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Topics - Afroza Akhter Tina

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Listening Skill / 10 Steps To Effective Listening by Dianne Schilling
« on: July 21, 2018, 09:56:51 AM »
Here are 10 tips to help you develop effective listening skills.

Step 1: Face the speaker and maintain eye contact.

Talking to someone while they scan the room, study a computer screen, or gaze out the window is like trying to hit a moving target. How much of the person's divided attention you are actually getting? Fifty percent? Five percent? If the person were your child you might demand, "Look at me when I'm talking to you," but that's not the sort of thing we say to a lover, friend or colleague.

In most Western cultures, eye contact is considered a basic ingredient of effective communication. When we talk, we look each other in the eye. That doesn't mean that you can't carry on a conversation from across the room, or from another room, but if the conversation continues for any length of time, you (or the other person) will get up and move. The desire for better communication pulls you together.

Do your conversational partners the courtesy of turning to face them. Put aside papers, books, the phone and other distractions. Look at them, even if they don't look at you. Shyness, uncertainty, shame, guilt, or other emotions, along with cultural taboos, can inhibit eye contact in some people under some circumstances. Excuse the other guy, but stay focused yourself.

Step 2: Be attentive, but relaxed.

Now that you've made eye contact, relax. You don't have to stare fixedly at the other person. You can look away now and then and carry on like a normal person. The important thing is to be attentive. The dictionary says that to "attend" another person means to:

    be present
    give attention
    apply or direct yourself
    pay attention
    remain ready to serve

Mentally screen out distractions, like background activity and noise. In addition, try not to focus on the speaker's accent or speech mannerisms to the point where they become distractions. Finally, don't be distracted by your own thoughts, feelings, or biases.

Step 3: Keep an open mind.

Listen without judging the other person or mentally criticizing the things she tells you. If what she says alarms you, go ahead and feel alarmed, but don't say to yourself, "Well, that was a stupid move." As soon as you indulge in judgmental bemusements, you've compromised your effectiveness as a listener.

Listen without jumping to conclusions. Remember that the speaker is using language to represent the thoughts and feelings inside her brain. You don't know what those thoughts and feelings are and the only way you'll find out is by listening.

Don't be a sentence-grabber. Occasionally my partner can't slow his mental pace enough to listen effectively, so he tries to speed up mine by interrupting and finishing my sentences. This usually lands him way off base, because he is following his own train of thought and doesn't learn where my thoughts are headed. After a couple of rounds of this, I usually ask, "Do you want to have this conversation by yourself, or do you want to hear what I have to say?" I wouldn't do that with everyone, but it works with him.

Step 4: Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.

Allow your mind to create a mental model of the information being communicated. Whether a literal picture, or an arrangement of abstract concepts, your brain will do the necessary work if you stay focused, with senses fully alert. When listening for long stretches, concentrate on, and remember, key words and phrases.

When it's your turn to listen, don’t spend the time planning what to say next. You can't rehearse and listen at the same time. Think only about what the other person is saying.

Finally, concentrate on what is being said, even if it bores you. If your thoughts start to wander, immediately force yourself to refocus.

Step 5: Don't interrupt and don't impose your "solutions."

Children used to be taught that it's rude to interrupt. I'm not sure that message is getting across anymore. Certainly the opposite is being modeled on the majority of talk shows and reality programs, where loud, aggressive, in-your-face behavior is condoned, if not encouraged.

Interrupting sends a variety of messages. It says:

    "I'm more important than you are."
    "What I have to say is more interesting, accurate or relevant."
    "I don't really care what you think."
    "I don't have time for your opinion."
    "This isn't a conversation, it's a contest, and I'm going to win."

We all think and speak at different rates. If you are a quick thinker and an agile talker, the burden is onyouto relax your pace for the slower, more thoughtful communicator—or for the guy who has trouble expressing himself.

When listening to someone talk about a problem, refrain from suggesting solutions. Most of us don't want your advice anyway. If we do, we'll ask for it. Most of us prefer to figure out our own solutions. We need you to listen and help us do that. Somewhere way down the line, if you are absolutely bursting with a brilliant solution, at least get the speaker's permission. Ask, "Would you like to hear my ideas?"

Step 6: Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions.

When you don't understand something, of course you should ask the speaker to explain it to you. But rather than interrupt, wait until the speaker pauses. Then say something like, "Back up a second. I didn't understand what you just said about…"

Step 7: Ask questions only to ensure understanding.

At lunch, a colleague is excitedly telling you about her trip to Vermont and all the wonderful things she did and saw. In the course of this chronicle, she mentions that she spent some time with a mutual friend. You jump in with, "Oh, I haven't heard from Alice in ages. How is she?" and, just like that, discussion shifts to Alice and her divorce, and the poor kids, which leads to a comparison of custody laws, and before you know it an hour is gone and Vermont is a distant memory.

