3-day ASEAN English forum comes to a close

National 1 minute, 24 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Forum on English for ASEAN Integration concluded on Thursday after three days of dialogue at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

Conducted by UBD and the Hawaii-based East-West Center, the landmark forum brought together 21 English language specialists from all over the ASEAN region to provide insight into the English language policies and initiatives of each country.

Touted as a key initiative under the five-year Brunei-US English Language Enrichment Programme for ASEAN, the forum facilitated the sharing of knowledge and best practices in English language teaching.

“From papers presented at this forum, it is clear that there is a high demand for English language in ASEAN and we are honoured that the Brunei-US English Language Enrichment Programme for ASEAN is able to contribute towards serving this need,” said Dr Salbrina Sharbawi, UBD Project Executive.

The Forum on English for ASEAN Integration also served as a platform for regional dialogue as well as the exchange of views on the role of English language as a lingua franca in Southeast Asia.

Dr Terance Bigalke, East-West Center Project Executive, noted this is the first time that a forum has taken a comprehensive look at English language policies in the region.

While many countries share similar challenges, he pointed out the solution can be found through cooperative action.

“We see this discussion continuing through the Brunei-US Programme website, which has been set up specifically to engage participants involved in various components of this project,” he said.

They are also working on a publication based on papers presented at the forum, which are expected to be presented to policymakers in the region next year. Another Forum on English for ASEAN Integration is slated for 2015.

The Brunei Times