The Department of English Language Teaching (DELT) at the University of Peradeniya has a rich and eventful history since its inception. Its origins can be traced back to when Professor Passe took the initiative to establish a new sub-department of English dedicated to offering courses in English as a Second Language. The primary objective was to ensure that all students acquire sufficient proficiency in the English language to successfully complete their university education.
In 1986, the English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) was established to address a wide range of English language requirements across various faculties. The ELTU was led by a Head, who reported directly to the English Language Teaching committee of the Senate, chaired by the Vice Chancellor. Further, sub-units of the ELTU were set up within each faculty, with coordinators overseeing their functions; and Prof. Doric de Souza was appointed as the first Head of the ELTU.
In 2020, the ELTU was elevated to a department within the Faculty of Arts, led by Senior Professor Arjuna Parakrama. The sub-units, known as ELTUs, which were attached to other faculties remained unchanged. Currently, Professor Pushpa Vitharana serves as the Head of the DELT.
The DELT and its ELTUs offer a wide range of tailored English language courses for various purposes. These include English for General Purposes (EGP), English for Academic Purposes (EAP), and English for Specific Purposes (ESP). These courses are available across various faculties, namely the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Management, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Dental Sciences, and Faculty of Engineering.
Adapted from: Parakrama, A., Navaz, A. M. M., & Rasool, R. (2021). English language teaching: A historical present. In Beyond boundaries: One hundred years of humanities and social sciences in Sri Lankan universities (Vol. 1: Humanities, pp. 197-223). University Grants Commission.