This particular conversational affront happens all the time. Our questions lead people in directions that have nothing to do with where they thought they were going. Sometimes we work our way back to the original topic, but very often we don't.

When you notice that your question has led the speaker astray, take responsibility for getting the conversation back on track by saying something like, "It was great to hear about Alice, but tell me more about your adventure in Vermont."

Step 8: Try to feel what the speaker is feeling.

If you feel sad when the person with whom you are talking expresses sadness, joyful when she expresses joy, fearful when she describes her fears—and convey those feelings through your facial expressions and words—then your effectiveness as a listener is assured. Empathy is the heart and soul of good listening.

To experience empathy, you have to put yourself in the other person's place and allow yourself to feel what it is like to be her at that moment. This is not an easy thing to do. It takes energy and concentration. But it is a generous and helpful thing to do, and it facilitates communication like nothing else does.

Step 9: Give the speaker regular feedback.

Show that you understand where the speaker is coming from by reflecting the speaker's feelings. "You must be thrilled!" "What a terrible ordeal for you." "I can see that you are confused." If the speaker's feelings are hidden or unclear, then occasionally paraphrase the content of the message. Or just nod and show your understanding through appropriate facial expressions and an occasional well-timed "hmmm" or "uh huh."

The idea is to give the speaker some proof that you are listening, and that you are following her train of thought—not off indulging in your own fantasies while she talks to the ether.

In task situations, regardless of whether at work or home, always restate instructions and messages to be sure you understand correctly.

Step 10: Pay attention to what isn't said—to nonverbal cues.

If you exclude email, the majority of direct communication is probably nonverbal. We glean a great deal of information about each other without saying a word. Even over the telephone, you can learn almost as much about a person from the tone and cadence of her voice than from anything she says. When I talk to my best friend, it doesn't matter what we chat about, if I hear a lilt and laughter in her voice, I feel reassured that she's doing well.

Face to face with a person, you can detect enthusiasm, boredom, or irritation very quickly in the expression around the eyes, the set of the mouth, the slope of the shoulders. These are clues you can't ignore. When listening, remember that words convey only a fraction of the message.

Dianne Schilling is a writer, editor, graphic artist and instructional designer who specializes in the development of educational materials and customized training programs for business and industry. She holds a masters degree in counseling and is a founding partner of WomensMedia.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Writing Skill / Writing Diary To Improve English Writing Skill
« on: July 16, 2018, 10:22:24 AM »
Writing a personal diary is one of the best options if someone wants to improve English writing skill.

The advantages are:

1.    You write an entry EVERYDAY (7 days a week without excuses).
2.   You can write more or less depending of your free time, inspiration or mood.
3.   You can write about anything you like (Daily experiences, thoughts…).
4.   While writing your diary you are also keeping a record of the work done.
5.   You can check your progression looking back at what you wrote in the past.
6.    If one day you don’t know what to write about, just write about what you did during the day (Because you always do something, don’t you?).

It’s easy to create the habit to write when you keep a personal diary.

Try to write at the same time every day. For example…

1.   Just before going to sleep.
2.   Just after waking up.
3.   During your lunch time.
4.   While in the bus.
    …among many others…

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

World Literature / Turning Thirty by Abdellah Taïa
« on: July 16, 2018, 10:14:58 AM »
On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, the narrator recounts three near-death experiences and his journey from Morocco to France. With nods toward Dostoevsky and Genet (echoing the Lazarus scene between Raskolnikov and Sonya in Crime and Punishment), he experiences a crisis of existential vertigo.
I’m afraid.
I’m not afraid.
I’m strong, very strong, indestructible.
As a child, adolescent, I was sick. Sick but alive.
Today, in Paris, I’m alive but sick.

I feel weak. I’m no longer able to sleep at night, so I think about Isabelle Adjani, about her singing voice. I’m ashamed, having spent years in France, seven years already, that Adjani’s voice has replaced my mother’s in my head. No, no, it’s not that I’ve forgotten her, my mother, no, it’s simply that everything in me comes from her, everything that I am is marked by her, her indelible imprint. I suffocate.

I am my mother with the voice of Isabelle Adjani murmuring, humming a song. “Pull marine.”
I died. Three times.
The first time.

In the middle of a summer afternoon, in Salé, in my neighborhood, Hay Salam, the angel of death took my soul, but only for a few seconds. I saw myself from above, a sleeping body, peaceful and blue. Did he have pity on me, this terrible white angel? Did God make a mistake? They ended up giving back my anxious soul at the end of those few seconds during which they discussed my fate in front of me, my days and years yet to come, my fate despite myself. And they departed for other destinations. I opened my eyes. Everyone at home was taking a nap, except my father. He was in my mother’s place, at my bedside. He had understood, seen what had happened. He gave me his hand, I took it, I got up, and we went out into the streets, barefoot, to lovingly reacquaint ourselves with life and light again.

The second time.

