28681752 english-language-teaching-and-learning-in-bangladesh


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

28681752 english-language-teaching-and-learning-in-bangladesh

  1. 1. ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING AT THE ALIM LEVEL IN THE MADRASHAS IN BANGLADESH: PROBLEMS AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS M. Phil. Thesis By Md. Enamul Hoque A thesis submitted to the faculty of Arts and Humanities ofJahangirnagar University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of M. Phil. in English Language (Applied Linguistics and ELT) Department of English Jahangirnagar University Savar, Dhaka Bangladesh June 2008
  2. 2. 2ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING AT THE ALIM LEVEL IN THE MADRASHAS IN BANGLADESH: PROBLEMS AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS Researcher Md. Enamul Hoque M. Phil. Researcher Department of English Jahangirnagar University Savar, Dhaka Bangladesh Supervisor Dr. M. Maniruzzaman Department of English Jahangirnagar University Savar, Dhaka Bangladesh June 2008
  3. 3. 3 DeclarationI, Md. Enamul Hoque, hereby declare that this thesis titled English LanguageTeaching and Learning at the Alim Level in the Madrashas in Bangladesh:Problems and Possible Solutions submitted to Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka,Bangladesh in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of M. Phil. inEnglish Language (Applied Linguistics and ELT) is a record of my original andindependent research work done under the supervision and guidance of Dr. M.Maniruzzaman, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University, and it has not formedthe basis for the award of any degree/diploma/associateship/fellowship or other similartitle to any candidate at any university.Md. Enamul HoqueM. Phil. ResearcherDepartment of EnglishJahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  4. 4. 4 CertificateI am pleased to certify that the thesis entitled English Language Teaching andLearning at the Alim Level in the Madrashas in Bangladesh: Problems and PossibleSolutions submitted to Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh in partialfulfillment of the requirement for the award of the M. Phil. degree in English Language(Applied Linguistics and ELT) is a record of the original study done byMr. Md. Enamul Hoque under my supervision and guidance. This thesis has not formedthe basis for the award of any degree/diploma/associateship/ fellowship or other similartitle to any candidate of any university.Dr. M. ManiruzzamanSupervisorDepartment of EnglishJahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  5. 5. 5 Acknowledgement First and foremost, I would like to thank Allah (SWT) for giving me theopportunity to carry out the study and for not losing my heart at any stages of myresearch. I would like to express my immense gratitude to my research supervisor Dr.M. Maniruzzaman, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka foropening the door of opportunity for me to do research under his sincere guidance. He isthe torch bearer of the march of my research. He lavishly spent his time to mould meand to better my academic activities. Without his efforts, it would not be possible tosubmit the thesis at this moment. I also gratefully thank him for having spent hisvaluable time, academically sharing views with me. I deem it a blessing from theAlmighty to have the right person for my research guidance. I would like to thank all the teachers and staff of the Department of English,Jahangirnagar University for their cooperation during this study. I am sincerely gratefulto Mr. Shamsad Mortuza, the chairman, Department of English for his sympathy andkindness in writing some letters to my authority for deputation. I specially thank Mr.Ahmed Reza, Associate Professor, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University forhelping me select the study area and the title of the present study. The deepest appreciation from the very core of my heart goes toMr. Abdul Mabud, Deputy Conservator of Forest, and the Director, Bangladesh ForestSchool, Sylhet for his all out personal as well as official cooperation for the successfulcompletion of my research. My fellow researcher Shahanaz Mahmud deserves thanksfor her inspiration at all levels. I express my profound gratitude to M H Nurunnabi and Afroja Hoque for theirample support in reviewing and checking the questionnaires of the present study.
  6. 6. 6 I would like to acknowledge the very sincere support and assistance ofA. B. M. Shafiqul Islam and Md. Jahurul Islam, two able M. A. final year students ofthe Department of English, Jahangirnagar University in organising two seminars forme, without whose supports and cooperation, it would be impossible for me to presentmy two seminars through multimedia. I am thankful to the responding students and teachers of 24 madrashas whoeagerly came forward to help me answering the questions in the questionnaires. I, with all sincerity, record my sense of gratefulness to my family. I amextremely grateful to my sister- in- law Rawshan Ara Islam Shilpi and younger brotherEmdadul Hoque for their financial support when I was in financial crisis during thepresent study. I must record my deepest love to my two tireless daughters, Nuasiba andNabiha, who having missed me always showed their helplessness during the study. Last but not least, I am completely indebted to Afroja Islam Jasmin, my wife,who provided all sorts of support to stick to the study and kept me away from all thefamily chores and proved herself a constant source of inspiration all the time. She notonly gave me opportunity to work, but also encouraged me to complete the researchsuccessfully.Md. Enamul HoqueM. Phil. ResearcherDepartment of EnglishJahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka
  7. 7. 7 AbstractThe role of English language as a lingua franca makes it a unique language in theworld. This distinctiveness does not only refer to the language itself, but also to theways it is taught as a foreign language. Learning a foreign language takes place step bystep in which a number of factors play a direct role. This study intends to shed light onthe state of “English Language Teaching and Learning at the Alim Level in theMadrashas in Bangladesh”. It tries to unveil the problems encountered by the Alimstudents (higher secondary), sketch a picture of teacher-student interaction and theirlinguistic behaviour in the class, and evaluate the level of performance of students inthe four basic skills of English language: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Thestudy suggests certain remedial measures to overcome the problems or hindrances lyingin the process of teaching -learning activities. The investigation goes around some domains directly related to appliedlinguistics and ELT: textbook materials, syllabuses and curriculums, teaching methodsand approaches, status of teachers, teaching aids and equipment, perception of needs ofEnglish, preference of learning strategies, testing and assessment, etc. For the presentstudy, 1000 Alim students and 25 English teachers teaching English to the samestudents are randomly selected from 24 madrashas located in both urban and ruralareas. The data for the present study is collected through questionnaires: studentquestionnaire and teacher questionnaire. The findings of the present are presented in thepie charts and tables. The data is analysed in the descriptive and the contextualmethods.The study reveals that the major problems in English language teaching and learning atthe Alim level lie with the textbook materials, syllabus, uninteresting lessons, method
  8. 8. 8of teaching, avoidance of practicing listening and speaking, poor quality of teachers,lack of physical facilities of the classroom, very poor quality teaching aids andequipment, etc. The study finds correlations between the teachers and the students on anumber of issues. Contradictions are also found between them on some points relatingto English language teaching and learning. A good amount of literature related to thecurrent study is reviewed to correlate and support the present study.The major findings of the present study suggest that cooperative learning helpssignificantly to enhance the learners’ oral communicative competence and theirmotivation towards learning English. On basis of the findings, a good number ofsuggestions for NCTB, Madrashas Education Board and English language teachers aremade for the further improvement of teaching and learning English in Alim classes.Finally, suggestions for future research are given. The present study, thus, claims tohave social vitality, reliability and validity as it provides enough insights into theEnglish language teaching and learning at the Alim level in the madrashas inBangladesh. List of Acronyms and Abbreviations Used Acronyms/ Expressions Abbreviations BISE : Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education BMEB : Bangladesh Madrasha Education Board BTEB : Bangladesh Technical Education Board CA : Communicative Approach
  9. 9. 9CC : Communicative Competence :CLT Communicative Language TeachingDM : Direct MethodDSHE : The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Secondary EducationEFL : English as a Foreign LanguageEFT : English For TodayEL : English LanguageELTIP : English Language Teaching Improvement ProjectELT : English Language TeachingELLT : English Language Learning and TeachingENL : English as a Native LanguageESL : English as a Second LanguageESOL : English for Speakers of other LanguagesFL : Foreign LanguageGTM : Grammar Translation MethodHSC : Higher Secondary CertificateL1 : First LanguageL2 : Second LanguageLAD : Language Acquisition DeviceLP : Language PerformanceLSRW : Listening, Speaking, Reading and WritingMEB : Madrashas Education BoardMOE : Ministry of Education
  10. 10. 10NCTB : National Curriculum and Textbook BoardODA : Government Oversees Development AdministrationS : StudentSL : Second LanguageSLA : Second Language AcquisitionSSC : Secondary School CertificateT : TeacherTEFL : Teaching English as a Foreign LanguageTESL : Teaching English as a Second LanguageTTC : Teachers’ Training CollegeUGC : University Grants Commission% : Percentage
  11. 11. 11 Contents PageDeclaration ...................................................................... 3Certificate ......................................................................... 4Acknowledgement .......................................................... 5Abstract ............................................................................ 7Contents .......................................................................... 11List of Figures ................................................................... 18List of Tables ..................................................................... 21Chapter 1: Introduction ------------------------------------------1.1 Preliminaries ---------------------------------------------------------------------------1.2.1 First Language and Second Language ---------------------------------------------1.1.2 Foreign Language vs. Second Language -----------------------------------------1. 1.3 Acquisition vs. Learning ------------------------------------------------------------1.2 English Language Teaching (ELT) in Bangladesh-------------------------------1.2.1 Colonial Period -----------------------------------------------------------------------1.2.2 Pakistan Period------------------------------------------------------------------------1.2.3 Post Liberation Period-------------------------------------------------------------1.2.4 Statement of the Problem------------------------------------------------------------1.2.5 Significance of the Study------------------------------------------------------------1.2.6 Objectives of the Study--------------------------------------------------------------
