Mother Tongue as a Medium of Instruction: Views of Pakistani Stakeholders
Author: Sheraz Khan

For any human interaction, the importance of language cannot be denied. Similarly, the importance of language in a classroom is also equally essential as it plays a vital role in classroom interaction and facilitates the process of learning. This study is an attempt to understand the importance of mother tongue as a medium of instruction in primary schools of Quetta district. It takes into account formal education at the lowest level of schooling in order to analyse the role of language in a child’s learning and level of understanding during lectures. For learning outcomes to meet planned and predetermined expectations, it is normally assumed that the medium of instruction is either well-known to or can easily be learned by the students. In cases where this assumption is valid, language can be ignored as a variable when evaluating the effectiveness of education. Theoretically it is based on the concept of “Submerging” which suggests introducing students to a different language of instruction than mother tongue which is widely used and spoken in the society. This theory of submerging is used to investigate the level of convergence in performance amongst the students whose mother tongue is same as medium of instruction and students from different language backgrounds. Moreover, the preferences of different stake holders are also studied with respect to medium of instruction. The research relies heavily on empirical data from schools in Quetta, a multilingual and multiethnic hub of the country. Therefore, to scrutinise the data, thematic analysis is used as theoretical approach and framework analysisx as the tool to analyse qualitative data. Topics of convergence and preference of mother tongue are closely observed. Analysis shows that while there is acceptance of the importance of mother tongue as a medium of instruction in some circles of the society, it proves to be a utopian concept in terms of large scale implementation. Especially considering how, in urban communities, people from multiple ethnicities live in closely knit societies and a similar setup arises in schools. Furthermore, compilation of results showed that there is occurrence of convergence in performance of students with same and different languages as medium of instruction. Supervisor:- Dr. Zulfiqar Ali

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Keywords : Mother Tongue, Pakistani Stakeholders
Supervisor: Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro

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