I was playing alone at a dead-end of Block 15. On the cusp of adolescence and already abandoned by my childhood friends. Not knowing any better, I touched a high-voltage electric pole. Electrocution. I lost consciousness. It was instant blackness, beyond myself, without memory. For how long? I don’t know. When I came to, I saw that the entire neighborhood (dozens and dozens of people, a crowd) was in our house. Crying for me. Even screaming for me. It was unfair, departing at such a young age. I got up suddenly. A man said, “Quickly, quickly, wash his feet, hands, and face with hot water . . . quickly, quickly . . . but not with cold water, mind you!” An ambulance arrived a bit later. The crowd of neighbors carried me carefully, slowly. They took me to Avicenna Hospital in Rabat. I was proud that I was going to be cared for in the most important hospital in Morocco. I was happy, for once people were truly going to believe me, take my strange body and its maladies seriously. My heart and its beating greatly intrigued the doctor, a white-skinned man, a Fassi. He took an x-ray, put his hand on my chest, on my heart, for a long, long time, he saw something that was happening in me that I had never had access to, he understood my body differently than I did, which intrigued me. He caressed my cheek. Played with my hair. And, before leaving, he leaned toward me and murmured a secret in my ear. He said, “Between the two of us . . . you have a strong heart, a heart for life. . . . You will live a long time, my son! Get up!” He saved me, and I still remember his name quite well: Doctor Salah El-Hachimi.

The third time.

To get away from Hamidou, with whom I was in love although he didn’t know it, I went to risk my life on the other side of the sea wall of Rabat’s beach, toward the wild, pitiless waves. I stepped on a large, slippery rock. An enormous wave immediately plucked me with sweetness and violence to transport me to another world in its company. I didn’t close my eyes, I was conscious, and in this movement toward the depths of the ocean and of death, I understood, I saw.

. . . Hamidou wasn’t worth the effort, this sacrifice, it wasn’t worth going to the trouble of changing his opinion about me. He didn’t see me. I didn’t exist for him. He had told me a few minutes beforehand: “You have normal skin, it’s missing something . . . how strange!” Hamidou didn’t love my skin. He didn’t love me. I didn’t believe in loving myself. Love, I read somewhere, is often criminal. . . . I was still with and inside the wave. Just before it smashed onto the rocks, I don’t know by what miracle, I grabbed something—a branch, I think. I grabbed it, held on, and waited for it to pass, to subside. Then I got out of the water. I was on the sea wall, walking. It was the month of August. The souk was on the beach. And there I was all bloodied, wounded in the chest, the arms, the knees, the nose. Blood red. People stopped to look at me. I wasn’t afraid, didn’t think I looked ridiculous, I wanted Hamidou to see me that way, for him to panic, to take pity on me, to regret his indifference toward me, to cry, to beg for forgiveness for the wrong he had committed against me, to be touched, to love me, finally. . . . And at that instant, instead of seeking revenge, I would have said to him: “Goodbye . . . farewell . . . I finally belong to myself, remain with myself . . . I’m alive despite you, without you, far from you. . . .”

Two years ago, in Paris, Tristan came into my life. Today he’s almost six years old. A little man. The little prince. I pick him up outside his school four days a week. I take him back to the large house, as he calls it, a huge apartment next to the Blanche subway station. I play with him. I make him do his homework. I give him his bath: he is completely naked before me, unself-consciously nude. Together we watch cartoons, The Lion King, Finding Nemo. Sometimes I tell him Moroccan stories, about my terrible young childhood, I teach him words in Arabic. We pretend to fight, sometimes for real. We cry, scream, mock each other, kindly, meanly. Each day he gets a little bigger, grows rapidly like a flower that one waters with care, with love. He grows before my astonished, wondering, happy gaze. Even when he annoys me, even when he acts like a little macho man, Tristan remains a little sun for me. The Parisian sun that will never burn my skin.

I repeat in my head what he’ll say to his friends later, perhaps to his children: “When I was little, my babysitter was Moroccan, his name was Abdellah.” Three hours a day, I play a small role in his life, in his future, and that makes me proud in spite of myself. I feel like I’m accomplishing a mission with him. I accompany him.

Tristan is not my son. Tristan is a little angel who sometimes cries like that, for no reason, he cries in my arms, I console him tenderly, but I never know about what. I’m envious of his innocence, his pure outlook on the world. He doesn’t know. He still doesn’t know. Ignorance is bliss!

There are some truths about me and about the world that I hope are never known. I reflect too much. I complicate everything, everything. I think, I think, a permanent bottleneck in my head. Ideas and images I don’t know what to do with.

I’m so tired of myself, of being me in this hurried life. I look for something that will come, that is slow in coming. I should take a step, just one more, I should renew myself, find or summon the energy. I have plans: they tell me I always must have some in order to find a daily rhythm, a connection between the visible and the invisible.

The meaning of life, of my life, escapes me.

Others seem to be happy. Are they truly happy? What makes them happy? Why do they know where to go and I don’t?

