Fulbright Alumni Syeda Farzana Sultana and Qumrul Hasan Chowdhury of the Department of English, American International University- Bangladesh (AIUB) won the Fulbright Alumni Project Competition for the year 2009-10. Their project titled “Learner-centered Teaching and Networking Project” aimed at proliferating learner centered methodology among the underprivileged secondary school level English teachers of Bangladesh. The project included a series of workshops at Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Mymensingh, and Tangail, follow-up classe observations in those five districts (two classes in each district), a seminar in Dhaka and a project-end publication. The first workshop in Dhaka was hosted by AIUB and was meant for Madrasa teachers only. The seminar of the project was held on May 15, 2010 at Campus-1 of AIUB. The title of the seminar was Learner-centered Teaching in Bangladeshi Classrooms. Dr. Arifa Rahman, Professor of Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka and General Secretary of BELTA was the featured speaker in the seminar. The title of her presentation was “Learner-Centeredness: Principles and Assumptions for the ELT Practitioner.” Ms. Lauren H. Lovelace, Director of the American Center, Dhaka and Dr. Carmen Zita Lamagna, Vice- Chancellor of AIUB were the guest of honor in the inauguration of the seminar.
The Fulbright Alumni project was funded by the United States Department of State. American International University- Bangladesh (AIUB) was a proud partner of this project. This project was implemented in collaboration with American Center, Dhaka and Bangladesh English Language Teachers Association (BELTA). The project focused on teachers’ motivation, maximum utilization of the available infrastructure and the theme of school administrations’ co-operations in building an environment where the classrooms would be learner-centered, teachers would be learner friendly and learners would be self autonomous. The project-end publication came out in December 2010. It has a report of the whole project with pictures, write-ups by the prominent English Language teachers from USA and from Bangladesh, the Fulbright FLTA’s and the participants of the project. They wrote about teaching methodologies, about the problems they face, solution to problems faced, tips on teaching and their experience of participating in the workshops as a trainer or participants.