Multilingualism as a Tool of Marginalization or Empowerment in Pakistan: A Classroom Perspective

  • Musarrat Azher University of Sargodha
  • Riffat-un-Nisa Awan University of Sargodha
  • Ghazala Noureen Lahore College for Women University, Lahore


Pakistani educational system is dominated by multilingual phenomenon at all stages. The students with different levels of language proficiency enter university education where classrooms are dominated by multilingual phenomenon with the main adherence to English language. The major concerns of this study are: does multilingualism in Pakistani university classrooms transfer or inculcate any sense of marginalization or empowerment amongst the students at BS level; whether this sense of marginalization or empowerment can be related to their socioeconomic background and to their private and public schooling. The data were collected through a self-developed questionnaire from BS 3rd semester students enrolled in University of Sargodha. The questionnaire included close ended as well as open ended items which were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The results revealed that students with low socio-economic background and public schooling were on the verge of marginalization and demotion which have developed a sense of low confidence in them. Students from private sector English medium schools were more confident, interactive, and participative in the classroom, hence empowered. The study concluded with some suggestion that universities may organize a zero semester for students to teach them a deficiency course of communication skills in English.

Keywords: Multilingualism, Marginalization. Empowerment, University students


Author Biographies

Musarrat Azher, University of Sargodha

Lecturer, Department of English, University of Sargodha

Riffat-un-Nisa Awan, University of Sargodha

Associate Professor, Department of Education, University of Sargodha

Ghazala Noureen, Lahore College for Women University, Lahore

Assistant Professor, Institute of Education, Lahore College for Women University, Lahore