Category Archives: Editorial

Welcome to the Third Quarterly Issue of ELT Choutari, 14(104)

Why and how should teachers write?

It is our great pleasure to release the third quarterly issue (July-September) of 2022.

While working for ELT Choutari we realized that teachers are reluctant to writing despite the fact that they are good communicators. Their experience remains undocumented, causing a situation where the grassroots realities of ELT classes are not reflected well in academic discourse. There are two main reasons behind this case; the first is that the teachers do not consider writing their work. Second, they think they cannot write. However, we believe that teachers can write and must engage in the practice of writing because writing is paramount for teachers’ professional development.

It is argued that the teachers who do not engage in the writing process themselves cannot adequately understand the complex dynamics of the process and cannot empathize with their students’ problems (Hairston, 1986). While engaging ourselves in writing, we better understand writing as a process since we become more conscious of the writing process, its mechanisms, and its importance, which is very important for a successful teacher.

Writing as a process helps the ELT practitioners share their experiences. The habit of sharing creates multiple platforms for both parties; the writers and the readers. In this light, writing helps to maintain professional solidarity. Similarly, reflection through helps them enhance their professionalism since they carefully note their successes, failures, and plans for improvement.

Writing does not necessarily equal a fine-tuned final product; instead, it is a recursive process that allows reflection and revision, and includes a series of processes like planning, drafting, editing, reviewing, revising and preparing final draft (Harmer 2006). While working to develop ideas, organize them and incorporate comments and feedback, the writers understand their strengths and weaknesses, which helps them refine their writing strategies and hone their creativity and confidence.

Teachers do not always need to research and write a well-formatted research article. They can start writing from their day-to-day experience, practice, and challenges they tackle in their professional life. While dealing with them, they think and work on multiple possible solutions and finally discover the best one. The teachers can make an issue about their challenges and explore this issue based on their practice with possible answers in their writings. Initially, these things look simple but can be an asset in academic discourse.

Writing a fine-tuned scholarly article can be an intimidating experience for school teachers and novice writers. As a beginner writing practitioner, the teacher can choose to write blog posts since they are flexible in length, structure, and themes and are beneficial for their professional development. For it, ELT Choutari can be a good choice for novice writing practitioners since it encourages local scholarship providing a common platform to communicate in academic circles. It prioritizes narrations and reflections from ELT practitioners to full-fledged research-based papers. Moreover, it gives space for local methods and practices, which in turn assists other related practitioners boost their classroom performance practically rather than merely enlarging their theoretical knowledge horizon. 

Last but not least, one cannot be a good writer over night. It needs a step-by-step process. Writing blogs can be the first step. We can pick up a simple idea, prepare a writing piece, reach a broader audience, receive constructive feedback, and address them judiciously while revising it. This practice of our writing assists us in developing our writing habits in academia.

Papers and post on this non-thematic issue covers professional development ideas, reflections of teachers on online teaching and teachers’ exploitation in higher education.

Yadu Prasad Gyawali in his article Bridging the gaps of learning through learner centered integrative approaches (LCIA): A reflection explores how learner centered integrative approaches bridge the gap in learnability. Moreover, he reveals how these approaches result in enhanced learners’ motivation, self-preparedness and learners’ engagement.

Likewise, Rajendra Joshi on his post Online education during COVID-19 pandemic: an experience of a teacher reflects on the challenges the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic entailed and the opportunities it brought. He further explores alternative learning platforms and strategies schools incorporated in the pandemic, which can be useful in the future crisis too. 

Similarly, Bimal Khatri on his paper Part- time teachers’ well-being in urban community campuses: a narrative inquiry raises questions on discriminatory treatment to teachers at higher education, and unfolds how teachers’ well being affect both teachers’ and students’ academic performance.

Finally, in the editor’s pick post, we have included a multimodal blog, in which an English teacher and teacher trainer shares some ideas of teaching grammar to students 

Here is the list of posts for your further exploration:

  1. Bridging the gaps of learning through learner centered integrative approaches (LCIA) , by Yadu Prasad Gyawali
  2. Online education during COVID-19 pandemic: an experience of a teacher reflects, by Rajendra Joshi
  3. Part- time teachers’ well-being in urban community campuses: a narrative inquiry, by Bimal Khatri
  4. 5 tips to teach grammar more effectively by Rubens Heredia

Finally, I would like to thank our co-editor Nanibabu Ghimire for extending invaluable support throughout the entire process. We jointly are thankful to all our editors and reviewers, Mohan Singh Saud, Ashok Raj Khati, Jeevan Karki, Sagar Poudel, Ekraj Koirala, Jnanu Raj Poudel, Karna Rana and Rajendra Joshi for their relentless effort and contribution.

