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Where foreigners fall in love with Bangla

  • Published at 06:54 pm February 20th, 2017
Where foreigners fall in love with Bangla
Learn Bangla is a Bangla language learning centre which started its journey on April 14, 2010. It provides Bangla training to foreign officials who are working in different diplomatic missions, international volunteer agencies, international aid agencies, donor agencies, university students and social workers. One such student is So-Kum Klin, a Chinese NGO official who teaches English to slum children in Dhaka. “I came here to study Bangla as my job requires it. Now I am in love with the language,” he said. Daniela Lalande Masud is a Canadian woman who married a Bangladeshi, Mohammad Masud. She said: “I love Bangla, that's why I got enrolled in Learn Bangla. I want to be able to converse with my in-laws in their language.” “Learn Bangla is the perfect place to know about Bangladesh’s history, culture and heritage,” said Napada Bihar, an Indonesian man who intends to expand his business in the country. Other students – British citizen Elizabeth Jem Simpson, Romanian citizen Octavian Retezan and American citizen Jefir Meier – echoed Bihar's comment. Australian citizens Alyxandra and Kelib said: “We chose Learn Bangla because of its good teaching reputation. We appreciate the flexibility Learn Bangla offers and have been very impressed with the quality of teaching.”
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"It is a matter of great pride for us that many of our students have come from different parts of the world only to learn Bangla language and culture,” said Mary Juliet Penheiro, founder and managing director of Learn Bangla. Mary Juliet has been teaching Bangla for 17 years. “We are trying our best to increase Bangla speakers around the world,” she said. Learn Bangla has developed their own teaching modules and materials, keeping foreign learners in mind, said Lelin Penheiro, chairman of the institution. “Our Bangla language course methodology was structured in such way that the foreigners could easily read, write, understand and speak in Bangla. Our programme has already helped more than thousands of learners from more than 50 countries,” Lelin said. Sean D Boda, language officer at the US Embassy in Dhaka, said the embassy signed an agreement with Learn Bangla in 2012 to provide individual and group lessons to their officers. Dil Ara Leena, media and communication director of Learn Bangla, said: “As our students are all foreigners, we have designed our curriculum keeping the aspects of adult and cross-culture learning in mind.” To add to their achievements and show their love for Bangla language and culture, Learn Bangla students have recently performed the song “Amar bhai er rokte rangano Ekushey February” in 15 different languages – Bangla, Norwegian, English, Romanian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Indonesian, Dutch, Hindi, Ethiopian, Finnish, Cambodian, Russian and Moghamo. To create an effective and friendly learning environment, Learn Bangla teaches year-long courses to two to eight students in each of its 10 classrooms. It currently has 15 skilled teachers who provide Bangla lessons to their students. Learn Bangla's three-storey building is located in Banani.