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Indigenous Culture and Academic Discourse: A Critique of English Textbooks in Pakistan
The paper aims to explore how far English textbooks in Pakistan embody Pakistan and its culture. In this connection, the reading passages and pictures/images of the textbooks taught at secondary level in the government schools of Punjab were analyzed. It was a mixed method study and the specific method employed was content analysis. For this purpose all the reading passages of both the textbooks were firstly categorized and quantified into three categories; Source Culture/s, Other Culture/s and Neutral and then the cultural elements of Source Culture/s were discussed qualitatively using an adapted checklist. The results of the study reveal that the English textbook of class 9 has 12 passages out of which 75% have Source cultural elements, 8.83% have cultural elements of Other Culture/s and 16.66% are Neutral. As far as the English textbook of class 10 is concerned, there are 13 reading passages out of which 23.07% have Source cultural elements, 15.38% have cultural elements of Other Culture/s and 61.53% are Neutral. The findings of the study show that English, being an international language and as a result of globalization, has become compulsory for people belonging to different countries to learn it. However, in order to retain their identity, they try to appropriate English language to underpin their own culture/s through English language used in the textbooks of Pakistan.
Indigenous Culture, Academic Discourse, English Textbooks,Pakistan, Appropriation
English language is the global lingua franca. The reason behind this is not the rapid increase in native speakers but the growth in the number of non-native speakers who are of the view that learning of it (English) as an additional language will be beneficial for them (McKay, 2003). Graddol (1999, p.62) has well before predicted about the decline in the native speakers of English in the coming fifty years. He posits, based solely on expected population changes, the number of people using English as their second language will grow from 235 million to around 462 million during the next 50 years. This indicates that the balance between L1 and L2 speakers will critically change, with L2 speakers eventually overtaking L1 speakers.
Kachru (1990, p.1) has discussed the linguistic power of English language. He opines that as compared to other languages spoken widely, knowing of English means having the lamp of Aladdin, which enables a person to open “as it were, the linguistic gates to the international business, technology, science, and travel”.
Due to the importance of English language, it has become compulsory for non-native speakers to learn English Language. However, in order to retain their identity they nativize/indigenize English. Chandra (2004) posits that it has now become possible for every country to infuse cultural aspects and vocabulary of its own country in English language while using it.
The question that had been pestering the mind of Chinua Achebe (1975, p.65), a Nigerian writer was whether English has the ability to carry the weight of his African experience or not. He concluded that it definitely can and instead of writing in Ibo, his native language he chose to write in English. He opines, “I feel that English will be able to carry the weight of [a] African experience. It will have to be [a] new English, still in full communion with its ancestral home but altered to suit its African surroundings.” Such views also come from other corners of the world. Crystal (2012, p.184) has cited the Indian writer Raja Rao who in 1993 forecasted about the Indian English. He posited that it (English) is not a new foreign language for us. Nevertheless, “Our method of expression has to be a dialect which will someday prove to be as distinctive and colorful as the Irish or the American.”
English language is changing rapidly due to the change in need of people from different cultures and climate. Resultantly due to its contact with people having different languages, tradition, cultures and way of life, social practice and political system, has enriched it both in form and contents. New Englishes emerge as these languages give identity to those who own them (Chandra, 2004). The present study aims to know how much English textbooks at secondary depict Pakistani culture in form and content.
1. To what extent is Pakistani culture foregrounded in the English textbooks taught at secondary level in the government schools of Punjab, Pakistan?
2. How is Pakistani culture represented in the English textbooks taught at secondary level in the government schools of Punjab, Pakistan?
Kachru (1992) gave the idea of World Englishes which underpins the emergence and evolution of varied varieties of English language all over the world under the influence of different purposes, needs and contexts. In order to substantiate his point of view, he discussed three concentric circles regarding the usage of English language. They divide countries into three groups; the inner circle, the areas/countries where English is spoken as a mother tongue like USA, England etc., outer circle, countries where English is employed as an official or second language like Pakistan, India etc. Lastly, expanding circle, the countries where people learn it as a foreign language, such as Japan.
