The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

English in rural Bangladesh: how is language education perceived as a resource for development in rural communities?

Erling, Elizabeth; Seargeant, Philip and Solly, Michael (2014). English in rural Bangladesh: how is language education perceived as a resource for development in rural communities? English Today, 30(4) pp. 15–21.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266078414000352
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

English's elevated status within a global economy of languages means that English-language education is increasingly promoted in international development initiatives in countries such as Bangladesh. This is partly due to a growing conviction that English is able to play an important role in helping people participate in global economic markets from which they have previously been excluded (Seargeant & Erling, 2011). Despite the strong associations made between English-language ability and development, there is at present only limited evidence showing a causal relationship between the two (Erling, forthcoming), while a complex of other issues surrounding the cultural politics of the language also play a role in the social implications of its promotion in such contexts. The aim of this article is to examine how English is perceived in rural Bangladesh by the people at whom such international development programmes are targeted. A broad assumption of such programmes is that English is a positive and, in some sense, necessary resource for development. The article investigates whether this matches the perception of those at whom such projects are aimed, and what it is that these communities feel the language can offer both in practical and in socio-cultural terms for the developmental challenges they face. In order to examine these questions the article draws on results from an ethnographical survey of two rural areas in Bangladesh which investigated the attitudes and aspirations of local community members to the potential impact of English-language education on their social prospects and cultural identities.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 1474-0567
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Education Futures
International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Language & Literacies
Related URLs:
Item ID: 42646
Depositing User: Elizabeth Erling
Date Deposited: 05 May 2015 10:35
Last Modified: 26 May 2017 12:14
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/42646
Share this page:

Altmetrics

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU