Policy Dialogue on Language (PDL) in Pakistan

humanities_logoPolicy Dialogue on Language [PDL 2016] hec-logo
October 25, 26 and 27, 2016 

Air University in collaboration with the

Higher Education Commission of Pakistan

Introduction to PDL

Pakistan lacks a comprehensive national language policy. This has resulted in a gradual deterioration of regional languages and local culture, and contributed to increased inequality in large areas of the country, where people are disadvantaged by the enforcement of non-native languages in educational institutions. 
Another feature in Pakistan is the de-facto adoption of English as the official language of the country. This runs contrary to the intent of Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution, which requires official communications to be in Urdu. The recent ruling of Supreme Court of Pakistan for implementation of Urdu as a language for official communication is expected to have a vast impact on Pakistani society and commerce.
The Policy Dialogue aims to bring together linguists, educationists, and industry representatives to draft recommendations for Pakistan’s first National Language Policy. The Policy will feature a section on mediums of instruction in education, and contain guidelines to adopt the Supreme Court’s decision. 
The Policy Dialogue will take the form of focus-group sessions and will include talks on the role of English in Pakistan, translation concerns and the importance of regional languages.



Language Policy has been an unnoticed area of discussion, despite having significant impact on the society at large. The proposed Policy Dialogue will focus on this neglected spot as it will highlight its role, potential and legitimacy. In particular it would connect linguists and stakeholders from Pakistan for commencing a bilateral dialogue and drafting a list of policy regulations for a comprehensive language policy of Pakistan. Furthermore, the policy recommendations would attempt to address the issue of sustaining Pakistan’s various regional languages that are currently exposed to the risk of fading away.

Call For Papers

a. Education and Medium of Instruction

  • Introductions by stakeholders and their summary of public schooling and medium of instruction adopted in various areas of Pakistan.
  • The impact of the current medium of instruction on primary and secondary schooling: resultant dropouts; prevalent regional languages in their area; familiarity with national language(s); local culture, attitudes and identity.
  • Implementation of a uniform policy on medium of instruction: engaging the government of Pakistan; formulating a strategy for conducting a survey to determine local preferences of language(s) to optimize effective education of youth.
  • The way forward: how to implement the results and ensure effective compliance of the final decision: training of teachers, translation of curriculum.

b. Impact of Urdu as an Official Language

  • Foreword by stakeholders: summary of the current language status-quo (use and application); extent of communications; industry interaction with public.
  • Determining the importance of language use in the particular industry.
  • The mechanics of implementation: realistic milestones to incorporate Urdu use; determine the far-reaching impact of compulsory Urdu on the industry; establishing departments in the various entities of the industry to determine the impact; forwarding recommendations industry-wide to the policy makers.

c. Role of English as an Official Language

  • Discussion on the amount of penetration of English language within the official frontiers; extent of usage of English language in relation with public interaction.
  • The mechanics for implementation: how to signify a role to English and Urdu language in the offices, how to strike a balance and train the officials accordingly.

d. Place of Regional Languages in Policy

  • Elaboration on the current status of major regional languages of Pakistan: extent of usage in everyday life; presence or absence of formal learning of the language(s) within different areas of Pakistan.
  • The mechanics of implementation: formulation of strategies and methods for including regional languages in the syllabi of educational institutions of the country.

Important dates, registration and more information in: http://portals.au.edu.pk/pdl/Home.aspx

Fonte: http://portals.au.edu.pk/pdl/Home.aspx


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