BELTA was founded in 1984 under the sponsorship of the Asia Foundation and was an active forum for more than a decade during which it provided a robust direction to the English Language teaching community through its various programmes, particularly at the grassroots level.
During the decade following its establishment, BELTA published 8 Journals, and a regularly bi-annual Newsletter. It arranged several national seminars and 2 international conferences. BELTA members established links with overseas teaching organizations. Some of the members attended and presented papers at conferences (Thai TESOL, SPELT-Pakistan and the Languages in Education Conference in Hong Kong). Most importantly, it arranged several regional teacher training workshops for grassroot-level teachers in state schools in collaboration with the government. Then for several years during the nineties, BELTA unfortunately remained dormant.
BELTA REVIVAL: September 2003
On 2 September 2003, twenty-seven English Language teachers from various educational institutions met at the Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka, and the Bangladesh English Language Teachers Association (BELTA) was officially revived with the formation of an ad-hoc Executive Committee and a number of sub-committees. Later at the Annual General Meeting on 15 January 2005, a full Executive Committee was elected to office.
From the start, BELTA embarked vigorously on its renewed course of action of strengthening the voice and visibility of English Language Teaching (ELT) professionals working towards a common cause. The main goal being English teacher development, BELTA first went into a rigorous membership drive throughout the country (current membership 700+). It also organized free monthly ELT workshops (90 minutes) by BELTA trainers for ESL teachers in Dhaka – an ongoing feature. The third venture was the publication of the quarterly Newsletter, which was distributed to all members free of cost. Today, BELTA has entered several avenues of action keeping its goal in view (see Activities)