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Mizanur Rahman Khan


An innovative methodological book for teaching Bengali as a foreign language…

Published : Saturday, 25 September, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 2641
Reviewed by Farid Uddin Rony



People have been interested in learning another language for a long time. Some have to study, some have to work, and some have to learn another language in corporate work. Numerous people from abroad regularly come to Bangladesh for studies, jobs and corporate work, so knowing Bengali language becomes the main thing for them. And "Shoptodinga" is an excellent book to teach Bangla language easily to the students coming to Bangladesh from abroad. The book is written by Mizanur Rahman Khan, Lecturer, Institute of Modern Language Education, Dhaka University.

The author has divided the two books into three parts in the form of a series - Elementary, Pre-intermediate Levels. Though the books have been prepared to be used as text books by both teachers and learners in the classroom, anyone having the ability to read Bengali script can use them for self-study. The books are written in Bengali following European Framework of teaching a second/foreign include transliteration of the text in English to help the beginners get acquainted with Bengali script and pronunciation.

The target users of the books include foreign students of all age groups who want to learn Bengali,  Bangladeshi expatriates who want their kids to learn Bengali language and culture, or Bengali language teachers who teach Bengali to foreigners either in Bangladesh, West Bengal or abroad.

The author has a total of 31 lessons in the two books in this series. Each lesson is presented in a simple and fluent manner. There is a detailed description of the learning goals at the beginning of each lesson. The book has been developed following an easy step-by-step notional-functional lesson plan.

The writer has very carefully integrated all four skills of language in each lesson of the book. The books present the basic components of grammar implicitly employing judicious contextualization and diverse exercises focusing on a single theme/grammar item. The aim is that at the end of successful completion of all the exercises, the learners will acquire the target vocabulary as well as the grammatical point subconsciously.

The author has used selective high-frequency words and idiomatic expressions to cater to the needs of the learners' level of competence. The learners will find a wonderful combination of both day-to-day language and literary texts throughout the book.

Each chapter of the book offers a list of new words with transcription and meaning in English. The book also contains a list of level-wise verbs with conjugation. The author has contextualized cultural information very systematically.

The book also offers a good number of illustrations, images, tables, individual tasks, pair works, and group activities that facilitate understanding the text. The learners can practice listening skills with the help of the audio materials available in the attached DVD. At the end of the book, there are lesson-wise answer keys and transcriptions of the audio materials.

The books are quite different from most of the existing Bengali language teaching books. The available books for teaching Bengali are written according to the principles of the grammar-translation method where the main focus is on translation and memorization of formulaic chunks but this book offers a communicative way of teaching and learning Bengali language and culture with an equal emphasis on all four skills of language.

The author of the books is a multilingual. He speaks six languages: Bengali, English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Hindi. He has taught Bengali, English, French, and Spanish at the tertiary level in different academic institutions at home and abroad.

The discussions in the book are presented very simply. The book will undoubtedly be important for those who are interested in learning Bengali language or learn it easily, especially the people from abroad.

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