Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


Need for English language


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

THIS is in response to the article, ‘Language of instruction’ (June 10). English is not merely a colonial language as is considered by some people; it is an international language and is playing a vital role in this globised modern world. It should remain medium of instruction for Pakistan.

It does not mean that our national language Urdu and other regional languages should be discarded. The use of our national language, mother tongues and also regional languages should be encouraged during the academic instructions.

Seeing the diversity of cultures and traditions in our country, an environment should be made possible to adopt Pakistani English as medium of institution as advocated by the sociolinguistic scholars like Dr Sabiha Mansoor and Tariq Rahman in their research surveys about the language of instruction.

When Braj B. Kachru, an Indian linguistic, emphasises the use of Indian English in his The Indianization of English published by Oxford in 1983, then why cannot Pakistani English be adopted as a language of instruction?


Comments (18) Closed

raj Jul 23, 2012 10:44am
When Braj B. Kachru, an Indian linguistic,....why do you pakis always refere Indians in all your discussion ? why cant you people leave us alone ? ...i
faheem shar Jul 23, 2012 09:28am
hahaha... lol new language identified.. Pakistani English...
Tariq Rashid Jul 23, 2012 12:34pm
No doubt English is the most important language in this world, and every one should learn this language. But regarding medium of instructions it depends on the level of education, if it's at school level then instructions should be in Urdu or mother tongue, specially for those who can't understand English, as we know a person can't understand science and other important subjects in a language on which he dosen't have any command and that's why we are producing rattoo totay. In mother tongue a child can understand complex concepts, and can express those concepts without any difficulty he will concentrate more on understanding of the subject rather than memorising the subject. Yes during school education English skills should be developed in a student in four basic areas, reading, writing, speaking, and listening, so that by the time he start his college, and University education he will have full command on this language and can easily express himself, and doesn't need to memorise notes to pass his exam. At this level we have to switch the language as Urdu language doesn't have capacity and material to acquire higher education and it's better to switch to English as one can get every knowledge in this language
jd shami Jul 23, 2012 04:50pm
Yemeen Zuberi Jul 23, 2012 03:11pm
Teaching of English may be favoured by public opinion. What is objectionable is when a TV instructor, a cook or a gardener, translates almost each of his or her sentence into English, in a Urdu TV prgramme. It means that s/he was not given any instructions about the medium before the programme by the producer. TV producers need training. In the same way we see school children speaking English words proudly in their Urdu conversation. It looks that the parents and teachers have not taught them the use of any of the two languages. In fact we need a big investment in teachers; and parents' teaching, too.
Humanist Jul 23, 2012 02:06pm
I fully agree that a modern European language is necessary for our national developement.
Agha Ata Jul 23, 2012 02:07pm
Tahir Niazi has done an excellent job by writing this article. I hope people in power read it and follow it. He hit the nail at the right spot when he said, Sometimes it is shocking, as Tahir also mentioned, to see that the English language is seen more as a colonial language rather than an International language. Now in Pakistan people have neither improved URDU to become a good medium for the education nor adopted English for that purpose. Fathers of India did a wise thing by doing some very wise things right in the beginning, for example, abolishing the feudal system, secularism, and adopting English as a national language. Pakistan is coming to realize the importance of ALL these things, but very s l o w l y !
Sandeep Jul 23, 2012 04:41pm
I think we are trying to learn from each other's experience here and this does not seem to be a fault finding exercise.
shahrukh Jul 23, 2012 11:01am
Dear raj, always try to adopt good things from the environment... don't end the enemy end the enmity.
Sandeep Jul 23, 2012 04:40pm
Tariq, I have had an opportunity to meet and interview thousand's of candidates (in India) and the English language skills were appalling. Introducing English as a language "later" is not recommended for multiple reasons. One as the student progresses to higher grade they are introduced to complex topics like Science and Mathematics. At this level trying to build a language skill will only increase pressure on the student. Second reason being that many Science or Mathematic course books are not readily available in local languages and if the student has to read and comprehend technical material in a language that they are now learning will lead to ineffective overall learning.
DB123 Jul 23, 2012 04:34pm
Actually "an Indian linguistic" SHOULD have read: an Indian linguist.
mksayeed Jul 23, 2012 10:09am
There is no Pakistani English,it is the most widely spoken and written language in the world today.Countries like China,Japan,India have adopted the trend of English,so why not Pakistan? We all will benefit from this phenomenon.
Ram Sekhar Jul 23, 2012 04:19pm
Pakistani English = Pinglish. Indian English = Hinglish.
Bobby Srinivas Jul 23, 2012 05:05am
Whatever the protogonists of local or regional languages may say, English has come to stay! We may speak in different accents, but the written English is the same. In fact, all transactions, government, private, social and others continue to use English which is more convenient for them. Incidentally, English is one of the recognized national languages in India. The official language of the state of Nagaland is English
jimmy Jul 23, 2012 06:06am
what is pakistani english ?? please explain....
Cyrus Howell Jul 23, 2012 08:30am
After Britain, the Commonwealth, the United States and Russia won World War II English became the dominant world language. Particularly for reasons of trade and commerce. Too late to backtrack to 1938. Pakistan has a head start with English over many nations. Textbooks in science, engineering and applied science are in English. I don't see the debate.
Yemeen Zuberi Jul 23, 2012 05:45pm
Urdu has high caliber as medium of science and technology, and all other subjects. There is, however, a need to Urduise foreign words. English has many anglicised words, and a whole lot of them are from Arabic and Persian such as algorithm, the original word was Al Khwarazm. Muqtadra is doing a hard work in this regard, and they have prepared many dictionaries. In their latest "Akhbar Urdu," available on line, there is an article that tells how many English words, that can be easily avoided, are used by our Urdu newspapers. Let me say that Dawn has recently started its Urdu edition, it means that Urdu is flourashing in Pakistan. For languages the same principle that is for muscles works: USE IT OR LOSE IT.
non Jul 24, 2012 12:07am
When we're talking about the Internet i've seen several predictions by Internet think-tanks that Chinese will be the most common language in use on the web in the future. What surprised me was recently I saw reports that Hindi/Urdu will be right behind Chinese in the future as well. So, looks like we south asians has an advantage with our knowledge of our mother tongues. Won't help with Chinese though as I've heard its one of the hardest languages to learn.