Bandar Seri Begawan - A dinner to welcome the participants of the 11-week English Language Programme was held Saturday night at the Indera Kayangan Ballroom of The Empire Hotel & Country Club. The guest of honour was Associate Professor Dr Zohrah Haji Sulaiman, Deputy Vice Chancellor of UBD. Also in attendance were Ambassador Daniel Shields of the United States, ambassadors and high commissioners from Asean, senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Education, and several principal officers of UBD.
According to a press release, the 11-week English Language Programme is one of six initiatives and the main component in the Brunei-US English Language Enrichment Project for Asean. This year marks the first year that this programme is run. Fifty-nine teacher-trainers and officers and diplomats from Asean make up the first cohort with 10 coming from Brunei. In her welcoming remark, Dr Salbrina Sharbawi, the Project Executive as well as the Director of UBD's Continuing Education Centre, informed that the programme is now in its second week with another five weeks in Brunei. At the end of the fifth week, all participants will continue their studies at the East-West Center of Hawaii, which is UBD's strategic partner in the Brunei-US Project. She also highlighted that the project can be seen as Brunei's dedication to promote Asean unity through the inculcation of mutual cooperation and respect.
Modules in the 11-week English Language Programme include 'English for Specific Purposes' tailored to the specific needs of the participants as English teacher-trainers or government officials, as well as an array of more specialised modules such as 'Leadership, Peoples and Cultures of Asean', and 'Regional Issues of Asean'. Apart from the lectures, the participants are also taken on education and cultural visits in and around the country, culminating with an excursion to Kuala Belalong and a one-night homestay at the Kampong Amo longhouse in early November. Visits to the ministries have also been planned, in addition to several Asean integration-activities such as the Asean potluck and a hike up Bukit Shahbandar.
The Brunei-US English Language Enrichment Project for Asean is a large-scale project which will run for a period of five years. Officially inaugurated by His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah and Hillary Rodham Clinton during the US Secretary of State's visit to the university on September 7, 2012, this project aims to raise the levels of English of the participants, to build and strengthen English teaching capacity, to nurture appreciation and awareness of the rich cultural diversity of the peoples of Asean, and to support greater Asean integration.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin