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Language Education and Economic Development

Language Education and Economic Development

Communication is an underrated knight in shining armor for us humans; a significantly important tool. The usage of this tool in a wise manner, can and will obstruct all types of hurdles, and efficiently move any nation on the road of progress.

The quality of being bilingual is considered a basic need in the era of globalization, so that clear and efficient communication with the rest of the world could be made possible so, the life’s quality of any nation largely depends on language so, so there is no doubt in the fact that, as a chain reaction, language plays a decisive role in the development of a country in multiple areas. To make this ideology a fragment of reality, leaders throughout the world strive towards shaping the schooling system of their respective countries, while basing their concentration on the internationally accepted schooling models. One may think that what good would changing the schooling systems do? But the answer is simple: improvement in the education system will transform the workforce into human capital by increasing the competitiveness of the labor force.

It is widely known that international schooling models do not hold much regard for the local values, cultures & languages, and it proves to be a drawback in making the world a better place. Therefore, to ensure the development of nations in the domain of the economy, various modes are being used to maximize educational quality.

The official language of any country is referred to as the ‘legitimate’ language of that country. Now, such a language is not decided for any nation, without the involvement of the factor of ‘power’. The ones who hold power, are eligible by the norms of society, to make any kind of changes within a society, such as setting a language for a business, education, or governmental actions. From the perspective of history, the English language is known well to be the language of the ‘elite’, such as those belonging to upper and middle-upper classes. Much more acknowledgment has to be made towards the notion that ‘the more the language of a foreign country is understood, the bigger chances are of forming long term and increasingly effective relation; in economic and political aspects’.

The most fundamental aspect of the development of any nation is its ‘language education’. No country is able to achieve long-lasting economic growth, until or unless significant human capital is accumulated. What language education does for individuals, is to boost their quality of life, whilst subsequently widening their attitudes towards themselves. A number of social advantages are set for society as a whole, such as improving creativity, productivity, technical advancements, and encouragement towards an entrepreneurship mindset. The sustainability of any nation is an international matter, rather than local, which is what its obstacles are to be reviewed on a macro and micro scale. It is no surprise that for the purpose of discussing a nation’s problems on a macro scale, an internationally accepted means of communication is essential, which is, the English language (the lingua franca).

The fact that English is used as the first, or second, and sometimes third language by a massive part of the world’s population, says a lot about how the language itself is a ‘necessity’, rather than something ‘optional/extra’. To further dig into this matter, the world as a whole focuses and pays attention to a specific ‘standard’ of the English language, which is accepted by most English-speaking countries all over the world.

Any country’s national interest comprises 3 types of spheres: Environmental, Economic, and Socio-Cultural. Now generally, the spheres to which the most attention and importance is given, are the environmental sphere and economic sphere. However, based upon multiple studies conducted by experts throughout the world, it is found that a lot more attention must be paid to the socio-cultural sphere which covers different aspects of communication or the ‘human language’. Therefore, it is absolutely okay to say that ‘without language, other spheres (environmental, economic) are unable to sustain themselves’.

In the old days, after colonialism was put to an end, a majority of developing nations had their ‘language policy’ focus shifted towards a means of communication that is not only exclusive to their native language; bilingualism. The idea of promoting the Mother Tongue language as well as an internationally accepted means of communication, the English language was widely adopted where the status of one Mother Tongue language as one of the 2 or 3 official languages of any nation, also became a means of great help to those who resided in underprivileged towns, so they too could have a chance towards adopting a lifestyle that is better, and also contribute to the development of their country.

In the ongoing process of globalization, languages and technologies go side by side in playing their primary role in attracting investment by many multinational companies, foreign trade, franchising, licensing, etc; which impact economic development so it is concluded that, language is the only tool that ensures global success and falls in the national interest. Therefore, it is necessary to upgrade the national educational policy in Pakistan that focuses on language education where policy must,

Authored By: Hiba Khan & Areeja Arif (students of BS-III English, Department of H&SS, Bahria University Karachi

Supervised by Ms. Urooj Aijaz (Faculty Department of H&SS), Bahria University Karachi

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