Universities jump into Language Service

It is encouraging to see that the Universities of Pakistan have started taking the subject of linguistics in a positive manner. The Air University Islamabad, a reputable institution in the private sector is working ardently to strengthen its Linguistic Department and has been organizing training workshops to enhance the capacity of its faculty members in certain areas. More fascinatingly, FLI helps this university in its endeavors by helping it equip its students and faculty through training workshops.

We take the pride that one of the FLI’s trainees; Mr. Afsar Ali Khan has been facilitating a series of trainings on Phonetics & Phonology in the Air University assisting the participants to understand the very technicalities of the theme. His participants included not only the students but a number of faculty members, from the various universities also attended the training.


How to get strengthened; Khowar in Gilgit-Baltistan got a plan

The week long SUM workshop was organized in Nov 2017 for Khowar, one of the six languages in GB. This language has been in a long contact with Burushaski and Shina in the area and very prone to lose its critical domains as the later languages are relatively vigorous in the spoken field. Given the multicultural outlook of GB, the Khowar language adds to its language diversity and steps to strengthen this language means a lot to the people of Ghizar.

The people who were trained in this workshop are called Mother Tongue (MT) Facilitators who, at the end of the training prepared a plan to increase the use of their language in the spoken area. They got to know that unless a language is spoken by all age groups, especially the children in a community that will lose to other languages. Making the language a good part of ones’ identity gives strength to the language. And, finally the important step to take is to fill the language with literary work. It’s hoped that the new activists from this area will play their role in moSUM1bilizing the community as, for now they are capable enough to confront the challenges the Khowar language is facing.

Wakhi language to get standardized writing system

FLI held this orthography workshop for the Wakhi language in the last quarter of the year 2017 in Passu, Hunza- GB with the objectives of discovering the unique sounds exist in the language, the characters to describe such sounds, orchestrating alphabets and resolving other orthography issues aiming to develop a systemic writing system with the consent of concerned community.

Wakhi is spoken in the sparsely populated upper portions of four of the northernmost valleys in Pakistan: Hunza (Gojal), Ishkoman, Yasin, and Yarkhun. The latter is located in Chitral District while the others are in the Northern Areas. The total number of Wakhi speakers is estimated to be between 7,500 and 10,000. FLI has the objective to flatten the orthography disputes among many groups within the communities by collaborating with community members so that not only our main goal of language documentation could increasingly be achieved but also the confusion faced by young writers with regards to adopting any standardized writing system detached amicably.wakhi3



Training Workshop for FLI’s facilitators concludes

555FLI arranged a training workshop for its facilitators to provide them with more opportunities of learning and enhancement of their facilitation skills. The three days long workshop concluded on 12 Apr 2017 which was attended by 15 people who have been facilitating various training sessions at the platforms provided by FLI.

The main goal of this workshop was to improve the facilitation skills and standards of those who facilitate FLI trainings, while also introducing them to and receiving their feedback regarding the new Facilitators’ Guidelines and Training Policy that FLI is developing. This was accomplished through a 3-day workshop held at local hotel in Islamabad.

The methods and processes of achieving this goal included both explanations of good facilitating practices as well as a lot of practical activities and practice using those methods. The objectives established towards achieving the goal of this workshop were:

  • Introduce, discuss, and potentially revise FLI’s drafted Guidelines for Facilitators
  • Improve facilitators’ understanding of adult learning principles and different learning styles
  • Improve the lesson planning and preparation skills of FLI’s facilitators
  • Improve the quality and effectiveness of FLI’s facilitators’ teaching sessions
  • Provide opportunity for facilitators to practice good lesson planning and delivery
  • Introduce facilitators to FLI’s upcoming training policy, and the parameters they will need to meet to continue facilitating trainings with FLI

IBCD program concluded, certificates distributed

FLI for the first time, with the partnership of Payap University, Thailand, was able to offer a year-long course to any of its language development trainees that provided a certificate from an accredited international university. This was very valuable partnership FLI has had in its history which enhanced organizational management skills of the participants. 12 participants from eight language communities; three from south and nine from north Pakistan benefited from the program.

The main objectives of the 13 credit course, among many were:

  • Introducing the participants to the interplay of interpersonal skills and diversity in an organizational setting;
  • Ability to identify the benefits and challenges of a diverse work environment and understand the unifying and motivating effect that effective core values can have on an organization;
  • Understanding the system thinking and identity the strengths and weaknesses in their organizational systems;
  • Identification of the essential habits of high performing teams and ways to strengthen the effective habits of their teams etc.

The certificates were awarded to the trainees in Islamabad on 12 Apr 2017. FLI also distributed experience certificates among those who facilitated the course while the services of our Language Consultant and Training Coordinator were appreciated and honoured by presenting them shields from Executive Director of FLI.

A group photo of the participants of certificate distribution ceremony for IBCD program held in Islamabad

A group photo of the participants of certificate distribution ceremony for IBCD program held in Islamabad

Child Rights Protection workshop concluded in FLI

A five day workshop on Child Rights Protection was held in last week in the FLI. Seven people from three language communities attended the workshop. Language communities from Northern-Pakistan included Hindko, Palula and Indus Kohistani.

In line with the objectives of the workshop the participants have agreed to allow a child to grow strong and healthy. They had discussion on CRC (Convention on the Rights of the Child) and identified the main issues in their communities. They also generated ideas to disseminate information in that regard. Building the capacity of participants who were teachers, supervisors and coordinators in the protection of child rights was the main purpose of the workshop; getting deeper understanding of concepts of abuse, causes and consequences. Identification of signs of abuse, and learning of key techniques to protect their rights were imparted. How to empower children and how to advocate for their rights were what the discussion covered.

The workshop was facilitated by Literacy Officer, Naseem Haidar, Training Coordinator, Amir Haidar and Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Ms. Bushra Malik.

Executive Director of FLI Mr. Fakhruddin giving his input in of the sessions during Child Rights Protection workshop

Executive Director of FLI Mr. Fakhruddin giving his input in one of the sessions during Child Rights Protection workshop

FLI publishes another Khowar Book

Andsc03367other Khowar Book “Khowar Muhavirey” (Khowar Idioms) has been brought up by Mr. Afsar Ali Khan, a language researcher from Chitral (Khowar). This collection of Khowar Idioms is the second book from this young writer who has translated the native idioms into Urdu. He wrote “Khowar Matalan Gurzain” last year by collecting Khowar Proverbs. Both of his books have been published by FLI along with providing the writer other technical services; designing.

Dictionary Development Workshop Concludes in FLI

A week long Lexicography (Dictionary Development) Workshop concluded in FLI office Islamabad last week. Six language researchers from 06 language communities participated in the activity. The language communities, represented in this workshop were Yidgha (spoken in Chitral), Ushojo (Swat), Gawarbati (Chitral), Hindko (Hazara Division), Dameli (Chitral) and Gawri (Kalam-Swat).

The participants learned how to develop the theories of dictionary components, collecting, compiling and organizing lexical data to start basic lexicography projects in their mother-tongue. Develop the skill of processing and organizing different kinds of lexical data by using WeSay, starting a new project, editing inside a field, inserting and deleting field, sorting in browse, and Filtering, work together to provide a supportive learning environment for a group of lexicographers. Also inserting new words in your dictionary, increase data by using semantic domain were what the participants have been imparted.