My name is Abdellah: the slave, the servant of God. I freed myself from Morocco’s constraints (but really?). All that remains is to escape myself.

I looked for loneliness. I found it, and it’s insufferable. I’m permanently myself, unable to forget who I am. My consciousness of my being has accrued over time. An anguished consciousness. I know what’s happening inside myself, my beating heart, beating unevenly on occasion, my ears whistling, blood sometimes hot, sometimes cold, the air that produces a strange music while entering and leaving my nostrils, my cracking bones, my changing skin, the feuding ideas in my head, the jostling images in my eyes, and my sexuality that cries out its desire, yet I do not obey it.

The past few months, I’ve been haunted by the idea that I might go crazy someday. That seems easy to me today, to switch over to another mind-set and completely forget its other skin. I always loved the insane ones in Morocco. They seemed to be in harmony with the country. Are they still?

Death and madness possess me.

Last July, Dostoevsky and Genet became my favorite writers once again. They speak to me. We’re afraid together. We go hand in hand toward life, tormented and sometimes miraculous, together, alone, each in his own terrible and delicious solitude. They can do nothing for me. I am possessed by them.

I must change my first name. Karim? Farid? Saïd? Habib? I am neither generous, unique, happy, nor loving. Wahid, then? Yes, definitely, at this moment I am Wahid, solitary and proud, susceptible and unhappy.

I’m headed toward something in Paris, that luminous and exceedingly quiet city. I walk toward my fate, and each day I have the impression that I’m not deciding anything. I’m not my own master. I took a step, coming to Europe, and I was swept up in the infernal movement of Western time. Everything passes quickly, all is quickly forgotten, everything is orderly, apparently clean, everything in its place. Everything is parceled out.

Today, I know, I pay the price.

It began with a slight despondency, nothing serious. I got over it, I had to get over it. Now it’s started again, it’s coming back but in another guise: crises of anguish, of panic. A red image, a taste in my mouth, a hemorrhage in my head. I anticipate falling. I see myself fall, a motionless body in the Parisian street that passersby pay no attention to. I wait and wait. But I don’t fall. I’m still upright. I don’t know where my strength resides in me, I don’t know how to locate, guide, channel, define it.

The past few months, I’m no longer myself, I don’t recognize myself. I look at my face in mirrors, I look at my feet, my hands, my nails, my hair, my skin, and each time I ask myself the same question: Whose are they?

In psychiatry, what has come over me, is happening to me, has an exact name: depersonalization.

Does becoming an adult mean being able to find the medical name for one’s neuroses?

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’ll be thirty years old. This I’ve decided: I’m going to enjoy looking at myself in the mirror, I’m going to masturbate deeply, aroused by my image. Thus will I be able to rediscover myself, perhaps, body and soul creating anew the sacred union of my being.

Tomorrow I’m going to be on another path, a way that leads to this other number: thirty-one.

I dream, I close my eyes for a few seconds, I close them violently, masochistically. I go blind. I open them, I’m elsewhere, myself in another age, older, in an indefinable time. This other world will certainly exist in my forties. I imagine it. Each day I create a long movie about it.

I’ve known this since my childhood. I’ll be a forty-year-old man. Not sooner. Forty years in order to finally say, comforted, lighthearted, perhaps free: i am the man of my desires.


Translation from the French By Daniel Simon

Abdellah Taïa (b. 1973, Rabat) is the first Moroccan and Arab writer to publicly declare his homosexuality. Editions du Seuil has published five of his books, including L’armée du salut (2006; Eng. Salvation Army, 2009), Une mélancolie arabe (2008; Eng. An Arab Melancholy, 2012), and Lettres à un jeune marocain (2009). His novel Le jour du Roi was awarded the prestigious French Prix de Flore in 2010, and his latest novel, Infidèles, came out in 2012. Taïa’s work has been translated into several languages, and he also appeared in Rémi Lange’s film The Road to Love (2001). His American publisher is Semiotext(e).

Daniel Simon is a poet, translator, and the editor in chief of World Literature Today. His newest book project, Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, 1867–2017, which he compiled and edited, was published in April 2017.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

The key difference between traditional grammar and modern linguistics is that the traditional grammar is prescriptive whereas the modern linguistics is descriptive.

