An Essay To Evaluate The Conditions Under Which English Is Taught In Pakistan At Higher Secondary Level

This research is designed to evaluate the conditions under which English is taught in Pakistan at higher secondary level.
Condition means 'circumstances affecting the functioning or existence of something.' (Concise Oxford English Dictionary 11th Edition). Under conditions, fall following things 'physical environment of English teaching classroom', and 'instructors of English and their techniques', and 'students and their relation with teacher', and 'facilities which are provided by Government to English teachers, students and institutes',
Applied linguistics is a science and teaching English language is art, both things relate one another closely (Warsi, 2004). Teachers are important to gain required goal from students side (Tim Markely). English language teaching is a complicated process that demands proper techniques, it should be taught according to the existing needs of students (Tariq Mehmood, Zahoor ur Rehman, 2011). The main reason of shocking condition of English is the lack of trained instructors to deal with this subject especially courses of English language teaching for teachers and it is also noted that sometimes government change syllabus but not arrange any program to prepare educators accordance to curriculum (Roshan Ali Teevno, 2011). The foremost purpose of English language teaching is to make learner expert in four skills listening, speaking, reading and writing (Ali Nawab, March 2012). According to khan, Nawaz and shah, (2013) National Education Policy, 2009 clearly talk to improve communication skill in students and in teacher too. But this very much skill is much neglected. In 'The Practice of English Language teaching' by Harmer, Jeremy he mention following method 'Audio Lingual Method', 'Grammar Translation Method (GTM)', 'Communication Language Teaching'(CLT), ' Direct Method', ' The Silent Way', Total Physical Response', 'Suggestopedia'. But in Pakistan teacher only adopt GTM and lecture method Rehman, (2011). In Pakistan, English is taught as compulsory subject from class one to bachelor level. The significance of English language becomes more intensive at higher secondary level because at this stage students have to select their field for higher education and career as well. Those students who complete secondary (grades 9-10) education then they enter higher secondary schools and complete grades eleven and twelfth. After getting success from examinations, students are offered the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) by 'Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education' (BISE). This level of education is also known as 'intermediate' or 'first year and second year'. There are many stream students can choose for their 11th and 12th grades, such as pre-medical, pre-engineering, humanities (or social sciences), computer science and commerce. Each stream consists of three electives and as well as three compulsory subjects of English, Urdu, Islamiat (grade 11 only) and Pakistan Studies (grade 12 only).

The condition under which English is taught in Pakistan is not appreciable. The reality is that students spend about sixteen years to learn English from first level to university level except of this, they are fail to communicate, understand and write English in correct way. Research on the classroom environment has shown that the physical arrangement can affect the behavior of both students and teachers .The special structure of the classroom refers to how students are seated, where the students and teacher are in relation to one another, how classroom members move around the room, and the overall sense of atmosphere and order. The research on classroom environments suggests that classrooms should be organized to accommodate a variety of activities throughout the day and to meet the teacher's instructional goals. (Series on Highly Effective Practices'Classroom Environment)
Warsi 2004, he discusses the conditions of English language teaching in Pakistan. He brings some reasonable points regarding this issue. In the beginning of his article, he clears that the condition under which English is taught in Pakistan is not satisfactory especially condition of rural areas too poor as compare to urban areas. Teachers usually teach English in their own local languages, that time English becomes L3. Students often do not have know-how about four skills of English (speaking, listening, writing and reading) even teachers too. Above mention writer strictly criticizes the teachers' techniques which are used while English language is taught in Pakistan. These are not according to reliable techniques for Teaching English as Foreign Language (TEFL).
He designs his research paper with two parts, in first part he points out some reasonable flaws of English language learning process e.g. weakness in curriculum, untrained instructors, unsatisfactory way of teaching, inflexible textbooks and syllabus, complex examination system and lack of guidance by teachers etcetera, in the second part, he recommends some important procedures which must be taken by concern authority to make good atmosphere in which English usually taught in Pakistan.
Main aim for learning English language is to communicate with it and understand it but in Pakistan mostly students unaware how to communicate and speak even teachers too. Unfortunately teacher aim by teaching is to make ensure students success in exams and student's effort also revolves around examination. In teaching, instructor plays central role but available tutors for Pakistani students are unskilled. Second language learning is a skill when a teacher is deprive of teaching skill how he could train pupils? Sometimes government takes interest to train educators through workshops and teaching training courses but they themselves always keep away from modern techniques and discoveries that could be taken place in TEFL.
