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'English' a language or a 'Need'?

Language discrimination also called 'linguicism' has been a concern for millions over the past years. Pakistan is facing more of it in the shape of "English" as a built stereotype that shows superiority. The reason so far seemed to be British colonization 70 years ago or an increasing social acceptance trend. Westernization due to increasing globalization has played a vital role that even the Urdu spoken in the country is seems to be more fascinating by adding English words. People shy away from speaking their native language setting patterns and mindsets for giving one language superiority over the other. This needs revolution so one can thoroughly follow the custom and roots of the nation.

Thus, giving the national identity. There are many countries in the world that feel pride in speaking what their ancestors offer them, Italians speak Italian, Greece speak Greek, French speak French, Germans speak German and they never shy away from speaking it. Even the reasons like "globalization" prove excuses as one of the advanced economies-China speaks Chinese. "In fact, when the Chinese Olympics were held in 2008, the Chinese government actually had to ask its Chinese public to learn a few basic English words to help welcome the world". These people feel pride in representing what they acquire and value the sense of customs. This is what makes them different from others. Beauty lies in different cultures and language is part of the culture. I wonder why some south Asian countries are still suffering from such complexes? Why can't they pursue their own culture? why can't we confine 'English' to a language as there are so many others in the world instead of a 'basic need'?

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I agree with your assertion that English has become an identity representing a certain class rather than just a medium of instruction.This reminded me of an article(Canagarajah, S. & Ashraf, H. (2013). Multilingualism and education in South Asia: Resolving policy/practice dilemmas. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 33(2013), 258–285. doi: 10.1017/S02671905130000) I read that highlighted the issues within the multilingual educational policies in India and Pakistan. The differences in implementation and everyday communicative experiences that further exasperate such issues are also highlighted. The tripartite structure adopted by both countries is meant to provide an egalitarian environment. However, due to inadequate resources to teach three languages at the same time create hierarchies as some become more mainstream while others suffer. The authors…


The Pakistani educational system actually encourage this "English is superior" narrative itself. A personal anecdote might help explain this better. The private school that I studied in from not only discouraged but severely penalized any communication in Urdu or Punjabi, even if it was after class time among students. The penalization would include detention, cancellation of break periods, or an official letter addressed to parents stating that the student had broken school disciplinary rules.

Some blame this toxic private school culture to the colonial history of Pakistan, but I believe that is a poor excuse and guise. Other countries which were once colonized have entirely revamped their educational systems to promote the national language.

For instance, South Korea has remained…


Since language stands as system of representation, I think by leaning towards English language, South Asian countries or particularly Pakistan represent their insecurity. Colonialism played a significant role in this because during the colonial times, only those who had an English education were given a fair chance in society. These connotations perpetuated even after our colonial “masters” left, because by then, it had become a status symbol, or, the mindset of capitalists. Ngugi wa Thiong’o also mentioned it in his book Decolonizing the Mind, and he stressed the importance of the use of national language in order to let go of the colonist mindset.

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