If you enjoy reading these blog posts, please feel free to share in and around your circle, and of course, drop your comments in the boxes below. Likewise, please write and send us your teaching-learning experiences for which we will be happy to provide a platform at Choutari. Our email is 2elt.choutari@gmail.com  

Thank You.

References

Hairston, M. (1986). When writing teachers don’t write: Speculations about probable causes and possible cures. Rhetoric Review, 5(1), 62-70.

Harmer, J. (2006). How to teach writing. Pearson Education India.

Karuna Nepal,  Lead editor of the issue
Nanibabu Ghimire,  Co-editor of the issue

Welcome to the Second Quarterly Issue of ELT Choutari, 14(103)

Dear Valued Readers and Contributors,

Greetings!

We are pleased to release the second quarterly issue (April-June), 2022 of ELT Choutari believing that the varied resources will benefit you.

We are moving ahead rejoicing the Nepali New Year with new thoughts, aspirations and with enthusiasm. We wish you a happy, productive and historic new year, 2079 B.S.  to you and take this moment to thank our readers and contributors for inspiring us in the continuous journey of 14 years.

The world is constantly changing and the classroom pedagogies, teaching-learning principles and practices, research and resources should also change with the rhythm of time. Rationalizing this belief, Choutari explores resourceful ideas and pedagogical innovations and presents you in the form of articles, blogs, reviews, interviews, reflections, scholarly ideas, glocal practices, and indigenous knowledge to broaden our academic horizon.

Every classroom is diverse, so the educators in this millennium expect/are expected to be abreast with recent and relevant materials/resources for effective teaching-learning. We believe that the resources and materials shared on our forum can support you to be abreast in your field and contribute in your continuous professional development. Besides, writing your experiences/reflection and sharing your perspectives and scholarly ideas is another great tool for professional development. So, we encourage and welcome your writing/composition on the contemporary educational/linguistic issues, pedagogical practices and most importantly your teaching stories.

In this non-thematic issue, we present you the scholarly ideas, educators’ experiences and reflection and pedagogical practices useful for teaching, writing, researching, critiquing and professional development. We are hopeful that the ideas are replicable in our English language teaching-learning context. So, there are six articles and an exclusive interview in this issue.

In a conversation with Jeevan Karki, Dr Bal Krishna Sharma unfolds the global discourse in ELT, (Second) language acquisition, English language teaching in multilingual contexts, critical language teaching, English language policy and practices in Nepal.

Dr Padam Chauhan in his article ‘Ethnography of Writing: A Basic Framework to Introduce Academic Writing to ESL University Students’ recounts the challenges faced by English as a second language (ESL) first-year academic writing students in university. He highlights the linguistic, cultural, and instructional differences between the US education system and students’ home countries to highlight the educational, social, and cultural contexts in international higher education.

In the same way, Ganga Laxmi Bhandari in her article ‘Mother Tongue as a Resource in the EFL Classroom’ argues for the use of L1 in L2 classroom and believes that L1 not only creates the foundation for a better understanding in L2 learning but also develops a positive attitude among children towards their schools and L2 (Savage, 2019). She further argues that the English-only approach has been a failure; therefore, educators should adopt bi/multilingual approaches for effective language teaching-learning.

Likewise, Shaty Kumar Mahato, in his article ‘Teachers’ Collaboration for Teachers’ Professional Development’ reflects his experiences of professional development (PD) through personal and professional initiatives in the context of Nepal. He argues that teachers’ collaboration is paramount for professional development and engagement with different organizations like NELTA, BELTA and so on can also enhance teachers’ PD.

Similarly, Nanibabu Ghimire, in his blog piece, ‘Reading Among Under-graduate Students: Problems and Ways Forward’, brings on spotlight the reading struggles of under-graduate students and offers some practical ways for advancing reading skills.

Similarly, Bishnu Karki in his article ‘Exploring Creative Response in ELT: A Vignette of an English Teacher’ reflects on the writing strategies he adopted while teaching students in Nepal. He emphasizes on the innovative roles of teachers to explore creative responses in EFL classrooms. Karki, further argues that the teachers in the 21st-century classroom to be creative, cooperative and responsive to cope with the ongoing trends and shifts their profession.

Finally, Satya Raj Joshi in his article ‘Using a Story in Language Teaching: Some Practical Tips’ presents the fundamentals of literature in language classrooms and connects his experiences of language teaching through literature. He argues that the literature is a resource offering multiple ideas and activities for students which help them to develop skills and strategies applicable within and beyond classrooms.

