5th Skill in English Language Learning and Teaching: A Pakistani Perspective
Mirza, Nosheen Asghar
Date: 26 September 2017
University of Exeter
This dissertation explores the beliefs of students on the relevance (if at all) of addressing the Fifth skill, culture, in English education in a Pakistani context, with sub question that aims to answer what definitions of the Fifth skill (Tomalin, 2008) could be appropriate to English education in a Pakistani context? So far the ...
This dissertation explores the beliefs of students on the relevance (if at all) of addressing the Fifth skill, culture, in English education in a Pakistani context, with sub question that aims to answer what definitions of the Fifth skill (Tomalin, 2008) could be appropriate to English education in a Pakistani context? So far the research done on English language teaching in Pakistan and anything related to it is based on teachers’ beliefs alone, therefore it was important for me as an English Language teacher to find out what the students attitudes were towards the integration of 5th skill in the classroom. However, I did not limit the research to students’ beliefs alone; my research also includes the perception of the teachers. This is not only to give validity to the research, but also to realize any differences regarding the teachers’ beliefs on the issue in previous researches. To explore the role of 5th skill in teaching English languages in a Pakistani classroom, at the secondary level, this dissertation collected the responses elicited from both the students and the teacher through a semi-structured questionnaire and focus group discussion, and a thematic analysis was carried out. The results of this study highlight a number of issues regarding cultural acceptance, language acceptance and integrating of 5th skill in language teaching. Certain interesting contradictions regarding English culture(s) and English language and their status in Pakistani society also emerged. The findings suggest that students regarded the 5th skill as an essential source for better understanding the concepts and their functional use of English language, as it presents them with real life situations. However, where the 5th skill was seen as an important tool to enhance language competence, the students also supported that both the students’ culture as well as the culture associated with English Language be incorporated in the language class. The students saw integrating 5th skill in a language class as a means to express their ideas, values and experiences, and an opportunity to make others understand them and their point of view, and not restrict the use of Fifth skill to a one way cultural awareness stream only. The dissertation also questioned the current status of English as a second language as perceived by the students and its implications on the future of English Language teaching in Pakistan.
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