English Language Teaching: Implementing Collaborative Language Learning Approach in Federal Colleges of Pakistan
Most of the college students in Pakistan, irrespective of their gender cannot communicate effectively and confidently in English. Despite the fact that they are taught English as a second language from an early stage of their educational life, they never develop communicative command on English. This incompetency of learners is largely attributed to faulty language teaching system in Pakistan. Keeping in view the effectiveness of sociocultural language learning framework, this research set out to implement collaborative language learning environment in our colleges.
The main objective was to analyze whether collaborative language learning will help the learners to improve their listening and speaking skills or not. It also aimed to find out that how successfully collaborative language learning can be implemented within our context as well as to highlight the hurdles which may impede its implementation. To achieve the said purpose, this experimental research was divided into three phases mainly: pre-test, experimental study and post-test. The pre-test assessed the learners’ existing competency level at the beginning of the study. Subsequently, the experimental study was applied following the sociocultural paradigm to assist the learners towards gaining communicative competency by working collaboratively. The post-test, held at the end of the experimental study period, helped to critically evaluate if the collaborative language learning approach had actually supported the learners to enhance their conversational or communicative efficiency in English. As revealed by the findings of the study, the experimental groups performed comparatively better than the controlled groups during the post-test. The participants of experimental study demonstrated better understanding of the ideas, messages and information offered in English, as far as listening skill was concerned. The study also discovered that the experimental performed better in speaking skill tasks registering significant enhancement in their oral proficiency.
These findings are quite important as they ascertain the fact that collaborative language learning paradigm can effectively facilitate the learners to enhance their communicative skills a great deal, if implemented carefully and systematically within our context, without bringing about major changes within the existing infrastructure. However, the study suggests that the teachers should be trained, textbooks be revised adding speaking and listening skill focused tasks and assessment system should include communicative skills evaluation so that the teaching of English as a collaborative endeavour can be facilitated and implemented effectively.
Influence of Medium Change on Pashto Narrativization with Close Reference to English Narrativization
Pashto oral traditions, seen in comparison with literate works, are normally looked down upon, especially by the Pashtun literate society. The research hypothesizes that the contempt is due to misconception caused by the change of medium from oral to literate, and rises up to explore it inside Pashto literature, in a sequence. First, the researcher examined the change of medium from primary orality to literacy in general Pashto literature, with close reference to English literature and its crucial role in the switch over from primary orality to literacy, then narrowed down the study to those forms of oral and written Pashto literature that involved the narrative form, and then, for detailed analyses narrowed it down further to the study of a specific Pashto oral narrative, `Yousuf Khan Sherbano', in its various oral and literate versions.
The thesis examined and interpreted the art of narrativization from a perspective of oral-literacy contrast, through a sequence, namely, primary orality, literacy and secondary orality. Use of intensive textual analysis of various communication theorists, linguists and psychologists is made on the subject. The inferences and insights generated by the analyses have been organized together into a fresh argument about transition in the mode of expression and its corollaries. By applying research about contrast between orality and literacy, the thesis lets the reader appreciate the true worth of Pashto oral traditions. On one hand, it revealed that oral products are not inferior to the modern literate products, but are rather different, for being the product of a different medium. When examined, the products of mediums of primary orality and literacy come out to be different, and the impact of the medium is borne by its respective literary product to such a considerable degree that it will not be justified to pass value judgment on the products of primary orality, by applying standards of literacy.
On the other hand, it showed the correct mutual relationship of the mediums of primary orality and literacy. Products of primary orality and literacy can share same characteristics, in varying degrees, and they exist along a continuum. Features of one medium are not exclusively its own, but can be represented by another medium to such an extent, that it will be wrong to exaggerate the difference between the mediums of primary orality and literacy so much, as to consider them opposite poles or mutually exclusive.
An Analytical Study of Domestication in V.G Kiernan’s Translation of Muhammad Iqbal’s Poetry into English
The researcher has explored the elements of domestication in Kiernan's translation of Iqbal. The study has established the presence of highly structured and complex domestication in Kiernan's translation. Domestication is a translation strategy which seeks to obliterate the linguistic and cultural identity of the source text and re-writes it in line with the norms and canons of the target text.
The researcher has also examined the nature and effects of this domestication on the translation. Through a thematic and extended discussion it has been established that there are multiple categories of domestication present in the data such as Anglicization, classificational dislocation, explicitation, omission, ennoblement, qualitative impoverishment, distortion, mistranslation, and prosodic domestication. Moreover, in order to give a wider and deeper reliability to the findings, the researcher has also carried out a comprehensive corpus analysis of the data. For this purpose he has designed an elaborate corpus of eighty five highly domesticated words/phrases. Each of these words/phrases has been subjected to an extensive analysis and the insights emerging thereby have been correlated to the issue of domestication.
