative gusto of a communicative setting depends on whether or not its theme is somewhere within the imaginative and psycho-social frontiers of the participants. Such a potential of a theme of communication for ignition / inducement communication needs investigation.
The approach and the subsequent selection of the reading texts of the Intermediate Level presently used as language teaching material in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pakistan do not meet the requirement. The themes of many of these texts are too thick, erudite and off -the- wall for the teenagers to make their discourse. They tend more towards the discourse of the teachers i.e. the discourse of the aged and elderly than the discourse of the students (teenage level).
As an alternative approach, the researcher has put to test another theme – Recollections – encompassing and embodying the spirit of the discourse advocated by the research's hypothesis. The analyses of the data obtained via three questionnaires confirm that English language classroom in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa is a site of two conflicting discourses: the discourse of teenagism and the discourse of English perceptual assumptions maintained through the selection of foreign reading texts. As the selection of the reading texts is made by teachers, it is, to an extent, the linguistic realization of their social interests. The pro-teacher nature of the reading texts creates problems of selfexpression and comprehension for the students – it dampens their communicative urge.
Error Analysis with Special Reference to Writing Skills at Degree Level in Pakistan
In this modern age one needs the ability to communicate well. This communication can be oral or written. Written communication is comparatively more permanent and hence the chances of errors being recorded increase. For an overall mastery of language all the four skills are important but for Pakistani students, and especially for the students of degree level, writing skill is more important as the students’ linguistic competence in the examination is assessed through writing only. Our examinations are writing oriented and although more time and attention is paid to writing skills yet even after so much coaching and care the performance of our students remain very poor. Students keep committing grave errors in large number and remain unable to write even a few sentences in grammatically correct English. Many students at B.A. level fail simply because of the subject of English and many leave their education for good because of repeated failure in this subject. Therefore, the researcher felt a dire need to see into the nature, causes and frequency of errors in written English at degree level with a view to making suggestion to minimize these errors and hence help the teachers as well as students to improve the situation.
The aim of the research was to highlight the weak areas of the students while writing English as well as to determine the attitude of the students and the teachers towards written errors. Error free written English is the ideal in the mind of the researcher which he wants to achieve for the students at degree level; after all the students have been studying English for the last fourteen years, a pretty lengthy period indeed. The researcher studied the trend of setting papers and analyzed the errors of the students at sentence level and also in the context. To authenticate the data, interviews of the teachers were conducted for qualitative data and analysis. In the end, on the basis of the findings conclusion is drawn and suggestions are given for the reduction, if not total eradication of errors. These suggestions will not only help the teachers in designing remedial programme but also the students in improving their written English.
Socialization of Beginning English Teachers in Pakistan
English language teaching in Pakistan has been experiencing a period of rapid and multiple reforms in different areas including professional socialization of English teachers. This doctoral study was conducted to examine the relationship between socialization content and effective socialization process of beginning English teachers during the initial four years of their service. Socialization content was identified with four variables: task mastery of teaching skill, professional learning, relationship with senior colleagues, and organizational culture. Effective socialization has been interpreted as the criterion through which the success of the organization’s socialization programs and individuals is evaluated. The survey method was used for generating the desired data. A sample was chosen carefully from the colleges located in Punjab province and Islamabad. A detailed questionnaire comprising three main sections and four sub-sections was used for data collection. A separate questionnaire was used for the Heads of English Department to supplement the research findings. The collected data, from 295 respondents, was examined through descriptive analysis and then computed for interpretation with linear and multiple regression analyses to test study hypotheses.
The results did not approve the Null hypothesis of no relationship between socialization content and effective socialization of beginning English teachers. The alternative hypotheses were accepted which assumed a positive relationship between effective socialization (DV) and individual variable of socialization content (IV). Many socialization challenges were found related to beginning teachers’ mastery on teaching skill, on-the-job professional development through formal training programs and job experiences, relationship with experienced colleagues for advice and support, and administrative and cultural inconsistencies.
Finally, the study has suggested that introducing mentoring and cost-effective PD models can improve professional skills along with the enhancement in relationship among teachers through various socialization programs. The principals/ administrators can contribute to favorable organizational culture, empowering beginning teachers in classrooms, which may have a positive effect on teachers’ self-perception. There is a need to focus on workplace learning programs with a mind shift from theoretical lectures/ workshops to real life practices. It is hoped that findings of this research would help in developing strategies for the forthcoming socialization and professional challenges in the perspective of English language teaching reforms in Pakistan.