For your ease of access, below is the list of hyperlinked articles:

  1. Conversation with Dr. Bal Krishna Sharma- English and New Englishes in Multilingual Context: What’s Been Gained and Forgotten?
  2. Ethnography of Writing: A Basic Framework to Introduce Academic Writing to ESL University Students’ by Dr. Padam Chauhan
  3. Mother Tongue as a Resource in the EFL Classroom’ by Ganga Laxmi Bhandari
  4. Reading among Graduate Students: Problems and Ways Forward by Nani Babu Ghimire
  5. Exploring Creative Response in ELT: A Vignette of an English Teacherby Bishnu Karki
  6. Teachers’ Collaboration for Teachers’ Professional Development by Shaty Kumar Mahato
  7. Using a Story in Language Classroom : Some Practical Tips by Satya Raj Joshi

Finally, we would like to thank all our editors, Mohan Singh Saud, Jeevan Karki, Karuna Nepal, Nani Babu Ghimire, Ekraj Koirala, Jnanu Raj Paudel and reviewers Dr Karna Rana, Ashok Raj Khati, Rajendra Joshi and Babita Chapagain for their tireless effort in reviewing these papers.  Most importantly, we are indebted to all the contributors to this issue.

If you enjoy reading these blog posts, please feel free to share in and around your circle, and of course, drop your comments in the boxes below. Likewise, please write and send us your teaching-learning experiences for which we will be happy to provide a platform at Choutari. Our email is 2elt.choutari@gmail.com 

Happy Reading!

Happy New Year, 2079

Lead-editor: Ganesh Kumar Bastola

Co-editor: Sagar Poudel

Welcome to the 13th Anniversary Issue of ELT Choutari, 14(102)

Dear valued readers,

Greetings!

We are pleased to release the first quarterly issue (January-March) of ELT Choutari 2022 as the 13th anniversary issue of the blog magazine. We believe that our valued readers get benefitted through these reflective blog pieces. ELT Choutari tries to bring resourceful articles/blogs and generate discourse on education, English teaching learning, research reading and writing practices useful for novice writers, English language teachers, students, teacher educators and academicians. Choutari has been offering the articles, blogs, reviews and interviews based on the experiences, reflections, scholarly ideas, teaching-learning practices and critical outlook to our readers and will continue doing it.

This time we have released the general issue of the magazine thinking that we could cover a wide range of reflective articles from diverse fields of ELT practices in Nepal. There are five articles in this issue:

Dr. Hari Chandra Kamali in his article ‘Postmethod Pedagogy, Deconstruction and ELT Practices: Some Reflections from the Pedagogy of the Gita’ connects the pedagogy of the Gita to ELT practices as deconstruction of postmethod pedagogy.  He argues that ELT practices should be like deconstructive pedagogy and ELT practitioners play the roles of a deconstructionist teacher like Lord Krishna in the pedagogy of the Gita.

Likewise, Ashok Raj Khati in his article ‘Author Identity in Academic Writing’ reflects on his academic writing experiences in higher education stressing on author identity as a social construct. He discusses Ivanic’s (1998) Framework of Author Identity in order to support his arguments.

Similarly, Jeevan Karki in his article ‘Strategic Reading to Overcome Reading Struggles in Higher Level: A Memoir’ reflects on his reading strategies that he adopted while studying at university in Nepal comparing those strategies with his recent strategies he has been adopting at a new university in US. His reading practices can be useful for university level students, researchers, teachers and other professionals.

In the same way, Binod Raj Bhatta in his article ‘Is the Process Approach to Teaching Writing Applicable at All Levels?’ argues that the process-based approach to teaching writing can be quite applicable at all levels in the context of Nepal. He concludes his arguments about the applicability of this approach by quoting the Chinese proverb ”I hear I forget, I see I remember, I do I understand/know” and emphasizes the possibility and practicality and the guiding principles of teaching writing skills in Nepal.

Finally, Dipak Tamang in his article ‘An Anecdote of an English Language Teacher’ reflects on his own experiences of teaching English to Tamang students. He argues that his students understood better when he taught using the students’ mother tongue, here Tamang language. As he argues, the teachers need to support their teaching using teaching learning materials along with the technology for the effective use of the mother tongue as the medium of instruction. 

For ease of access, below is the list of hyperlinked articles:

  1. Postmethod Pedagogy, Deconstruction and ELT Practices: Some Reflections from the Pedagogy of the Gita by Hari Chandra Kamali
  2. Author Identity in Academic Writing by Ashok Raj Khati
  3. Strategic Reading to Overcome Reading Struggles in Higher Level: A Memoir by Jeevan Karki
  4. Is the Process Approach to Teaching Writing Applicable at All Levels? by Binod Raj Bhatta
  5. An Anecdote of an English Language Teacher by Dipak Tamang

Finally, I would like to thank our co-editor Ganesh Bastola for his support throughout the process. We both are thankful to all our reviewers including our editorial and review team members Ashok Raj Khati,  Jeevan Karki, Sagar Poudel, Karuna Nepal, Babita Chapagain, Nani Babu Ghimire, Ekraj Koirala, Jnanu Raj Paudel and Rajendra Joshi.  Most importantly, we are indebted to all the contributors of this issue.

