Behar English Language Center (BELC) is opened

Behar English Language Center (BELC) at Koya University has been opened with the sponsorship of IREX and American embassy in Baghdad as well as with the support of Spring International Language Center of The University of Arkansas. Directly after its inaugurations, the BELC starts its English language courses. 

The opening ceremony of Behar English Language Center held with the presence of the acting American Consul to Erbil, the representative of the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the representative of IREX, the director of Spring International Language Center from the University of Arkansas and some key figures from the city of Koya. 

At the beginning of the ceremony, Dr. Haidar Lashkri the vice-president of Koya University for Higher Education and Scientific Affairs, warmly welcomed the guests and stated that “Koya University is opening Behar English Language Center happily, which provides great opportunities for English language learners at Koya district and its outskirts in general to improve their English and for MA and PhD candidates in this area in particular”. 

After that, Dr. Wali Mahmd Hamad the president of Koya University presented his speech “we are honored here today to have the acting American Consul to Erbil, the representative of the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the representative of IREX, the director of Spring International Language Center from the University of Arkansas for the opening day of Behar English Language Center at our university, I also thank the other visitors for being present at the opening ceremony of our language center. I expressed my excitement and happiness about the accomplishment of one of my objectives and my former vice-president’s Dr Dilan M Rostam to open a crediable language center at Koya University” he said. 

Moreover, Mr. Henry Haggard the acting American consul to Erbil said “I am very happy for being here today to open the Behar English Center at Koya University which was sponsored by the IREX and our embassy to Baghdad. In addition, I think that this language center is an important institute for English language learners to enhance their English and develop their language skills as well as familiarize themselves with the English, as nowadays English is an international language and a lingua franca.” 

Furthermore, Dr. Amanj Abdulla the representative of the KRG Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research said that “English is a lingua franca and the language of business and technology. Therefore, I am very happy today that the English language center is being opened today at Koya University which will provide an opportunity for English language learners at Koya University and whoever is interested in English language learning in Koya city. Koya University has been in need of such a language center in order to teach their undergraduate and graduate students English as well as develop their English language skills, particularly for the MA and PhD candidates in Koya and its outskirts. 

Finally, the director of Spring International Language Center of the University of Arkansas, Dr Leyah Bergman Lanier presented her speech at the opening ceremony of BLEC “I am really glad that I have been working with the Koya University staff to open this English language center from the very beginning, and now I can see the results of our efforts and hard work that we have been doing together so far. Today we are opening Behar English Language Center happily at Koya University with the presence of some honorable guests with high ranks in different fields, Koya University staff, and the BELC staff who were trained at Spring International Language Center at the University of Arkansas on the administration issues of language centers and language teaching methods based on the international standards during last summer of 2016. We will also continue in our support, observation and training of BELC project and staff for the coming years” she said. 

Behar English Language Center is a part of Koya University structure. However, it is rather different from other departments in a way that it is not free and works as a semi-private center, as the cost of taking courses at this center is on students. In addition, The objective of opening BELC at Koya University is to teach English to EFL learners according to the modern methods of language teaching and international standards of English language teaching as well as to enhance the English language capacity and skills of its learners whatever their levels of English are. Moreover, BELC has three levels which are level 1 (beginner and pre-intermediate), level 2 (intermediate) and level 3 (upper intermediate and advanced). Every student who wants to participate in a language course at BELC has to take a standardized placement test so as to be put in his/her appropriate level based on its marks in the test. Each term at BELC takes twelve weeks and during this time students are required to take four tests in (reading, writing, listening, speaking and grammar). There will be a test every three weeks, each one of them out of 20, and the final one will be on the twelfth week, out of 40 and all together equals to 100%. In addition, the passing grade at BELC is 60% for level 1 and 70% for level 2 and level 3. Furthermore, the language of instruction is English only and the use of other languages except English is allowed at BELC.

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