Relation of Phonemic Transcription to the Verbal Pronunciation of Pakistani Learners of English
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 the in terms of its pronunciation.
The present study was conducted to find correlation between the written and verbal performance of Pakistani learners of English studying at Diploma Level. 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 one 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 issue of gender is concerned, it does not appear to be a crucial factor in terms of articulation.
A Phenomenological Study of Mulilingual Memory and Lexical Access
Bilingual memory has been a subject of psycholinguistic experimental studies for the last 6 decades, whereas the study of multilingual memory has so far largely been excluded. Moreover, the psycholinguistic studies, though proven highly insightful, have always excessively relied on the experimental tasks used in them to the extent that the subjects as language users were overshadowed. These were the two concerns that led the present study to examine two of the psycholinguistic phenomena, multilingual memory and lexical access, phenomenologically without disregarding the insight gained from psycholinguistic studies. Under the phenomenological framework, lived experiences of Punjabi-Urdu-English (P-U-E) trilinguals were explored in order to find out the processes these trilinguals employed for learning the three languages and making them work. Three of the phenomenological methods: semi-structured lifeworld interviews, focus group discussions and essay writing, were used for eliciting the experiences of 40 P-U-E trilingual participants, chosen from three different age groups (18-23 years, 30-40 years, and 50-60 years or above) to observe developmental changes in the learning and use of the three languages over a long period of time. Data explicitation was carried out using Hycner’s (1985) 15-step process, especially formulated for keeping the essence of the participants’ experiences of the phenomena intact. Major findings were: (1) the effect of the age of acquisition on the learning of new languages, L2 as well as L3, (2) Dependence on Urdu for using English and translation asymmetry at lower L3 proficiency levels, (3) Developmental aspect, (4) The need to exert conscious control for stopping interference from the other two languages in order to speak one language consistently, and (5) Proficiency as the most significant factor in lexical selection. On comparing the findings of this phenomenological study with the results of psycholinguistic experimental studies, a phenomenological model emerged that attempts to capture the trilingual memory structure of a P-U-E trilingual, i.e., how the three lexicons are organized, how they interact with each other, and how lexical access is accomplished.
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 invigorate and 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.
An Exploration of Motivation And Attitude of Teachers Towards English as Medium of Instruction in Rural Pakistan
History of medium of instruction in Pakistan is marked by alternations mainly between two languages i.e. Urdu and English, the former being its national while the latter official language. Lately, the government of Punjab took an ostensibly decisive step in this regard by imposing EMI (English as Medium of Instruction) for content subjects in all public sector schools of Punjab. It led to a complex situation because the teachers, expected to use EMI, are in no way different from EFL learners of any level in their proficiency.
In view of this situation, the current study was designed to explore the motivation and attitude of the teachers of rural areas towards EMI policy of the Punjab government. A survey from six districts of Punjab (selected on the basis of Human Development Index) was conducted using triangulation as a data collection technique. Following convenience sampling 100 questionnaires were distributed among the teachers from each of the selected districts making it thus a total of 600 questionnaires overall. Interviews of 25 principals/in-charges of the schools were conducted with at least three from each of the six districts.
A hybridization of socio-educational model of R. C. Gardner and WTC (Willingness to Communicate) model by MacIntyre was used for theoretical grounding and for the purpose of instrumentation. Percentages and chi-square were used to find variation on the basis of gender, age and qualification. Correlation and regression analyses were used to discover the nature of relationship among the selected variables. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to confirm the path from motivation to WTC as hypothesized (but found not confirmed) by Yashima (2002).
The path from motivation towards WTC was confirmed through SEM. Qualification was found to be the most important predictor of motivation. The teachers were discovered not to be motivated by any means at present. However, a predominantly optimistic view was found existent among the participants about the future of EMI. Training was pointed out as one of the most important requirements by the teachers. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that these teachers should be provided intensive language training to develop adequate proficiency.
