The Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT) turned 37. A seed sown 37 years ago has grown into a mature organization that makes continuous efforts for teacher empowerment.
Gul Jaffri, an active SPELTer and moderator of the ceremony, said on Friday when highlighting the importance of the anniversary celebrations at a virtual press conference.
Despite the pandemic that has affected all facets of life, including education, SPELLED has continued its commitment to train the trainers as it has been doing since 1984.
The chairman of the press conference was Professor Zakia Sarwar, known nationally and internationally as a seasoned English Language Teacher (ELT) with many honors to her credit. An engine and a shaker, she helped put Pakistan on the ELT map of the world.
SPELLED is known as a model teachers’ association in the region which is held in high regard by international organizations such as Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL ). On the occasion of the celebration of the 37th anniversary of the company, Professor Zakia launched the research journal SPELLED.
Professor Fauzia Shamim, founding member of SPELLED and dean of the liberal arts faculty of Ziauddin University, informed the press conference about the establishment of SPELLED on July 17, 1984.
She said the company had organized 36 international conferences, contacted more than 70,000 teachers across Pakistan and held 440 free academic sessions. “It has 37 years of teacher empowerment,” she said, adding that they had several publications, including e-newsletters.
“Kill two birds with one stone” is a SPELLED professional development program by Professor Fauzia and Professor Zakia. As for their professional development programs, she said they offered the International Certificate in Teaching English at the University of Cambridge, UK; some short courses, webinars and workshops. During the pandemic, she said they held a series of free online learning webinars.
Speaking on their future directions, Prof Zakia said they have started the ELT research journal. She added that they wanted to reach out to teachers as well as students and other professions and industries to continue offering tailor-made projects to meet the professional development needs of teachers in different contexts.
SPELLED also plans to hold an annual two-day international conference in November this year. There will be a roundtable on teaching and researching English under difficult circumstances. The roundtable would be structured around major themes in two books: “Research on Teaching and Learning English in Subresource Contexts” and “International Perspectives on Teaching English in Subresource Settings”. difficult circumstances ”.
This year, she said they were going to publish the ELT research journal. The aim of the journal, she said, was to be indigenous research in Pakistan and to encourage colleagues to contribute as writers in national and international research journals and keep pace with researchers around the world. whole.
One of the focal points of the research is the role of SPELLED memberships in the professional identities of women as leaders and advocates of education. Researchers include Dr Judy Sharkey, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Education, University of New Hampshire, Durham USA and Dr Caralyn Layzer, Senior Research Associate at Abt Associates, Inc. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Getz Pharma CEO Khalid Mehmood said English is the key to success. He added that there was an unfortunate confusion in the country with English as the language of the university, bureaucracy and business and Urdu as the language of instruction. He said any language could be taught at any age.
Author Javed Jabbar has said that English is far too important a language to be left to the British alone. “There are more English speakers in China today than in the United States,” he said, adding that English has converged into our regional languages. He pointed out that English and Urdu were both “Lashkari” languages.