Traditional grammar and modern linguistics are two branches of language studies. Traditional grammar is the oldest of the two, and its origin runs back to the 15th century. Linguistics is a relatively new branch of language study. Furthermore, it is also important to note that traditional grammar mainly focuses on the written language while modern linguistics consider speech as the basic form of language.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Speaking Skill / 4 Basic Types of Speeches
« on: July 14, 2018, 02:42:49 PM »
The four basic types of speeches are: to inform, to instruct, to entertain, and to persuade. These are not mutually exclusive of one another. You may have several purposes in mind when giving your presentation. For example, you may try to inform in an entertaining style. Another speaker might inform the audience and try to persuade them to act on the information.
However, the principle purpose of a speech will generally fall into one of four basic types:

1.   Informative – This speech serves to provide interesting and useful information to your audience. Some examples of informative speeches:
o   A teacher telling students about earthquakes
o   A student talking about her research
o   A travelogue about the Tower of London
o   A computer programmer speaking about new software
An informative speech is very similar to a demonstrative speech, but it doesn’t include a demonstration. When you make an informative speech, you explain something to your audience and help them understand the concept. Your main goal is to teach people something that they don’t already know. Some examples include:
•   A computer programmer telling people about a new app
•   A tour guide telling people about the city they are visiting
•   AA teacher speaking about historical events

2.   Demonstrative Speeches – This has many similarities with an informative speech. A demonstrative speech also teaches you something. The main difference lies in including a demonstration of how to do the thing you’re teaching. Some examples of demonstrative speeches:
o   How to start your own blog
o   How to bake a cake
o   How to write a speech
o   How to… just about anything
A demonstrative speech should educate the audience. It usually includes a demonstration of how to do the things you are teaching. For example, you can show people how to start a blog, make money online, prepare a cake, or write a cover letter. The best way to prepare this type of speech is to ask yourself how and why questions. Visual aids are essential for your presentation.

3.   Persuasive – A persuasive speech works to convince people to change in some way: they think, the way they do something, or to start doing something that they are not currently doing. Some examples of persuasive speeches:
o   Become an organ donor
o   Improve your health through better eating
o   Television violence is negatively influencing our children
o   Become a volunteer and change the world
In a persuasive speech, you provide information and share your opinion on that topic. This type of speech aims to persuade the audience that your opinion is correct. The message should be adjusted to people’s interest, values, knowledge, and beliefs. Public speakers should guard themselves from the use of deception or manipulation. Persuasive speeches are usually given by people who support specific causes.

4.   Entertaining — The after-dinner speech is a typical example of an entertaining speech. The speaker provides pleasure and enjoyment that make the audiences laugh or identify with anecdotal information. Some examples of entertaining speeches:
o   Excuses for any occasion
o   Explaining cricket to an American
o   How to buy a condom discreetly
o   Things you wouldn’t know without the movies
Effective preparation requires identifying the purpose of your speech. Once you’ve identified your purpose, you can move on to the objective of your speech (coming next week).
Wedding speeches, after-dinner speeches, and comic monologues are good examples of entertaining speeches. This type of speech aims to amuse people through humor, stories, or illustrations. It’s usually short and uses an informal tone. The speaker provides pleasure and enjoyment.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Speaking Skill / 10 Tips to stay focused in an interview
« on: July 14, 2018, 02:38:26 PM »
1. Before you enter

The minutes before an interview are the toughest. One is never quite sure of what to do – social networking, a chat with a friend or flip through a magazine? Anything that shifts your single-mindedness is a bad idea. Get your thoughts in sync with your goal. Why are you here? How important is this job to you? Asking yourself these questions can help you realign.

2. Focus on your skills

In order to concentrate during the interview, think of one or two things that you would like your interviewer to remember you for. Is it your knowledge, communication skills or project management achievements? Zeroing in on a few things will keep your brain alert and fixated.

3. Review your notes

You have already done your research and rehearsals. Review your notes mentally before you face the interviewing panel. Recall the keywords in the job listing, your major achievements and your strengths. But don’t fret if you can’t mentally rehearse everything. You need to be confident, not nervous.

4. Think happy thoughts

You may find this clichéd but good thoughts will relax your mind and release happy hormones. A calm and happy employee is always a welcome addition to any team and company.

5. Stay calm

An interview room can be intimidating for the person being interviewed. But stress can inhibit your ability to think clearly. Ensure you remain calm and collected. This will help you to listen better and best answer questions.

6. Sit up straight

An upright and alert posture will keep your mind sharp. Slouching or leaning on the chair not only makes you feel lethargic but also makes a poor impression on the interviewer.

7. Switch off the cell phone

Make sure you switch off your cell phone in order to avoid any distraction. Constant pinging sounds or a phone call will derail your thoughts and you won’t be able to focus.

8. Participate in the conversation

If the interview is one-sided, it indicates that you’ve lost your way. The interviewer will appreciate you if you are able to have a conversation and make your point clearly. Remember, that apart from hard skills, the interviewer is also looking for soft skills.

9. Don’t lose patience

Realize that the interviewer may use tactics to put you in an uncomfortable position or trick you by looking unhappy or dissatisfied with your answers. Don’t lose patience. Try controlled breathing and remind yourself why you are in that room.

