A 3-day International Conference on Language Studies began at the University of Okara (UoO) with an opulent opening ceremony that was attended by the university Vice-Chancellor and Patron in Chief, Prof Dr Muhammad Wajid, the Conference Chair, Dr Ilyas Mahmood, the VC Baba Guru Nanak University (GNU) Prof Dr Muhammad Afzal, Prof Dr Waseem Anwar from Kinnaird College for Women (KCWU), Prof Dr Habib Ullah Khan from Mehran University of Engineering & Technology (MUET) Jamshoro, Dr Muhammad Islam from University of the Punjab (PU), Dr Muhammad Javaid from the Islamia University Bahawalpur (IUB), Dr Shabbir Ahmed and Dr Abrar Hussain from University of Sahiwal (UoS) and an array of other distinguished scholars from across Pakistan.

In the welcome note, Dr Ilyas paid thanks to the keynote speakers and participants of the conference and applauded the support of Prof Wajid. He highlighted the significance of academic and applied research in the field of linguistics. Moreover, he shared some of his future prospects including the commemoration of Academic & Research Fair from April 1 to 10 of the coming year and development of a strong collaboration with the University of Sahiwal and University of Jhang (UoJ) in the fields of language and literature.

Prof Wajid, in his address, congratulated the organizing committee for the successful beginning of the moot and also expressed his resolve to work for the academic and research excellence of the UoO.

In his keynote address, Prof Waseem emphasized on the role of literature in the refinement of social behaviors. He also explained the link between language and culture and highlighted the importance of learning English language.

Prof Habib argued about the use of advanced information and communication technologies for language learning. Dr Islam discussed various unexplored avenues of linguistics research. He maintained that academia should have focused on importance of linguistics in terms of professional relevance and social change. He also stressed the need of promoting indigenous languages.

Dr Javaid spoke about taxonomy and discussed various techniques of reading, comprehending and decoding texts. Prof Afzal stressed on the professional training and capacity building of students in universities.

The conference includes panel discussions, colloquium and parallel sessions with about 90 scholars presenting their work. The international scholars participating in this conference include Prof Dr Yilim Sun from Seattle USA, Prof Francisco Marcos-Marin from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and Prof Evelin Suij-Ojeda from Westcliff University America along with Dr Elvan Eda Isik from Middle East Technical University (METU) Turkey.

On the eve of the launching ceremony, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for academic collaboration was also signed between the University of Okara and Baba Guru Nanak University.

Related: Okara University holds workshop on Artificial Intelligence

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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