Dr. Faheem Hasan Shahed, Head of the English Department, participated in the 59th TEFLIN International Conference held at Widya Mandala Catholic University Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia on 6 – 8 November 2012. TEFLIN, the largest association of English teachers and researchers of Indonesia, organized this year’s conference with the theme ‘English Language Learning and Teaching in the Digitization Era’ where eminent ELT scholars and academics from all over the world attended.
Dr. Faheem gave his speech on ‘Culture as a Skill in the Undergraduate EFL Classrooms: Bangladeshi Realities’ where he vividly explained why ‘culture’ acts as the most crucial element in the ELT classrooms and subsequently highlighted the ongoing realities inside the Bangladeshi undergrad English classrooms. He finally described how Bangladeshi English teachers should deal with the cultural features of both the native and the global English varieties in their syllabuses, course materials and classroom lectures by judging ‘culture’ as the fifth skill vis-à-vis listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. He presented the findings of his research conducted at several top-ranking private universities in Dhaka. His presentation was followed by a lively panel discussion on Bangladeshi and Indonesian ELT scenarios, problems and prospects.
Dr. Faheem also moderated an important session on cross-cultural aspects in verbal and non-verbal communication in English among ASEAN countries presented by eminent ASIAN scholars.