A Linguistic Study of the Psychological Aspects of Aphasia
This is a cross disciplinary study as it draws upon ideas from neurology, linguistics, developmental psychology and philosophy and examines the effects of emotional security on the process of language recovery after aphasia. Language recovery after aphasia is generally studied by using the standardized terminologies from the domains of first language acquisition and second language learning. This orients and controls the ways in which researchers look into this phenomenon ignoring its own uniqueness. Overemphasis on concepts such as neural plasticity and critical period has resulted in neglecting the emotional and psychological aspects of the process. The neurological and linguistic debates over aphasia support the existence of a critical period till which the human brain can retain its plasticity. This study challenges these ideas by discovering the positive effects of emotional stability and security on language recovery of an aphasic even when s/he had crossed the so-called critical period. The study covers one year of the linguistic recovery process of the research participant. The data collection methods included audio recordings of the research participant’s speech, diary notes about her linguistic performance and discussions with her physician about the same. The insights drawn in the end strongly support the positive effects of emotional security on language recovery after aphasia. The study concludes with grounded theory that emerges from the data. The researcher has named it as her theory of emotionicology. This theory is based on the serendipitous discovery that not only initiation of positive emotions help in language recovery but also inclusion of the negative emotion, that is, aggression in controlled and mild forms (at advanced stages of recovery) can be used for further fuelling the speech production process. It is, however, suggested that aggression has to be employed with caution and should be applied only by a trained caregiver in brief episodes (of say 10-15 seconds) when the aphasic is emotionally and physically secure. This study also stresses that for the betterment of the aphasic, the caregiver has to acquire emotional competence as a skill. The understanding in the end is purely subjective, and situated. Thus, no generalization claims follow.
Application of Andragogical Principles for Teaching of English to Adult EPM Learners
Andragogy has been criticized for generalizing the distinguishing characteristics of white American middle class males. This study negates this criticism by successfully applying it for teaching of English to adult Asian Pakistani language learners at university level. It was an action research which applied andragogical principles for teaching of English to three cohorts of adult EPM learners for a period of one and a half year at NUML. During this study learners’ linguistic performance was evaluated against the prescribed criteria through content analysis. To triangulate the assessment of learners’ linguistic performance, it was also evaluated via semi-structured interviews, taken from other teachers who taught these adult learners later in other semesters. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used to take learners’ feedback about their present and past experiences of learning English. The quantitative analyses of learners’ linguistic performance and thematic analysis of peer evaluation reveal a marked improvement in their productive linguistic skills in English. Empirical findings exhibit that non-traditional adult learners consistently sustain better performance across all three cohorts. Application of andragogical principles was found to be facilitative for making these adult language learners proactive. After conducting this research, the researcher suggests to the teachers of adults to be critically reflective andragogues; who not only understand various cognitive, psychological and emotional characteristics of adult learners but can use peer support and peer cooperation for promoting cooperative classroom environment. It is extrapolated from this study that andragogy is helpful for establishing a dialogical and facilitative relationship with adult learners and the use of emotional competence works as a catalyst in facilitating the application of andragogical principles as it helps to behave mindfully in stressful and complex situations for bringing positive results. Moreover, the study suggests that through personal teaching praxis, teachers delve deeply into their teaching methodology before its application and reflect on each activity before its execution. They extrapolate from their own errors and not only expand their learners’ linguistic knowledge base but also broaden their own professional competence.
Communication Barriers in Medical Setting: A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Doctor-Patient Medical Discourse.
Doctor-patient medical discourse has not received much attention in the study of health care service delivery in Pakistan. Despite sophisticated technologies for medical diagnosis and treatment, communication remains the primary means by which the doctor and the patient exchange health information. While proper communication determines the quality of medical care, poor communication often results in misunderstanding, causing lack of compliance, dissatisfaction, and negative health outcome of the patients as well as an increased risk of malpractices.
In view of this situation, this sociolinguistic study was designed to explore the status of doctor-patient medical discourse in government hospitals of district Rawalpindi. For conducting this study, both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used as well as extensive literature reviews, questionnaire surveys consisting of both open-ended and closed-ended questions for doctors, and structured interview with patients were also done. A survey from eight tehsils of district Rawalpindi was conducted. Following convenience sampling, 400 questionnaires were distributed among the doctors of eight tehsils of district Rawalpindi. Interviews of 24 patients were also conducted along with observation.
The results showed how different factors such as language, patient's health literacy and health awareness, doctors’ training in communication skills, listening comprehension, privacy, time of consultation affect the doctor-patient medical discourse. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that government should make training of communication skills mandatory for doctors. Hiring of interpreters/translators can also be helpful to overcome the miscommunication issues. There is need to appoint more doctors in government hospitals so that they may able to give ample time to each patient. More waiting areas should be allocated in hospitals which will make corridors less noisy. As a result, the doctors and the patients would be able to discuss issues in a better way. Local doctors are to be preferred for transfer at home stations.
A Critical Discourse Analysis of Hugo Chavez’ Rhetoric: A Study of Dominance and Resistance
The present study intends to explore some of the contemporary issues of Language and Power that are critically embedded in the dialectics of dominance and resistance and being effected through discursive practices. With these underpinnings, this study focuses on the tense and strained relationship between America and Venezuela and the consequences of such relationship in the form of resistant discourse emanating from the speeches and interviews of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Critical Discourse Analysis as a theoretical construct in Van Dijk’s framework will be applied to analyze the resistant discourse of as many as five speeches and two interviews of Chavez in order to view it against the background of the hegemonic discourses of America; is neighbor to Venezuela and economically and politically more powerful.
