Background

As per University Grants Commission (UGC) regulation, all university students must complete six credits of English Language in undergraduate programs. However, due to the different proficiency levels of the students, the six credits were not that much fruitful to provide a level playing field in terms of English proficiency to all students. To overcome this hurdle, EL-Pro came into being in the latter part of 2005 to bridge this gap with a view to providing students with English Language courses and depending on the proficiency levels of the learners the modular system was developed.

In the modular system, after assessment in the admission tests, in both spoken and written English, students were put into language courses in Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, or Advanced Level in order to build up their proficiency in stages. Also, CfL provided twice the class time in the lower modules for the benefit of the students.

After the success of the modular system, it was felt that students would benefit further from learning other languages due to the rapid pace of globalization. Therefore, EL-Pro became Centre for Languages (CfL) in 2008 with the aim to offer English, Chinese, Spanish, and Bengali to undergraduate students after approval from UGC.

Moreover, to bridge the gap between industry and academia, CfL offered different professional language and communicative courses which had the double benefit of keeping our faculty aware of what is required in the industry and giving them opportunity to gather research data while providing service to the community.

Beside regular courses, CfL provided non-awarding EAP courses for Diploma in Early Childhood Development and Masters in Educational Leadership and Management for Institute of Educational Development (IED). At Savar Campus, CfL had taken the integrated approach to teach English in context of Bangladesh studies and ethics.

CfL also offered a pre-university course for students who are weak in English but otherwise qualified to get admission in the university.

BRAC University Centre for Languages (CfL) has transformed to BRAC Institute of Languages (BIL). University Grant Commission (UGC) has approved the institute on 2nd July, 2012. This is the third language Institute in Bangladesh. The visions of this institute are to create knowledge, convene experts, explore new ideas, advocate policy and develop ELT materials.

Following an evolutionary progression, BRAC University started a language program, ELPRO in August of 2005. Then, it became Centre for Languages in 2008. From then on it has been making substantial achievements in terms of teaching academic English (EAP) to graduate students, offering English language courses to the undergraduate students, holding workshops for ELT professionals, getting involved in government projects and making partnerships with other agencies in the field of ELT and conducting research. Besides offering French, Spanish, Bengali, and Arabic courses, CfL has also been working in partnership with the Chinese and Korean governments to teach their languages to both students and general public in Bangladesh so that they could avail academic scholarships and job opportunities in those countries.  Moreover, CfL has been acclaimed for the pre-university course at home and abroad especially, in conferences in UK and USA for its unique approaches. All of these endeavors have created the pathway to become a language institute at BRAC University.

The new institute has also started offering MA in TESOL (Teaching of English to speakers of other languages) from the Spring 2013 semester in addition to undergraduate credit courses in Bengali, French, Spanish and Chinese beside the existing programmes.