The spread of English in two parts of the Northern Area of Pakistan, 1980-2002: A comparative study of Chilas and Hunza

Document Type



Professional Development Centre, Gilgit


This article investigates the widespread conviction that during the period on which the study is based, 1980 to 2002, English spread faster and much more widely in Hunza than in Chilas, two political sub-districts of the Northern Area of Pakistan that have many similarities. In the absence of data, it was decided to study the expansion of formal education during the period 1980-2002, cross-referenced against the changing language content of curricula. Based on the data, a number of propositions were formulated for each area. Finally, the propositions were checked by means of a survey. The conclusion is that the proposition is correct. In Hunza there is convincing evidence of more widespread use of, and more favourable attitudes towards, English. The main reason for the differences between Chilas and Hunza seems to be the different expressions of Islam that pertain in each area.


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