Construction of English language skills as human capital and ELT as development aid in Bangladesh

Md Maksud Ali (Lead / Corresponding author), M. Obaidul Hamid, Ian Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The discourse of English Language Teaching (ELT) development aid for the Global South has undergone significant changes since its introduction in the post-WWII period. Specifically, in the contemporary context of globalisation, both the aim and operation of ELT aid exhibit the influence of neoliberalism. This article examines policy documents about the introduction and implementation of a UKaid-funded development project in Bangladesh called English in Action to understand the forces and ideologies which guided the donor and project implementers to subscribe to instrumentalist discourses in relation to ELT as development aid. Drawing on decolonial perspectives, notably, the idea of ‘geopolitics of knowledge’, the article contributes to our understanding of the politics of the neoliberal discourses of English constructed through contemporary ELT development aid projects by illustrating how such discourses of English and development may hide coloniality through the promotion of Euro-centric epistemological approaches as a universal solution to global problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1179
Number of pages17
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2023


  • Bangladesh
  • discourse
  • ELT development aid
  • English in Action
  • human capital development
  • neoliberalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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