  12. 12. 12 1.2.7 Limitations of the Study------------------------------------------------------------- 1.2.8 Definitions and Terms Used in the Thesis----------------------------------------- 1.2.9 Outline of the Study----------------------------------------------------------------- 1.3 Conclusion---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1.4 Works Cited---------------------------------------------------------------------------Chapter 2: English Language Teaching and Learningat the Alim Level --------------------------------------------------------- 2.1 Education Structure in Bangladesh----------------------------------------------- 2.2 Different Streams in Education--------------------------------------------------- 2.2. 1 General Education----------------------------------------------------------------- Primary Education------------------------------------------------------------------ Secondary Education--------------------------------------------------------------- Higher Secondary Education------------------------------------------------------ Higher Education-------------------------------------------------------------------- 2.2.2 Madrasha Education---------------------------------------------------------------- Ebtadayee (Primary)Education --------------------------------------------------- Dakhil (Secondary) Education ---------------------------------------------------- Alim(Higher Secondary) Education---------------------------------------------- Tertiary /Higher Education-------------------------------------------------------- 2.2.3 Technical Education---------------------------------------------------------------- 2.3 History of Madrasha Education--------------------------------------------------- 2.4 Madrasha Education after the Independence of Bangladesh----------------- 2.5 Madrasha Teachers’ Training Institute(MTTI)---------------------------------
  13. 13. 132.6 ELT Policy in Bangladesh---------------------------------------------------------2.7 Place of English in the Madrasha Curriculum-----------------------------------2.7.1 Curriculum and Syllabus for Alim Class----------------------------------------2.7.2 Objectives of English Textbooks in the Madrashas----------------------------2.7.3 Syllabus Contents of English for Alim Class------------------------------------2.7.4 Layout of the Questionnaire------------------------------------------------------2.8 Evaluation of Textbook------------------------------------------------------------2.8.1 Types of Evaluation-----------------------------------------------------------------2.8.2 Textbook Evaluators----------------------------------------------------------------2.8.3 Methods and Procedures of Textbook Evaluation-----------------------------2.8.4 Evaluation of English for Today Book Eight for Alim Class-----------------2.9 Status of English Language Teacher---------------------------------------------2.9.1 Proficiency in English -------------------------------------------------------------2.9.2 Teaching Effectiveness------------------------------------------------------------- Classroom Management------------------------------------------------------------ Psychological Elements an Personality of Teacher----------------------------2.9.3 Academic Qualification of English Teacher-------------------------------------2.9.4 Teaching Method/Approaches Used By the Class------------------------------2.10 Assessment and Testing System--------------------------------------------------2.10.1 Continuous Assessment------------------------------------------------------------2.10.2 Internal Examination---------------------------------------------------------------2.10.3 Alim Public Examination----------------------------------------------------------2.10.4 Format and Items of Alim Public Examination---------------------------------2.11 Teaching Aids and Equipments Used in the Class-----------------------------
  14. 14. 14 2.12 Physical Facilities of the Class--------------------------------------------------- 2.13 Conclusion 2.14 Works CitedChapter 3: Literature Review--- 3.1 Objectives of Literature Review------------------------------------------- 3.2 Review of Related Literature----------------------------------------------- 3.3 Conclusion-------------------------------------------------------------------- 3.4 Works Cited------------------------------------------------------------------Chapter 4: Research Design and Methodology Practicality------------------------------------------------------ 4.4 Data Collection Procedures----------------------------------------------- 4.5 List of Madrasha Selected for Investigation---------------------------- 4.6 Data Analysis--------------------------------------------------------------- 4.7 Conclusion------------------------------------------------------------------- 4.8 Works Cited-----------------------------------------------------------------Chapter 5: Presentation and Interpretation of Findings 5.1 Presentation and Interpretation of Findings----------------------------- 5.2 Conclusion------------------------------------------------------------------- 5.3 Works Cited-----------------------------------------------------------------
  15. 15. 15Chapter 6: Conclusion and Recommendations 6.1 Findings of the Study in Brief ---------------------------------------------------- 6.2 Recommendations------------------------------------------------------------------ 6.2.1 Recommendations for NCTB----------------------------------------------------- 6.2.2 Recommendations for Madrasha Education Board (MEB)------------------- 6.2.3 Recommendations for Textbook and Syllabus--------------------------------- 6.2.4 Recommendations for Test and Assessment------------------------------------ 6.2.5 Recommendations for Teaching Aids and Equipment------------------------ 6.2.6 Recommendations for Teachers-------------------------------------------------- 6.2.7 Suggestions for Students----------------------------------------------------------- 6.3 Further Research-------------------------------------------------------------------- 6.4 Conclusion--------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6.5 Works Cited-------------------------------------------------------------------------
  16. 16. 16List of Figures1.1 Relevance of syllabus viewed by the students -----------------------------------1.2 Relevance of syllabus viewed by the teachers------------------------------------2.1 Size of syllabus viewed by the students-------------------------------------------2.2 Size of syllabus viewed by the teachers-------------------------------------------3.1 Task enjoyment viewed by the students-------------------------------------------3.2 Task enjoyment viewed by the teachers-------------------------------------------4.1.1 Practice of listening skill viewed by the students---------------------------------4.1.2 Practice of speaking skill viewed by the students-------------------------------4.1.3 Practice of reading skill viewed by the students---------------------------------4.1.4 Practice of writing skill viewed by the students ---------------------------------4.2.1 Practice of listening skill viewed by the teachers --------------------------------4.2. 2 Practice of speaking skill viewed by the teachers--------------------------------4.2. 3 Practice of reading skill viewed by the students--------------------------------4.2.4 Practice of writing skill viewed by the students----------------------------------5.1 Role of Syllabus viewed by the students-----------------------------------------5.2 Role of Syllabus viewed by the teachers------------------------------------------6.1 Learning style viewed by the students---------------------------------------------
  17. 17. 176.2 Learning style viewed by the teachers---------------------------------------------7.1 Role of the text book in learning language skills viewed by the students---7.2 Role of the book in learning language skills viewed by the teachers----------8.1 Interesting lesson viewed by the students----------------------------------------8.2 Interesting lesson viewed by the students----------------------------------------9.1 Difficulties with the lesson viewed by the students------------------------------ Difficulties with the lesson viewed by the teachers----------------------------9.210.1 Relevance of lesson viewed by the students------------------------------------10.2 Relevance of lesson viewed by the teachers--------------------------------------11.1 Activeness in the class viewed by the students-----------------------------------11.2 Activeness in the class viewed by the teachers-----------------------------------12.1 Explanation of text viewed by the students---------------------------------------12.2 Explanation of text viewed by the students--------------------------------------13.1 Teachers’ encouragement viewed by the students--------------------------------14.1 Explanation of vocabulary item viewed by the students------------------------14.2 Explanation of vocabulary item viewed by the teachers----------------------15.1 Teachers sympathy viewed by the students--------------------------------------15.2 Teachers sympathy viewed by the teachers --------------------------------------16.1 Use of the textbook viewed by the students-------------------------------------
  18. 18. 1816.2 Teachers’ following the textbook viewed by the students---------------------17.1 Use of English by the teachers viewed by the students------------------------17.2 Use of English by the teachers viewed by the teachers--------------------------18.1 Teachers’ qualification and competence viewed by the students---------------18.2 Teachers’ qualification and competence viewed by the teachers---------------19.1 Teachers’ cooperation after class viewed by the students----------------------19.2 Teachers’ cooperation after class viewed by the teachers-----------------------20.1 Use of teaching aids and equipments viewed by the students------------------20.2 Use of teaching aids and equipments viewed by the students-----------------21.1 Correction of works viewed by the students-------------------------------------21.2 Correction of works viewed by the teachers--------------------------------------22.1 Correction of works viewed by the teachers--------------------------------------22.2 Correction of works by the classmate viewed by the teachers-----------------23.1 Self correction viewed by the students--------------------------------------------23.2 Self correction viewed by the teachers---------------------------------------------24.1 Needs of English viewed by the students-----------------------------------------24.2 Needs of English viewed by the teachers-----------------------------------------25.1.1 Evaluation of students listening skill viewed by the students-------------------25.1.2 Evaluation of students speaking skill viewed by the students------------------