Pakistan is a land of linguistic diversity having more than sixty languages. Punjabi, along with its numerous mutually intelligible dialects, is an ancient language. It is mainly spoken in the Pakistani province of Punjab and Indian Punjab in the subcontinent. It is a member of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. The aim of this ethnographic study is to explore the status of Punjabi language in our society by looking at the language usage and linguistic practices of Punjabi native speakers residing in selected urban and rural areas. Ten families, five from urban area and five from rural area, participated in the study. The participants were selected on the basis of their educational level, marital status, monthly income, occupation, family background and the size of land owned by them.
The theoretical framework which informs this research is the constructivist qualitative paradigm. The tools of data collection include semi structured interviews and recordings of informal conversation of the research participants. The analysis of the collected data reveals that in the urban areas, Punjabi language is not the dominant medium of communication among the research participants. The participants do not consider it important and worthwhile to maintain Punjabi language, as they do not see it as economically advantageous and profitable to them. It is just a part of their cultural heritage, but they do not use it for communicative purposes. In the rural areas, however, the research participants expressed a strong sense of association and affiliation with Punjabi language; Punjabi language is their dominant medium of communication with others; they consider Punjabi an inevitable part of their cultural heritage and identity; they support the idea of learning English and Urdu languages but not at the cost of Punjabi language.
These findings suggest that language desertion is an urban phenomenon, as Punjabi language is not maintained by the urban research participants due to certain wider socio-political factors which have disrupted and distorted the status of Punjabi language while consolidating the role of English and Urdu in the society.
The Role of Pakistani English Newspapers in Promoting the Pakistani Variety of English
Pakistani English is heavily influenced by both Pakistani languages and indigenous cultures of Pakistan. It has developed its own grammatical and lexical features that are fairly different from those of Standard British English. Many linguists studying Pakistani variety of English language have focused on Pakistani English newspapers as an important source of data since they can provide a documented proof of the differences from the standard norms. It is relatively a new idea to identify the role of English newspapers, which can be determined only if the influence of the language of the newspapers is reflected in the writing of its readership. For this purpose, the present expost facto, causal comparative research was conducted to find the impact of language of the newspapers on its readership.
The research consists of two phases: in the first phase a Survey conducted and in the second phase a Written Test was dispensed. The survey was conducted by the researcher through a simple questionnaire and those males and females who were used to reading any one of these newspapers and having no other reading habit were selected as sample of the research.
In the second phase, an open book written test was given to the selected sample to find deviations in their language. It was found that the deviations from the native norms which have been regular feature of English newspapers published in Pakistan are reflected in the language of the readers of theses newspapers. Thus, the result justifies the role of English newspapers in promotion of the deviations which have been identified as a sign of a new variety of English.
A Comparative Study of the Syntactic & Morphological Errors of Iranian EFL Learners with Reference to Persian as Their First Language
Since the term Error analysis was given unprecedented significance in the late sixties, as a reaction to CA, a number of studies in the field of second language learning have addressed this unusual phenomenon because of the wide ranging implications that this area of research has for explaining the nature of human language faculty and the process of language acquisition in general. Although over the years, each particular aspect of EA has been examined by different scholars, a lot more is needed to extract different kinds of errors and to analyze them scientifically. This research study was an attempt to examine the notion of error as a deciding area in the field of second language acquisition and the major causes for making errors across learners and analyzing their major syntactic problems categorizing the errors and estimating the frequency of each group of errors according to previous scientific measures.
This study was particularly aimed at identifying the sources of syntactical errors of Iranian English learners and illustrating the role of mother tongue interference as the basic source of errors in this study. The performance data was gathered from a subject pool consisting of 250 learners from a more or less the same background learning English as their foreign language who attended TOLIMO, which is a test for Ph.D. applicants in Iran. In this study, different pattern of syntactic morphological errors, their frequency of occurrence and the overall shapes of error production curves were analyzed across a particular group of participants who attended TOLIMO Test to reflect the sources of their errors. Since the field of EA has a greater capacity for revealing the learners' system of errors, it is crucial to uncover this system in order to discover and explain the problems of ESL/EFL learners.
A detailed study of the factors leading to errors would be a fruitful avenue to pursue for insights into the nature of learners' linguistic system providing us with clues to a deeper understanding of the acquisition process. So far, the aim has been to show how interference of mother tongue and intralingul effects are responsible for commitment of some syntactic errors in the writings of Iranian EFL learners. A lot more longitudinal studies will be needed to examine not only syntactic but orthographic, phonological, morphological and lexical errors of EFL/ESL learners.