ENGLISH IN ACTION: A Literary Competition Grand Finals

Another first! And what better platform than the American International University, Bangladesh (AIUB)! They came together in spirit of competition, more so for the launching of a brand new product in any English Department. “English in Action” a brainchild of the Dr Charles C. Villanueva, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and Dean-in-Charge, Faculty of Business, reached its climax last week on July 24, after a very short two weeks of preparation, where students and faculty members worked in unison to reach a penultimate in the form of the Grand Finals of the English in Action competition. Dr. Faheem Shahed, Coordinator, Department of English, hosted the programme. He welcomed the judges, guests, the competitors, faculty members and all present. He then introduced the FASS Dean to all present.  Welcoming all present and explaining the need for competitions to give students a feel of the great need of English, he said: the convenience of interacting with the peoples of the world can be easily facilitated with the ability to express ideas and emotions through English language. Under the categories of Oration/Elocution, Impromptu Speaking, Dramatic Monologue/ Declamation, Manuscript Reading and Choral Recitation, fresher and second semester students competed in professional spirit. The competition was not only for the students. Awards were also given out to the course instructors who trained the competitors. After the first round of elimination, where about 100 students took part, selected students prepared themselves to deliver their contest pieces with much authenticity perceived in each competing individual. Five finalists were selected from each of the first four categories while three were selected from the last category – Choral Recitation. Distinguished personalities from various sectors comprising of Mr. Aly Zaker, CEO and MD Asiatic Marketing Communication Ltd., Mr. Shahnoor Wahid, Editor, Star Campus, The Daily Star, Ms. Shaheen Kabir, Professor of English, Jahangirnagar University, and Ms. Shenin Ziaudddin, English News Presenter Bangladesh Television and Lecturer, BRAC University formed the panel of judges. With Mr Aly Zaker’s leaving because of a prior engagement, Mr. Alex Lamadrid, Minister and Consul General of the Philippine Embassy filled in the vacuum. As the judges were calculating and battling with their minds selecting the winners, a Faculty member, Mr. Debasish Biswas and the FASS Dean kept the audience entertained with their rendition  of beautiful Bangla and English songs with Dr Faheem Shahed, on the keyboard. Ms Shaheen Kabir, speaking on behalf of the panel of judges, said they (the panel) were very pleased to be a part of this kind of competition, which was the first of its kind in any university. She urged competitions of this nature be spread to other universities. She stated that AIUB had taken a bold step forward in promoting English within the campus. The award ceremony was graced by the presence of AIUB’s Vice- Chancellor, Dr Carmen Z. Lamagna, who first congratulated all participants and their course instructors and all those involved in making the programme a success. Dr Lamagna further thanked the judges for taking time off their busy schedules to be with the programme. She said that their presence enlightened and encouraged the students and that she hoped that they would continue to give their support to encourage the spread of English. She then gave away certificates to all the finalists and their instructors, and medals to the winners and plaques of recognition to the respective instructors. The grand winners and their instructors are as follows: Oration – Syeda Noore Aynin –Mr. M S Zaman (Faculty-Trainer)
Dramatic Monolgue – Rehuna Mamum-Ms. Sakila Ferdousy (Faculty Trainer)
Impromptu Speaking – Fahmim Ferdous-Dr. Faheem Shahed (Faculty Trainer)
Manuscript Reading – Ahmed Shakib- Ms. Rumana Islam (Faculty Trainer)
Choral Recitation – SHINING STAR GROUP - Ms. Rumana Islam (Faculty Trainer)