News 2012

English in Action at Dhaka University conference “Teaching and Learning English through Technology”

The plush, hi-tech facilities at Dhaka University’s Senate building were a far cry from the low-resourced local schools that are the more familiar backdrop for EIA’s activities. Yet judging from the positive audience reaction, EIA’s two presentations at the recent DU English department-hosted conference on “Teaching and learning English through technology” were certainly not out of place. 

The tone set in the opening address by the major Bangladeshi educational dignitaries and in Dr Helen Bond’s (Howard University, Washington) inspiring key-note talk was all about the immense power, diversity of opportunity and flexible response to wide-ranging circumstances which educational technology is now bringing to Bangladesh.

On the one hand, this was reflected by some presenters, who were rooted in learning contexts where technologies like interactive whiteboards, Moodle platforms and web quests are already well-established as a way of enhancing language learning. As educators who use them regularly, they were able to stand back and give almost philosophical reflection on their impact on quality of that learning.

At the other extreme were the two well-attended presentations given by members of the EIA team. In “New channels for learning” and “Getting the technology right” we shared a very different kind of experience.  In this case a simple piece of highly familiar technology like a mobile phone is starting to bring first-time basic learning opportunities to millions of children and adults for whom even seeing a textbook or a trained teacher cannot always be taken for granted.
Malcolm Griffiths, English in Action, English Language Teaching Academic, The Open University




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English in Action programme is a UK Government
funded programme implemented by the
Government of Bangladesh and managed by
Cambridge Education, a member of Mott MacDonald.