  19. 19. 1925.1.3 Evaluation of students reading skill viewed by the students--------------------25.1.4 Evaluation of students writing skill viewed by the students--------------------25.2.1 Evaluation of students listening skill viewed by the teachers-------------------25.2.2 Evaluation of students speaking skill viewed by the teachers-----------------25.2.3 Evaluation of students reading skill viewed by the teachers-------------------25.2.4 Evaluation of students writing skill viewed by the teachers--------------------List of TablesTable- 1 Education structure of Bangladesh ---------------------------------------------Table - 2 Teachers’ qualification ----------------------------------------------------------Table- 3 Number of madrashas, and students---------------------------------------------Table- 4 List of madrasha selected for investigation-------------------------------------Bibliography------------------------------------------------------------Appendix 1
  20. 20. 20 Appendix 2 Teacher Questionnaire --------------------------------------------------------- Appendix 3 English Syllabus--------------------------------------------------------------- Items and Distribution of Marks-------------------------------------------- Appendix 4 Appendix 5 English Syllabus for Alim Examination------------------------------------ Appendix 6 English Question of Alim Examination 2007---------------------------- Appendix 7 English Question of Alim Examination 2008---------------------------- Chapter 1 IntroductionThis chapter briefly introduces the present study and discusses some issues of languagelearning which include preliminaries, definitions and differences between first, secondand foreign languages, chronological background of English language in Bangladesh,the statement of the problem, the significance of the study, the objectives of the study,the limitations of the study, the outline of the thesis, the terms used in the thesis, etc.1.1 Preliminaries
  21. 21. 21Language is one of the most wonderful gifts given by God to humanity. It is with thehelp of language that a human can be able to communicate, solve a number of his/herproblems and make a lot of achievements in life. If there had been no language, itwould have been difficult for humankind to communicate his/her views to fellowhuman beings, there would have come no educational activity into existence, therewould have been no law making, no preaching, no lecturing and nothing like talking,singing, writing, and there would have been no books. This is why, it is very essentialfor every human to learn and use a language. Language enables people to express their feelings, ideas, wishes, and so on. Itis a tool through which the worldly knowledge is acquired and preserved. A particularlanguage is one of the indicators of the cultural identity of a linguistic community aswell as individual personality. However, it is not easy to learn a language. Everylanguage is a complex phenomenon, and one has to devote a number of years tolearning a language. Some learners are able to learn more than one language if theymake efforts. Sapir advocates “Language is a primarily human and non-human inbornmethod of communicating ideas, emotion and desires by means of a system ofvoluntarily produced symbols" (10). Jesperson says, "Language is a set of humanhabits, the purpose of which is to give expressions to thoughts and feelings” (12). Kleinsuggests “Language is the medium through which, the child acquires the cultural,moral, religious and other values of society” (6). Further, every language plays a crucialrole in maintaining social relationship between and among the people of the samelinguistic community and of the various cultures, customs and beliefs. Language is suchan important thing for a nation that people can sacrifice their lives. In 1952, a number
  22. 22. 22of valiant people of Bangladesh sacrificed their lives for the sake of their mother tongueBengali.1.1.1 First Language and Second LanguageKlein opines that a language is first when no other language was acquired before;otherwise it is second (3). Thus, the mother tongue which is acquired first and foremostby a child when his/her language cells are empty is first language (L1); and thelanguage which is acquired / learnt in addition to the L1 is second language (L2). Inthis context, the term second language refers to any language that is learnt subsequentto the mother tongue. Bangladesh has over thirty tribes most of whom are in Rajshahi, Chittagong,Bandarbon, Rangamati, Khagrachori, Mymensingh, Tangail, Sylhet, Patuakhali andBarguna. Some 2-3 million tribal people speak in their own languages, which are calledtheir first languages. The well-known tribal languages are Chakma, Garo, Khasia,Magh, Manipuri, Munda, Oraon, and Santali. Other tribal languages are Kachhari,Kuki, Tipra, Malpahadi, Mikir, Shadri and Hajang. The tribal people also learn andspeak Bengali as their second language to communicate with the people of othercommunities. The main objective of the second language is to enable the speaker forrelatively wider participation in society and in the nation.1.1.2 Foreign Language versus Second LanguageThe phrase foreign language is used to denote a language that is learnt throughinstruction, and which is usually studied either for communication with foreigners whospeak the language or for reading printed materials in the language. Second language,
  23. 23. 23on the other hand, is one that becomes another tool of communication along with thefirst language. Richards et al. suggest that “a foreign language is a language which istaught as a school subject but which is not used as a medium of instruction in schoolsnor as a language of communication within a country (...), a second language is asubject which is not a native language in a country but which is widely used as amedium of communication (…) and which is usually used alongside another languageor languages” (108). In Bangladesh, English is neither a native nor a second language; rather, it is aforeign language. In India and Pakistan, English is used as the second language.English started to be used extensively in Bangladesh after the British had come inpower. Since then, English has been being taught compulsorily in schools, colleges andmadrashas in Bangladesh as the main source of up-to-date knowledge and effectivemeans of information.1.1.3 Acquisition versus LearningThere are different opinions on the acquisition and learning of language. Krashen’sopinion is one of them. He distinguishes acquisition from learning. Acquisition refers tothe subconscious process of picking up a language through exposure, and learningrefers to the conscious process of studying it (4). According to this view, if a languageis internalised subconsciously through exposure in a natural environment, the processbecomes acquisition. In contrast, if a language is internalised consciously throughinstruction in classroom settings, the process becomes learning. When a language isinternalised subconsciously by a learner, he/she may not have grammatical competence,but he/she may have communicative competence in a particular context; and when a
  24. 24. 24language is internalised consciously by him/her, he/she may have grammaticalcompetence, but may not have communicative competence. First language acquisition occurs when the learner is usually a child without alanguage so far, and acquires one anew. Second language acquisition stands in contrastto first language acquisition. It is learnt as an additional language after he/she hasacquired his/her mother tongue. Second language acquisition refers to all the aspects ofthe language that the language learner needs to master. Second language acquisitionsometimes contrasts with the second language learning on the assumption that they aredifferent processes in acquiring a language. The term "acquisition" is used to refer topicking up a language through exposure, whereas the term "learning" is used to theprocess of acquiring a language other than mother tongue in a structured means ortutored setting. It covers the development of phonology, lexical, grammar andpragmatic knowledge.1.2 Chronological History of English in BangladeshEnglish is a global language spoken and taught in many countries both as a native and asecond or a foreign language. It is taught in schools, colleges and madrashas in almostevery country in this world. This is a living and vibrant language spoken by over 350million people as their native language. Besides, millions of people speak it as a foreignor second language. It is estimated that more than 300 million people speak English asa second language, and about 250 million people use it fluently as a foreign language.In addition to that, about 1000 million people around the globe have more or lessknowledge of English. It is learnt almost everywhere of the world because knowledgeof English is considered as an international passport in terms of communication with
  25. 25. 25the entire world. It is considered in Bangladesh as a stair of prosperity, a tool ofacquiring knowledge and as a sign of sophistication. In Bangladesh, English is taughtas a compulsory subject in schools, colleges and madrashas from the primary to thetertiary level (Bachelor degree). English is taught as a foreign language in Bangladesh(Open University Publication, English Unit-1, 19). The chronological history ofEnglish in Bangladesh has political as well as social background, which influence thelearning of English at every level of education.1.2.1 Colonial PeriodThe English Language in Bangladesh has a particular background. The language policyof the colonial power in British India was based on Lord Macaulay’s EducationMinutes of 1835. This policy aimed at forming “a class who may be interpretersbetween us ( the British) and the millions we (the British) govern, a class of personsIndian in Blood and color, but English in taste, in opinions, in moral and in intellect”(Macaulay 1835, cited in Aggarwal 11). Macaulay in his minutes in 1835 stressed the importance and necessities of theeducation that would be given to the natives through the medium of English. Heidentified some objectives of such education. The objectives were designed to serve theinterest of the master, not of the subjects. Thus, the primary objectives of teaching English in the Indian subcontinentwere to produce a class of people having the tastes and outlook of an English man. Theobjectives of teaching English are thus very clearly defined. Gupta says, “Theyattempted to prove that English language, culture, literature and people were superior toanything, and this was the primary purpose for introducing English as the medium ofinstruction and as a subject of study” (40).