Sharifian (2013, p.1) posits that “[I]n its journey across the globe, English has become increasingly localized by many communities of speakers around the world, adopting it to encode and express their cultural conceptualizations, a process which may be called localization of the language.” It means culture plays a phenomenal role in language change and therefore, it becomes important to define it. According to Kramsch (1998) culture is membership in a discourse community that shares a common social space and history, and common imaginings. Even when they have left that community, its members may retain, wherever they are, a common system of standards of perceiving, believing, evaluating, and acting. These standards are what is generally called their ´culture.´ (p. 10)
As to non-native varieties, linguists such as, Moag (1992), Kachru (1992), and Schneider (2003, 2007) are of the view that they pass through a number of stages. In the start, they predominantly rely on varieties which are exonerative and prejudice exists against the local varieties in the minds of people. Later on the local people accept the local variety and it thus becomes the model of classroom.
Kirkpatrick (2007) has discussed the two main functions of language; for communication and for establishing identity. A predominantly informal and localized variety of English is used when the aim of speakers is to underpin their membership and identity to a speech community. People may also employ a specialized variety in order to be identified as members of a specific profession. In the former case that is for the sake of identity and local usage, the variety will have a broad range of idiosyncratic lexical, phonological, cultural and syntactic features. In the latter case, when the goal is communication, the English variety will have few distinct features.
When a speaker of another language uses English its indigenization occurs. This is the result of interference (Weinreich, 1953). Kachru (1983, p.2) has put emphasis on cultural forces and their influence on language. He considers interference as an indication of linguistic changes in situations where people having diverse cultures and languages frequently interact with one another.
Pakistani English, Rehman (2010) posits was unknown before 1984 and it was generally assumed that British English was used by educated Pakistanis and the deviant forms from it were considered mistakes and were avoided. It was after the training gotten by university and college teachers regarding English as an international language in Islamabad that people become aware of the existence of non-native varieties, nevertheless, prejudice existed against them. In this connection, Baumgardner (1995) conducted the first study on scientific lines by distributing questionnaires to teachers and journalists to know about the acceptability of Pakistani English.
Kachru (1983, p.8) referred to Pakistani English in the survey of English spoken in South Asia. He opined that “the indianness in Indian English is to a large extent shared with other South Asian countries” such as, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Later on in 1986 he expands South Asian English and opined that it points to a number of wide-ranging varieties spoken in different regions, for example, Indian English, Pakistani English and Sri Lankan English (p.36). Examples from Pakistani newspapers regarding culture-specific lexical items were also given by him.
Pakistani English (henceforth PE) is different from Indian as the cultural reality of Pakistan is shaped by Islam and history of Muslim and in order to show them, words are taken from Persian, Arabic languages and culture of Pakistan as the examples of Kachru show. Thus, PE is a separate non-native variety. Baumgardner’s (1987) and (1990) papers in this regard are very important, the first is about the utilization of Pakistani newspapers in order to teach English especially syntax. The second is about lexico-semantic features of PE. Presently PE has got the status of non-native variety and it is not only accepted by its own people but also by the other countries of the world. There are many linguists who have worked on its different aspects, some of them as cited by Mehboob (2009) are mentioned below:
Mahboob and Talaat (2008) worked on English language teacher education, Mansoor (2005) worked on language planning, Mahboob (2004) investigated morphology, semantics and syntax. Likewise, Mahboob and Ahmar (2004) worked on phonology. Hartford and Mahboob (2004) explored pragmatics (complaints), Mahboob (2003) investigated morphology, syntax, phonology, semantics, Mahboob ( 2003) worked on language policy and attitudes, Talaat (2003) studied lexis, Rahman (2002) history and politics, Mahboob ( 2002) worked on politics, history and attitudes.
