The history of English in Bangladesh

Thumbnail Image
Khalid, AKM Iftekhar
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of English
English is a problem in Bangladesh. This thesis studies the political history of English and English Studies in Bangladesh as the nation continues debates on English. Bangladesh has been a contested ground for languages for centuries. Language such as Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, Urdu, Portuguese, have risen as a language of ruling people in different historical times and they have fallen from the prestige status. Both Bangla and English in the contemporary period have strong positions to the nation. This research has followed the historical research methods, reviewed the documents of the past, listened to the lectures and discussions on English Studies, and made its enquiries on the secondary data sources. The thesis has simultaneously investigated the writings e.g., i. both Bangladeshi and International writers, ii. social and political theorists’ views, iii. Bangladeshi scholars’ debates on languages. English connects Bangladesh to the world, contributes to economic development, creates freedom in career development, and English has a paramount effect on economy, commerce, business, and human resource development. However, English has the potential power to diminish Bangla. Also, English is a language of power politics. Politics and Governance change the impacts of English. The administrations of the colonial period, of the Pakistan period and of independent Bangladesh have direct connection with the rise and the fall of English Studies which helps to figure out five different ages of English since the arrival of the British East India Company in Bangladesh. This historical discussion of English is important for the nation to know because the scholars have been debating the status of English in Bangladesh. The thesis through its eight chapters shows different issues such as the historical relationship between English and Bangla, the language hegemony in Bangladesh, the debates between groups over English education, the decolonizing efforts through introducing Southern English in the curriculum. This research study will help the nation understand the position of English in Bangladesh in the postcolonial period.
Politics of languages , Debates on English , Language hegemony , Prestige language , English in Bangladesh , Southern English , Decolonization