Prof. Muhammad Suheyl Umar
Director
M.Phil., Iqbal Studies, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad
M.A, English Literature, Govt. College, Lahore

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Fluency in English is now a basic necessity, more so in the various disciplines and professions related to information technology. At a more fundamental level, general language fluency – the ability to articulate one’s ideas, vision and plans, to fire the imagination and inspire others – are critical for personal fulfilment and professional success. The Centre’s mission is to identify issues in language learning, especially in English, that our students bring with them and help them overcome these with modern approaches to meet their individual needs.

Transparent Language Online, the state-of-the-art language learning software designed for challenges very similar to Pakistan’s, is now an integral component of English language instruction at the FoIT, supplemented by content being actively developed in collaboration with the Centre for Learning Design. Additionally, the new language labs based on the Declaratively Accelerated Blended Learning (DABL) methodology – a combination of technology and human instruction – are playing a significant role in dramatically improved learning outcomes.

This pedagogical modality enhances student engagement through the inbuilt edutainment factor resulting in better academic performance in courses across a broad range of disciplines. This enabling learning environment helps to extend the formal academic experience to successful life-long learning experiences.

The online language learning program offers videos, audio lessons and a shared platform through written correspondence and a variety of learning activities that a student can follow at his own pace instead of being limited to mere textbooks. Rather than being a ‘one size fits all’ solution, it allows instructors to customize the learning material according to the needs of each student. With such a system, no student is left behind while students who learn quickly can benefit from fast-track learning programs. The system regularly tests students at every level of learning and each component of English language such as grammar, comprehension, speaking, and vocabulary, is tested. Students who find it challenging to learn English have unlimited opportunities to improve their skills at their own pace.

The program significantly reduces the workload of instructors and undertakes many of their responsibilities regarding content integrity, content organization, assessment and measuring overall student engagement. In the process, the classroom environment “flips” from being teacher-centred to student-centred.

The success of the English language program is a major step forward to removing class barriers from our society and empowering Pakistan’s youth – unleashing the blocked potential of talented minds from under-serviced communities.

In the Information Age, the possibilities for business or academic collaborations as well as social contact across cultural boundaries and even continents are no more than a few clicks away. With the intention of boosting the self-confidence of our students, widening their intellectual horizons, opening their minds to a multitude of cultures and lifestyles and expanding the scope of their educational and professional opportunities, the Centre offers courses in Chinese, Persian, German and French.