November Issue of Nelta Choutari

Editorial

Post modernism and Nepalese ELE

Post modernism is in air. Whether it be philosophy or education, arts or architecture, trade or craft, dance or music, literature or linguistics, post modern wave must have either renovated it promptly and utterly or if not, it must have begun to break the typical crust of the field belatedly and tenderly.  Typified by diversity against universality, regionalism against centralization, relativism against absolutism, decentralization against totalization, eclecticism against certainism, deconstructionism against classicism and conventionalism and many other subversive nouns, post modernism has dismantled the conformist prototype and has given considerable space for inclusion, recognition and promotion of local socio-political, linguistic, cultural and educational values. In fact, all disciplines including ELT have been revamped in both theory and practice by the post modern blow. Of late, ELT in the periphery has been advocated to be divorced from the mainstream for the reason that mainstream ELT practice has crushed the local realities and has not fetched the expected. Voices have been lifted from various corners to embody in ELT many novel but subversive trends that challenge global practices, promoting local ones. ELT in the periphery is advocated to be characterized by traits such as non-methodological practices, eclectic approach, recognition and use of regional and nativised models of English, collapse of native speakerism, bottom up thinking, recognizing ELT as ideological practice, valuing of peripheral socio-political values, acknowledging local knowledge, cultures and contexts and language not as limitations but as asset and something inevitable. These emerging trends seem to have begun to reshape periphery ELT elsewhere.  What about ours?  Are we doing post modern ELT or we are still away from the touch of it? Critically, the answer will be –partly yes and partly no. The present Nepalese English Language Education does seem to be triggered off by the current wave of change to a considerable degree. Recent revision of the B. Ed. and M. Ed. courses reflect a number of post modern characters. Nevertheless, a lot more is still waiting to be accomplished. Nepalese ELE needs to be resituated in accordance with Nepalese cultures and contexts. For instance, locally budding variety, Nenglish needs standardized via its optimum inclusion in the ELE curricula. Local but successful practices need to be theorized. Indigenous socio-political, cultural and educational values have to be made the guiding lens for Nepalese ELE. Instead of adhering to the global practices, importing the mainstream course materials, native flavor needs to be added to create a sense of belonging in Nepalese English language learners. To put it other way, culture specific and context sensitive approach is the cry of the day. This all orients us to make Nepalese ELE more responsive to cater to the challenges aforementioned i.e. we need to practice post modern ELE in the post modern epoch.

Sajan Kumar Karn

Editor, NELTA Choutari

 

Note:  Your comments –sweet or harsh will feel like a million bucks for us.


One comment

  • Suresh Kumar Shrestha

    I have got pleased to see that the interview has revolved around the newly developed courses for BEd and MEd. The curiosities set forth here also seem to have zeroed in on some attempts to untangle the confusions caused by the newly established standard of the new book (since I have had an opportunity to teach EXPANDING HORIZONS IN ENGLISH in BEd second year in my practice teaching and I have no idea about the book introduced in the new MEd course) not only among the concerned students but also the teachers. As my humble request, before weighing the gravity and the potential effectiveness of the courses with the balance of feasibility, I suppose, it would be worth analyzing what kinds of students we have, shaped by the course(s) at the preceding level(s), methods and techniques applied, trends of teaching (traditional or modern ones to cope with the present turn of time) and the psychology of students as well as teachers involved. As my own experience in the class of BEd, what I found as their general comment was that the text book was fascinatingly rich in the materials; they loved reading repeatedly; but the glossaries were too short and they had to spend at least 3 or 4 hours in searching for the word meanings and deciphering several sentences, let alone racking their brains to get to the depth of the message for their rational creativity. What they all wanted me to do was to paraphrase line by line so that they could enjoy what exactly the writers had served there and be able to analyze critically to make their own explanation. But, I followed pre-reading, while-reading and post-reading as I was instructed to. I also encouraged them to do some writing and show me. Three of them did. I found several sentences copied from the text directly with the same words and phrases. Despite spending a bigger portion of the regular study hours on one textbook, they did not sound secured for their exam. And, what about their other textbooks and subjects? Under such mental pressure, what sort of effectiveness could be hoped for and from the students and how high could the feasibility be measured? Doesn’t such a situation deserve thorough and experimental observations?
    I have also highlighted several points under suggestions and recommendations in this regard in the report on the intensive study of the textbook expanding horizons in English as a part of my practicum.
    Thank you.

    Suresh Kumar Shrestha
    26 Nov 2010
    10.15 am

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