The study has also demonstrated how this domestication has considerably deprived Iqbal of his 'voice' and has affected the linguistic and cultural features of the source text. For the methodology, the researcher has employed the textual analysis which is primarily situated in the domain of qualitative research. Through this analysis, the researcher has critically interpreted and evaluated the data instead of merely describing it. All the conclusions/findings have been consistently correlated with the textual evidence from the data. All these findings and insights have enabled the researcher to problematize Kiernan's translation and relate it to a larger body of investigation in the discipline of translation studies. As regards the theoretical framework the researcher has used Lawrence Venuti's model of foreignization and domestication which contends that, rather than being a liability, it is one of the greatest assets of a translation to appear unfamiliar and foreign since that is the only way to register and negotiate the linguistic and cultural features of the source text. Besides, as per this model, the researcher has conceptualized translation in a broader perspective as a site of ideological conflict for power and supremacy which is constantly animated by multiple linguistic and literary factors/variables.
Rewritings: A Feminist / Postcolonial Study of Absences in Western Canonical Texts
This feminist and postcolonial study of the rewritings explores the absences found in the Western texts. Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea (1968), J. M. Coetzee’s Foe (1987) and Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad (2005) are the primary texts which have been analyzed during the study. Generally, these rewritings respond to three Western canonical texts which are Homer’s The Odyssey, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (1847). Specifically, the rewritten characters are Bertha Mason of Jane Eyre, an undocumented woman (Susan Barton) and Friday from Robinson Crusoe and, Penelope and her twelve maids from The Odyssey. The word “absences” has been taken synonymous with silences and erasures in the study and the feminist and postcolonial parallel themes of othering, identity and representation have been studied. The deconstructive reading of the texts has revealed that rewritings occupy the in-between space generated between the theoretical positions taken by Homi K. Bhabha and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak about the recovery of voice.
Though the reversal of binaries has been noted at the level of narrative voice, yet the narration by women has also created new binary oppositions in the texts to the disadvantage of the women and the colonized people. During this process, some women and the colonized characters have been mispresented and their stories have been left-out. Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s taking rewriting as a process of rerighting is “partially” applicable in case of these texts as the rewritings have partially re righted the characters.
The main factors which have limited the effectiveness of these rewritings are the anxiety of influence, authorship and mispresentation shown by the rewriter and narrator, strong patriarchal and colonial set up and absence of justice for the women and the colonized characters. However, the prominent feature of these rewritings is that the narrators have neither compromised with the patriarchal and colonial acts of injustices nor have resigned to their imposed identities. The rewritings have been, however, successful in building up an alternative view for the despised characters. The newly developed erasures in the rewritings create possibility for new rewritings of these rewritings.
An Evaluation of English Language Course at Bachelor of Arts Level
An English language course is expected to possess the vital quality necessary to develop the intended language competency in the learners. The present study was designed to examine the effectiveness of B.A. compulsory English course and textbooks to meet the pedagogical requirements and target needs of the students. The study also evaluated the effectiveness of the Curriculum of English 2002 spelt out by the Higher Education Commission and its level of harmony with the course and textbooks. The researcher carried out the study under set objectives and research questions. In literature review, he discussed the objectives of English language teaching, curriculum, syllabus, teaching methodology, needs analysis, importance and role of textbooks, concept and various aspects of evaluation, and testing and assessment.
The researcher used qualitative and quantitative techniques for data collection. The population comprised the teachers and graduate students from all degree colleges affiliated with University of the Punjab. Sample consisted of 100 teachers and 400 students. The researcher appraised the effectiveness of the contents of 04 core textbooks, which served the purpose of the course, by using two questionnaires and a composite checklist. The composite checklist suitable to the local conditions was developed by consulting 14 checklists designed by renowned evaluators. Evaluation model of Charles was used for the purpose of research design which includes objective and subjective data.
Objective and subjective analysis was carried out using questionnaires and the composite checklist respectively. Both the analyses showed certain lacunas in the course and textbooks. The prominent among them were: the course was literature based; it is too lengthy to be covered in the stipulated time frame; it was not functional and communicative; it did not enhance the macro and micro skills; and it was demotivating for self-esteem of the learners.
The researcher gave his findings and recommendations to attain the aim of linguistic and communicative competence of the students. The researcher concluded the research with recommendation for the future researchers, and expressions of his best wishes for English language teaching in the country.
