Linguistic Divide and The Fate of Regional Language(S) in Pakistani Education Systems: Evidence From Graduate Students

  • Rooh Ul Amin Department of Englishat Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, KPK, Pakistan
  • Fasih Ahmed Department of English, Humanities Department, COMSATS University, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Sham Haidar Department of Humanities, Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Keywords: Students’ Perceptions, Regional Languages, Linguistic Divide, University Classrooms, Target Language


This study investigates students’ perceptions about using English in education and its role in defining the fate of regional languages in Pakistan. Participants’ perceptions were recorded via a five-point Likert-type survey questionnaire. Data were collected from students at three public sector universities at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and a public sector university at Islamabad, Pakistan through convenience sampling. Four hundred questionnaires were administered to the participants majoring in various disciplines in both social and natural sciences. Results show that on one hand, students prefer to be taught in English, whereas on the other, they have critical consciousness about the subtractive role of English in defining the role fate of regional languages in the linguistically stratified (English versus Urdu/vernacular medium) Pakistani education system. Students further advocate that maximum use of English in classrooms not only promise success in the school but also opens ways for future social upward mobility. Since sustenance of regional languages is equally important, this study has educational policies implication and suggestions for classroom practices practice suggests that both teachers and language in education policy makers take practical steps for ensuring maximum use of English in university classrooms.