Language Issues and Education

Coleman, H. (2010). Teaching and learning in Pakistan: the role of language in education. Islamabad.The British Council.

This report commissionedby the British Council, describes the context in which English language teaching and learning takes place in Pakistan. This includes the legislative context, particularly the National Education Policy, which seems to extend the role of English in education, 
although many aspects of the new policy remain unclear. The report disagrees with the Policy’s focus on English language teaching, since it is frequently unsuccessful as teachers are not comfortable or qualified to teach in English. Thus, the report suggests that early years education must be provided in a child’s home language. The dangers of not doing so include high dropout levels (especially among girls), poor educational achievement, poor acquisition of foreign languages (such as English), the long-term decline and death of indigenous languages. The report also lays out a proposed strategy for the development of English and English language teaching in Pakistan. It recommends that support should focus on supporting policy development, on pre-service teacher education and on in-service teacher development. Attention should also be given to English language needs in the Islamic education sector. A tentative attempt is made to suggest how available resources might be allocated for these different types of activity.