- Professor Dr Fakrul Alam
While students of English department face dilemma on which major stream to pursue: ELT or Literature, the Department of English Language and Literature (ELL), Notre Dame University Bangladesh (NDUB), arranged a seminar on 'ELT or Literature? Career Options for Graduating Students' on August 5, 2017, at its premises, at 4pm, conducted by Dr Fakrul Alam, Professor (retired) of the University of Dhaka.
Fakrul Alam considered there is no debate between ELT and Literature for deciding which is best for the career, as he believes whether one chooses ELT or Literature, one must be skilled in English, to be specific, in reading, listening, writing, and speaking. He termed it as Communica-tive English which means "English in use".
Professor Fakrul elaborately discussed the history of the beginning of English Language Teaching in Bangladeshi context. He suggested to read one of his writings on 'The New East India Company', which he thinks -- is the present British Council in Bangladesh. In addition, he affirms that he is critical about language learning and teaching in the context of Bangladesh.
Dr Fakrul advised the students to "read everything and anything" in order to be skilled in the second language: English. He further suggested reading English newspaper, novels, stories, poems, plays and much more.
Dr Fakrul stated that whether civil service, or corporate companies, all seek candidate's professional in using knowledge and language disregarding the two major streams of English department: English Language Teaching and Literature.
Later, in the question answer session, while answering a student's query on the stereotype concept that ELT graduates get better opportunities in Bangladeshi job market, Dr Fakrul responded the "opposite".
Fakrul answered that ELT graduates are specialized in teaching only, but there are plenty of other job sectors where there is no such requirement of ELT or Literature, but the requirement is only about being good in communicative English which is achieved through reading, writing, and practicing the language.
Father Adam S Pereira, Registrar and Chairman of ELL, NDUB, thanked Dr Fakrul Alam for sharing his experience to motivate the students and handed over a souvenir to the celebrated Professor Dr Fakrul Alam at the end of the program.
The event ended with the demonstrations by Lecturer of ELL, NDUB, Habiba Akhter and Ahmed Tahsin Shams, on course outlines of ELT and Literature, respectively.
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