  26. 26. 26 During the British rule, English was the instrument and language of the colonialpower. It was the medium for the colonial administration, education and commerce.The English language was established as the main vehicle of progress andenlightenment of the western variety. Thus, it becomes the common means ofcommunication between the rulers and the educated class of Indian subcontinent.English retained that position till the partition of India in 1947. The story of Englishlanguage proceeds during the later years of the colonial rule by establishing someillustrations such as the establishment of universities in Kolkata, Mumbai and Channaiin 1857 and Dhaka in 1921.1.2.2 Pakistan PeriodEnglish continued to occupy a significant position in government activities, educationand trade and commerce during the Pakistan regime. English was the only vehicle ofcommunication between the people of the then East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and the thenWest Pakistan (Pakistan). It was used widely in government, legislative, debates, courtsand higher education. English enjoyed the status of a second language and was taughtas a functional language in secondary schools and Madrashas in Pakistan (CurriculumCommittee 1962). During the Pakistan period, English played a very crucial role in all the sectorsof the Bangladesh society. It was studied as a compulsory subject in the secondary andpost secondary of education, and was the medium of instruction of higher studies. Thattime, English was extensively practiced in army, court and public administration.1.2.3 Post -Liberation Period (Bangladesh Period)
  27. 27. 27After the independence of Bangladesh, English language suffered a serious negligencefor the first few years. It so happened because of the strong public sentiment in favourof the mother tongue Bengali. Consequently, English language teaching and learningcondition in our educational institutions suffered badly, and English lost its previousdominant status, though English was still a compulsory subject from secondary tohigher secondary levels. In 1974, an education commission was formed which madesome recommendations with regard to language teaching. Later, Ministry of Educationset up an English Language Teaching Taskforce to evaluate the state of Englishlanguage teaching in Bangladesh, and it made some recommendations for theimprovement of learning English. Teaching and learning of English in the schools,colleges and madrashas are not being done in the way what it should be done. In mostof the cases, the grammar learning has been given emphasis; the textbook contents aretaught and learnt without understanding. In 1974, an education commission was formedwhich made the following recommendations with regard to language teaching; 1. Instruction through the medium of the national language is more readily intelligible to the pupils as it helps them develop learners’ original thinking and imagination. We must therefore, use Bangla as the medium of instruction at all levels of education to make our educational schemes successful. 2. Bangla must be used as a compulsory language up to class XII. Textbooks at the higher stages of education, especially in the field of science and technology, professional and vocational education must be written in Bengali and translated from foreign languages at Government expenditure. 3. Even after the introduction of Bangla as the medium of instruction at all levels of education, the necessity will remain for English to be learnt as a
  28. 28. 28 foreign language. It is not necessary to learn any language other than Bangla up to class V. From class VI to class XII, however, a modern and developed foreign language must be learnt compulsorily. For historical reasons and for the sake of reality, English will continue as a compulsory language (Bangladesh Education Commission 1974: 15). Though the report recognised the importance of English for higher studies, itdid not put forward any recommendation for the teaching of English at the tertiary levelon the ground that “it is unnecessary to make the study of any foreign languagecompulsory at the university level” (Bangladesh Education Commission 1974: 15). Later, in 1976, Ministry of Education set up an English Language TeachingTaskforce to evaluate the state of English language teaching in Bangladesh and maderecommendations for improving the conditions of classroom teaching. The reportshowed that the English proficiency of the students at the secondary level was lowerthan which was assumed by their text books. On the basis of the finding, the task forcemade the following recommendations: 1. English should be made compulsory from either Class III or Class VI. If English is made compulsory from Class III, English language training should also be made compulsory at each primary training institute, 2. Since the biggest obstacle in teaching English lay in the lack of competent teachers, large-scale short- and long-term training programmes should be undertaken for secondary school teachers, 3. At each level an appropriately graded syllabus should be introduced together with new textbooks related to the needs and capabilities of students,
  29. 29. 29 4. The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) should text comprehension and writing skills in meaningful contexts and discourage rote learning.The government formed the National Curriculum Committee the following year in1976 to design syllabi for all subjects at different levels. Since the committee felt that agood foundation in English was necessary, it made arrangements for English to betaught from class III (National Curriculum Committee 1978: 265). It took four yearssince all materials had to be prepared and written for class VI onwards. The BengaliIntroduction Law of 1983 by the Bangladesh Government made it compulsory foremployees in government, semi government and autonomous institution to use Banglain inter-office memos, legal documents and correspondences except in case ofcommunication with foreign government, countries and organizations (Rahman: 20).The enforcement of this law made it mandatory for all to use Bengali in almost allfields of national life. It was immediately realized that Bangladesh should not neglectEnglish. There were 3 major reasons for that: the importance of English internationally,occupational purposes, and for cooperation and commerce with the outside world. A baseline investigation was carried out by the National Curriculum andTextbook Board in 1990 in connection with a British Government OverseasDevelopment Administration (ODA) project for the improvement of English languageteaching at the secondary level. The authority found that the majority of students didnot have the proficiency required from them by their class textbooks. The situation wasdoubly serious in non-government rural schools and madrashas. In 1990, the government took a decision to introduce English as a compulsorysubject from class I. It was implemented in 1992 with the new syllabus and new books(especially for class classes 1 –10). After 1993, English education has been
  30. 30. 30reintroduced in the B.A., B.S.S., B.Com., and B. Sc. courses as a compulsory subject of100 marks. Yet, another change brought by the commission for the foundation ofEducation policy in 1997 would suggest that English should be taught from class III.Madrasha students are also to study English from classes 3-14 compulsorily. On thebasis of the world context, the government of Bangladesh in 1992 passed an act for thereintroduction of English at the tertiary level. It did this to enhance the employmentpotential of graduates and to cheek the decline of academic standard. The act came intoeffect two years later with a syllabus based on grammar. In 1995, a study conducted by the British Council on behalf of the UniversityGrants Commission (UGC) identified two major problems in the development ofEnglish language teaching, both of which were concerned with teachers. Recently, theEnglish Language Teaching Improvement Project (ELTIP) was launched by theGovernment of Bangladesh in collaboration with the Department for InternationalDevelopment (DFID). This is a network of resource centres whose purpose is toprovide in service training to ELT teachers as well as to prepare materials appropriatefor the learners. The national Education Policy 2000, which was presented in January 2001formulated a number of polices. One of the few references to the medium of instructionand language teaching is that English should to be taught as an additional subject in Iand II and from class III to be taught as a compulsory subject. The above scenario ofEnglish language teaching clearly displays that although there have been a number ofstray moves to improve the teaching standard, no definite, well-coordinated or wellconcerted effort has so far been taken to formulate a language teaching policy befittingthe country’s need. Now it is compulsorily taught up to graduate level of all streams of
  31. 31. 31education. It is made compulsory to enhance the employment potential of graduates andto cheek the decline of academic standard. The first few years after the emergence of Bangladesh, English faced a serioussetback, in the recent past and at present due attention has been paid to Englishlanguage teaching and learning at all levels of all streams of education. New textbookswith communicative view of learning have been introduced since 2001 in the differentclasses, and newer approaches and policies are being adopted time to time for furtherimprovement of learning English. In 2001, the English textbook English For Today, For Classes 11- 12 ispublished and prescribed by the NCTB for the H.S.C. level in the general educationsystem and for the Alim level in the madrasha education system.1.3 Statement of the ProblemIt is bitter to notice that even though various efforts have been made by the governmentand educationists for the improvement of the English language teaching and learningcondition in the madrashas during the last few decades in Bangladesh, a sorry state ofaffair still exists in the achievement of English linguistic competence of Alim students.It is really important to identify the problems that the students encounter in the processof learning English. It is also necessary to evaluate their level of performance inEnglish. In the age of communicative approach, madrasha English teachers follow theGrammar Translation Method in teaching English. The teachers do not explain the textin English, the target language; rather, they prefer to stay in Bengali, the mother tongue.They show reluctance in practicing English language skills.
