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English learning in digital age

K Ahmed Alam

3 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

English learning in digital age

In this era of digital dynamics, skill development predominantly calls for development in communication. And as the question of development in communication comes, English as a language of communication appears in the horizon these days taller and stronger compared to anytime in the past.

Not only for increasing human communication using digital devices in never-seen-before situations like the lockdowns of late, importance of developing English skills has also become all the more important for different other obvious reasons.

While most of the digital communications using the relevant devices are done these days thanks to the very language of English across the world alongside other relevant usages like machine reading and decoding, there is no way for looking back with regard to the increasing importance of developing English skills here in Bangladesh either.

As is the fact, skilled human resources in English language and literature are always in short supply although the demand curve always maintains an upward trend in this country as elsewhere across the world.

As producing human resources in this particular domain of study remains a challenge, a handful of the country’s private universities alongside the public ones are working on addressing the demand-supply gap with regard to development of human resources in English studies.

Of the private varsities, International Standard University (ISU) has been founded by the International Standard University Trust and is ably managed by a Board of Trustees, composed of the philanthropic industrialists, who are committed to quality education.

As part of their CSR activities, the ISU founders, who are from leading business conglomerate Standard Group, aim at building the university as a purely non-profit institution.

ISU, therefore, envisions rendering “social service through quality education with moral values” by means of “higher education programs, deemed most essential for human resource development with a very good blend of curricular and co-curricular activities.”

Keeping this vision and mission in view, the Department of English, ISU started its academic activities in September 2019, with the approval of the UGC. Aiming at developing students’ required cognition, metacognition, positive attitude, and skills, the Department has designed the outcome-based curricula, emphasizing the courses on English Language, Literature, and English Language Teaching.

The programmes the Department is offering are:  a four- year BA (Hons) in English and a one-year MA in English Literature and Cultural Studies. The students attending these programmes are attaining the sound command of the language, being able to demonstrate necessary linguistic and communicative competence, and also the adequate understanding and evaluating abilities in Anglo-American, Continental, and Postcolonial literature. Besides, the courses on cultural and critical theories including civilizations and contemporary ideologies give the students an insight into studying literature and culture critically.

In the Department, the students will also be trained in conducting research as part of completing their degree, showing their analytical and problem-solving abilities. They will get the opportunity to acquaint themselves with sampling, evaluating and scrutinizing data, case study, action research and all relevant aspects of research methodology.

The Department is serious not only about academic activities, but co-curricular activities as well.  In the Department, different entities, like Literary Club, Language Club, Cultural Club, Debating Club, and Film and Photography Club, are working to enhance the students’ creativity, rationality, and mental recreation.

As the Department of English is working for its students to enrich their graduate profile compatible to the 21st century, the graduates to be produced here will be employed in different private and public sectors includingcivil services and development organizations.

Apparently,a journey of one or two years of a particular Department is absolutely inadequate to gauge its strength, weakness, success or anything thereof. However, the Department of English at ISU has become familiar with all the Departments of English irrespective of private and public universities across the country following its different online seminars participated in by reputed academics during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The Department is wholeheartedly committed to the development of human resources in the field of English Studies.

A team of dedicated, trained, and experienced teachers is working here in a congenial academic atmosphere, which is smoothly ensured by the dynamic leadership of Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Abdul Awal Khan and caringly fostered by Chairperson of the ISU Board of Trustees Engineer AKM Mosharraf Hossain and Vice-Chairperson Engineer Mohammad Atiqur Rahman, the two key persons of Standard Group, one of the top-notch export industries of the country, along with Treasurer (In Charge) HTM QuaderNewaz, an academic enthusiast, industrialist, and humanitarian. For more information, one can visit ISU website www.isu.ac.bd

 

The writer teaches in the Department of English at International Standard University. He may be contacted at [email protected])


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