RAWALPINDI The Department of English at Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) on Friday organised a two-day national conference on Rethinking Bilingualism: New Perspectives, Challenges and Interpretations.
The themes of the Conference included language change and shift, ELT in bilingualism and multi-lingualism, and contemporary issues in bilingual research while it was held under the BC Link scheme of Higher Education Scheme (HEC). Various eminent professors and research scholars from 21 different universities and colleges of Pakistan attended the conference.
The Department of English at Fatima Jinnah Women University has established a three-year link programme with the School of Education, University of Birmingham, UK, under the HEC/BC Link Scheme. This link is funded by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and administered by the British Council, Islamabad.
Professor Dr Saeeda Asadullah Khan, Vice Chancellor FJWU and chief guest of the inaugural ceremony, highlighted the importance of the conference as an opportunity to discuss contemporary bilingual issues and concerns in different settings and contexts.
In the inaugural session, Professor Dr Samina Amin Qadir, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Arts, welcomed the participants of Conference. She introduced the background of the Link Scheme with the University of Birmingham and highlighted the objectives of the conference.
Noor Amna, HEC representative, encouraged the idea of organising such conferences. She acknowledged the initiative and role of Fatima Jinnah Women University in organising different conferences and workshops on diverse issues in different disciplines.
She expressed her hope that after attending the Conference, the participants would go back with a better understanding of new perspectives, challenges, and interpretations in the field of bilingualism. Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui delivered the keynote address. He highlighted the socio-political interpretations of the concepts of language, hegemony and resistance.
On the first day of the Conference, eight sessions were held in which the presenters talked about the phenomenon of bilingualism from different perspectives. Each presentation was followed by a question and answer session.
Professor Dr Fauzia Shamim was the second keynote speaker. She delivered a thought-provoking lecture on Incidence, Intensity and Interpretations of Bilingual Speech in Pakistan: Towards a Research Agenda.
Eight sessions were held on the final day of the Conference followed by a panel discussion. Professor Dr Saeeda Asadullah Khan chaired the panel discussion session. The panellists were Professor Dr Fauzia Shamim, Professor Dr Samina Amin Qadir, Professor Dr Saiqa Imtiaz Asif, Professor Dr Kaleem R Khan, and Dr Hina Ashraf.
At the closing of the workshop, Professor Dr Saeeda Asadullah Khan, Vice Chancellor FJWU, congratulated the Department of English for organising the Conference. She distributed certificates among the presenters and participants of the workshop.