Pakistani English Textbooks: Cultural and Ideological Messages
Textbook has an important role in any teaching learning situation. It is blindly followed by teachers and students as they consider it authentic and valuable which can be trusted on (Habib, 2014). Nevertheless, the language employed in it can never be neutral due to which it is deemed as hidden curriculum (Cunnings worth, 2002)
According to Curdt-Christiansen and Weninger (2015, p.1), “As sociocultural materials, they are the product of complex selective processes reflecting political decisions, educational beliefs and priorities, cultural realities and language policies”. In this connection, the study of textbook is very important as it helps how in certain situations, the governments try to resolve the paradox that is the construction of national identity and the promotion of English language education. The researcher is of the view that in the contexts of World Englishes, it is very significant in the sense that in countries where different varieties of English are spoken, governments not only try to promote their specific variety by using it in English textbooks but also incorporate their own cultural values and ideologies in their contents.
A prominent Pakistani writer, Sidwa (1993, p.213) opines that English language is useful as it is used in commerce, technology, communication and is also rich in literature but it is not the sole monopoly of the British any more as we have adapted it according to our needs. We, the ex-colonized, have subjugated the language, beaten it on its head and made it ours! Let the English chafe and fret and fume. The fact remains that in adapting English to our use, in hammering it sometimes on its head, and in sometimes twisting its tail, we have given it a new shape, substance, and dimension’.
Mehboob (2009) in his work has discussed about the ways in which Muslim men and women are portrayed negatively in global mass media. Men are represented as terrorists, whereas women are represented as submissive and backward. Likewise, English language, English language Teaching, TESOL are also employed for such purposes. In contrast to it, Mehboob (2009) and Habib (2016) in their works have shown the ways adopted by Muslim governments to counter such narratives and how they portray Islam and Pakistan in positive ways. Mehboob talks about Islamiazation of English and Habib discusses how Muslim and National (Pakistani) identity are constructed through academic discourse.
Rehman (2002) looks towards this matter from a different angle, he discusses how ruling elites in Pakistan have tried to appeal to Islam and Pakistani nationalism in order to control ethnic threats and class-oriented movements. Such ideological messages are mostly given through textbooks of history, Pakistan studies and social studies. Nevertheless, language and literature textbooks are also employed to reinforce the messages of the other textbooks. He has discussed three types of messages which are disseminated through Urdu, English, Persian, Punjabi, Sindhi, Arabic and Pashto languages. These messages are about Islam, nationalism and militarism. For this purpose genre like poems, essays, stories, exercises are employed in the textbooks of the above mentioned languages. Islamic lessons are regarding its fundamentals, personalities and events which glorify history of Muslims. Nationalistic lessons discuss Pakistan movement, its Muslim leaders and Pakistan itself. They are put to indoctrinate nationalism and Pakistani identity in the learners. In the third type of lessons, war especially wars of 1948, 1965 and 1971 between Pakistan and India are glorified.
The aim of the study was to investigate how far English textbooks in Pakistan embody Pakistani culture. It was a mixed method descriptive study and the specific method employed was content analysis. Quantitatively, the percentage of reading passages regarding the culture/s of Pakistan was found out, whereas qualitatively, the cultural elements of both the textbooks are sifted and discussed using an adapted checklist. In this connection, firstly the reading passages and pictures/images of all the units of both the textbooks were thoroughly examined and divide into three categories; the Source Culture/s that is Pakistani culture, Other Culture/s that is the culture/s of other countries and Neutral that is passages without cultural elements. In addition, the percentage of reading passage pertaining to cultures is calculated. Likewise, pictures/images of the prescribed textbooks that reinforce what is said in the reading texts were also examined to see their connection with the culture/s of Pakistan. As far as investigation of cultural elements was concerned, a checklist was devised for which help has been taken from the frameworks of Byram, Morgan & Colleagues (1994), Chastain (1988), Tomalin and Stempleski (1993) and CEFR (2001). The checklist has the following main categories:
· Social and Political institutions
· Art and Artifacts
· Everyday Life
· Customs and Traditions
· Interaction Patterns
The checklist helped in sifting out cultural elements from the reading passages of the prescribed textbooks and discussing them.
