Compiled and Edited by Ushakiran Wagle and Lal Bahadur Rana
The value of a venue like this lies in the conversation that follows the publication of the community’s ideas. Just imagine that no one responds to what we publish! Fortunately for us, in the last one year, we have had a lot of new conversation, and we hope it will keep coming.
As the current team enters its second year, we are aiming to further increase the amount of discussions among our readers and contributors. We are also grateful to members of the community who have read the blog but didn’t find the chance to leave comments–hoping that more of us will be able to join the conversation this year.
Here are some excerpts of the brief survey among some of the most active commenters:
1. When and how did you come to learn about the blog? What is your impression of it?
Our readers learnt about the blog from different sources. Jeevan Karki came to know about NeltaChoutari two years ago while googling in course of doing his assignment of M. Phil, while Sagun Shrestha knew about it through his friends and later learnt more about it in NELTA conference in 2011. Like Sagun, Rajan Kandel came to know through his colleagues at Surkhet Campus (Education) and NELTA Surkhet few years ago. However, Jyoti Tiwari learnt about this blog in 2010 from her teacher Sajan Karn during a two day training of NELTA in Birgunj. Samjhana Pradhan, unlike others in the list, said, “I read about it in the Kathmandu Post in 2009. Later, she learnt more about the blog at a NELTA Conference. She “found the blog not only impressive but also its team so energetic and informative.” We are amazed by how far and wide a humble blog (which started as a conversation among a few ELT scholars) is known now, and we are truly grateful to all those who promote it. Without the word of mouth promotion by one colleague to others, we wouldn’t become such a great community with so much value.
2. Can you share one or two benefits of reading Choutari blog entries? What particular post or what kinds of materials have you liked most so far?
In response to this question, our respondents said that they learnt practical and innovative ideas of teaching English. For instance, Jeevan Karki said, “I learnt straightforward ideas rather than abstract ones…very practical experiences.” Similarly, Sagun Shrestha stated:
I learnt some activities of teaching creative writing from Alan Maley’s articles ‘Creative writing for students and teachers: some practical ideas’ and ‘Creative writing for students and teachers.’ I liked and like the reflective articles and the articles which give us innovative and practical ideas in language teaching.
Rajan Kandel said that he liked best “the experiences of the colleagues. I liked them.” Jyoti Tiwari responded to this question as follows:
Frankly speaking I liked all the post of Choutari because all posts are directly or indirectly relevant to teaching, teaching techniques and Education and also that are the experience of the professionals. If I have to name a post that I liked most I would like to name “Creative Writing for Students and Teachers: Some Practical Ideas” by Alan Maley because I find this article helpful for me. Before reading this article I was so confused about how to teach poems in the classroom but when I read this I feel relaxed and took that easy to teach poems to the new learners.
Samjhana Pradhan, another top commenter had a similar response:
We receive updates on ELT. It is good to share and exchange ideas with colleagues in the discussion forum. I like to read articles related to teacher development, teaching techniques and multilingualism.
Thus, most of the respondents said that they found reflective and experience-based blog entries, based on the actual challenges teachers or teacher educator had faced, to be very useful for them. Some of them also expressed their wish to read posts on teacher development and multilingualism.
3. Please share one or more suggestions for us to further improve the venue. What kinds of materials would you like to see added in Choutari? Are there any other areas of improvement?
The suggestions provided by the participants during our survey are very substantial. For example, Jeevan Karki suggested that it would be “better if [the blog] proceeded towards internationalization”–perhaps meaning that we should try to make global connections and draw on scholarship from outside. Sagun Shrestha did not make any suggestion but rather opined that Choutari is making good progress: “There is nothing to say right now. Things are getting better.”
Rajan Kandel suggested that we should be more
inclusive and try to reach to those who think you are there for them. Get them to publish through you. Encourage them and inform the writers to improve their articles for the next issues and not just say sorry for the issue.
Some participants provided us more specific comments. Samjhana Pradhan pointed out a weakness: “I have always enjoyed reading articles in the blog. However, there were a number of spelling errors in the blog entries particularly this month. So this should be avoided.”
The most striking and useful comment was given by Jyoti Tiwari:
In my view female writer should be encouraged too for the contribute some articles and share their experience regarding teaching and learning activities.
This is an issue with which Choutari team has struggled from the very beginning. We have tried our best to invite female colleagues to join us, and we haven’t always succeeded. We urge our colleagues to help us correct the imbalance; we want to develop Choutari as a platform that represents the gender balance in the real world.
All in all, we were humbled by the responses, critiques, and suggestions of our readers. With this kind of support from our readers, we hope to be able to serve you and invite you to increasingly better conversations in the year–and years–to come.