The thesis seeks to explore the implications of the rhetoric of resistance of the former Venezuelan president in order to determine how it forges a counter discourse to the hegemonic discourse. The study also attempts to determine how it not only tries to accuse America of injustice but also seeks to make the world rethink about the socio-political changes that have been brought through resistant rhetoric. From the perspective of CDA, such counter discourses can be of great help towards effecting a viable social change in the present consumerist age of international politics, as such this study is of a valuable contribution to the volume of research already available in this area.
Representations of Islam: A Study Into The Discourse of Pakistani And The Western Newspaper
The present research is an attempt to explore how ideologically loaded linguistic and semiotic discourse(s) are used to represent Islam and the Muslims stereotypically in the Western newspapers and how the West is represented likewise in Pakistani newspapers. The researcher has decoded the discourse(s) of the articles and semiotic texts at the levels of title, use of words, sentence, discourse, use of pronouns and Implicatures. The research contends that the discourse(s) of the newspaper articles are ideologically loaded and are employed in the construction and deconstruction of desired ideology, worldview and social construction of reality. So, the study in hand begins with the discussion about reality and its representation; clashes between Islam and the West, representation of Islam and the Muslims in the Western newspapers, constructing Muslims as the ‘Other; importance of language and power of newspapers; language and division of roles. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches have been employed for the critical analysis of discourses (semiotics and articles) to investigate the evidences for the ideology investment and representation of Islam and Muslims. The first section is quantitative, where frequencies of occurrence in each newspaper have been documented. Fairclough's (1993) method of critical discourse analysis (CDA) and Charles Barthes (1973) model of symeological analysis. have been employed to decode linguistic and semiotic discourses of the selected newspapers. All of these levels of analysis in fact are instruments through which the process of ideology propagation and representations of Islam and Muslims is facilitated. The findings show that the Western newspapers are more biased in representing Islam and Muslim through their semeiotic and linguistic discourses. Highly politicised terms such as Islamophobia and Radical Islam, which denote systematic discrimination against both Islam and Muslims, are employed to shape the perception of the readers. Similarly, Pakistani newspapers especially Urdu ones are hard upon the West and represent West as an enemy of Islam and the Muslims. The feelings of hostility have gained increasing currency on both sides. Whereas a considerable difference has been observed regarding the representation of Islam and the Muslims in Pakistani English and Urdu newspapers, there is a wide difference of themes appearing in Urdu and English newspapers of Pakistan. The findings of the research highlight that the discourse(s) of the newspapers are employed on both sides to construct desired ideology and worldview. The picture that emerges from the coverage of Islam through the discourses of the newspaper articles, therefore, is mixed. It reflects that the print media of Pakistan and the West are more inclined in highlighting the differences between Islam and the West through the discourses of articles and semiotics.
Factors Affecting Language Acquisition Process of Slow Learners at Primary Level
This study focused on the slow learners who have I.Q scores of roughly 75-95.These students often function two or more years below grade level in school and are referred to as Marginally Learning Disabled (MLD), Below Average Intellectual Disabled Children or Slow learners. The objectives of the study were to find the factors which contribute to the existence of this situation and to find the solution of the problem. Slow learners are usually placed in the regular classroom with normal children. Quantitative methodology was used for conducting the research. The study was conducted at two schools of Lahore, Amin Maktab Centre for Special Education & Training, Gulberg and Rising Sun Institute for Special Children, Defence. The population of the study was 25 speech therapists, 25 psychologists, 25 parents and 25 teachers who were randomly selected. They gave their opinion through questionnaire regarding the problem and its solutions. The result was shown through percentage method followed by a graph. The findings indicate that gender, ordinal position, size of the family did not influence the rate of learning among slow learners. Whereas, better home and school environment, exposure to knowledge and parents educational level had positive and significant influence on the rate of learning among slow learners. Glitch in the brain, heredity, non-quality of living, illiterate parent and socio economic status was found to be a major factor in the academic progress of the slow learners. Recommendations were given on the basis of findings. Role of teacher and parent is extremely important for the slow learners. Teachers using the different instructional strategies were found better than conventional method. Teaching through model was found to be the most effective instructional strategy followed by charts, picture book, individual instruction and peer tutoring. Good environment is essential for improving the learning potential of the slow learners as well as building confidence among them.