If you enjoy reading these articles, please feel free to share in your circle, and of course, drop your comments in the boxes below. Likewise, please write and send us your teaching-learning experiences for which we will be happy to provide a space at Choutari. Our email is 2elt.choutari@gmail.com 

Happy Reading!

Mohan Singh Saud        Lead editor of the issue
Ganesh Bastola              Coeditor of the issue

Welcome to Third Quarterly Issue of ELT Choutari 13(100)

Dear Valued Readers,

ELT Choutari is pleased to present you the third quarterly issue (July-September) of 2021. This issue has covered a wide range of areas of classroom pedagogy, online practices during Covid-19, ELT practices, and reflections of English teachers and practitioners.

English teachers in difficult times and circumstances have their own unique experiences of teaching English. During this global pandemic, we have seen many English teachers receiving opportunities of participating online conferences, seminars and courses right from their home. They have been receiving opportunities to interact and present in both local and global seminars. They are updating themselves with new skillsets of operating technology and using several online resources to facilitate English language learning. For instance, English teachers are increasingly using PowerPoint presentation, audio-video materials rather than depending on chalk and talk and translation method. They are also found using creative ways to assess students’ learning virtually.  In a nutshell, English teachers are encouragingly updating and upgrading their skills to teach virtually via professional development opportunities.

On the other hand, many teachers are also facing challenges to reach out to their students as the electricity and internet connectivity is still a big challenge to majority of people in remote parts of the country. Schools have been closed for a long time and students from such remote geography are isolated from teaching learning. Sufferers are those students who are already struggling or underperforming in class and this pandemic is going to widen this learning gap hugely, which will take quite a good time and effort to maintain. Thus, time has come for stakeholders to invest and expand technology far and wide, and to capacitate teachers to make the best use of technology to deliver education during the emergency and ever (as a supplementary teaching-learning).

In this issue, the authors have brought different experiences of teaching and learning of English in different contexts. Moreover, as an editors’ choice, we have picked a blog piece of Dr. Prem Phyak titled “Engaged research in applied linguistics: Reflections from practice”. The piece was first published in the AAAL GSC blog (https://www.aaal-gsc.org/blog). Dr. Phyak opines that researchers should adopt engaged research framework to include the marginalized community in the research process not only as a research subject but also as a co-researcher to deconstruct the top down approach of researching based on his experiences and research practices. We hope these variety of contributions will be useful resources and sources of motivation for teachers and students to moving forward. Here is the list of seven blog posts of this issue:

  1. Teachers’ wellbeing and pedagogical success by  Rejina KC
  2. A novice teacher’s reflection from the obstacles to the exploration by Dasharatha Rai
  3. Engaging learners in the Google classroom: A reflection of an English teacher by Yadu Prasad Gyawali
  4. Challenges of teaching English in rural context: A reflection of a teacher by Shankar Khanal
  5. A reflection on my Masters’ thesis writing by Deepak Bhatt
  6. My learning during pandemic by Parista Rai
  7. Engaged research in applied linguistics: Reflections from practice by Dr. Prem Phyak

We are really grateful to all the authors for their contributions to this issue.  We are really thankful to the reviewers for their efforts to bring out this issue.  We would like to thank the entire team of ELT Choutari: Ganesh Kumar Bastola, Mohan Singh Saud, Jnanu Raj Paudel, Babita Chapagain, Sagar Poudel, Karuna Nepal, Ekraj Koirala, Nani Babu Ghimire and Rajendra Joshi to materialise this issue. For this issue, we must thank Narendra Airi for his support in reviewing and proofreading the articles.

Finally, if you enjoy reading the blog pieces, please feel free to share in and around your academic circle, and of course, drop your comments in the boxes below. Likewise, please write about your experiences, reflections, experiments, reviews, or any other scholarly articles for our future publications. You can reach us at 2elt.choutari@gmail.com.

Thanking you.

Happy reading!

Ashok Raj Khati        Lead editor of the issue
 Jeevan Karki               Co-editor of the issue

Welcome to Second Quarterly Issue of ELT Choutari 13(99)

Dear Valued Readers,

Namaste!

ELT Choutari is pleased to present the second quarterly issue (April-June) of 2021. This issue has covered a wide range of areas of applied linguistics, classroom pedagogy, ELT practices, and writing tips for teachers. This issue consists of six blog posts having diverse issues from mini research to reflective notes.