Subalternity and Representation: A Feminist analysis of the issue of Divorce in the selected Novels
For Spivak, the idea of subalternity as encapsulated in “Can the Subaltern Speak”? (1994) is a complex definition, encompassing the way concrete historical locations, social relations as well as political structures interconnect to consolidate subordination of a particular group or people. In terms of the representational neglect of divorce in contemporary literary studies, utilizing Spivak’s concept of subalternity has meant that women, along with many other subaltern groups have long had their experiences being denigrated and excluded in favour of the masculinised knowledge of the discipline. As a consequence, despite the prevalence of divorce as a theme in the contemporary Indian/Pakistani women's fiction, critical exploration of the issue of divorce within postcolonial literary criticism has been slightly considered.
This study offers a feminist analysis of the divorce experience of the female protagonists in five postcolonial novels, which include: The God of Small Things, Ancient Promises, Sister of My Heart, My Feudal Lord and Typhoon. This study draws upon Stuart Hall’s idea of representation as an ideologically inscribed process for investigating the context and its relevance with the theme of divorce in the selected texts. It highlights that divorce is an experience, which is meticulously constituted in time and space, and when coupled with the gendered identity of a female protagonist render her marginal. The divorced woman is peripherized by the mechanisms of patriarchal ideology which surrounds the institution of divorce and places her to a subaltern position in comparison to her male counterpart.
A Study of Non -Observance of Gricean Maxims in Females
According to Grice, we must adhere to four maxims i.e. the maxim of quantity, quality, relevance and manner, in our speech. Adherence to these maxims makes a speaker obliged that the information passed by him/her must carry quantity in it i.e. it should he as informative as is required. In quality maxim, the contribution of a speaker should be based on truth and s/he should not say something without having complete knowledge. Lastly, the contribution should be relevant and clear as well (Grice, 1975). Observance of these maxims in cooperative principle is a rational behavior which benefits the participants in conversation (Verschueren, 1999).
Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used in the present study to investigate non-observance of Gricean maxims in females' formal speech and the reasons behind it. For exploring non-observance of quantity, relevance and manner maxims in females' formal speech formal presentations of females were recorded in national / international conferences and workshops. The results have proved that there is observance of the maxims of relevance and manner however there is non-observance of the quantity maxim in females' formal speech. Thus, contrary to the common belief that women are more talkative, they spoke less in the formal speech. One can also see close association between age/qualification and observance, for instance, the observance of maxims is higher in older females' speech as compared to the younger ones. Similarly, females with higher qualification observed the maxims of relevance and manner but flouted the maxim of quantity.
A Critical Study of Inter- Discursive Constructions of Language in Novel Texts
This qualitative research aims to explore how language use constructs identity, gender and power relations inter-discursively in the two novel texts — 'Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco and 'Trespassing' by Uzma Aslam Khan.
It also examines implications of inter-discursivity and its effects upon meaning making. Chapter 1 critically unfolds the inter-discursivity as deeply linked with interdisciplinarity and intertextuality. It also illustrates assumptions concerning discourses of the texts and research questions. Chapter 2 carefully builds a theoretical framework basing on analytical perspectives of Cultural Studies (CS) and Critical Feminism Discourse Studies (CFDS) and inter-discursive notions of Foucault, Bakhtin, Kristeva, Fairclough, Wodak, Mills, Blommaert, Jorgensen and Phillips, Cixous, Pecheux, van Dijk, Nietzsche, Hutcheon, etc. In Literature Review, specific and relevant views have been critically examined to assess the scope for further research and understanding of perspectives and positions from which the novel texts under study can be explored. Chapter 3 presents the research design that is based on analytical strategy of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), epistemological bearings of analytical perspectives of CS and CFDS and the multidirectional and interdisciplinary model, Discourse Historical Approach (DHA) of Ruth Wodak.
The novel texts are extensively analysed and interpreted in chapters 4 and 5 respectively to explore the research questions using Wodak's DHA that mainly focuses on the contexts and the important five discursive strategies used generally in the discourses to affect specific meanings for the construction of identity, gender and power relations. Based on the intensively carried out analysis and interpretations of the two texts, insights and understandings about inter-discursivity and certain issues of language use are noted and discussed in Chapter 6. Limitations of this study are also discussed in this chapter with the view that inter-discursivity does not stop making further connections, hence the readers of this research can go further to explore and enrich the field of inter-discursivity.