Textbook of Class 9
There are two textbooks taught at secondary level in the province of Punjab, Pakistan, one in class 9 and the other in class 10. The name of class 9 textbook is “English 9”. It is written by Ruhi Zaka Malik, Fatima Dar and Zarqa Bashir. It is prepared by Punjab Curriculum and textbook Board, Lahore. It has 12 reading passages. The percentage of cultures is shown below in the pie chart 1.
Pie Chart 01: Textbook of Class 9 from the Perspective of Inclusion of Culture/s
Pie chart 01 indicates that nine reading passages of the textbook that is 75% are about Source Culture/s, one passage that is 8.33% is about Other Culture/s and two that is 16.66% are Neutral in nature. The cultural elements of the Source Culture/s embodied in the reading passages are discussed below:
The first reading passage in the textbook is about the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. The name of the passage is “The Saviour of Mankind”. It tells about the first revelation, when علیہ السّلامGabriel came and gave him the first message of Allah in cave Hira:
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ (1) خَلَقَ الْإِنْسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ (2) اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ (3) الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ (4) عَلَّمَ الْإِنْسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ (5)
“Read in the name of thy Lord Who created, created man from a clot (of congealed blood): Read and thy Lord is most Bountiful, Who taught (the use of) the pen, taught man that which he knew not." (Quran, 96:1-5) (English 9, p.3).
It is an Islamic tradition to use the word علیہ السّلام with prophets and angels as can be seen in case of Gabriel. This reading passage also tells the learners about the fundamental concept of the religion Islam that is Tauheed which mean faith in the oneness of Allah. Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم was the last prophet of Allah. He did every possible effort to convey the message of Allah to people and to put them on the right track. This is affirmed by Allah in His sacred book the Holy Quran in these words:
يَاأَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا (45) وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُنِيرًا (46)
“O Nabi! Surely, We have sent you as a witness, and as a bearer of good news and as a warner. And as one inviting to Allah by his permission, and as a light-giving torch" . (Quran, 33:45-46) (English 9, p. 4)
The reading passage also has a picture of the mausoleum of Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم.
Picture 01: Mausoleum of Holy Prophet
The fourth reading passage is about “Hazrat Asma رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنھا ” , the daughter of Hazrat Abu Bakr Saddique رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ , the second caliph . The Arabs were idol worshippers before Islam, when the Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم started teaching them about the oneness of Allah, they turned against them and planned to kill him. He صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم decided to go from Makkah to Madina with Hazrat Abu Bakr Saddique رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ. On their way to Madinah, they stayed in the cave Thawr. Makkah and Madinah are the two scared places for Muslims all over the world. In this connection, Hazrat Asma رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنھا helped them in their preparation and took great efforts and pains to provide them food during their stay in the cave. The picture of the cave Thawr is displayed to heighten the effect of reading text.
Picture 02: Cave Thawr
This migration of Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم in 622 A.D. is important in the sense that Islamic calendar “Hejri” English Hegira starts from here. This reading passage has a lot of references to the companions, relatives and disbelievers at the time of Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. The name of Abu Jehl is discussed, he was the staunch enemy of Islam, and Hazrat Abu Quhaffaa who was a disbeliever at that time and was the grandfather of Hazrat Asma رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنھا is also mentioned. There are references to the husband of Hazrat Asma رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنھا , Hazrat Zubair bin al- Awwam رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ and her son Hazrat Abdullah bin Zubair. رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ Hazrat Ayesha رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنھا , who was the wife of Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is also mentioned in the passage. This reading passage is also important from language point of view; there are some words which have become part of Pakistani English under the influence of Islam, for example, the word Allah instead of God, the word Rasool instead of Prophet. The Islamic tradition of adding صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم with Rasool, رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ with male andعنھا رضی اللہ تعالی with female companion of Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. These are Arabic words but in order to emphasize Islamic Identity, they are mentioned rather than their translation.
