Daffodil International College Teacher Blog(Alia Rawshan)

Status of English and its impact on in Bangladesh

।। Status of English and its impact on overall English Language Teaching (ELT) scenario in Bangladesh ।।

After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, Bangla has been given priority in all domains of the society which causes a lack of English proficiency among the learner community. It also resulted in the demotion of English from the second language to a foreign language. Besides, a gap between policy and language practice still exists in Bangladesh. The policymakers do not have a clear and planned language policy.In the mid-nineties, Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)-based curriculum reform took place, replacing the traditional Grammar-Translation Method (GTM)-based language teaching, initially in secondary schools and later in all other levels. National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) had asked teachers to implement CLT curriculum without any well-planned contextual analysis on the possible difficulties that may arise. For example, teacher-centered classroom is a crucial feature in the classroom of Bangladesh, and students are not interested to communicate or to speak in English. At the same time, teachers are not also habituated to use English for communication or for interaction with the students. Since the English teachers do not have any clear understanding of the CLT curriculum, they express a mixed opinion about its implementation. Their belief and practice are not compatible to CLT, and for this reason, their understanding of the curriculum differs. In the primary and secondary English textbooks in Bangladesh, grammatical and vocabulary selections are given highest importance instead of communicative activities. There is almost no scope for the speaking and listening activities in English for Today textbook. Moreover, assessment tests and evaluation are not consistent with the goal of the national English curricula and the English language education policy that seeks to develop students’ communicative competence. Thus, it is evident that the test setters are under the compulsion of following the instruction of the policymakers.Nobody can deny the significance of English in Bangladesh. In order to meet the challenges of 21st century, English language proficiency is a must. However, for achieving the proficiency in English language, a special monitoring and contribution can be made to policy adaptation and implementation in the context of ELT in Bangladesh. Although the policymakers are often reluctant in admitting the problem, Bangladesh has remained unsuccessful in attaining self-reliance in English Language Teaching.Source: Rahman et al. (2019), English language teaching in Bangladesh today: Issues, outcomes and implications, https://doi.org/10.1186/s40468-019-0085-8