Warsi (2004) also criticizes the techniques which are usually adopted by Pakistani teachers. Although Chomsky (1951) explores that second language could never be learnt perfectly through translation way, yet in our language learning classrooms still is used translation method. It is also reasonable objection that is native languages (Punjabi, Sriaki, Singhi, Blochi etc ) are used in English language learning classrooms especially in rural areas of Pakistan. In English learning classes instructors completely ignore the oral work. They follow old method i.e. a student reads text and teacher simply translates it. In short words, there is focused on grammatical rules and memorization of them. Through research, it has been attested that communication method is more effective and useful for second language learning than the translation method.
Good material and textbooks are also play a prominent role in language learning process. In Pakistan, textbooks are not accordance of needs. In these books usually are focused on reading and writing skills, others skills are ignored. It is due to, can easily be said that inapt textbooks are behind the horrific condition of English.
Two resources are considered basic resources for learning and teaching second learning, first one is textbooks and syllabus, and second one is audio_visual resource. Schools and colleges of rural areas specially and urban areas of Pakistan usually empty of such kinds of resources. Teachers do not use these resources while they teach English language. In Pakistan condition of English teaching is bad due to the lack of using helpful aids'''.
In Pakistan the main purpose of (English) learning is just pass the exam, students take it as subject. English is a subject which cannot be taught, it is a subject which could be learnt. (Michet wast)
In Pakistan, examination system is also behind the worst condition of English teaching. It is too much complex and not deal with more important skills e.g. speaking and listening. Examination usually apprehended to judge performance of students at every aspect but Pakistani examination system fails to judge practical performance of students. It is no space for speaking and listening in this very system.
In Pakistan, instructors do not give their feedback to students in their performance of English learning. There is lack of guidance by them. Instructors are unskilled especially in rural areas. They bound too, to teaching according to syllabus. And there is no mechanism for assume the performance of teachers in their profession.
As it was said previously Warsi (2004) gives some directions to improve the conditions of English teaching in second part of his article. According to him, there should be cleared the aims of English teaching and learning. Without knowing the task, require result can never be gained. To collect the desirable result, it should be cleared the long term goals and purposes of English teaching. (James, 2001) Teachers should make clear why English is taught by them? What is the purpose of its teaching? Students also should know why they are learning English? Teachers must pay attention equally towards others skills speaking and listening etcetera. Trough memorization students collect degrees but they are unable even speak one sentence in correct way.
There is a tendency among principles of schools and colleges especially private level, they hire a teacher for English subject who can available on low cast wages; they do not care his skill and training at subject. Reality is that those instructors should be appointed for English teaching that have enough handiness in their profession. It is misconception that to a person would be considered good teacher for English subject who has too much knowledge of grammatical roles. It is absolutely wrong because a man that builds his knowledge of surgery by reading different books of surgery, no one comes to him for surgery. He is known as impostor because he has only knowledge, but not has skill and practice. In the same way, in English teaching knowledgeable teacher without skill is not being appreciated, but trained and skillful.
It is also include in the duties of a teacher to attend different conferences, workshops and seminars that are held on the topic of TEFL in country and abroad.
To improve the conditions of English teaching, first step is to get rid the method of translation (GTM) which is used by Pakistani teachers in English classroom. This technique of teaching is from top to bottom fail to fulfill the required needs because in it, foremost skills are ignored i.e. speaking and listening. Useful method should be adopted by teachers and it should also be preplanned.
In language learning classrooms, it is necessary to use other beneficial material as audio and video material etcetera. In Pakistani schools to use such kind of material may be consider useless thing. In fact, true is that above mention material, helpful aids increase the proficiency of students in language learning. Government is firstly responsible for providing such substance to every schools and colleges and it should also makes mechanism for check and balance.
If it is analyzed the textbooks which are include in English language syllabus, they do not fulfill the basic needs. They should be mould accordance of present requirement. They may collect maximum students' attraction if graphics, pictures and maps are included in them. For listening and speaking practice, some exercises must be added in textbooks.
