The year 2013 once again saw the coming together of ESL and EFL professionals at Tulsiramji Gaikwad-Patil College of Engineering and Technology and Abha Gaikwad-Patil College of Engineering, which jointly organized CONFLUENCE IV, an annual international conference on ESL/EFL, on the 22nd and 23rd of February, that aimed to serve as a platform for dialogue and debate with researchers and theorists on one hand and ESL teachers and learners, on the other.
Dr.Raviparkash Dani, Vice Chancellor, Dr. Punjabrao Deshmukh Agriculture University, was the Chief Guest for this event. Prominently present on the dais were Prof. Mohan Gaikwad, Chairman, Gaikwad-Patil Group, Prof. Sharad Patil, President, Gaikwad-Patil Group of Institutions, Prof. Anjali Patil-Gaikwad, Director, International Relations and the Organizing Secretary of Confluence, Dr. G.K. Awari, Principal, TGPCET and Dr. Ankush Mankar, Principal, AGPCE. CONFLUENCE IV saw globally renowned ESL stalwarts like Dr.Margaret Lieb, Assoc. Professor, Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan, Prof. Leila Mouhanna, Professor of EFL, UAE University, Dubai, UAE, and Prof. Jonnathan Lieb, Hosei University, Japan, share the dais. Also prominently present on this occasion were Prof.Sandip Gaikwad, Principal, Tulsiramji Gaikwad-Patil College of Architecture, Mr.Vinod Gaikwad, Member, GPG.
Dr. Dani, in his inaugural address, exhorted Indians to exploit the knowledge of English to spread India’s values around the world. Speaking to a gathering of eminent researchers, scholars and teachers of English from India and abroad, Dr. Dani further said that study of different streams gives an insight into the interdependencies of society and opportunities arising from them.
Organizing Secretary Anjali Patil-Gaikwad welcomed all participants from around the world and expressed her happiness over the growing support to Confluence. She announced the launching of the second journal related to Confluence – The Journal for ESL Teachers and Learners. This ISSN journal is an open access journal as the Gaikwad-Patil Group firmly believes in the free dissemination of knowledge. Ms. Patil-Gaikwad also talked about the launching of EngQuest, a body of ESL professionals, which will henceforth be the organizing agency behind Confluence. The need for EngQuest arose because the widening of the scope of Confluence related work – two journals, allied services like editing and proof-reading, and serving as a platform for networking – no longer made it possible to keep up with the pace of work.
Prof. Sharad Patil expressed his happiness over the fact that the vision and hard work had paid off finally which had made CONFLUENCE one of the most awaited international events on English Language teaching and learning. He said that growing number of participants each year was the proof of what he said. He also stressed on the importance of having command over a language to ensure success in any profession. Asserting that proficiency in a language is the hallmark of a cultured and well rounded personality, he lauded the efforts of the Confluence team in organizing an event that worked towards the acquisition of English.
On this occasion, the proceedings of the conference were released through a Souvenir by dignitaries present on the dais. The second edition of ‘English is Easy’ a book penned by Prof. Sharad Patil was also released on the same dais.
The inaugural session was anchored by Prof.Shubhalaxmi Taywade and the vote of thanks was proposed by Prof.Pratishruti Singh.
Both days of the conference saw a swarm of English language lovers at the lush green campus of Tulsiramji Gaikwad-Patil College of Engineering and Technology. Around 500 delegates from across the globe attended CONFLUENCE IV. The number of papers received this year was 232, out of which 197 were from India and 35 from abroad. The participating Indian states were Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, New Delhi, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra. The countries from where papers were received this year are Australia, Nigeria, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Turkmenistan, Columbia, Yemen, Libya and Iran. The event constituted paper presentations on 18 different themes based on teaching and learning of English as a Second Language. CONFLUENCE IV also saw virtual presentations from Columbia, Ujjain and UAE. An interactive session was also held for the students with the foreign delegates.
The Chief Guest for the valedictory function was Mr.Vishnu Tambi, CEO, Excellon Software. In his address to the gathering, Mr. Tambi talked about the importance of English language in one’s life and how it played a pivotal role in his life to achieve success. He expressed his concern upon the lack of interest in reading among today’s generation and talked about the role of an English teacher in inculcating this habit.
All full length papers presented in person and in absentia will be published in The Confluence Journal, an on-line open access ISSN e-journal, while a select few papers will be published in The Journal for ESL Teachers and Learners. This journal, also an ISSN e-journal, is a peer-reviewed publication.