English Language Specialist Beth Trudell recently completed a multi-phase project working virtually with Bangladesh NGO’s Network for Radio and Communications (BNNRC). In the first phase of the project, Trudell analyzed and critiqued the performance of the 2016 American English Radio Program (AERP) season to inform the development of Phase 2 of the project. Over a 5-month period, and in close collaboration with BNNRC, Trudell developed 20 pre-recorded dialogues for Season 2 dealing with American and Bangladeshi culture. Each episode aired on 17 community radio stations across Bangladesh that reach 6.5 million people. The dialogues were accompanied by tailor-made texts and language activities that were featured in local newspapers. Some of the listener requests for topics included in this season were: female teens in Bangladesh, sound pollution, dowry in Bangladesh, and interviews with male/female entrepreneurs. Other topics included tree-planting in Bangladesh, positive stories on gender equality, kitchen gardens and an interview with an American teen.
The 1-hour sessions aired the pre-recorded scripts and took listeners’ questions and comments in either Bangla or English. Over Skype training sessions, Trudell worked with broadcasters and teachers on how to respond to listener questions with actionable tips to improve their English and to brainstorm ways to address listeners’ reactions to the scripts. Trudell also worked with the broadcasters and teachers to design a Teacher Training Handbook for using the AERP content to teach English and a Broadcaster’s Handbook to assist current and future AERP broadcasters in facilitating and hosting radio programs.
Beth Trudell has been an English Language Specialist and an English Language Fellow in Bangladesh. Recently, she has advised on MA TESOL program curricula at Kabul Education University in Kabul, Afghanistan and at BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She holds an MA in English for TESOL from California State University, East Bay.