Academic journal article International Research Journal of Arts and Humanities

Relevance of Research Studies on the Medium of Instruction for Pakistan

Academic journal article International Research Journal of Arts and Humanities

Relevance of Research Studies on the Medium of Instruction for Pakistan

Article excerpt

Introduction

Humanity cannot survive without communication. It is because mutual understanding and cooperation are mandatory for the growth and continued existence of the generations. Communication without language is scanty. Language is the great blessing of Allah Almighty for the whole of humanity. The use of language in terms of its styles is controlled by the nature of the relationship between two persons or among the people who interact. Usually, there are three famous language styles which are being followed by the people of this world. These styles are known as formal, semiformal and informal. Knowledge is transferred from one individual, nation, community or society to other individuals, nation, community or society through these social or communal interactions. People of these societies keep on changing their roles as receivers and senders or speakers and listeners in accordance with the demands of existing contextual situations. In the systematic approach to teaching and learning formal setups are established and formal meetings are called upon to settle the relevant issues. Selection of a language for systematic/formal education is finalized in language policies all over the world. The Medium of Instruction (MOI) (the language for education) is the most important element of language policy. In the multilingual world, the decision on MOI has never been an easy task. Sometimes un-deliberated decisions on MOI result in linguistic conflicts which cause severe threats to the unity of a country or state. In certain cases, political monopolies and democratic gains also influence the right choice for MOI. These political influences might be external as well as internal. Expert and experienced educationists and linguists have favored mother tongue as an appropriate choice for the MOI but it is not feasible for all especially for the multilingual countries. However, it can be managed in the early stages of education. In the multilingual countries like Pakistan, MOI has been a controversial issue. Different education commissions and boards were formulated but their decisions could not be formulated in true letter and spirit. Since the independence of Pakistan, English (although a foreign language) has been a dominant MOI in elite class schools and colleges, and with the passage of time, support for English as the MOI has increased manifold.

The difference of opinion in language policy regarding the suitability of MOI is not specific to Pakistan. The trend is very common in the post colonial countries. There is not a single but more factors are involved in the selection of a language as MOI, not excluding the relative value placed upon it (Swilla, 2009). The dominance of English as the MOI is solely due to its critical importance as a source of educational success and access to the elite class or influential community. So the people from elite class decided in the favor of English as a foreign language for the education and bright future of their children (Laitin, 1992). This study has reviewed various studies conducted in different countries of the world on the face of the earth which highlight the significance of MOI and elaborate the phenomenon of change of the medium of instruction (COMOI) in terms of its pros and cons in various settings. A careful perusal of the study might convince the educationists and language policy makers for insightful deliberations and review of their policy decisions for better education of the future generations in their respective countries through appropriate choice of MOI.

Rationale for the Study

Language is undoubtedly a very important tool of social interaction among the human beings. Successful communication requires efficient as well as the proficient application of language in informal, semiformal or formal interactions among the people of the same society or different societies. A specific language which is used for the formal education of the people at different levels (Montessori, Primary, Elementary, Intermediate or Graduation etc. …

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