Poststructuralist and Postcolonial Analysis of the Myth of Objectivity of Anglo-American Literary Tradition
Anglo-American Literary Tradition is humanist, mimetic, teleological and canonical. Humanism manifests itself in its emphasis on individual as a unified entity and a rational being and culminates in valorizing the author and the reader. Mimesis signifies representation, depiction, presentation, realism, correspondence, and resemblance. Mimetic view of language suggests that language describes and represents reality objectively. Anglo-American Literary Tradition is canonical. Shakespeare is presented as the centre of Western literary canon and is considered as indispensable to the western culture as Christ is to Christianity. Teleology reflects itself in the concern among the western critics and authors for the maintenance of form of literature and its role in life.
The objectivity of Anglo-American Literary Tradition implies that it is neutral, impersonal and universal. Poststructuralism challenges and subverts the traditional concepts of language, author, text, meaning and reading practices. It exposes the western culture to be phonocentric, phallocentric and logocentric. Postmodernism denies all claims to objectivity, universality and teleology. It denies all truth claims and privileges hyper-reality. Postcolonial criticism exposes western art and literature to be complicit in the colonization project. The postcolonial critics show how the myths of universality and objectivity were enlisted in projecting western culture and ideology through art and literature in the once colonized world. Shakespeare was imposed on the colonized people as a source of universal values. His works were projected as embodying human nature. Shakespeare was enrolled in the colonization project for his valorizing western race and culture and condemnation of people of other cultures and religions. Presence of racist and colonial content in his work has seriously dented his reputation as champion of humanity. The critics from the postcolonial world are taking Shakespeare to task for his involvement in race politics.
Discursive Construction of Local Culture In Schimmel's Analysis of Sufi Poetry
The study is an enquiry into construction of local culture within Schimmel’s interpretive discourse on Sufi poetry. Discursive construction acquires significance visibly noticed in research pursuits pertaining to construction of local culture, ideological perspectives embedded within interpretation of Sufi poetry and investigation of the level of adequacy in Schimmel’s reconstruction of local culture. The examination of Schimmel’s works through a critical discourse perspective is a distinct dimension of investigation within Sufi discourse.
Further, investigation of a Western scholar’s profound understanding and evident inclination towards Sufi themes also acquires significance. Employment of research-based methods of enquiry for Sufi interpretive discourse, promotion of ‘Discourse Competence’, portrayal of various cultural aspects embedded within local cultural traditions, revival of various folk elements incorporated within Sufi interpretive discourse and formation of a positive and tolerant image of Islamic concept of Sufism through promotion of cultural values are some of the prominent aspects signifying my study. Seeking insights from CDA as the most preferred method of enquiry, Fairclough’s three-dimensional model with textual, discursive and social dimensions was applied on 15 selected texts from three core books of Schimmel: Pain and Grace, Mystical Dimensions of Islam and As through a Veil.
The study reveals the evident instances of discursively constructed local culture through various indicators reflected through folk traditions, traditional love element, music, superstitions, Sufi beliefs and practices etc. The traces of Schimmel’s ideologies are evident through frequent ‘value assumptions’ through which she relates her beliefs with various Sufi, folk and cultural themes. Prominence of authorial voice reflected through maneuvering of intertextual references, relations of elaboration, additive relations, frequency of her subjective stance and grasp over the minutest cultural details are indicative of a considerably adequate reconstruction of local culture within her analysis of Sufi poetry.
Relation of Phonemic Transcription to the Pronunciation of Pakistan Learners of English: a NUML Case Study
Pronunciation is a very important component of language since verbal aspect of language is more important than its written aspect because of the volume of day to day verbal communication. This basic component of language becomes very important in foreign language learning /teaching because it involves a great deal of conscious learning where there is no native speech community around in most cases. In case of English, it becomes even more crucial due to vocalic richness that it possesses, the lack of correspondence between its actual sounds and its letters of the alphabet and its inherent stress-timed nature. Therefore, both teachers and learners have to be extremely careful in terms of its pronunciation.
The present study was conducted to find out correlation between the written and verbal performance of Pakistani learners of English studying at Diploma Level in National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, Pakistan. Correlation was found in monophthongs (single or pure vowels), diphthongs (double vowels or glides) and lexical stress. The members (both male and female) of the study sample (N=375) hailed from 11 different linguistic backgrounds which include all major languages spoken in the country. The data were collected with the help of two tests: one for written performance and the other for verbal performance. The data were statistically compared in order to determine correlation. The correlation was found with the help of Pearson Product Moment Formula. Though members of the study sample with different linguistic backgrounds exhibited their typical articulatory features, yet results of the study generally indicated strong (in the area of monophthongs), medium (in the area of diphthongs) and weak (in the area of lexical stress) though positive relationship between what the members of the study sample transcribed in phonemic symbols and what they pronounced. As far as the issues of gender and L1 are concerned, the former does not appear to be a crucial factor in terms of articulation whereas the latter does.
