L1 - Educational Studies in Languages and Literature
L1 Educational Studies in Language and Literature

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Manan, S. (2018). Silencing children’s power of self-expression: an examination of coercive relations of power in English-medium schools in Pakistan. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 18, pp. 1-25. https://doi.org/10.17239/L1ESLL-2018.18.01.14

This paper analyses how English-medium policy in schools silences children’s power of self-expression in Pakistan, and how linguistic deficiencies and disadvantages in school language minimize their potential for meaningful cognitive/academic engagement. The study focuses on the degree of inclusion children enjoy linguistically, culturally, emotionally and cognitively. Conducted within 11 low-fee English-medium schools, it uses multiple data sources such as a questionnaire survey, interviews and non-participant observations. Theoretically, it draws on Jim Cummins’ (2000) concepts of ‘coercive relations of pow-er/collaborative relations of power’ to illustrate how educators as powerful individuals exercise coercive powers to glorify English-only policy, legitimize and normalize erroneous assumptions about students’ linguistic/cultural resources. We also find that theoretically inspired by foreign concepts of TESOL/EFL/ESL, educators explicitly devalue and abandon children’s native languages as pedagogical resources in English teaching. Pedagogically, being deficient in the English language, English-only policy excludes children from maximum cognitive/academic engagement as they are coerced to rely on copy-ing, and rote memorization during reading, writing and examination. Towards the end, the study calls for a paradigm shift and proposes educators to create collaborative relations of power that affirms children’s identities, and invests on their languages/cultures as valuable pedagogical resources. This could make education more participatory, liberatory and empowering.


Manan, Syed
Publication date 2018-12-04
DOI 10.17239/L1ESLL-2018.18.01.14
coercive versus collaborative relations of power
English-medium policy
inclusive education
native languages
Document 1
File Manan_2018.pdf
Available since 2018-12-04 09:59:14
Description Published version