11 Bruneians head to Hawaii

National 2 minutes, 26 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

ELEVEN Bruneians are part of the third group of English Language Enrichment Programme participants who departed Brunei International Airport for Honolulu, Hawaii yesterday.

A total of 67 representatives from nine ASEAN member states will attend the second part of the programme at the East-West Centre in Hawaii after completing their seven-week training at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

Lim York Hsin, assistant head of English Department at Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College, hoped she would gain more knowledge and learn new methodologies in teacher training held at the centre, which she described as one of the top institutions for linguistics.

“I’m hoping to gain experience in my field of expertise and enjoy different cultures from other ASEAN participants,” said Lim.

She added that the participants will return to their respective countries upon completion of the courses.

Lim hoped the relevant government agencies will initiate a workshop in a bid to share what the representatives from Brunei have learned during the programme in the US.

“For example, as a teacher, I will share what I have learnt with other teachers from other schools and colleges,” she said.

Meanwhile, Xaythavong Manichanch, an officer from the Laos Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said he hoped to strengthen relations with his counterparts during the training.

Throughout the 11 weeks, the participants will undertake a series of modules geared towards enhancing professional communication skills and advancing career opportunities.

The participants are divided into two groups: English for Officers and Diplomats, and English for Teacher-Trainers.

In Brunei, the ASEAN delegates were taken on several educational and cultural excursions in the country. They experienced the cultural diversity in Brunei through their homestay programme at Kg Amo in Temburong, Kg Sungai Matan in Brunei-Muara and Kg Kiudang in Tutong.

In addition, the participants were also introduced to the country’s biodiversity through their visit to UBD Kuala Belalong Field Study Centre. They were also taken to the Ulu Temburong National Park and Wasai Bedanu in Kg Kiudang.

A total of 36 officers and diplomats also visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

During the visit, officials from the ministry shared with the participants the history of the institution and imparted information on Brunei’s role in ASEAN, as well as the achievements throughout its chairmanship of the ASEAN summits last year.

Another group were given a briefing on Brunei’s education system (SPN 21) at UBD and were also taken to the Science College, to learn more about the implementation of the system, in particular the teaching of English to the students.

The programme is one of the main components of the Brunei-US English Language Enrichment Project for ASEAN, which was inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012.

It aims to improve the level of English among the participants and strengthen English teaching in the countries concerned, and help integrate the ASEAN member states.

The Brunei Times