The seventh reading passage, “Sultan Ahmad Masjid” is about the famous mosque situated in Turkey. The word Masjid is significant in the sense that its English equivalent mosque is not used. The picture of the Masjid is also shown.
Picture 03: Sultan Ahmad Masjid
The word “Sultan” is also important as it is related to Muslim identity, it is the title used for Muslim rulers. As the Masjid was made in the time of King Ahmad, therefore, it was named as Sultan Ahmad Masjid. This passage is important from historic point of view as there is a reference to Istanbul, the capital of Turkey and Ottoman Empire from 1453 to 1923. Ottoman Empire has great importance as it reminds Muslims about their unity in past. This Masjid is also the symbol of Muslim architecture. As far as language is concerned, there many words in the passage which have become part and parcel of Pakistani English. They are discussed below:
Holy Quran: The sacred book of Muslims.
A’yat: The verse of Holy Quran is called A’yat.
Masjid: The place of worship of Muslims where they offer congregational prayers.
Imam: During prayer one person leads the prayer, he is called Imam.
Mehrab: The part of the Masjid where Imam stands during prayers.
Namaz: The prayer which is discussed above is called Namaz. It is included in the five pillars of Islam.
Minarets: The place from where Muslims are called for different prayers that is Namaz.
The second reading passage in the textbook is “Patriotism”. It is included in the textbook in order to inculcate the value of patriotism in the learners. In order to emphasize the importance of patriotism, a saying of Quaid-e-Azam is given in which he says, “we must develop a sense of patriotism which galvanizes us all into one united and strong nation.” (English 9, p.13). In addition, there are references to the three wars fought against India; 1965, 1971 and Kargil. It is said that people and soldiers sacrificed their lives to protect their country. It means the passion to lay down their lives for country is tried to infuse in the learners. In this connection, Nishan-e-Haider is mentioned; it is Pakistan’s highest military award. Those who have been awarded this are also mentioned, they are Captain Muhammad Sawar, Major Aziz Bhatti, Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas, Major Tufail Muhammad, Major Shabir Sharif, Major Muhammad Akram, Hawildar Lalak Jan, lance Naik Muhammad Mahfooz and Karnal Sher Khan.
The reading passage also has a picture in which four important things are shown; the mausoleum of Quaid-e- Azam, Minar-e- Pakistan, Ziarat , Khyber Pass. The mausoleum of Quaid-e- Azam, the founder of Pakistan is in Karachi, the capital city of Sindh province. Minar-e- Pakistan is in Lahore, the capital city of Punjab province. It is has great significance from historical point of view as Pakistan Resolution was passed here in 1940 in which it was said unanimously that Muslims of Subcontinent should have separate homeland. Khyber Pass is in the province, Khyber Pakhtunekhwa, Khyber Pass has got great significance as invaders used to use this way to attack subcontinent. Ziarat is in Balochistan, it is the place where Quaid-e-Azam spent last days of his life. The inclusion of all these places is significant in the sense that it reminds the readers that though the country has different regions having different languages and cultures, but they are one, thus fostering national identity.
The sixth reading passage of the textbook is “The Quaid’s Vision and Pakistan”. Quaid is the founder of Pakistan. In this passage it is told to the learners that in the early days when Pakistan came into being, it was facing a lot of difficulties, in this situation, Quaid-e-Azam undertook visits throughout the country and tried to raise the spirit of people.
In this passage the ideology of Pakistan is also discussed, it was based on one important thing that is Muslims are independent nation. This was affirmed by Quaid-e-Azam three years before the creation of Pakistan in these words:
We are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportion, legal laws and moral codes, custom and calendar, history and tradition, aptitude and ambitions_ in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life. (English 9, p. 63)
There is reference to the place Lahore, which has already been discussed above, the place where Pakistan’s Resolution was passed on 23rd March 1940. Due to the importance of the day, public holiday is observed in Pakistan on this day.