10. Make up for a mistake

If you feel you messed up - either you mumbled or went off track – try and revive the situation. If you need more time, ask the interviewer a question so that you can gather your thoughts.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

English / Folklore - Cultural Heritage Through Countless Generations
« on: July 01, 2018, 03:35:27 PM »
Folklore consists of tales, songs, legends, proverbs, myths, riddles, superstitions and traditions that are passed on from generation to generation. Bangladeshi folklore can give great insight into the country's social and ethnic background as well as people's perceptions and beliefs. Bengali folklore also tells us much about inhabitants of the past such as their principles, customs and reasoning on matters.

Bangladesh has a strong folkloric and cultural heritage. Bangladesh's folklore has been largely influenced by various ethnic groups that have resided in the land throughout the years. A diversity of elements can therefore be clearly seen in the folklore of Bangladesh. Puthis, a type of ancient manuscript, are in fact books of folk tales and religious stories created in rural Bangladesh. These books were read to the community by educated individuals, both as a form of entertainment and as education. The Puthis were written by Munshis in Bangla and Songskrito. This demonstrates the great importance of folklore in Bangladesh.

A well known Bangla epic is entitled Manasamangal. This tale was written to give glory and honor to Manasa, a Hindu goddess. However, it has become renowned for the love story between Behula (the heroine) and Lakhindar (her husband). The epic tells how the father of Lakhindar upsets the goddess Manasa. She then makes a snake bite Lakhindar on his wedding night. Behula takes her husband's lifeless body on a boat and sails off. After appeasing the goddess, Lakhindar is brought back to life. Behula is often said to represent the essence of Bengali women, who demonstrate extreme courage and love.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

English / A Bengali Folktale
« on: July 01, 2018, 03:33:32 PM »
“The Naughty Tiger”

In every country around the world, mothers and grandmothers tell their children stories. Bangladesh is no exception. I remember each evening we children would surround our grandmother, and she would tell us tales. Sometimes she would tell tiger or bear stories; at other times, she would tell stories about a clever jackal. These stories are told in every home in Bangladesh. So sit back now and enjoy the story of the naughty tiger:

Long ago, in a country not far away, a famous maharaja lived. He was famous because of his strange hobbies; he gathered and raised unusual breeds of animals. Then one day, he decided on another project: He now wanted these animals to talk.

He called for his government minister. “Issue an invitation to the wisest men in the world. I want them to come teach these animals to speak.”

The minister shook with fear, yet answered, “Maharaj, how is such a feat possible?”

But the king brushed aside his misgivings. “I don’t wish to hear your doubts. Just call the experts.”

The government minister sent messengers to countries far and wide, and indeed ten experts came. After intense training, they taught five animals to speak. The maharaja was thrilled. He lavishly rewarded the experts and then invited kings from around the world to see the marvel. As the celebration began, the king placed the talking tiger in a golden cage at the gate of his palace.

Everyone who approached the palace was greeted by the tiger. “Nomoskar!” the tiger would welcome them. “Please open the door of this cage a bit.” Visitors were naturally amazed, but out of fear, no one was willing to open the door.

Then a simple, worthy Brahmin came to the celebration. He was truly a good man, and the tiger acknowledged it by repeatedly bowing as the Brahmin walked up the path.

Again, the tiger spoke, “Dear Grandfather, please open the door of this cage a bit. I have been in this cage for so many days now. Let me go play in the field for a while.” The Brahmin was such a nice man, he thought that indeed the tiger had endured a lot being caged like this. So he quickly opened the cage door.

Immediately the tiger leaped out, bowed before the old Brahmin and snarled, “Well, Grandfather, now I get to eat you!”

Shocked, the Brahmin replied, “What are you thinking?! I just was kind to you and set you free from your cage and yet you say you are going to eat me? This behavior is absolutely wrong.”

“Why is that?” the tiger scoffed. “Everyone acts like this.”

“Impossible!” the Brahmin said. “It cannot be! Ask two witnesses and see what they say.”

“Alright,” the tiger conceded. “If the witnesses agree with you, I will let you go. But if they agree with me, I will certainly eat you up!”

The Brahmin and the tiger walked into the field. A huge banyan tree stood in the center of the field.

Tree“That tree will be my first witness,” the Brahmin said.

“Fine,” the tiger agreed. “Ask the tree.”

“Brother Banyan,” the Brahmin asked, “if I do good to someone, can he harm me?”

The banyan sighed. “That happens, Grandfather. Look at me. I am the only tree in this field. In times of intense sunlight, I offer shade to people. I shelter them from the heat. In response, they cut my branches and steal my leaves to feed to their cows and goats.”

Laughing, the tiger licked his chops. “Grandfather, listen carefully to your witness.”

“But I will ask another witness,” the Brahmin said. In the tree, a songbird chirped.

“Ask him,” the tiger said.

The Brahmin called up into the tree, “Oh Brother Bird, if I do good to someone, can he harm me?”

The bird nodded his head. “That happens, Grandfather. Look at me. I sing lovely songs all day long and cheer people. At the end of the monsoons, think of all the pesky bugs I eat. I rescue people from so many troubles. Yet they will kill me.”

