The university and bdnews24.com jointly organized the day-long conference to discuss ESP as a key tool in building skills
Ther first International Conference on English for Specific Purposes (ESP) was held at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) campus in Dhaka on Friday.
ULAB and bdnews24.com jointly organized a day-long conference to discuss ESP as a key tool in building skills.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali inaugurated the event as chief guest.
He stressed about the necessity for English language training for different vocations to generate a more proficient youth.
“Without mastering the English language it will be very difficult for people to avail themselves of the opportunities created by the demographic dividend,” the minister said, referring to the change in the age structure of the country, with the highest population below the age of 35.
“The need for learning English as a second language has assumed tremendous significance now more than ever.”
ULAB Center for Language Studies Director ATM Sajedul Huq said there is a huge gap between the English language courses offered in the Bangladeshi universities and the actual need of the employers.
“We always emphasize on the necessity of learning English, but we do not think what kind of English the students need as a prerequisite for their respective careers in the future”, he said.
“Language needs of a diplomat are not the same as that of a pilot, or a scientist. Every occupation requires a form of English with distinct characteristics.”
Prof Imran Rahman, special adviser to ULAB’s Board of Trustees, said: “Massive government support and right policy needed to enhance the standard of English among students, to take advantage of the demographic dividend.”
Twenty-nine papers were presented at the conference on a variety of topics including the challenges and opportunities of ESP education in Bangladesh, the English needs of medical students, ESP in business English classes, English language skills in the fashion industry, English in journalism, needs analysis and ESP in the hotel and tourism industry, and employers’ understanding of English language skills in Bangladesh.
Mark Krzanowski, director of the China-based Centre for Academic English Studies (CAES) in the Surrey [University] International Institute (SII) at Dongbei University of Finance and Economics (DUFE), presented the keynote paper.
Academics, representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government, and corporate bodies, students, and teachers of the university attended the event, among others.