English Teaching Seminar/Workshop at English Department

In collaboration with The American Center of Dhaka, the Department of English at AIUB organized a crucial seminar/workshop on English Teaching & Learning Strategies for the faculty members and BA English students. It was held on 21 January 2013 in the Seminar Room of Campus-7 from 10.30 am to 1 pm. Conducted by two prominent Applied Linguistics scholars Dr. Eric Dwyer and Mr. Fife Macduff, the event was extremely fruitful for the full-capacity crowd. Dr. Eric, an Associate Professor at Florida International University, is renowned for his contribution toward literacy promotion in Rwanda and other parts of the world. He made a presentation on “Starting with our Students’ Stories”. He showed how, as opposed to traditional way of teaching comprehension, teachers can start teaching comprehensions (stories or short essays) from end-to-start strategy, i.e. starting from practicing the glossary and ending up in reading the main text. This he termed a ‘Teaching the lesson backwards’ which actually helps the students practice and learn the vocabularies more than normal situation. He finally conducted a stimulating activity-session by dividing the audience in three groups which proved how group mates can play effective roles for every individual in classroom learning.           Mr. Fife is the Regional English Language Officer (RELO) in the US State Department and oversees English language programs in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. An experienced ELT expert, he is currently involved in supporting numerous English language programs under the State Department including the globally acclaimed English Teaching Forum journal. He came up with the presentation “Opportunities to Use Technology in the EFL Classroom.” Given the current Facebook-craze and software-dependence of this generation, this was definitely the right type of presentation for all. Even the weak students would find English learning very motivating and easy through the use of “Trace Effects”—a software created by the US State Department. He displayed all the relevant steps of operating it where vocabulary lessons, conversation practice etc. can be done in the process of an adventure game. Later, he presented a DVD of the software to the English Department for uploading in everyone’s computer.       After the seminar/workshop, Mr. Fife Macduff (RELO of State Department), Ms. Raihana Sultana (Program Officer of The American Center), Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Platt (EL Specialist) and Dr. Faheem Hasan Shahed (Department Head) sat for an formal lunch meeting among themselves to discuss, analyze and finalize the work schedule and action plans of Dr. Platt in AIUB during her two-month stay here.