At the end of course teacher wants output for students' evaluation; different kinds of assessment tests are usually given. Trough these tests he wants to judge how much students learn and what kind of knowledge they could not gain. And it is also best way to appraise teachers' own techniques of teaching. In this regard Warsi recommends that there should be a specific way to evaluate English learners. It may be in objective type and must be focused on to judge the practical performance rather than knowledge. After evaluation instructors' feedback plays an instrumental role in second language learning classroom, either it is in oral form or written form both have importance. Teachers' timely guidance to students astonishingly increases their proficiency in language acquisition.
Many organizations involve in Pakistan to make upgrading English worst condition, especially British Counsel, numberless others Government and private institutes and education department of each province also takes interest in it, even government provides free education, free books, and teacher training courses. It is eyewitness that, government takes numerous steps to look up the quality of education especially English subject in the country but it is spoil because result of this effort is not pleasing. ( Teevno, Roshen Ali 2011 )
In Teenvo's accordance main reason of this failure is teaching method that is adopted by Pakistani teachers while teach English language. Moreover, textbooks are inappropriate too. It is obvious that technique is very important for any kind of expansion for L2 learning. In this perspective up to date techniques should be follow for English Language Teaching in Pakistan (ELT).
We sum up his article in these views that in our country there are so many impediment that are involve making bad condition of English language which are over teeming classes, follow up of old technique, complex assessment system, and non accessibility of basic facilities.
In his study he classifies some major barriers concerning worse environment in which English language is taught and learnt, such as available tutors are inexperienced and they do not keep up to date themselves about current techniques of teaching. Moreover, syllabus is being changed frequently by Government but it does not make mechanism to educate educator according to it. Habitually, Translation Method, Drill Method and GTM are used by them. They do not have consciousness of Communicative Teaching Method, their focus mainly on memorization of grammatical roles. Communication in English by students and teaching in English by teachers in classrooms both are rare. Useful activities are not allocated by teachers to students as multimedia, listening activities through type recorder, group work and pair work etc. Students have not confidence to ask questions to teachers because they do not familiar question answer kind of activity, even they complete education. Their emphasis is on reading skill especially on aloud reading skill and remembers roles by heart. Teacher central classrooms also main phenomenon in our country, it should be changed and students should be involved equally. Students should be encouraged by teaches.
English newspapers and magazines do not make available for students. There are many play grounds for students in a school for physical exercise but it has not single language lab for language exercise, no CPU, and no aural-video assist material.
After study, Teenvo, 2011 brings out some important suggestions for both students and teachers as well. His suggestions show that in language learning classrooms there is not only teachers responsible at all but students also own some responsibilities.
Students should use English language for communication one another not only in classrooms but outside of class also. They should ask questions in the same language and make clear their concepts. They should watch English movies, news channels, read English newspapers, good books and others programs by native speakers in their free time. Nowadays internet provide too vast material to make good at language, it is also be used if it is possible.
Teachers encourage students for these activities. They should not only get maximum awareness about modern techniques and method of teaching but use them also. They should not focus on reading and writing skills. Others skills must also be promoted among students. Before teaching, Instructors should plan a lesson and offer it with the help of useful resources as multimedia, audio video recorders etcetera.
Above mention writer involves parents also in children's L2 learning process. He says that they should persuade their kids to make use of English at home. They should perches good English magazines, English newspapers, books and other material for them. There is not only responsibility of tutors to look after the students but parents should also keep in contact with teachers to aware how much their children take interest in study so that, shortcomings can be removed at the moment. These activities may change worst condition of English into better one.
Time by time, different assessment tests should be held, after result concern authority and teachers bring necessary changes in course and way of teaching as well. Student central activities should be chosen because these are helpful to build confidence among them and increase proficiency of English language learning.
Teachers should not focus on reading and writing skill but he also teach others skills; speaking and listening. Authority makes sure that they speak English in classrooms; necessary material should also be provided them such as audio video material.
Nawab, Ali (2012), he emphasizes in his research on listening skill in the context of the condition under which English language is being taught in Pakistan. Others skills are also very important but start from listening skilla, its natural way of second language acquisition.
In this regard Steohon's theory of second language acquisition is very important. He says that second language learning is a process as similar as the process that is followed by a child when he learns his mother tong. This process can be divided in four stages; first one is silent stage at this stage student mutely listen English, at second stage student starts to speak and at third stage he spends time in reading and at the end writing period comes.
