English skills to open new avenues in outsourcing | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 12, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 12, 2010

'English in Action' Launched

English skills to open new avenues in outsourcing

Says British envoy

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English in Action (EIA), a joint venture of the Bangladesh and the UK governments to help develop better English communicative skills, was launched at a city hotel yesterday.
The project has been launched with the hope that English, as an international language, will be a tool for better access to employment opportunities in Bangladesh and beyond.
The nine-year 50-million-pound project is designed to change approaches to learning English. The project aims to benefit about 25 million Bangladeshis.
The project also aims to help teachers develop their own professional capabilities so that they can bring new ideas to the classroom and make the classes enjoyable.
In schools, innovative teaching and learning methods, including the use of audio technology such as MP3 players will be provided to support learning.
All these methods will be linked to the local school curriculum, textbooks, supplementary materials and assessment procedures.
The project will also use television and mobile telephones to increase access to learning materials for adults in order to decrease barriers to English learning. BBC Janala is one such effort.
Speaking at the launching ceremony of the project, British High Commissioner Stephen Evans said, “English is becoming the international language. One of the driving factors clearly has been globalisation, the spread of mass methods of communication, more importantly the expansion of the internet.”
He mentioned that Bangladesh has a fair chance of capturing the business process of outsourcing market. It is a global industry valued worth $300 billion. There are many other sectors, including information technology. If Bangladesh wants a fare share of that market it will need to enhance English language skills.
He pointed out that it would eventually help Bangladesh achieve the status of a middle-income country by 2021.
The project, being implemented by the ministry of Mass Education and UKAID, currently works with 800 teachers in 350 schools across the country. The number will be increased from 2011.
Primary and Mass Education Minister Dr Afsarul Ameen said, “It is one of the most innovative initiatives. Our goal is to achieve the economic growth of Bangladesh by providing communicative English language as a tool for better access to world economy.”
By providing communicative English, EIA will help Bangladesh profit better in internal and external markets, he added.
Abu Alam Md Shahid Khan, secretary to the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Mahbubun Nahar, project director of EIA, Marc van der Stouwe, team leader, EIA, and Md Sirazul Islam, additional secretary (Development), Ministry of Education, also spoke.

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