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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 1 Issue 16 | November 26, 2006 |


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Academician Speaks

"The basic idea is to come up with two way communication system inside the class room"

Dr. Suhail Mohiul Islam

The star campus team had an opportunity to talk with Dr. Suhail Mohiul Islam about his teaching experience in Brac University. According to him the students of Brac University are very enthusiastic in learning and implementing their knowledge. He is currently teaching newspaper editing, Psycholinguistics which is associated with linguistic evolutionary psychology. He shared very interesting information, that is, when an infant learns a new language he is not aware of the grammar of the language even though he can communicate using proper grammatically structured sentences. Through research it has been revealed that there is already a format for communication in a separate modularity section of the brain. This part of the brain is stimulated by different sounds and is triggered by the environment. The infant adapts this information from the environment for the communication process. He is planning to carry out this research involving the students of Brac University and want to apply it in the context of Bangladesh. He believes that there should be a balance between praxis and theory of knowledge for the students. He always encourages his students to be very participative in the class. The education system of Bangladesh still reflects the colonial and post colonial system that has made the education teacher centered , the students are the receptors and the teachers are the depositors. Today the education system is very dynamic with changing visions and practices of faculties. It is important for the students to generate original ideas and it can be possible if the students are empowered. This is a multi layered process where the students and faculties can work together on a problem set with assignments, project works and research with adequate support from the teacher in the form of counseling. The basic idea is to come up with two way communication system inside the class room where the students can have critical understanding of the subject matter with class discussion and group work.

In Bangladesh there is a scarcity of good English teachers and as the concept of English teaching is changing it is important to establish more English teacher's training institutes. He suggested that for the development of the students in the macro level it is necessary to decentralize education from Dhaka and the private universities should take initiatives. The leading private universities of Bangladesh should open branches in different parts of Bangladesh. The government, NGOs and other relevant bodies like the USAID, UN etc should also play an important role to facilitate the process. A co-relation should be established between the economic status and education so that quality education can be easily accessible especially by rural people. He suggested that there should be a very efficient statistical bureau that will keep track of the number of students passing out from the universities. There are many foreign organizations outsourcing their business and they need skilled professionals, the statistical bureau can co-ordinate the students with the potential recruiters. He also mentioned that there should be more resources available for the students such as books, journals, periodicals, magazines etc.

He believes that it is the responsibility of the teachers to prepare the students and to expand their intellectual horizon and it is also necessary to have confidence in the students. He is planning to attach the students with different organizations as part of their academic curriculum so that they can have an essence of the practical scenario and get an opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge.

Interviewed by Arif Ashraf Nayan

Dr. Suhail Mohiul Islam is a visiting Professor in the Dept of English at Brac University. Dr. Suhail Islam is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of English and Communication at Nazareth College College of Rochester. He earned His bachelor's degree and a master's degree in English from the University Of Dhaka. He also holds a master's in English and American Literature from The University of Windsor, Canada, a master's in Applied Linguistics/TESOL From Northern Arizona University, and a doctorate in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University. He was a visiting scholar in the Faculty of English at Cambridge University, U.K., in 1993-94. He is teaching Comparative World Literature, Linguistics, Rhetoric and Communication, Media Studies, Literature of Other Continents, The Novel, Poetry, Study of Language, and Freshman English. Prior to joining Nazareth College, Dr. Islam was Assistant Professor of Humanities at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH. A native of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dr. Islam has taught Literature, Linguistics, and Communication in South Asia, Africa, and Canada, as well as at a number of colleges and universities in the United States.

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