  32. 32. 32 Though the text book (English For Today, For Classes 11-12) is written withcommunicative thought and ideas, and the syllabus is designed with communicativelanguage teaching contents and items, the language teachers are found unenthusiasticabout the guideline of the book. The English teachers hardly speak English in the class.The present researcher finds that majority teachers neither speak English in the classthemselves nor encourage their students to speak English with the classmates. It ispainfully observed that after long years of learning English, most of the learners cannotspeak English with necessary fluency, correctness of grammar, and pronunciation. The present researcher finds that teachers talk more in the class and remain busywhile students sit idle as inactive listeners. Problems are also found in the textbookitems and contents. Students feel bore in the class and show disinterest in the lesson andthe method of teaching. Sometimes, in the English language class students are taughttextbook contents rather than practicing English language skills. For all these reasons, alarge number of students fail in the English subject in Alim public examination, despitelearning English as a foreign language for 12 years. At present, 30% of the total students in Bangladesh have been studying in themadrashas (source: Madrasha Education Board, http://www.bmeb.gov.bd). So, inrespect of enrolment, the madrasha education system is the second biggest educationprovider in Bangladesh. In spite of huge enrolment in the madrashas, no formalresearch study has been conducted in this field till present time. The disinterest inconducting study causes slow improvement of teaching -learning situation at all levelsin the madrashas, particularly at the Alim level. English language research in themadrasha education system is treated as a barren field of study.
  33. 33. 33 Language instruction has five important components: students, teachers,materials, teaching methods, and evaluation; therefore, research or investigation shouldbe carried out on the bases of these components, and research questions should beraised from them. Thus, the present investigation addresses the following researchquestions: 1. What kind of textbook materials do the Alim students study for learning English as a foreign language? 2. How much are the learners proficient in English language? 3. Which method do the teachers follow while teaching English? 4. Do the students practice the four basic skills of English language in the class? 5. Are the teachers qualified and competent enough to teach English in the Alim class? 6. Do the students know the importance of English?1.4 Significance of the StudyThis study is significant because it is the first study on English language teaching at theAlim level in the madrashas in Bangladesh. It has assumed greater significance in theglobalised context. Johnson points out “Industrialization and technological innovationare a major aspect of national development in many countries in Southeast Asia today,and educators are increasingly facing with the problem of how English teachingprogrammes can most effectively meet the challenge created by these changes”(61). Since the research on the English language teaching and learning is a globalphenomenon, a huge number of studies have been conducted around the world. A goodnumber of studies on ELT have also been carried out during the recent past underdifferent public universities in Bangladesh. But surprisingly, no study has been
  34. 34. 34conducted on the madrasha education, particularly at the Alim level. So, there aresufficient scopes of study in this field. Therefore, the present study is very significantand a crucial demand of time. Furthermore, since the present study concentrates on the issues of teaching-learning of the four basic skills of English language, it presents a picture of Englishlanguage of Alim students. It talks about the process and nature of ELT at the Alimlevel; it also investigates the learning problems of the students. In Bangladesh context,the higher secondary education plays a crucial role which determines the students’further and future education. This stage of education constructs a strong foundation ofthe students, and therefore, the present study may play significant roles in improvingEnglish language education at the Alim level. The present study, therefore, gains asocial vitality and validity as it provides enough insights into the English languageteaching and learning at the Alim level.1.5 Objectives of the StudyThe increasing importance of English as a foreign language and as a global linguafranca has made English language teaching a research subject all over the world. Theunparalleled international role of English language has, or should have, somerepercussions on the way English is taught. Teachers are now facing a number ofchallenging questions, such as: ~ How should English be taught in the light of its role as an international language? ~ What kind(s) of English should we teach? ~ Does the teaching of English mean that we neglect the role of our L1 and our own local culture?
  35. 35. 35 ~ Who is the best English teacher (e.g. native speakers or non-native speakers)?Thus, the study has two types of objectives: (i) general objectives, and (ii) specificobjectives.General objectives are; a) to sketch out a picture of English language teaching and learning at the Alim level in the madrashas in Bangladesh with a focus on the problems that Alim students face in the process of learning the four basic skills of English language, b) to put forward some suggestions and recommendations to overcome the problems or hindrances or at least lessen the severity of these problems,Specific objectives are; 1) to identify the problems encountered by the students in the process of learning English, 2) to evaluate the performance in English language skills of the Alim students, 3) to investigate whether the teachers arrange the practice of listening, speaking, reading and writing in the class, 4) to find out whether the English textbook material is fit and appropriate for the Alim students, 5) to investigate the teachers’ motivation, teaching method, teaching competence, and 6) to suggest recommendations for authority concerned for the improvement of the teaching and learning English at the Alim level.1.6 Limitations of the Study
  36. 36. 36As the present study is confined only to the Alim level (Higher secondary) Englishlanguage education, the study revolves around some issues and areas of Englishlanguage teaching and learning. The study encounters some limitations andshortcomings with regard to unavailability of necessary data, information, literature andother relevant materials. The present researcher finds that no formal study or investigation is carried outon the madrasha education, especially on the teaching- learning English at the Alimlevel. So, the researcher faces difficulties in finding relevant resources to support andcorrelate the present study.The followings are some of the limitations of the present study: 1. The subjects involved in this study represent only Alim students of the madrasha education system. 2. The number of subjects is limited to: 1000 Alim students and 25 English language teachers; therefore, the results of this study cannot be generalised to all students and the teachers in Bangladesh, it is generaligible only to the Alim students and the English language teachers teaching English in the Alim class. 3. All learning problems are not investigated through the questionnaire; it is limited to the problems of teaching and learning English as a foreign language, 4. The questionnaires do not describe in detailed of the language teaching – learning issues in details. 5. The study makes no variable in the analysis of the findings in respect of gender, geographical region, and social condition.
  37. 37. 37 6. Sometimes, the questions are translated into Bengali (if the researcher is asked) for the respondents to grasp the theme of the questions; therefore, it takes relatively longer time to answer the questions.1.7 Definitions of Terms Used in ThesisAcquisition: The term ‘acquisition’ is used to describe language being absorbedwithout conscious effort; i.e. the way children pick up their mother tongue. Languageacquisition is often contrasted with language learning. For some researchers, such asKrashen, acquisition is unconscious and spontaneous, and learning is conscious,developing through formal study.Acquisition Device: Nativist theories of language acquisition claim that each languagelearner has an acquisition device which controls the process of acquisition. This devicecontains information about possible universal grammars.Active Vocabulary: The words and phrases which a learner can use in his/ her speechand writing (contrasted with passive vocabulary).Aids and Equipment: Blackboard, whiteboard, overhead projector, realia, posters,wallcharts, flipcharts, maps, plans, flashcards, word cards, puppets, tape recorder, TVor video player, computer, CD Rom, language laboratory ,etc. are teaching aids andequipments. These are used to help and accelerate learning.Applied Linguistics: Applied Linguistics refer to the study of relationship betweentheory and practice.
  38. 38. 38Aptitude: Aptitude refers to the specific ability that a learner has for learning a secondlanguage. This is separate from intelligence.Attitudes: Attitudes refer to some beliefs, thoughts, likings, disliking of learners aboutlanguage learning. They influence learning in a number of ways.Audio-Lingual Method: Audio-Lingual Method considers listening and speaking thefirst tasks in language learning, followed by reading and writing. There isconsiderable emphasis on learning sentence patterns, memorization of dialogues andextensive use of drills.Authentic Materials: Authentic materials refer to some unscripted materials whichhave not been specially written for classroom use, though they may have been edited.Examples include newspaper texts, TV broadcasts, etc.Authentic Task: Authentic Task involves learners in using language in a way thatreplicates its use in the real world outside the language classroom. Examples ofauthentic tasks would be answering a letter addressed to the learner, arguing aparticular point of view, comparing various holiday brochures in order to decide whereto go for a holiday, etc.Authentic Text: A text which is not written or spoken for language teaching purposes.A newspaper article, a rock song, a novel, a radio interview and a traditional fairy taleare examples of authentic textsCollocation: Collocation refers to the tendency for words to occur regularly withothers, such as; sit/chair, house/garage, etc.