By now, the tiger was extremely pleased. He chuckled, “Grandfather, what do you say now?”

The Brahmin pleaded,, “Let me ask one last witness.”

Confidently, the tiger agreed. “Certainly, ask whomever you want.”

Just then, a jackal came strolling down the road. The Brahmin stepped forward. “There! He’s my final witness.”
He called to Uncle Jackal. “Oh wise Jackal, you are my witness. Please tell us: If I do good to someone, can he harm me?”

The jackal turned quizzical eyes on the Brahmin. “What is that, Grandfather? Speak more clearly. Explain what you are talking about. If you do not, I will not understand you.”

The Brahmin carefully rehearsed the event. “I was walking into the palace lawns and this tiger was trapped in a golden cage. He asked…”

Hearing the story, the jackal said, “I think this is a extremely difficult matter. If I do not see the palace road and cage, I really cannot say.”

So the three of them returned to the cage. “Oh,” the jackal exclaimed. “Now, seeing it all, I will be able to understand. Tell me again, what happened?”

The Brahmin repeated, “I was approaching the maharaja’s palace, and the tiger was in the cage.”

The jackal smiled with assurance. “Ah yes, this time I understand. You were in the cage, and Uncle Tiger sat on the path. Then…”

The tiger jumped up in disgust. “Uncle Jackal, you are incredibly stupid! I was in the cage.”

The jackal said, “No, no, Uncle Tiger. This is such a tough case, that the facts are not entering my head easily.”

The tiger angrily shouted, “What a problem! I did not realize just how stupid you are! This is a simple matter, and you cannot understand it. Look where I was.” The tiger stalked into the cage. And at that moment, the jackal slammed the cage door shut.

“Ah, yes,” the jackal said. “Grandfather, this time I understand it all. The tiger’s words were correct. If you help a bad person, he will harm you. Grandfather, you are a good man and wise. Be careful of naughty people like Uncle Tiger. In this world there are many like him, and they can harm you.”

Then the wise jackal turned to the tiger. “So Uncle Tiger, I am stupid, but what are you?” And laughing, he strolled away.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

My students of last semester developed paragraphs in groups outside the classroom and uploaded their work for peer-assessment in google class at the first stage.At the second stage,they had to revise their work keeping those suggestions in mind and upload them for final score.Most of the group discussion happened outside the class where they consult me frequently whenever needed.They were unaware of this type of peer-assessment earlier but found the feedback effective and helpful along with my feedback.The comments they made included two points;firstly they started with a positive feedback and later on moved towards a critical one.Although this was totally new to them,they tried hard to do their best.I also found that this peer-feedback not only help them to develop better understanding of a certain topic but also they discussed a lot before writing something for their friends.This change in assessment is definitely a new one to me and to them also where they had huge group discussion to get a particular score.I think this helped them develop communication skills where they tried to help each other with several issues.I will try to continue this in future as well where the students will have innovative ways to share and exchange ideas both inside and outside the class and hence develop communication and leadership skills.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Fair and Events / Literary Festivals of India
« on: May 20, 2018, 12:17:10 PM »
Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival

Held in January every year, the Apeejay Kolkata Lit Fest was held from 11-15th Jan 2018, this year. This fest brings out the rich cultural and literary heritage of the City of Joy. This fest not only features writers but also facilitates workshops for prospective writers, music and dance performances and other entertaining activities. Renowned personalities like Shashi Tharoor, Ramachandra Guha, Devdutt Pattanaik and Bon Okri amongst others, have been speakers at this literary festival.

Delhi Literature Festival

Usually held in February, this festival showcases a perfect combination of the cultural diversity in the capital of India and is a development of the same on the intellect and academic front on a single stage. The festival holds various informative discussions and sessions with prominent personalities like Madhu Trehan, Vikas Swarup, Barkha Dutt, Jeet Thayil, Anuja Chauhan, etc.

Lucknow Literary Festival

Usually held in November, the Lucknow Literatary Fest is held in the state of Uttar Pradesh that has given India some of its greatest poets and authors like Amir Khusru, Meer Taqi Meer, Asad Ullah Khan Ghalib, Mir Anees, Mirza Hadi Ruswa, Abdul Halim Sharar and a lot more. The Lucknow Lit Fest tries to bring about multiplicity of languages like Hindi, Urdu, Awadhi and English on a common stage. Organized by an NGO, the Lucknow Society which aims at the conservation and promotion of the culture and heritage of Lucknow.

Times Lit Fest

Held in Mumbai every year in the month of December, this fest has emerged as one of the best in the country. The concept of this lit fest was conceived by journalists Bachi Karkaria and Namita Devidayal, this fest is a three-day long event that brings some of the best speakers and writers like Devdutt Pattanaik, Arianna Huffington, Rajdeep Sardesai, Aatish Taseer, Thomas Piketty, Anuja Chauhan, and Ruskin Bon, all at one place. The festival features the opulence of literature, cinema, and music all over the country, in addition to having captivating discussions and debates.