Comparative Study of Psycholinguistic Devices Used by Victorian Authors
A critical debate exists among the discourse analysts in context of the supremacy of spoken discourses on written discourse, and vice versa. The proponents of these two schools have denigrating arguments about each discourse. The present study endeavors to prove how written discourses follow the principles of the spoken channels and how do the literary authors demonstrate such canons in their literary productions.
Moreover, the present study discusses that how do literary writers cope with the changing mental scenarios of the fictional characters through observing a change in language of these characters. In this research work, the researcher carries out the psycholinguistic analysis of three Victorian novels to evaluate the effects of trauma on the employed language of the characters of the selected novels. In the present study, the researcher codes the texts of three Victorian novelists: Charles Dickens, George Eliot and Thomas Hardy in different phases of their characters‘ fictional lives and compares how the selected writers are different and similar in depicting the effects of the psychological stimuli on language production of these characters. In the present study, the researcher analyzes the text samples of the selected characters to evaluate the effects of trauma on language of the selected characters and their depiction through phonological, lexical, morphological and orthographic devices.
A Study of Language Strategies in Transgressive Texts
This study focuses on language as a site of resistance in transgressive texts. These texts are taken as resistants to colonialism that offer meaning-making possibilities through the exploration of language strategies, and simultaneously allow the expansion of cognitive domain for seeing things from the perspective of wholeness as opposed to segregation. This quest for wholeness invites me to study the language strategies with focus on metonyms, dead metaphors and live metaphors that provide insight into colonialist practices and pave the way for anti-colonial spaces and new truths.
In the context of the continuing colonial phase in new and covert ways, this study brings forth the reactive and proactive modes of resistance posited by the language strategies accordingly. Unlike the metonyms and dead metaphors, the transformational, reflexive, anti-colonial and proactive resistance prompted by the live metaphors increases chances for engagement in humanness and at the same time displays the capacity for correcting the myopic vision. Contrary to the metonymic mapping, the metaphorical mapping involves the connection between two distinct mental domains which accounts for the extension in meaning-making especially in the case of live metaphors.
This study seeks to broaden the primal difference between the live and dead metaphors and the opposite roles that they play in the context of anti-colonial resistance and possible extension of cognitive abilities. Depending upon the reciprocal relationship between linguistic and thinking patterns, this research furthers the argument that language has the power either to extend mental capabilities or mislead or destroy these that would annihilate peaceful existence in the world. The positive impact of the study relates to the transformational possibilities associated with the language strategies. The tensions within language strategies address the issues of segregation, exclusion, voice and power and the release of tensions provides hope and promise for the peaceful integration of ethnic varieties in multicultural backdrop.
Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis of Contemporary South Asian and Native American Novels
People of South Asia and Native America have somewhat similar destinies. Both sides are invaded, displaced and exploited by the intruders and the foreign occupiers. Therefore, the study examines contemporary South Asian and Native American novels in the light of Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis while highlighting the similarities and differences that exist on both sides in the condition of female characters and representation of gender in a comparative analysis. For this purpose different forms of oppression employed to oppress female characters, discursive production of power and dominance, reworking and contesting of the assumptions embedded in the hegemonic gender ideology by female characters and representation of gender are the vital concerns taken up in the study. Since Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis combines the perspective of Critical Discourse Analysis and Feminism, it facilitates the exploration of above mentioned subject matter. Complex and subtle issues of power, gender and ideology are scrutinized by the theory. Dialogism with its emphasis on utterances, context, polyphony, heteroglossia, temporal and spatial framework is employed as a method to investigate the novels. Despite geographical distance and difference, South Asians and Native Americans have certain analogous experiences. Female characters are seen subjected to various overt and covert forms of oppression in the South Asian and Native American novels but their sufferings diverge in their magnitude and size, intensity and level, degree and extent. Written and spoken, verbal and non-verbal dimensions of language are studied in the discourse. Discursive power and dominance is materialized in interactions.
Domination and authority is asserted by controlling interactions, commencing and concluding them on one’s own initiative, not caring for the actions and reactions, words and thoughts of the other person involved. False generalizations and ideologies are means to enact power and dominance discursively. Manipulation through discourse leads to conditioning, acceptability and hegemony. The female characters breach the taboos, get involved in the processes of mental and spiritual development to rework and redefine their position. They challenge and rebel, discarding what is falsely established and associated with them. They aspire and then work to transpire their hopes, dreams and ambitions into reality. The female characters are very much visible in the novels, performing their traditional as well as nontraditional roles. Characters, both male and female, are portrayed on human level with all their offerings and failings.