  39. 39. 39Communicative Approach: Communicative Approach aims at helping learnersdevelop communicative competence in a particular language (i.e. the ability to use thelanguage effectively). Communicative Approach emphasises that the goal of languagelearning is communicative competence.Communicative Competence: Communicative Competence indicates the ability to usethe language effectively for communication. Gaining such competence involvesacquiring both sociolinguistic and linguistic knowledge (or, in other words, developingthe ability to use the language accurately, appropriately, and effectively).Communicative Language Teaching: This is concerned with the needs of students tocommunicate outside the classroom; teaching techniques reflect this in the choice oflanguage content and materials, with emphasis on role play, pair and group work etc.Corpus: A bank of authentic texts collected in order to find out how language isactually used. Usually, a corpus is restricted to a particular type of language use, suchas; a corpus of newspaper English, a corpus of legal documents, or a corpus of informalspoken English.Course Book/ Textbook: A textbook provides the core materials for a course. It aimsat providing as much as possible in one book, and it is designed so that it could serve asthe only book which the learners necessarily use during a course. Such a book usuallyfocuses on grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, functions and the skills of reading,writing, listening and speaking.Dialect: Dialect is a regional variety of a language, differing from the standardlanguage, in grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation or idiomatic usage.
  40. 40. 40Direct Method: This is one of the most common methods in TEFL, where language istaught through listening and speaking. There may be little or no explicit explanation ofgrammatical rules or translation into the mother tongue of the student. It introducesinductive learning rather than deductive.Discourse: Discourage is a unit of language relatively greater than a sentence.Foreign Language: A language which is not normally used for communication in aparticular society. English is a foreign language in Bangladesh; and Spanish is a foreignlanguage in Germany.Genre: Genre refers to a category of literary composition characterized by a particularstyle, form, or content (e.g., an historical novel is one fictional genre)Grammar Translation Method: A method based upon memorizing the rules and logicof a language and the practice of translation.Interference: According to behaviourist learning theory, the patterns of the learnersmother tongue (L1) get in the way of learning the patterns of the L2. This is referred toas interference.Interlanguage: The learners knowledge of the L2 which is independent of both the L1and the actual L2. This term can refer to: i) the series of interlocking systems whichcharacterise acquisition; ii) the system that is observed at a single stage of development(an interlanguage); and iii) particular L1/L2 combinations.Intonation: The ways in which the voice pitch rises and falls in speech.
  41. 41. 41Language Acquisition Device: Language Acquisition Device refers to a term coinedby Noam Chomsky to explain an innate psychological capacity for languageacquisition.Language Laboratory: Language Laboratory refers to a place or room equipped withheadphones and booths to enable students to listen to a language teaching programme.Labs may be Audio-Active, where students listen and respond to a tape, or Audio-Active-Comparative, where they may record their own responses and compare thesewith a model on the master tape.Language Proficiency: The level of competence at which an individual is able to uselanguage for both basic communicative tasks and academic purposes.Learning: The internalization of rules and formulas which can be used to communicatein the L2. Krashen uses this term for formal learning in classroom.Learning Strategies: These account for how learners accumulate new L2 rules andhow they automatize existing ones. Learning strategies may include metacognitivestrategies (e.g., planning for learning, monitoring ones own comprehension andproduction, evaluating ones performance); cognitive strategies (e.g., mental or physicalmanipulation of the material), or social/affective strategies (e.g., interacting withanother person to assist learning, using self-talk to persist at a difficult task untilresolution).Learning Styles: The way(s) particular learners prefer to learn a language. Some havea preference for hearing the language (auditory learners), some for seeing it writtendown (visual learners), some for learning it in discrete bits (analytic learners), some for
  42. 42. 42experiencing it in large chunks (global or holistic or experiential learners) and manyprefer to do something physical whilst experiencing the language (kinesthetic learners).Linguistic Competence: Linguistic Competence refers a term to describe the totalityof a given individuals language ability; the underlying language system believed toexist as inferred from an individuals language performance.Materials: Anything which is used to help teach language learners. Materials can be inthe form of a textbook, a workbook, a cassette, a CD-Rom, a video, a photocopiedhandout, a newspaper, a paragraph written on a whiteboard: anything which presents ofinforms about the language being learned.Materials Adaptation: Materials Adaptation means the changes to materials in orderto improve them or to make them more suitable for a particular type of learner.Adaptation can include reducing, adding, omitting, modifying and supplementing.Materials Evaluation: Materials Evaluation is a systematic appraisal of the value ofmaterials in relation to their objectives and to the objectives of the learners using them.Evaluation can be pre-use and therefore focused on predictions of potential value. It canbe whilst-use and therefore focused on awareness and description of what the learnersare actually doing whilst the materials are being used. And it can also be post-use andtherefore focused on analysis of what happened as a result of using the materials.Motivation: This can be defined in terms of the learners overall goal or orientation.Instrumental motivation occurs when the learners goal is functional (e.g. to get a jobor pass an examination), and integrative motivation occurs when the learner wishes toidentify with the culture of the L2 group. Task" motivation is the interest felt by thelearner in performing different learning tasks.
  43. 43. 43Pair Work: A process in which students work in pairs for practice or discussion.Passive Vocabulary: The vocabulary that students are able to understand compared towhich they are able to use.Peer Group: Usually refers to people working or studying at the same level or in thesame grouping; ones colleagues or fellow students.Second Language: The term is used to refer to a language which is not a mothertongue but which is used for certain communicative functions in a society. ThusEnglish is a second language in Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Singapore. French is a secondlanguage in Senegal, Cameroon and Tahiti.Target Language: This is the language that the learner attempts to learn. It comprisesthe native speakers grammar.Text: Text indicates any scripted or recorded production of a language presented tolearners of that language. A text can be written or spoken and could be, for example; apoem, a newspaper article, a passage about pollution, a song, a film, an extract from anovel or a play, a passage written to exemplify the use of the past perfect, a recordedtelephone conversation, a scripted dialogue or a speech by a politician.1.8 Outline of the ThesisThe present study “English Language Teaching and Learning at the Alim Level inthe Madrashas in Bangladesh: Problems and Possible Solutions” attempts toaddress a number of issues related to Applied Linguistics and ELT. This thesiscomprises six chapters along with a bibliography and some appendixes at the end.
  44. 44. 44 The first chapter briefly introduces the present study and discusses some issuesof language learning which include preliminaries, definitions and differences betweenfirst, second and foreign languages, chronological background of English language inBangladesh, the statement of the problem, the significance of the study, the objectivesof the study, literature review, the limitations of the study, the outline of the thesis, theterms used in the thesis, etc. The second chapter briefly discusses the present education system inBangladesh. The major issues presented in this chapter are; the different streams ofeducation, the Madrasha Education Board, the chronological history of madrashaeducation in Bangladesh, ELT policy in Bangladesh, English language education in themadrasha curriculum, the textbook materials, the status of English language teacher, theteaching aids and equipments, assessment and testing, the physical facility of the class,etc. The third chapter deals with literature review which includes; objectives ofliterature review, review of works on Applied Linguistics and ELT. The fourth chapter brings out the research design and methodology of thepresent study which describes the criteria of sampling, instrumentation, List ofmadrashas selected for investigation, data collection procedures and data analysismethods. The fifth chapter provides the major part of the thesis, which deals with thepresentation of findings and interpretation of data. During the interpretation of data ofthe present study, the findings of many other works carried out at home and abroad on
  45. 45. 45the relevant area are documented. Large numbers of relevant expert views and opinionsare also highlighted to support the findings of the present study. The sixth chapter concludes the thesis with a brief presentation of the findings, anumber of recommendations for authorities concerned: NCTB, Madrasha EducationBoard, teachers, etc., for improving the teaching learning conditions at the Alim levelin of the madrashas of Bangladesh. Finally, suggestions for future research arerecommended. At the end of the thesis, a bibliography and some appendixes are placed. Chapter 2 English Language Teaching and Learning at the Alim LevelThis chapter discusses the present education system in Bangladesh. The major issuespresented in this chapter are: the education structure in Bangladesh, the differentstreams of education, the Madrasha Education Board, the chronological history ofmadrasha education in Bangladesh, English in the madrasha curriculum, the textbookmaterials used in the madrashas, the status of the English language teachers, theteaching aids and equipment, assessment and testing, the physical facilities andclassroom environment of the madrasha, etc. The chapter particularly highlights theissues of English language teaching and learning at the Alim level in the madrashas inBangladesh.
