DIFFICULTIES IN LEARNING ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE IN RURAL AREAS OF PAKISTAN

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Pakistani students face many problems and difficulties in learning Engl ish as a second language (ESL). This study aims to sort out some factors which affect learning English as a second language in Pakistan. The target population for this study would be Government Secondary schools in rural areas of Tehsil Sargodha. Sample of 60 students (male and female aging between 13 -18 years) would be selected from 10th grade. A survey would be conducted using a questionnaire for collecting data about family factors affecting learning English as a second language. The data would be analyzed statistically to comprehend the problems. The study assists English teachers, curriculum developers and education policy — makers of Pakistan to overcome these problems which are a constant source of threat for rural area students.

Keywords: English as a Second Language (ESL), rural areas, curriculum.

Sub-Continent had been ruled by the Great Britain. Owing to the rule of British, English language became the official language of this territory. After independence, English language maintained its status as official language in Pakistan. Our society is multilingual society. Our official, instructional and institutional languages are English and Urdu. Battle & Lewis (2002) says that education plays a vital role in the development of human capital and is linked with an individual’s well-being and opportunity for better living. Pakistan is one of those countries where English is fast spreading. According to Parveen, S. (2013) in her article “A Study on Attitudes towards Varieties of Spoken English in Pakistani Context” referred to Bolton (2008, as cited in Raza, 2008), out of 180 million population, 11% speak English in Pakistan making it the third largest Asian country with 20 million (Approx) speakers.

The purpose of this research is to highlight the external factors which affect the learning

English as second language. Mann says in his article Macmilan students encyclopedia of Sociology,

1985 that the formal investigation about the role of these factors rooted back in 17th century and

J. H. Ballatine (1993) says that these factors are usually discussed under the umbrella of demography. A lot of efforts have been made to improve the standard of education in Pakistan. Many research

studies have been made to find out the reasons and factors which affect the learning English as a second language. These studies concluded that there are various factors which have bad impact on the learning. The previous studies (Factors which affect Language learning and Language learning process by Saptawulan Hening Nariswariatmojo-2011) classified two significant factors named as internal and external factors that affect the learning process. According to M. S. Farooq, A. H. Chaudhry and M. Shafique (2011): Factors Affecting Students’ Quality of Academic Performance: A case of Secondary School Level (University of the Punjab) these factors may be termed as student’s factors, family factors, school factors and peer factors. This research is a little effort to probe into the family factors affecting the learning of English as a second language to the students belonging to the rural areas of Pakistf scores attained by students whose parents were poor and prosperous was observed. Parents pass on a measure of their advantages or disadvantages to their children that affect their children‘s educational outcomes.

Methodology. This study is quantitative in nature and statistical methods have been applied to analyse the data. Questionnaire has been used as an instrument to collect the data from the selected

population. Collected data is based upon the questionnaire responses of 60 students (both male and

female) from rural area of Tehsil Sargodha. All the students responded voluntarily. Sample population

was selected from 10th grade. They were selected randomly from different secondary schools from rural areas of Tehsil Sargodha.

Participants were guided orally by the researcher how to fill the questionnaire. The questionnaire was framed with twenty questions and these questions were divided in six variables:

Family’s income (1-3), Family’s background (4-5), Relatives (6-7), Parent’s education (8-9), Parent’s

interest in learning ESL for their wards (10-14) and Home atmosphere (15-20). The questionnaire is designed simply to be understood easily. It mainly consists of close end questions and MCQs. Results

after data analysis have been presented in percentage and graph system.

Data Analysis. Students participated in this study were 08 in 13-14 years, 40 in 15-16 years and

12 in 17-18 years age group. The data collected through the questionnaire was arranged accordingly into tables and analyzed statistically in form of simple bar diagram, multiple bar diagrams and pie charts. Data in tables show the quantity (frequency) of the students and their percentages. But data only in Percentages are shown in charts (bar & pie). Each factor has been discussed accordingly at their respective category as under:-

Family’s Income

Table 1

Father Job

Frequency

%age

Business

08

13.33%

Agriculture

26

43.33%

Labourer

16

26.66%

Un-employed

10

16.66%

16.66%

13.33%

26.66%

43.33%

Business Agriculture Labourer

Un-employed

Fig. 1. Chart

Analysis. In rural areas most of the people directly or indirectly related to agriculture. Above

Table & Chart-1 shows that 43.33% parents are directly concerned with agriculture and

26.66% are indirectly getting their income from agriculture. More over 16.66% parents are unemployed.

Table 2

Question content

Yes Frequency

Yes % age

No Frequency

No % age

Sufficient Income

24

40%

36

60%

Student’s financial needs

34

56.66%

26

43.33%

Yes %age

No %age

Fig. 2. Chart

Analysis. The above data given in Table & Chart-2 shows that most of the students responded that their parent have not sufficient income i. e. 60%. The students opted the option that their parent do not understand their financial needs ie 43.33%.

Family’s Background

Table 3

Question content

Yes Frequency

Yes %age

No Frequency

No %age

Educated background

16

26.66%

44

73.33%

Joint Family System

52

86.66%

08

13.33%

Yes %age

No %age

13.33%

Yes %age

No %age

Fig. 3. Chart

Analysis. Data given in Table & Chart-3 depicts that most of the students responded that their family is not having educated background i. e 73.33%. In case of joint family system 86.66%students gave opinion that they have joint family system.

Table 4

Relatives

Question content

Yes Frequency

Yes %age

No Frequency

No %age

Educated background

14

23.33%

46

76.66%

Support in Learning

10

Fig. 4. Chart

Analysis. When students asked about relatives educated background here again majority of students responded that their relatives are not having educated background i. e 76.66%. In the case of second question was about relatives support in learning, the ratio is 83.33% which do no help them in learning.