Islam and Pakistan have close connection as it was on the base of religion that Pakistan came into being. This is emphasized from the perspective of its founder. It is written in the passage, “He firmly believed that the new emerging state of Pakistan based on Islamic principles would reform the society as a whole” (English 9, p. 64). Moreover, in his message on Eid in 1945 he told, “Islam is a complete code regulating the whole Muslim society, every department of life collectively and individually” (English 9, p. 64). The word Eid has also become part of Pakistani English. Muslims celebrate two Eids in a year. In the reading passage there is also reference to the motto of Quaid-e-Azam that is “Faith, Unity and Discipline” (English 9, p. 64).
Quaid-e-Azam’s portrait is also shown in which he is in Sherwani, the part of national dress of Pakistan and Jinah cap. Pakistani leaders wear Sherwani on important official occasions.
Picture 05: Portrait of Quaid-e-Azam
The third reading passage, “Media and its Impact” is about media. It exemplifies interaction pattern between the teacher Ayesha, a Pakistani Muslim name and her students regarding the role and impact of media.
The reading passage, “All is not lost” is contextualized by using Muslim names like Hira, Rahila and Pakistani place name likes the city of Karachi, the most populated city of Pakistan. The picture of a Pakistani hospital, where a nurse is tending a patient is also displayed. There is reference to Allah Almighty that is God, the most important word of Pakistani English.
Picture 06: A Pakistani Hospital
The reading passage, “Drug Addiction” is included in order to make the learners aware about the causes, harmful effects and solution of drug addiction. It lays stress on the rehabilitation centers for drug addicts and the role of counselling for treating them. In the reading passage, learners are informed that there are about five million drug addicts in Pakistan.
The reading passage “Noise in the Environment” is also about Pakistan. It is said that pollution of noise is a major problem for Pakistanis especially those who live in cities. According to a survey of Punjab Environmental Protection Agency, the acceptable noise level in cities should be 75 decibels, but in Lahore, the provincial capital, it is 91 decibels which is alarming. The main reasons of noise pollution in the country are discussed in detail. Some of them are careless use of electronic appliances, road traffic, construction sites and patterns of loud speech. In order to control it, Punjab Environmental Protection Agency which has already been mentioned above recommends 75 decibels noise level in commercial and 55 decibels in residential places.
Textbook of Class 10
The name of class 10 textbook is “English 10”. It is written by Sobia Kiyani and published by Caravan Book House, Lahore. The book has 13 reading passages. The percentage of culture/s is shown below in the pie chart 2.
Pie Chart 02: Textbook of Class 10 from the Perspective of Inclusion of Culture/s
Pie chart 02 indicates that three reading passages in the textbook that is 23.07% are about source culture/s and 15.38% are about other culture/s and lastly, 61.53% of the reading passages are neutral. The cultural elements of the source culture/s in the reading passages in the textbook of class 10 are discussed below:
The first reading passage in the textbook is about the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. The name of the passage is “Hazrat Muhammad an Embodiment of Justice”. The textbook of class 10 starts with:
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
Followed by its English translation “In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious the Most Merciful” (English 10, p.1). It is significant in the sense that according to Islamic tradition whenever a work is started, it should be started with it. Moreover, with the name of Prophet it is a tradition to add صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم which means “Peace Be upon Him”. The word Rasool, an Arabic word is repeatedly used for him instead of English word prophet. Moreover, the picture of the mausoleum of Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is also displayed on the very first page. Keeping in view the title of the passage, “Hazrat Muhammad an Embodiment of Justice” different incidents have been discussed where he did justice irrespective of color, creed or race. The word Allah is consistently used for English word God. In addition, رضی اللہ تعالی عنہم - رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ are used for the companions of Rasool like Hazrat Usama bin Zaid, Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Muavia etc. References to the two important religious sacred places are also mentioned, for example, the holy city Madinah where the tomb and Mosque of prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم are present and Makka, both are visited by Muslims whenever they go to Saudi Arabia. The sacred place in Makkah, Ka’bah’ and black stone have also been mentioned. There are references to the famous tribes of Saudi Arabia like Quraish, the tribe of Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم, Banu Tha’lba. It is to be noted that Israelite has not been mentioned in English but in Arabic language Bani Israil. There is English translation of various Hadiths (saying of Holy Prophet) and verses of Holy Quran in the reading passage. The Picture of the mausoleum of Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is also displayed in the passage.