According to Nawab, Ali (2012) main purpose of English learning is to communicate and make relationship with society. He suggests that teachers should adopt natural theory of acquisition and natural process as it is mentioned earlier. Through this way this specific purpose can be gained effectively and may bring improvement in English present condition. Different kinds of activities can also be helpful for this purpose.
It is a reality; in our country, education growth rate is too much terrible. Actually its reason is English subject; students cannot continue their study due to the fear of English. In our country 99% students fail in this very subject. Among these students many give up study. Result shows that student fail to gain require know-how in English. It can be said that English is a main hurdle between student and education.
There are many factors are involve in this worst condition of English in our county. Government should take this issue seriously and teachers should also go through their way of teaching. In this scenario tutors' ways of teaching play prominent role, in our schooling system teachers follow different techniques and methods for teaching in government school usually is adopted grammar translation method and in private schools direct method is used. Teachers should use method according to environment.
Khalid, Iram, Jabbar & Shazia their collective study explores that in many schools teachers do not familiar even more important methods of teaching as it is mentioned above main purpose of English learning is communication, the way that makes expert students in communication (Audio Lingual method) that is not favorable among teachers. Grammar Translation Method is too much favorable for them; through following this method desirable result could not be achieved. So, it should be change and accordance of students' level and environment.
Ahmad, Saeed (2013) gives very clear views after comparative study between both methods Communication Language Method and Grammar Translation Method that majority of contributors are favor to adopt CLM because it is a learner central method. Although some arise an objection that in this very method focused only on speaking skill. It is true to some extent, on the other hand the main purpose of second language learning is to communicate and other skills come at secondary level. Many teachers are tending to be followed this method. According to his research, in Pakistani education system CLM is better than GTM at higher secondary level.
The result of private schools is better as compare to public schools, its shows from another research of the same researcher Ahmad, Saeed; he says, in private schools teachers very conscious about their techniques and way of teaching they mostly follow Communication Language Method and they do whatever they claim but on other side in public schools text reading technique is used as result students do not have know-how English and English proficiency also decrease day by day. In other countries CTL method is followed so, in Pakistan for L2 the CLT approach should be used to make its future good.
In 2010, British Counsel studied the whole scenario of Pakistani institutions related to English language and examined the condition under which English is taught in Pakistan and a report is offered by them. The conclusion of this report is that the English language teaching is recurrently fruitless, that it does not help students in their educational careers.
Colman, Hywel 2010 divides his report into two parts. In first part, he informs us about the environment under which English is taught and learned in Pakistan and analyzes the nation education policy 2009 of Pakistan especially in the context of English language. And at the end of 1st part he describes the consequences that are reveals in this typical scenario.
In second part, he gives us few suggestions and strategies to improve most awful condition of English teaching and learning.
According to his study approximately ten times Education Policy is presented in Pakistan but it is still unclear in English language context. Another article says that one could judge the failure of these policies from the fact that in the last 62 years Pakistan introduced 11 education policies (1947, 1951, 1959, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1992, 1998, 2010) without any beneficial outcome. In all education policies Pakistan Ministry of Education reviews of language policy especially English language but this effort is not by heart because MoE wants to improve the condition of English language but does not mold English curriculum according to present needs. Government does not provide proper environment at schools and apt instructors, and syllabus in modern way for English subject.
Sometimes a teacher wants to teach according to modern technique but syllabus does not give permission to teach accordingly, it is big flaw in English curriculum. A senior lecturer named Mr. Safdar Rana, (at Islamabad Model College for Boys, F-8/4, Islamabad, Pakistan) who had thirty years English teaching experience, he passed ridicule comments on the curriculum of English he said that he had started English teaching at 1st level in 1967, the syllabus of English was hundred percent the same as he had that days. That days there was included in the syllabus to write down at followings topics 'greedy dog', and 'union is strength', and 'thirsty crow' and 'write a letter to father for buying new books', and essay at 'a journey to historical place' etcetera . At the other hand Ministry of Education pleases that he has improve the system.
There is another 'Report on The System of Education in Pakistan, October 2006,' tells the reality which is behind the worst condition of education, especially condition of English language in these words: 'The quality of secondary and higher secondary education depends on a lot of factors: Economic resources, in-service teacher training facilities, text books, the means of conveying new curricula to all stakeholders, school facilities, teaching methods, teachers' education etc. Government reports, as well as reports prepared by the international community, show that Pakistan is deficient in these respects.'

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