The Biggest Problem In Any Department: Language Barriers

Language is the primary source for us to convey our thoughts in an understandable form to other individuals. Around the globe over 6,500 languages are spoken. In Pakistan, the majority speaks the five common languages spoken are Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Saraiki and Urdu. At regional level it is all healthy and unifying but at an academic level not so much. Students from around the country get scholarships and travel to city universities and some belong to house environments which strictly speak the mother tongue while living in the city.

The diverse cultures are widely accepted and cherished but there is an enormous barrier of language between students and the teaching staff. Students amongst themselves can suffice with limited vocabulary but with lectures there is a continuous failure, hence it’s an issue requiring proper attention. Urdu is the national language of Pakistan and English is treated as the world wide accepted international language and yet a number of speakers of regional languages have not excelled in either of the languages for academic purposes.

While the teachers have adopted educational mechanism method towards this barrier, it is purely divided into three categories:

  • Delivering lecture purely in English despite being aware of the barrier.
  • Tries to balance between proficient Urdu and English.
  • Just plainly slips to slang Urdu.

The language barrier is not only the biggest hurdle in conveying the clear knowledge or phenomena of the subject/matter but it also create fluctuations in the student confidence. We all are well aware of the influence of proficient English on an individual’s personality and even status along with few teachers continuously being sarcastic and mocking students of their messed up muzakkar muannas ( masculine and feminine). If ever a survey is conducted this could be label as the most common cause of demotivation among students to improve Urdu and learn English. The student hence misses out on a huge part of education just because they can’t understand the teachers. The demotivation doesn’t push them to learn either of these languages either.

Being proficient at regional language is something to be proud of as it the connection to one’s roots. Pakistan has entered the race of industrialization and is not progressive enough to declare Urdu as the medium of academics as it would further regress the international opportunity. The teachers’ way of teaching in both languages isn’t exactly efficient either. The maintenance of standard education can only be done through English language  proficiency of both students and teachers. As for the institutions, the students should be encouraged rather than mocked while respecting each and every spoken language in Pakistan.


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