Islamabad, August 1, 2022: Acting Country Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad Aaron Tarver concluded the 3-day OPEN Alumni Conference 2022 with more than 500 English language professionals from across Pakistan. The conference theme, “Fostering Intercultural Competence (ICC) in the EFL Classroom,” promoted ICC as an essential aspect of English language teaching and learning. It was offered in a hybrid mode with 60 alumni participating in person in Islamabad and others joining virtually.
The conference offered 25 interactive sessions, led by English Language Specialist from the United States Dr. Lynn Zimmerman and Pakistani English language teaching experts, enabling participants to learn different tools and techniques to instill intercultural knowledge, attitudes, skills, and awareness in the English language teaching context.
Addressing the conference attendees, Tarver recognized the incredible work of the Pakistani English teaching community and acknowledged their enthusiasm, motivation, and perseverance towards their own professional growth, which has motivated the United States to provide $24 million to fund English language programs.
“This event is another opportunity for the United States and Pakistan to celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations, but more importantly to celebrate 75 years of friendship,” said Mr. Tarver to the OPEN Alumni. “We are collaborating closely on many valuable projects across the spectrum – supporting Pakistan’s goals to be a more prosperous and healthier nation though trade and investment, entrepreneurship support, and long-standing support in public health, including providing over 60 million COVID vaccine doses, and of course, education. You and your students are the exciting next chapter of that relationship,” he said.
The Online Professional English Network (OPEN) program offers virtual learning opportunities to foreign English language educators, professionals, and learners worldwide. OPEN promotes the mutual exchange of culture and provides free access to teaching and learning materials which can be reused, adapted, and shared with others. OPEN professional development opportunities are developed by U.S. academic institutions and experts in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).