Picture 07: Mausoleum of Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم
The last reading passage, “Faithfulness” is about the two companions of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم, Hazrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ, the second caliph and Hazrat Abuzar Ghaffar رضی اللہ تعالی عنہ. It is a story in which justice is met in a good manner. In this passage there is reference to Allah, an Arabic word is used instead of English word God. There is a reference to the Masjid of Rasool. The two words which have been made part of Pakistani English are present in the passage. They are Rasool and Masjid. Moreover, the tradition to use صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم with Prophet and رضی اللہ تعالی عنہم with the companions of Prophet is visible in the passage. The companions of Holy Prophet are called Sahabah, its singular is Sahabi; both singular and plural forms are used in the passage. Likewise, the word Caliph is also associated with Muslim rulers. There is also a reference to the fundamental concept in the religion Islam that is “Day of Judgment”, when the man requests to give him three days to handover the hidden gold to a trustee otherwise he will be called to account on Judgment Day. A sketch having mountains, desert and date trees which are the hall marks of the Saudi Arabia are also displayed with the passage.
Picture 08: Desert
The reading passage, “Little by Little One walks far” is about the importance of co-curricular activities as they give chance to an individual to learn a variety of skills and thus become well-rounded individuals. The passage is the autobiography of such an individual. There are references to Quaid-e-Azam Badge in scouting and who is who, a quiz. Who’s is who is a book published in Pakistan, it is full of information regarding the world affairs and specifically about Pakistan. Students study it in order to prepare themselves for various competitive exams.
Discussion and Conclusion
The study aimed to find out the impact of Pakistani culture on the language and contents of the textbooks taught at secondary level in the government schools of Punjab, Pakistan. The study reveals that 75% of the reading passages in the textbook of class 9 are related to Pakistan and its culture. In this connection, the main cultural themes are religion, history, interaction patterns and issues which Pakistan are facing like drug addiction and noise in the environment etc. Religion is the most focused category in the textbook. Three reading passages are about religion, Islam in which the fundamentals of Islam have been discussed. In addition, a lot of lexical items in Pakistani English which owe to religion are present in the textbook like Allah, A’yat, Rasool, Masjid, Mehrab, Imam, Namaz etc. The second important category is history. Two reading passages in the textbook are about the history of Pakistan, its ideology, leaders and its wars against India. The third important category in the textbook is interaction pattern which is contextualized through dialogues between teacher and students. It means that most of the reading passages predominantly embody Pakistani culture. In addition, the pictures/images in the textbook also help in reinforcing Pakistani culture. Curdt-Christiansen and Weninger (2015) are right in saying that textbooks of language by and large emphasizes the distinctiveness of a nation by showing its long-standing tradition, shared history and values to inculcate national pride and promote national identity. To sum up, the contents and images/pictures of the textbook present Pakistan and its culture in a positive way.
As far as the textbook of class 10 is concerned, the study shows that 23.07% of the reading passages are about Pakistan and its culture. 15.38% of the reading passages are about cultures of other countries and 61.53% passages are neutral. The most recurrent theme in the textbook of class 10 is religion and the second important theme is history. The results of the study also reinforce the observations of Rehman (2002) that Pakistani textbooks contain three types of ideological messages. These messages are pertaining to Islam, nationalism and militarism. Mahboob (2009) in his study talks about Islamization of English, nevertheless, the findings of the study reveal that in Pakistani English textbooks there are not only signs of Islamization of English but also Pakistanization of English. To conclude, English textbooks in Pakistan are appropriated to reflect Pakistan and its culture in positive way.