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Unveiling the Dynamic World of English Language

... Teaching: Insights from the 7th AINET International ELT Conference

As the sun rose over the picturesque city of Guwahati, a diverse assembly of English language educators from across India and Bangladesh gathered at Gauhati University for the 7th AINET International ELT Conference held on February 3rd and 4th, 2024. Against the backdrop of this culturally rich setting, the conference served as a vibrant platform for sharing ideas, exchanging insights, and exploring the multifaceted landscape of English language teaching (ELT).

The inaugural ceremony set the stage for two days of enriching discourse, with Professor Nani Gopal Mahanta, Education Advisor to the Government of Assam, eloquently highlighting the unifying power of English in India's linguistic mosaic. Emphasizing the importance of fluency over accuracy, Professor Mahanta called for innovative approaches to teacher training and underscored the need to embrace linguistic diversity in the pursuit of effective communication.

The presence of esteemed dignitaries such as Ms. Sarah Rogerson from the British Council and Mr. Micah Risher from the American Embassy added a global perspective to the proceedings. Their insights into the evolving role of English in India and its significance as a global lingua franca resonated deeply with the diverse audience of English language teachers, educators, and trainers.

Throughout the conference, a diverse array of paper presentations showcased the richness and complexity of English language teaching practices. My presentation, delivered on February 3rd, delved into the intricacies of language usage, prescriptivism, and the attitudes of English language teachers in Maharashtra. It was a passionate inquiry into the intersection of language norms, pedagogical approaches, and societal attitudes sparked lively discussions and inspired attendees to critically examine their own teaching practices.

Prominently present among the distinguished participants was Professor Amol Padwad, Director of the Centre for English Language Education at Dr. BR Ambedkar University Delhi. His presence added a scholarly depth to the conference, and his insights into contemporary trends in English language education enriched the discourse. Professor Padwad's contributions, rooted in his extensive research and expertise, provided attendees with valuable perspectives on pedagogical innovation and language policy. As one of the leading voices in the field, Professor Padwad's engagement served as an inspiration for educators striving to enhance their teaching practices and adapt to the evolving needs of English language learners.

In addition to paper presentations, interactive plenary sessions offered valuable insights from experts such as Sarah Rogerson, who highlighted the transformative potential of conferences in catalyzing positive change among educators. Drawing on David Graddol's seminal works, she underscored India's emergence as a hub of South Asian English and emphasized the importance of multilingualism in the context of the National Education Policy (2020).

Mr. Micah Risher, in his impassioned address, emphasized the global relevance of English as a medium for sharing information and fostering cross-cultural understanding. His call to harness the wealth of resources available for English language teaching resonated with attendees, echoing the conference's overarching theme of innovation and empowerment.

As the conference drew to a close, with heartfelt gratitude extended to all participants by Professor Padmini Boruah and Mr. Nadeem Khan, the collective sense of camaraderie and shared purpose lingered in the air. The event had not only showcased the latest trends and developments in ELT but had also fostered meaningful connections and collaborations among educators from diverse backgrounds.

As we bid farewell to Guwahati, we carried with us a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to advancing the field of English language teaching in our respective communities. The 7th AINET International ELT Conference had been a testament to the transformative power of collaboration, innovation, and shared learning—a beacon guiding us towards a more inclusive and empowered future in English language education.

More By  :  Renu Dhotre

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