Influence of Western Novelistic Form and Discourse on Mustansar Hussain Tarar’s Selected Works
This study aims at discussing the influence of Western novelistic form and Discourse on the selected works of a renowned Urdu novelist, Mustansar Hussain Tarar. As Tarar’s main works were considered travelogues but his distinct style of incorporating the fictional elements in his writings; especially preserving histographic elements, is considered his trademark. His great insight into the contemporary literature - both the western and the eastern - had given him a touch of class to apply postmodern techniques and provide a wide range of topics to the reader and critics. The characteristic element of his new phase of novel writing appears in the form of novels such as; Raakh, and Khas o Khashak Zamanay. Both novels are enriched with innumerous characters and historical events that run into the demographic base of a country that was gained on ideological bases but its geographical division was not mere ideological. All that resulted into the failure of state that had been inventively revealed by the writer in such a way that makes them distinguishable in terms of narrative techniques and their retrospective literary attitude. These Novels, especially Khas o Khashak Zamanay revitalize the past memories in the post 9/11 anthropological changes as they occur in the oriental and occidental societies. These novels also reveal the postmodern debate of multiplicity of identity.
Post 9/11 Pakistani Diasporic Fiction In English: Identity Vicissitudes and Denunciation of Hegemonic Features
The focus of this research is the diasporic voices of Pakistani English fictional writers in the ever increasing milieu of post 9/11 fiction. It inquires into the ways in which the effects of 9/11 have penetrated the writings of Pakistani writers of English fiction. Along with studying the manifestations of the altered political action of the social system in the ever changing and confluent world, the interpenetration in the norms of humanity and the forces that created these norms are also analyzed. The premise of this research is that post 9/11 Pakistani fictional writers like Mohsin Hamid, H. M. Naqvi, Kamila Shamsie and Ali Sethi, in a very subtle way, are redefining South Asian Literature. Therefore, this thesis describes the selected corpus of the present literature of Pakistani fiction, through an analysis of the force of 9/11 that shaped this literary canon.
The critical theory relating to Pakistan’s post 9/11 diasporic fiction is still, however, in the making. So far the issues of identity have been the prime focus in the criticism relating to Pakistani diasporic fiction. The hypothesis of this study is that these writers have molded this critical issue of identity for the portrayal of their ethnic background by adopting a humanitarian approach. Moreover they have liberated their characters by making them the citizens of the world. The works of these post 9/11 Pakistani diasporic fictional writers have used the weakened and hybridized identity of places in the favor of their characters who exhibit a redefined module of identity.
This research establishes that today’s world has become too multicultural as to claim any singleness of cultures. The hybridized diasporic writers under discussion have stretched the boundaries of the existing international literature by combating the stereotypical image of Pakistan and its people and therefore have implicitly worked for ecumenism/ syncretism.
Key Words: Postcolonialism, Hybridity, Post 9/11, Pakistani Diasporic Fiction, critical theory
Unmasking Class Stratification and Psychological Ailments through Mohsin Hamid’s Characters
Class stratification and psychological ailments are the most inquisitive social factors which are caused by economic status of the people. These economic factors unmask those psychological ailments and class divisions which form and transform the characters in Mohsin Hamid’s potential and pertinent novels Moth Smoke and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. These novels will be analyzed in this research with the help of the proposed concept of economic status. The most conceptual dependence of this study will be on the theories of Karen Horney, George Lukacs and Karl Marx, who give the fundamental core ideas of social psychological ailments and class consciousness. This research falls into the category of qualitative research. This research is an endeavor to identify the class stratification and psychological ailments in the novels and to investigate how it affects characters’ lives in these novels.
Clash Between Culture and Religion in Bol: An Islamic Feminist Analysis of The Visual Narrative
Islam has protected and given rights to women which place her at very important position of society so that she may play her role as mother, daughter, wife and sister, for the development of society. She is not directed to stay within the boundary of house nor is she repressed by religion. But the problem arises when she is confined to cultural boundaries drawn by male. In the light of patriarchal misrepresentation of religious teachings, her rights, given by Islam, are usurped by male. Consequently, there takes place clash between culture and religion when cultural traditions and practices are given more importance than religion.
This study aims at pointing out cultural atrocities against women and finding out the role of culture and religion in Pakistani visual and fictional narrative. It also aims at highlighting importance of visual narrative in society in pointing out cultural atrocities against women and raising voice against it. Islamic feminist theory will be applied to analyze a visual narrative. Deconstructionist procedure of Islamic feminists will be key tool to be applied. A one-stage systematic structured sampling design will be used to select a visual narrative from Pakistani movies.