BDU:The Faculty of Humanities has recently held its first national conference, and research papers from the disciplines of linguistics language teaching, literature, culture and communications were presented by researchers from different universities of the country.
Among the papers was the one on language endangerment in Ethiopia which addressed the magnitude of language endangerment in Ethiopia.
The paper attempted to classify Ethiopian languages on endangerment scales based on data obtained from Ethiopian national census of 1994 and 2007.
The researcher has generally categorized Ethiopian languages into: very stable, stable, instable, endangered, seriously endangered, moribund and extinct, and recommend language documentation and revitalization for the languages at risk.
Research on challenges and opportunities of facebook in Ethiopia indicated that facebook is the most preferable media in the country. It is used for entertainment, socializations and emotional release functions, but not for information, education and business purposes.
A literary work on a poem, showing all the major qualities of heroic epic, in a Menzuma- religious song by Ethiopian Muslims, has confirmed that Ethiopia had a long heroic literary tradition.
Research on per-led learning on English language and literature students at Bahir Dar University has indicated that though students favored peer-led organization in learning writing, they practically prioritized teacher guided learning perhaps due to the challenges of the practical implementation of the peer-led system. Strict follow up by the institution has been recommended.
Translation had positive and negative impacts in Ethiopian literature. Right from the beginning of the use of Ethiopic script during the 4th century, translation has played a foundational role in Ethiopian literature.
Translation works, especially in Christian literature, have influenced Ethiopian literature in style and content. Translation has also played a key role in introduced Ethiopians to classical literary works.
Research on literary commitment-stressing on the social relevance of literature, on Amharic short stories: ‘kinfam hilmoch’ and ‘enatnesh’, has shown that the authors of these short stories have successfully carried out their duties as writers by addressing contemporary problems of the country such as migration, population explosion and rape.
Other issues related to folk literature, teachers professional development practices, language policy, and implementations of group work were presented and vigorous discussions were made.
Awarding the presenters with certificates, BDU’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Firew Tegegne made the following remark:
“Academic discourses never stop. Every time a conference like this one ends, it must be in a manner that a theme, venue and time are set for the next one so that the scholars may start contemplating what their next topics would be.”
Scientific dialogues among scholars are neither one time rituals nor bound to conference occasions only. Discourses are the true characters of academicians regardless of place and time.
Discussions need to be made, theme after theme, to contribute positively in shaping citizens and creating great thinkers and future leaders of the country that could play crucial roles in shaping the nation’s destiny.