Due to the spread of the new variant of COVID-19, our country is back to lockdown. With this teaching-learning is going to suffer again, which will result a ‘learning crisis’ for a majority of students around the country who have limited Internet access and lack of digital facilities. The virtual mode of delivery may not be productive and long-lasting to mitigate the possible learning crisis unless we access digital devices (gadgets and smartphones) and broadband internet access with teachers, students, and their parents. And the role of teachers is equally important to be technocratic and pedagogically creative to enhancing students’ potentials in the virtual mode. Besides, the parents are to be capacitated to facilitate the learning of their children.

We know it’s not easy but we need to do something to keep the learning going. Therefore, teachers and parents are expected to play a pivotal role in engaging students in alternative ways to create learning opportunities for students. The parents must identify the available alternatives of learning like TV, radio, social media, virtual classes, etc. Likewise, schools and teachers should support them to explore the right alternatives in their context. Then they can encourage, support, observe and monitor the engagement of their children and manage necessary stuff to the extent possible. The teachers, on the other hand, can engage students in different activities in two ways; synchronously and asynchronously. They can also facilitate their students via different learning platforms such as Schoology, Edmodo, Easy Class, Google Classroom, and they can also use digital apps and tools such as online quiz using quizizz, Kahoot, ProProfs, Mentimeter, etc. to engage them in their learning wherever possible. Meanwhile, they also should support to develop contents to be delivered via radio or TVs.

During this emergency, teachers need to be more resourceful and innovative to keep the learning going. One way to be so is to keep themselves abreast of the ideas, alternatives, and ways out to deliver education during the emergency. A  couple of months back, we had published particularly the pandemic issue and post-pandemic issues, which could be resourceful for you in many different ways. So, we recommend you go through them. Most importantly, we encourage you to reflect and write the challenges, alternatives, good practices, and striking moments during teaching-learning in the emergency and send to us for future submission.

In the first post, Arjun Basnet analyzes the processes of identity construction among students in the EFL classroom. He further discloses the various forms of identity construction such as discourse identity, social identity, affinity identity, L1 identity, and institution identity through positioning, becoming, and being. He argues students create their identity through the process of opportunity and achieve native-like English competence via YouTube and English songs.

Mr. Puskar Chaudhary, in the second post, investigates the assessment techniques and tools used by the English language teachers for assessing learning in the remote teaching-learning context. He states that assessment is an integral part of teaching-learning to examine the understanding of the subject matter and to evaluate whether the learning goals have been achieved.

Similarly, in the third blog post, Prakash Bhattarai shares his ideas about factors affecting effective English teaching-learning. He further highlights that the materials and methods teachers use in the language classroom should be contextual and culture-sensitive because the prescribed methods and materials developed by other experts may not work in all contexts. He further notes teachers should use the tasks that make learners active and creative to create an environment for learner autonomy and collaborative learning.

Likewise, in the fourth article Dipak Prasad Mishra and Surendra Bhatt explore the perceptions of parents on the implementation of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) in public schools through Bourdieu’s lens of the symbolic power of language theory. They further highlight the relevancy and appropriateness of EMI in the Nepali context. They argue that EMI has been taken as a symbol of power and linguistic capital to develop English skills in unpacking critical analysis and its practices.

Similarly, in the fifth blog post, Bhan Singh Dhami explores how the local contents and texts in English materials can be utilized to enhance patriotism among English language learners of Nepal. He further claims the use of local content, culture, and discourse in materials can strengthen patriotism and strongly urges the stakeholders to maximise them in the materials and courses.

Finally, in the sixth blog post, Jeevan Karki, one of the editors of Choutari reflects on his nearly decade-long experiences of writing, reviewing, and editing journey and encourages teachers that they can write and publish. With some practical tips, he offers the first-time and new teachers practical ideas on choosing the appropriate contents/issues to write, and the writing style and processes to follow.

Here is the list of six blog posts of this issue:

  1. Identity construction of the Nepali EFL students by Arjun Basnet
  2. Assessing English language learners in remote teaching-learning by Puskar Chaudhary 
  3. What makes English language teaching effective? by Prakash Bhattarai
  4. English medium instruction in school education: parents’ perspectives by Dipak Prasad Mishra and Surendra Bhatt
  5. Enhancing patriotism through the local contents in ELT materials by Bhan Singh Dhami
  6. Dear teachers, you can write and publish! by Jeevan Karki

We hope the current issue will be another resourceful package for classroom pedagogy, practices, and developing writing habits. We are grateful to all the contributors for their enthusiasm to bring innovative ideas, reflective practices, and pedagogy-enhanced teaching-learning activities and collaboration to continue the voyage of reading, writing, and supporting each other. Moreover, We highly appreciate the efforts of the reviewers during the process of a rigorous review of the manuscripts. More specifically, We would like to thank the entire team of ELT Choutari in general and Mohan Singh Saud (the co-editor of the issue), Jeevan Karki, Babita Chapagain, Sagar Poudel, Karuna Nepal, Ekraj Koirala, Nani Babu Ghimire, Dr. Karna Rana, Ashok Raj Khati, Jnanu Raj Paudel, and Rajendra Joshi in particular to materialise this issue.

