English as a medium of instruction in Bangladesh's higher education: Empowering or disadvantaging students?

Publisher:
English Language Education Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Asian EFL Journal, 2014, 16 (1), pp. 11 - 52
Issue Date:
2014
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This paper reports on a mixed-method study that explored the effect of English as a medium of instruction. It specifically focuses on the academic discourse and socialisation experiences of 1st year students in universities of Bangladesh. A questionnaire survey of 115 students and interviews with students from three private and two public universities were conducted. The data illustrated that the language of instruction led some of them to perceive themselves as being deficient. They felt that they were systematically excluded from the classroom discussions and activities. Thus English severely impeded their possibilities of learning and the development of identity. In other words, English exacerbated inequalities between them. The paper implies the need for a more balanced English language policy in higher education in Bangladesh.
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