  46. 46. 462.1 Education Structure in BangladeshEducation in Bangladesh has four major stages: primary, secondary, higher secondaryand higher education. The education system is categorized into two streams: primaryeducation which is (Class I-V) managed by the Ministry of Primary and MassEducation, and the other system is the post-primary education covering all other levelsfrom secondary to higher education under the administration of the Ministry ofEducation (MOE), Government of Bangladesh. The post-primary level of education isfurther classified into four types in terms of the curriculum: general education,madrasha education, technical-vocational education, and professional education. Thehigher education is imparted by the universities, and the University Grants Commission(UGC) is responsible for overseeing the activities of the universities concerned. In the general education stream, higher secondary education is followed bycollege/university level education through the Bachelor Degree (Pass/Honours)courses. The Master’s Degree is a one year course for Bachelor (Honours) degreeholders and two years course for Bachelor (Pass) degree holders. Higher education inthe madrasha education system starts after completing Alim level education. Alim isfollowed by the 2 year Fazil course, and Fazil is followed by the 2 year Kamil course.Engineering, agriculture, business, medical, and information and communicationtechnology (ICT) are the major technological education in Bangladesh.2.2 Different Steams in EducationPrimary level education is provided under two major institutional arrangements:general, and madrasha, while the secondary education has three major streams: general,
  47. 47. 47 madrasha, technical and vocational education. Likewise, the higher education has 3 streams: general, madrasha and technology education. Technology education includes agriculture, engineering, medical, textile, leather technology, and ICT. Madrashas function parallel to the general stream of education (primary, secondary and higher education) with additional emphasis on religious studies. According to the Ministry of Education, the structure of education of Bangladesh is as follows; THE PRESENT EDUCATION STRUCTURE OF BANGLADESHAge Grade26+25+ XX Ph. D Ph.D(Medical) (Engr)24+ XIX Ph. D Post Ph.D MBBS Dipl (Education)23+ XVIII M.Phil M.Phil(Medical22+ XVII MA/MSc/MCom/MSS/MBA LLM M. B MSc(Engr) MSc.(Agr) M B A M.Ed & M MA(LSc) B S A(Edn) BDS21+ XVI Bachelor Masters (Prel) LLB(Hons) BSc.Eng BSc.Eng BSc B B A B.Ed BP ED Dip.(LSc) Kamil (Hons) BSc.Agr (Tech.Edn) &Dip.Ed BSc.Text20+ XV Bachelor BSc.Leath (Pass)19+ XIV Diploma Diploma Fazil (Engineering) in18+ XIII Nursing17+ XII Secondary Examination HSC HSC C in C in Diploma Alim Vocational Edu. Agri in16+ XI HIGHER SECONDARY EDUCATION Comm15+ X Examination SSC TRADE Certificate/ ARTISAN COURSE e.g. CERAMICS SSC Vocational Dakhil14+ IX SECONDARY EDUCATION13+ VIII JUNIOR SECONDARY EDUCATION12+ VII
  48. 48. 4811+ VI10+ V PRIMARY EDUCATION Ebtedaie9+ IV8+ III7+ II6+ I5+ PRE-PRIMARY EDUCATION4+ Table – 1: Education of Structure Bangladesh (Source: Ministry of Education) 2.2.1 General Education The general education is the biggest stream of education in Bangladesh comprising four stages: primary education, secondary education, higher secondary education, and higher education. Primary Education The primary level education comprises 5 years of formal schooling (class I - V). This stage normally begins in 6+ years of age. Primary education is generally imparted in primary schools. Nevertheless, other types of institutions like kindergartens and junior sections attached to English medium schools also impart primary education in Bangladesh. Secondary Education The secondary education consists of (3+2+2) 7 years of formal schooling. The first 3 year (class VI-VIII) is termed as junior secondary; the next 2 year (class IX -X) is secondary. At this level, there are three streams of courses: Humanities, Science, and Business Education, which start at class IX, where the students are to choose their
  49. 49. 49courses of studies. The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Educations (BISE)conducts the S.S.C. examinations. There are seven such boards at different places inBangladesh: Dhaka, Rajshahi, Jessore, Comilla, Chittagong, Sylhet, and Barisal. TheseBoards are responsible for holding S.S.C. examinations and issuing certificates forsuccessful candidates. Higher Secondary EducationThe higher secondary education consists of 2 years of formal schooling (class XI -XII).At this level, there are three streams of courses: Humanities, Science, and BusinessEducation. The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Educations (BISE) conducts theS.S.C. and the H.S.C. examinations. There are seven such boards at different places inBangladesh: Dhaka, Rajshahi, Jessore, Comilla, Chittagong, Sylhet, and Barisal. TheseBoards are responsible for holding H.S.C. examinations and issuing certificates forsuccessful candidates. Higher EducationThis stage of education consists of 3-6 years of formal schooling. H.S.C. certificateholders are qualified for admission to 3-year degree pass courses and 4-year bachelordegree honours courses at the degree level colleges or universities. Master degreecourse consists of one year for bachelor’s (honours) degree holders and 2 years forbachelor’s (pass) degree holders. Some Public universities offer M.Phil. and Ph.D.degrees in different disciplines.
  50. 50. 50 Bangladesh Open University (BOU) conducts non-campus distance educationprogrammes. Bangladesh National University mainly functions as an affiliatinguniversity; it conducts examinations and awards degrees to the successful candidates.Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University offers courses on medical education.2.2.2 Madrasha EducationThe madrasha education was introduced in this subcontinent in 1780 with theestablishment of Calcutta Madrasha. In the madrasha education system, one has to learnIslamic education along with the general education complementary to each other. Thegovernment sanctions financial grants to the teachers and employees of the non-government madrashas like other non-government schools and colleges. Madrashaeducation comprises four levels: Ebtedaie (Primary level), Dakhil (Secondary level),Alim (Higher Secondary level), Higher/Tertiary level (Fazil, Kamil) Ebtedaie (Primary level) EducationThe Primary level is called Ebtedaie education. This is equivalent to primary level ofgeneral education. The primary level of madrasha education comprises 5 years ofschooling (class I - V). Usually, children of 6+ years of age start in class I and finishesin class V at the age of 11. Ebtedaie education is provided in independent Ebtedaiemadrashas and Ebtedaie sections of Dakhil, Alim, Fazil and Kamil madrashas. Dakhil (Secondary level) EducationThe secondary level of madrasha education consists of 5 years of formal schooling. It iscalled Dakhil equivalent to higher secondary in general education system. Dakhil
  51. 51. 51education is given in dakhil madrashas, and in dakhil level of Alim, Fazil and Kamilmadrashas. There are three courses: humanities, science, and business education. Thestudents are free to choose the courses of studies. Most of the madrashas provide co-education; however, there are some single gender madrashas in Bangladesh. TheBangladesh Madrasha Education Board is responsible for holding dakhil examination,and issuing certificates for the successful candidates. Alim (Higher Secondary level) EducationAlim is equivalent to higher secondary (HSC) education of general education system.Alim education is imparted in Alim madrashas, and in Alim level of Fazil and Kamilmadrashas. It is a 2 year programme, and has three courses: humanities, science, andbusiness education. The students are free to choose their courses of studies. TheBangladesh Madrasha Education Board (BMEB) holds Alim public examination andissues certificates for the successful candidates. Tertiary Level / Higher EducationThis level comprises 4 (2+2) years of formal schooling. Alim pass students arequalified admission to 2-year Fazil course. This level of education is provided in FazilMadrasha, and in Fazil level of Kamil madrashas. The Fazil course includescompulsory English subject of 100 marks, the Kamil course is based on the religiouseducation only. Fazil degree holders are qualified for admission to 2 year Kamilprogramme. There are four streams of courses in Kamil level education: hadis, tafsir,fiqh, and adab. Bangladesh Madrasha Education Board conducts Fazil and Kamilexaminations and awards certificates. The government manages three Kamilmadrashas, and other madrashas are managed by private bodies. Recently, thegovernment has decided to give equivalence of Fazil and Kamil to B.A. and M.A.