Finally, if you enjoy reading the blog pieces, please feel free to share in and around your academic circle, and of course, drop your comments in the boxes below. Likewise, please write about your experiences, reflections, experiments, reviews, or any other scholarly articles for our future publications. You can reach us at 2elt.choutari@gmail.com .

Thanking you once again for your continued readership, professional support, and volunteering enthusiasm to work with us collaboratively!

Wishing you a Happy Nepali New Year 2078!

Stay safe, stay healthy and happy reading!

Ganesh Kumar Bastola, Lead Editor of the Issue
Mohan Singh Saud, co-editor of the issue

Welcome to the 12th Anniversary Issue of ELT Choutari 13(98)

Blogs are the stepping stones for one’s writing journey

It gives us immense pleasure to release our twelfth-anniversary issue and the first quarterly issue (January- March) of 2021.

The 12 years of academic journey to promote and enhance local scholarship has produced 12 resourceful volumes, 98 issues, and more than 600 blog posts, articles, and interviews, and more than thousands of comments, questions, and interaction from our readers. Most importantly, the literature on Choutari is increasingly being cited around the world.

Reflecting on the contributions of ELT Choutari, what stands out most to us is its contribution to groom and encourage the young, emerging, and first-time authors to publish their blogs, which is a great way of building a robust local scholarship. Looking at the issues of the past three years, it was found that ELT Choutari has published the blogs of 42.46% of such authors. In a recent survey, out of some suggestions, one respondent expressed, “encourage young writers to get involved in preparing scholarly writeups.” Looking at the publication trends on ELT Choutari, we can proudly say that ‘yes we are encouraging and grooming young writers’. And we would like to grow the quantity and quality of their write-ups in the years to come despite the fact that it is often challenging to push forward the new authors to draft their first write-up. Although it often challenging to make them write, we are confident that their rich experiences, practices, and native perspectives would definitely contribute to the scholarly conversation to advance their profession.

We believe that blogs are the first step to start the writing journey of young, emerging, and first-time authors. When I look back to my own writing journey, it goes back to my first blog published on ELT Choutari. Starting as a blogger, I gradually learned the writing and publication process, which eventually boosted my confidence to publish op-eds and research papers in national and international journals. Therefore, blogs are a great way to begin one’s writing journey as they are informal, personal, and based on the lived experiences, which are interesting to read and easier to develop than writing a research paper. The young and first-time authors on ELT Choutari have also started blogs based on their lived experiences, which are as simple as how they learned the English language, challenges and best practices of teaching, reflective narratives of preparing their thesis, or reflections on the events they attended. Therefore, if anyone wishes to write and publish but not sure what to write and how to write, we strongly suggest to start with a blog.

Writing and publishing is also a great tool for one’s professional development. Anyone wishing to write goes through a serious literature review, which definitely expands their professional horizons. Moreover, writing requires deep and critical thinking, reasoning, evaluating, and reflecting, which brings more clarity on our thoughts and professional actions. Our survey shows that the majority of our readers are teachers, who have both painful and joyful experiences and such experiences are very fertile to start their blogs and eventually contribute to their own professional development.

Presenting you the anniversary issue, we are excited to offer you the five diversified blogs and papers including one bonus blog! In the first scholarly article titled Teacher identity and the new forms of governmentality in higher education in Nepal, Raj Kumar Baral & Prem Phyak explore the crisis of teachers’ academic identity amidst the highly politicized system of university through the powerful narratives.

Similarly, Ashok Raj Khati on his post Understanding thesis writing as a socio- cultural practice in the university than a ‘ritual’ shares his scholarly perspective on the burning issue of ‘research and thesis writing’ in our university system with very engaging anecdotes and claims that graduate research should be advanced through the socio- cultural perspective rather than only treating as the cognitive activity.

On the other hand, in his research paper English teachers’ perspectives on classroom interaction: A phenomenological study, Bhim Lal Bhandari shares his findings on the practices and perspectives of English teachers on classroom interaction between teachers-to-students and students-to-students for effective language learning.

Likewise, Samita Magar on her blog, Two good practices of teaching vocabulary: reflection of a teacher presents two practical and replicable good practices of teaching vocabulary to English Language Learners (ELL) based on her action research.

Presenting you a different taste, Karuna Nepal on her blog Exploring the readers’ response and reflections shares some interesting responses and reflections of the Choutari readers based on the findings of a fresh survey, which ranges from the purposes and motivation of our readers for navigating our magazine to their expectations and feedforward.

