Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Proceedings of  2nd  MEC TESOL Conference   2020                   Pp.229-237

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Language Policy and the Use of English as the Medium of Instruction in Pakistan

Saadia Mesti

School of Education, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK



Pakistan is linguistically a diverse country. The language policies of successive governments resemble a kind of educational apartheid, where local languages have continuously been neglected. The paper reviews the various language policies in Pakistan, and then, critically examines the existing language policy, and its implications on medium of instruction. The analysis suggests that linguistic cohesion with multi-linguistic policies are needed to adopt a multi-lingual approach in language planning policy in Pakistan. A more pluralist approach to language planning and policy (the mother tongue and regional language for local/regional communication, Urdu for national use, and English for national and international communication) may present a range of implementation challenges. The study is significant because it will shade light on the linguistic situation in Pakistan, and on the government language policy. It will also try to figure out how Pakistan can develop an ecologically valid model for bi/multiliteracy for such complex linguistic context.
Keywords: language policy, linguistic diversity in Pakistan, medium of instructions, Pakistan regional languages, planning, sociolinguistic implications

Cite as: Mesti, S. (2020). Language Policy and the Use of English as the Medium of Instruction in Pakistan. Arab World English Journal(AWEJ).
Proceedings of 2nd MEC TESOLConference 2020. 229-237.


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Saadia Mesti is English language teacher. She has a master’s degree in TESOL and Applied
Linguistics from University of Leicester, United Kingdom. Earlier, she worked as a lecture
English at University of Buraimi, Sultanate of Oman.