Parent’s Education

Table 5

Question content

Yes Frequency

Yes %age

No Frequency

No %age

Educated Father

24

40%

36

60%

Educated Mother

12

20%

48

80%

36

60%

Educated Mother

12

20%

48

80%

Yes %age

No %age

70%

Help Partially

14

23.33%

Help thoroughly

04

6.66%


6.66%

Подпись: 6.66%23.33%

70%

Do not help Help partially Help thoroughly



Fig. 6. Parent help in studies

Analysis. This question was r-alt:solid black.5pt;padding:0cm 0cm 0cm 0cm;height:13.8pt’>

16

26.66%

44

73.33%

Parent motivation

16

26.66%

44

73.33%

Understanding the problem

08

13.33%

52

86.66%

Parent facilitation

20

33.33%

40

66.66%

Preference to English

04

6.66%

56

93.33%

Yes %age

No %age

Fig. 7.

Analysis. Data in above Table & Chart shows that 73.33% parents do not take interest of their wards in ESL learning and the same percentage do not motivate children to learn ESL. The ratio of parent which do not understand the problems faced by their children during learning English language is 86.66%. In the same way 66.66% parents do not facilitate in learning English language and 93.33% parent do not give preference to English language.

Home Atmosphere

Table 8

Language used by parent at home

Frequency

%age

Punjabi

60

100%

Urdu

Nil

0%

English

Nil

0%

%age; Punjabi;

100%; 100%

Punjabi Urdu English

60

100%

Urdu

Nil

0%

English

Nil

0%

%age; Punjabi;

100%; 100%

Punjabi Urdu English


Fig. 8. Language used by parent at home

Analysis. This factor belongs to the language used at home. Due to uneducated and rural background 100% parents speak in native language Punjabi at home. Conversation with children all the time in native language affects their children English learning process.

Table 9

Language used by student at home

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Fig. 8. Language used by parent at home

Analysis. This factor belongs to the language used at home. Due to uneducated and rural background 100% parents speak in native language Punjabi at home. Conversation with children all the time in native language affects their children English learning process.

Table 9

Language used by student at home

the students which language they used at home 100% students responded that they speak Punjabi at home. If students use English in their conversation, their hesitation would be removed and they can confidently learn English language.

Table 10

Question content

Yes Frequency

Yes %age

No Frequency

No %age

Peaceful home atmosphere

12

20%

48

80%

Helpful for learning

12

20%

48

80%

Supporting attitude of family

16

26.66%

44

73.33%

Importance to opinion

08

13.33%

52

86.66%

Yes %age

No %age

Fig. 10.

Analysis. Data in above Table & Chart is about the home atmosphere. 80% students responded that their home atmosphere is not peaceful and not helpful for learning. 73.33% students opted the choice that they do not have any supporting attitude from their family. 86.66% students expressed that their parent do not gave importance to their opinion.

Conclusion. ESL learning is only possible when the environment is suitable and helpful. In rural areas no factor is helpful for the students learning. All the factors to some extent were against learning. Due to rural, agricultural, un-educated background and poverty parent do not give any importance to the education of their wards. Most of the parents do not show any interest in ESL learning of their children. Rural and uneducated environment has a bad impact on learners. If the learners are living in area or society where people of the area are well educated, students learning efficiency would be increased (Shamim, 2008; Hywel, 2010). Parents’ education, interest, family background and home atmosphere are crucial for ESL learning. If these factors would play positive role, learning would be enhanced. The parents do not realize the importance of English language that is a key to success in present era. But English is considered a language of elite class and officers (Rahman 2006; Shamim

2008). Moreover English helps them in reading the modern books related to engineering, medical, agriculture, zoology and literature. English language also helps to understand the latest technology.

English language provides the way to progress. Now world becomes a global village and the language of communication with international community is English.

Researchers selected family factor because it is basic step for learning. If students are not encouraged and motivated at home their abilities & qualities remained dormant. Due to rural background and unsupportive attitude of parents greatly affect the ESL learning process to the students

of rural areas.

Limitations. This study like other studies has some limitations. There are many external factors which affects the learning of English language. The researchers’ only discussed the family factor that

is one of the external factors. Many other external factors are closely associated with family factor e. g.

neighbours, student friends, environment of the area. Electronic & print media, cable networking, mobile phones and internet are external sources and are closely linked to home atmosphere. The

homes having these facilities, the awareness of the children would ultimately be increased. The

children of these homes watch different programmes on TV, talk shows, literary activities and NEWS. Their understanding level is increased which motivate them towards learning. Internet connects them with the whole world. They have an easy access to area of their interest. Internet is a great ocean of knowledge. In short, a comprehensive study of external factors closely connected to family factor depicts the true picture.

Applicability. This study can be applied to all rural areas of in province Sindh and Punjab. In KPK, FATA and Bluchistan have different cultural background. In these areas, Tribe Chiefs/Feudal Lords and some so called religious leaders are against the general education, English people and language. They are especially against the education of females. In KPK many schools are demolished. Girls are attacked to stop the girl’s education.

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Статья поступила в редакцию 06.09.2013.

TARIQ Abdur Rehman – Department of English, University of Lahore, Sargodha Campus.

BILAL Hafiz Ahmad – Department of English, University of Sargodha, Sargodha.

SANDHU Muhammad Afzal – Department of English, University of Lahore, Sargodha Campus, Sargodha.

IQBAL Anser – Department of English, University of Lahore, Sargodha Campus, Sargodha.

HAYAT Umer – Department of English, University of Lahore, Sargodha Campus, Sargodha.

ИСКУССТВОВЕДЕНИЕ

Материал взят из: Новиый университет. Актуальные проблемы гуманитарных и общественных наук. 8(29). 2013

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