Lastly, as an editor’s choice, we offer you a blog on Assessment for learning: 4 tips for teachers, which offers four practical ways of using assessment for learning (not only for assessment for the sake of assessment). One of the reasons behind sharing this blog is to meet the expectation of our readers wishing to blogs offering tips on teaching-learning, which was suggested to us through the survey. Hope you will enjoy it.

Here is the list of posts for your further exploration:

  1. Teacher identity and the new forms of governmentality in higher education in Nepal by Raj Kumar Baral & Prem Phyak
  2. Understanding thesis writing as a socio- cultural practice in the university than a ‘ritual’ by Ashok Raj Khati
  3. English teachers’ perspectives on classroom interaction: A phenomenological study, by Bhim Lal Bhandari
  4. Two good practices of teaching vocabulary: reflection of a teacher by Samita Magar
  5. Exploring the readers’ response and reflections by Karuna Nepal
  6. Assessment for learning: 4 tips for teachers by Chris Thorn 

While releasing this issue, we take the pleasure of welcoming and introducing Karuna Nepal (MPhil) and Sagar Poudel (MPhil) to our editorial team. Having a strong background of teaching English from schools to universities, both have published blogs, research papers, and have presented papers on conferences extensively. Likewise, they are associated with ELT Choutari as reviewers for the last one year.

Now, I would like to thank all the contributors of this issue. Likewise, I would like to offer special thanks to Karuna Nepal, the co-editor, for her rigorous support during the process of reviewing and editing the articles. Likewise, sincere thanks to Ganesh Bastola, Karna Rana, Nanibabu Ghimire, Ashok Raj Khati, Ekaraj Koirala, Sagar Paudel for reading and reviewing the blogs rigorously. In addition, Praveen Kumar Yadav deserves special thanks for giving Choutari a new theme and design.

On the occasion of our 12th anniversary, the current editorial team would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all our founding members, past editors, contributors, well-wishers and most importantly our readers.

Finally, we request you to drop your comments for the blog posts and papers you read, share them in your network, and consider writing your own blog post for our upcoming April- June issue.

Thank you!

Jeevan Karki, Lead editor of the issue

 

Welcome to the Fourth Quarterly Issue (October- December, 2020), 12(97)

ELT in Nepal: Rethinking authenticity, creativity, and localization

Credit: blog.contactcenterpipeline.com

English has long been dominant in the Asian educational landscape, stemming from an instrumental ideology of envisioning upward socioeconomic mobilities. In a country like Nepal where most citizens are looking for their better future, learning English skills is associated with “hopes” and “desires,” also allowing the development of uncritical narratives of the roles and status of English. While we can’t ignore the importance of English for various purposes as well as creating equal opportunities for ALL children to learn English, we must also be critical of the influences the uncritical recommendations and practices of English can have on local language ecology. For example, while the State is struggling to effectively implement mother-tongue-based multilingual education and there is a decline in appreciation for the use of mother-tongue in education (both because of elite narratives created at the macro-level), stressing the role of English in education as a medium of instruction or even asking for its legalization in other social domains is not only wrong but harmful. One must be very careful in defining the role and status of English in Nepal.

This, however, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t teach English but disrupt the perception of, for example, “We can’t survive without English.” There are people surviving without English in Nepal and beyond. Nevertheless, there is no wrong in teaching English as an additional language. The more languages children learn, the more creative and critical they become. So, teaching English as a foreign language in Nepal is an important part of the K-12 curriculum but we need to re-envision it from the “local” viewpoints to create a safe and comfortable space for Nepali multilingual and multiethnic children. ELT teachers and practitioners need to reflect on ELT practices that create injustice and inequalities for various social groups, often originating from dominant language ideologies and mechanisms.

In this special issue, we have tried to address the issues of “authenticity”, “creativity”, and “localization” in ELT practices. We sought contributions to the teaching and learning of English, highlighting authenticity in ELT, which refers to a sense of ownership of teaching/learning materials and cognitive and social activities in ELT classrooms: for example, whose texts, whose varieties of English, whose culture and knowledge we consider as valid. ELT practitioners and learners also employ creativity in incorporating meaningful texts for a realistic world, that is, what strategies (e.g., translation, codemixing/codeswitching, translanguaging) we use to make our teaching/learning processes more accessible to our students. Meanwhile, we need to (re)think if and to what extent we localize our teaching/learning activities for sustainable and linguistic, and culturally responsive practices. We hoped to together challenge the hegemonic ELT practices in Nepal, warranting more linguistic human rights and linguistic and cultural identities.

In this issue, we have included four blog posts and one exclusive interview. In the first post, Umesh Saud critically analyzes a recently published English language textbook of Grade 11, with special attention to the types of texts that are included and the ideologies embedded in the process of selecting those texts. He argues that avoiding/minimizing local and indigenous culture, contexts, and texts in ELT textbooks is the result of the prevalence of the traditional westernized ideology and advocates the promotion of Nepali culture through the inclusion of indigenous texts in the textbooks.

