On January 13, 2023, the Department of English and Humanities and the Center for Language Studies (CLS) at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) co-hosted the Third Conference on English Pronunciation in Bangladesh (EPIB3): Issues and Practices, co-organized with Professor Amin Rahman, CEO, ZAMOSC, and Volunteers Association for Bangladesh (VAB).
The Chief Guest, Professor Md. Farhadul Islam, Chairman, National Curriculum Textbook Board, declared the inaugural of the Conference. During his speech, Prof. Islam spoke about his intention to implement and support programs to improve English language learning from the primary level.
The Keynote Speaker of the Conference was Dr. Andy Kirkpatrick, Professor Emeritus, Griffith University, Australia. His keynote address, “English as a Language of Asia: Implications for the Teaching of English in Asia,” focused on the many current uses of English in Asia. He concluded that “English is an Asian language and its primary use is as a lingua franca [which] means that English should be taught not as a language spoken and owned by native speakers of English, but as an Asian language and as a lingua franca.”
The first plenary was given by Prof. AMM Hamidur Rahman, Daffodil International University, who spoke about “Overcoming Problems of Pronunciation for Bangladeshi Learners of English.” This was followed by a workshop on “Teaching the Pronunciation of English through Entertainment,” conducted by Muhammad Yeasir.
The next plenary speaker, Dr. Raqib Chowdhury, spoke on “Contesting Linguistic Identities and the Persistence of Standardized Pronunciation.” Dr. Urmee Chakma followed this with her talk, “Learning English as a Third Language – Challenges of a Linguistic Minority Speaker in Bangladesh.” Next, Prof. M. Maniruzzaman delivered his plenary speech on “English Pronunciation of Bengali Speaking Persons: Exploring Typical and Atypical Attributes.” The final plenary was delivered by Dr. Azizul Hoque on “Chittagonian Influence on English Pronunciation: A Critical Insight.”
Parallel sessions followed the plenaries where paper presenters engaged the audience with their profound ideas.
The program was also graced by the presence of Professor Imran Rahman, Vice Chancellor, ULAB; Ms. Arifa Ghani Rahman, Head, Department of English and Humanities, ULAB; Dr. Faheem Hasan Shahed, Director, Center for Language Studies (CLS), ULAB; Mr. Amin Rahman, CEO, ZAMOSC, Mr. Masum Billah, Country Director, VAB, as well as faculty members, participants, and students.
The day-long conference was brought to its conclusion with closing remarks by Mr. Amin Rahman, and a shout out to the student volunteers from the Department of English and Humanities, ULAB.
Report by Ereti Rhidil Rahman (193013068) and Salman Al Farsy (222013053)