  52. 52. 52respectively. The Kharizi Madrashas education certificates are also in the process ofgetting government’s affiliation with equivalence to other courses of study.2.2.3 Technical and Vocational EducationVocational courses start in class IX after completion of three years of schooling insecondary school. Recently, 2 year duration vocational courses have been introduced atthe higher secondary level in government managed vocational training institute(renamed as Technical School & College). Diploma courses prepare the diplomaengineers at the polytechnic institutes. This course spreads over 4 year duration afterpassing the secondary school certificate examination. There is a technical educationboard called Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB), which grants affiliationto the technical institutes. It conducts examinations of the students completing differentcourses in different vocational and technical education, and awards certificates to thesuccessful candidates. Textile College and Leather Technology Colleges offer four yeardegree courses in Textile Engineering, and Leather Technology respectively.Professional education is also imparted in the medical colleges, engineeringuniversities, dental colleges, nursing colleges, homeopathic colleges, law colleges etc.2.3 History of Madrasha EducationThe word Madrasha is derived from an Arabic word darsun meaning lesson. In itspopular usage, the term refers to an institution specializing in the teaching of the Arabiclanguage and Islamic studies. The primary/Ebtedaie stage of madrasha was calledMaqtab or Nurani Madrasha or Furqania Madrasha (Furqan is derived from Al-Furqan). The first Muslim ruler of Bengal, Ikhtiaruddin Mohammed - Bin Bakhtiar -Khalji, built a mosque and madrasha in his capital ‘ GAUR’ in 1197, according to some
  53. 53. 53historians, 1201 AD. Sultan Giasuddin I established a madrasha in 1212 AD. Later, hisdescendant Sultan Giasuddin II established another madrasha. These two madrashaswent by the name of Lakhnawti and Gaur Madrasha. Hussain Shah and his son NusratShah established a number of madrashas in Gaur. The ruins of many of these madrashas are still extant. In 1664 AD, with theinitiative of Subedar Shayesta Khan, a madrasha and a mosque were built on the bankof the river Buriganga in Dhaka. Nawab Zafar Murshed Ali Khan establishedMurshidabad Madrasha, which still exists. Munshi Syed Sadruddin al-Musawlestablished the Burdwan Madrasha at village Buhar in 1178 hijri, and appointedMaulana Abdul Ali Baharul Ulum of Lucknow as a teacher. During the nawabi period,government made extensive lakheraj or rent free lands towards the maintenance ofmadrashas. Government also disbursed allowances and scholarships to madrashateachers and students in the form of land grants called maadat-e-maash.2.3.1 Colonial PeriodMadrasha education took a new turn during the British rule. Most of the lakheraj landsgranted to madrashas, and to teachers, and the students were resumed to rental duringcompany period. Consequently, many madrashas were closed down in the earlynineteenth century. Governor General Warren Hastings established an officialmadrasha called Calcutta Madrasha in 1780. But, it was intended to produce a limitednumber of graduates for serving the colonial government as law officers. Beingdeprived of official support, madrasha education declined in the nineteenth century.Guided by the government and headed by the European, the Calcutta Madrasha set anew trend in the madrasha education in Bengal, which favoured teaching Muslim law
  54. 54. 54and jurisprudence rather than all round education of the Muslims. The curriculaincluded the unani method of medicine, cottage industry, and technical training. Theperiod of studies under darse nizami was 9 years. The old darse nizami courses are still in existence in many self-supportedmadrashas in line with Dewband Darul Ulum Madrasha of India established in 1280hijri by Maulana Qasim Nanutabi. In many towns and villages of Bangladesh, there arebranches of Dewband model of madrasahs. These are locally called qaumi madrashaand are financed by subscriptions, sadiqa, zakat etc. Most imams, muazzins or teachersof nurani or furkania madrashas come from the qaumi group. Alia Madrasah wasestablished in the year of 1780 with the initiative of British government and formedMadrasha Education Board of Bengal. Madrasah education then started formally.Consequently, madrasha education was gradually reformed. In order to induce Muslims to English education a new type of madrasha wasintroduced by the colonial government in the 1890s. It was called New SchemeMadrasha. In its syllabi were included all Islamic subjects and vernaculars. Englishlanguage was made compulsory. All new scheme madrashas were government aided.New scheme madrashas had two streams, junior and senior. The junior madrashastaught up to class five and senior up to secondary level. Muslim students aspiring togovernment jobs and services were attracted to the New Scheme madrashas. There arethree systems of madrasha education in Bangladesh: the old darse nizami system, therevised and modified nizami system, and the Alia Nisab (higher syllabus) system. Thefirst two categories are popularly called quawmi or non-government madrashas.2.3.2 Pakistan Period
  55. 55. 55Especially, Shere-E-Bangla A. K Fazlul Hoque, the then prime minister declared tospread out and modernise the madrasha education in this region. Following thecommitment of Shere-E-Bangla A. K Fazlul Hoque a committee named Moula BoxCommittee was formed for improving madrasha education in this region. Thiscommittee recommended establishing a university for madrasha students and settingsome proposals for developing madrasha education.After the independence of Pakistan in 1947 some committees /commissions wereformed for the development of madrasha education. Among the committees WestBengal Educational System Reconstruction Committee in 1949 and the ArabicUniversity Commission in 1963-64 are mentionable. Those committees/ commissionsrecommended various reforms for the improvement of madrasha education.2.3.3 Post - Liberation Period (Bangladesh Period)After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 some steps are taken to modernise theeducation with creating scopes for employment for the madrasha educated people. Witha view to modernising the madrasha education system, Bangladesh MadrasahEducation Board was formed under an ordinance in 1978. Two major responsibilities ofthis board are to hold examination, and publish results of all public examinations ofmadrasha education system. The other duty is to formulate syllabuses and prescribebooks for all classes from Ebtedaie (primary) to Kamil class. The Madrasah Education Board started its activity independently in 1979. In1980, Fazil degree was given the equivalence of H.S.C. qualification. English languageteaching and learning got a momentum from then. In the process of developing andmodernising the education dakhil level was given equivalence to S.S.C. in 1985, and in1987 Alim level was given the standard of H.S.C. At present madrasha education is anintegral part of national education system. All categories of madrashas are entitled to
  56. 56. 56receive government aid if they fulfil prescribed conditions set by the state authorities:the Bangladesh Madrasha Education Board, and National University of Bangladesh.The madrasha education degrees are equally accepted at all government and nongovernment sectors. During recent time, the revolutionary changes and development are brought inthe field of modern science and technology, and Bangladesh faces very strong andtough challenges. With a view to facing this challenge, English, humanities, science,business and technical education have been introduced to madrasha education.Meanwhile, in 2007 the government of Bangladesh has enacted an ordinance to giveequivalences Fazil and Kamil to B.A. and M.A. degree respectively. At present Englishis compulsorily taught up to Fazil level of madrasha education system. Alim students ofthe madrasha education system follow the textbook which is prescribed by the NCTBfor H.S.C. students of general education system. Steps are already taken to modernisethe existing curriculum. Madrasha Teachers’ Training Colleges is also established totrain up the madrasha teachers; to arrange in-service and pre-service training formadrasha teachers; to increase quality and efficiency of the madrasha teachers throughtraining; to increase quality and efficiency of madrasha teachers through training. Infact, the cherished desire of Shere-E-Bangla A. K Fazlul Hoque is going to bematerialised soon.2.4 Place of English in the Madrasha CurriculumEnglish is taught as a foreign language in our schools, colleges and madrashas. It istaught as an additional subject from class I and as a compulsory subject from class IIIto class 14 (Bachelor degree) in the general and madrasha education systems. In the
  57. 57. 57primary level of madrasha education, English is taught as a compulsory subject of 100marks. The secondary level (Dakhil) of the madrasha education has an Englishcompulsory paper of 100 marks. The higher secondary (Alim) level of the madrashaeducation teaches one paper of compulsory English carrying 100 marks, though thesecondary and higher secondary levels of the general education teach two papers ofEnglish carrying 100 marks each. The present curriculum, after 2000, discourages theuse of books on grammar, translation and composition. The communicative languageteaching is introduced to both the general and madrasha education, and the curriculumbody suggests the detailed guidelines and instruction for textbook writers to furnishbooks to be appropriate for communicative language teaching. The following books areprescribed for different classes of the madrasha education curriculum: a) Beginner’s English Book One For Class-3 b) Beginner’s English Book Two For Class-4 c) Beginner’s English Book Three For class-5 d) Dakhil English For Today, For Class-6 e) Dakhil English For Today, For Class-7 f) Dakhil English For Today, For Class-8 g) Dakhil English For Today, For Classes 9 - 10 h) English For Today, For Classes 11-12The National Curriculum Committee attempts to establish a fit environment for thelanguage teaching by introducing new books displaying posters, charts, maps,advertisement, etc. The curriculum suggests that video and audio cassettes should beproduced along with the textbook so that the teachers and the students can be involvedin practicing listening and speaking in the class.