Khushwant Singh Literature Festival Kasauli

Held at the beautiful Kasauli Club, every year, the Khushwant Singh Literature Festival binds personalities to the likes of Dr Rakhshanda Jalil, Shobhaa De, Anupam Kher, Coomi Kapoor, Cdr Dilip Donde, Bishen Singh Bedi, Bachi Karkaria, amongst many more. The concept or theme of KS Lit Fest changes every year however it is one literature festival you must not miss coz talking about books, book writing and literature amidst beautiful ambience of Kasauli is a marvel on its own.

Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF)
7th Edition
27-28 October 2018
Kerala Literature Festival

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

Project-Based Teaching Learning / My group-based learning
« on: May 20, 2018, 12:10:42 PM »
In my courses,I always try to encourage my students regarding group work which I believe helps them develop as professionals.This also enhances their leadership ability and mentality to help each other.My students usually visit historical places,museums,prepare posters and more importantly join free Spoken English Sessions in groups at the EMK Center.This leads them to communicate with students from other campuses as well.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

My students prepared innovative and beautiful posters last semester from the newspaper 'The Daily Star' and displayed them in the department.They were supposed to select news from the daily and summarize the ideas on their own in groups.They worked hard for 3/4 days and finally presented them as part of their 'Assignment' exam.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

This time I am planning to use Moodle to develop my students' reading and writing skills in a different way.Firstly,they will be provided with a group task which they will upload on Moodle for significant feedback from other groups.Later on,they will revise their work according to the received feedback for score.Finally,I will provide score with some suggestions for each group. In terms of providing feedback,they will start with a positive note and later will be critical if needed.They will maintain particular guidelines throughout, as discussing with group members before submitting anything on the forum.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

English / Top 10 Classic Short Stories
« on: May 15, 2018, 02:21:36 PM »
Please find the link of some classic short stories below which can be used in some courses.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

English / Why a motivated teacher is key to the classroom?
« on: May 15, 2018, 02:18:12 PM »
Why is motivation important?

A motivated teacher is crucial to a successful classroom. They will look at teaching through a different lens, and, in doing so, motivate their students in their learning too. Motivation helps to energise, direct and sustain positive behaviour over a long period of time. It involves working towards goals and tailoring activities to achieving this purpose. It also helps to drive creativity and curiosity, sparking the desire needed for students to want to learn more.

It isn’t just a case of getting pupils interested in learning in the moment, but also in growing the underlying goals and aspirations pushing their entire academic studies. It is about motivating them beyond the initial task or feeling of accomplishment and appreciating how ‘deferred gratification’ plays into the role of education in order for them to work towards a greater, larger goal. This is known as ‘intrinsic motivation’ and research has found it to be of key importance.

How to introduce motivation into the classroom?

Part of being a motivated teacher comes through your general behaviour and attitude. There’s a lot to be said for people that regularly smile, offer a happy and cheery outlook on life and generally come across as upbeat and pleasant to be around – regardless of how they’re actually feeling. Making your classroom a warm, colourful and stimulating environment is also key to creating a positive space.

It’s also important that you reward your students for good work as you go along. It doesn’t have to be all the time, as then it will come to be expected and will hold less value when you do praise them. But recognising hard work and offering praise will ensure your students stay encouraged and feeling as though their work is on the right track forwards and that you’re noticing their efforts.

Mixing things up is also key. If you’re doing the same thing all the time, it’ll start to become boring and repetitive. Look at the materials you’re teaching and think about how you can put a new spin on them. Perhaps you turn something into an acting activity or maybe you can turn facts or figures into a song that will help to make it more memorable. Perhaps you can get students working together on a group activity – this is a great way of helping students motivate each other. Be creative – use posters, offer visual aids and diagrams, show movies and play games.

Additionally, working in a different environment will help to keep students on their toes. Research has found that when we move around in various spaces while learning, we are able to recall more information better than if we had just stayed in one space. This is due to the associations the brain makes. The more you encourage movement in learning, the more the information is absorbed. Perhaps you do some work in the playground, some in the classroom and some off the school grounds. Maybe you look at taking your students on a field trip that will add a real-life dimension to their studies.

Setting expectations in the classroom is key and gives your students a standard to work towards. However, when you find your students need a nudge forwards, offering small incentives can help make learning fun. Encouraging a competitive energy can help fuel students and push them further – this could range from offering a special privilege to having a class pizza party if they all achieve a certain grade. There’s a reason sales companies offer staff bonuses – it always motivates!

Finally, showing students how information they’re learning is useful to real-life scenarios will help them to see the practical application that it holds. Often students will switch off when they don’t see how it will ever benefit them, but if you can connect it to life outside the classroom, it will give it new importance and motivate them to listen more attentively.

Afroza Akhter Tina
Senior Lecturer
Department of English, DIU

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