In the interview, Dr. Ram Ashish Giri dives deep into the status of English in Nepal and its future, policies, and practices of English language teaching in multilingual Nepal, ‘authenticity’ in ELT, ‘localization’ in ELT materials, and the roles of English teachers and practitioners.

Similarly, in the second blog post, In the third article, Mohan Singh Saud (also the author of the grade 11 textbook) shares his ideas of rethinking authenticity concerning ELT texts and materials in the changing world and shares his experiences of the politics of undermining the textbook author’s agencies during the text selection.

Likewise, in the fourth article Binod Duwadi shares teachers’ perceptions of non-verbal communication like eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures and their pedagogical implication based on the views collected from English teachers.

Finally, in the fifth blog post, Gyanu Dahal reflects on the situations of teaching English before and during COVID-19, indicating how the classroom culture has been changed due to this emergency and the challenges teachers and students faced to cope with this situation. Reflecting on her own experiences, she suggests some tips for effective virtual lessons and needs for teachers to be equipped with skills and traits for online teaching.

Here is the list of blog posts and interview of this issue:

  1. Undermining of “local” in new English textbook for Grade XI by Umesh Saud
  2. English is one of the local languages in Nepal: Dr. Giri
  3. Rethinking authenticity in ELT texts and materials: A perspective of an author by Mohan Singh Saud
  4. Roles of nonverbal communication in large ELT classrooms by Binod Duwadi
  5. Changing assets in ELT classroom culture: Reflections on teaching during the pandemic by Gyanu Dahal

Now, I would like to thank the entire team of ELT Choutari in general and Mohand Singh Saud (the associate editor of this issue), Jeevan Karki, Ganesh Bastola, Babita Chapagain in particular for their rigorous effort in reviewing and editing the blog pieces. Similarly, I am thankful to all the team of reviewers for their reviews and recommendations for publications. I’m equally thankful to all contributors to this issue and special thanks go to Dr. Ram Ashsish Giri for his exclusive interview.

Finally, if you enjoy reading the articles, please feel free to share in your circle, and of course, drop your comments in the boxes below. Likewise, please write about your experiences, reflections, case studies, reviews, or any other scholarly pieces for our future publications and email us at 2elt.choutari@gmail.com 

Wish you a happy Tihar and Chhat festivals!

Happy Reading!

Pramod Sah, Ph.D. Candidate & Killam Scholar
Guest editor of the issue
(Department of Language & Literacy Education,
Faculty of Education, The University of British Columbia, Canada)

Welcome to the Third Quarterly Issue (July – September, 2020), 12(96)

Post-COVID-19 School Transformation: What Teachers, Communities and Nation can Contribute

COVID-19 pandemic crisis and its impact on rural primary schools investigated that health, social, economic and education would be hardly predicted at its identification in Wuhan, a Chinese city in November 2019. When China was struggling to control its spread in communities across the country, most of the countries would not have even imagined how the pandemic could destroy their mechanisms of health, education, business, economy and society. Millions of teasing TikTok videos, cartoon sketches, metaphoric texts and lyrics about COVID-19 in China would have been hardly bearable for Chinese civilians living across the world.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 without the restriction of the human sketched territory of countries on the planet reached elsewhere within the first three months of its identification. Many countries, particularly in Europe and America, unexpectedly suffered from the pandemic as early as the virus spread in those countries after China. The rapid spread of the virus in Asian countries particularly India in recent days has become a threat to Nepal because of the open border between Nepal and India. Moreover, the spread of COVID-19 in Nepal can presumably bring deadly days soon if the government is unable to strategically control the spread.

The impact of the pandemic can be observed in various sectors such as education, health, business, tourism and industries in Nepal. More than 7 million students have been observing lockdown when all the schools and ten universities have been shut down since March 2020. Although particularly few private schools and colleges in cities have been trying to reach their students and teach them in online classes, the majority of schools are unlikely to switch to online teaching and learning in absence of information and communication technologies. Where only 4% of the government schools and 22% of the private schools have a computer lab, and the majority of schools lack internet facilities, holistically approaching internet-based teaching and learning in schools can be an immature idea. Although it is estimated that about 70% of the total population use the internet, the majority of them (95%) use expensive mobile data for personal communications and only 5% of them, particularly in cities, use broadband internet. Moreover, the limited practice of online teaching and learning particularly in urban schools may widen the gap between rural and urban communities. However, the effort several national and local televisions and radios have made by broadcasting tutorials is appreciated by the public. Unfortunately limited or no specific programme for regulating school and university education in this crisis indicates the extent of governmental and institutional preparedness to mitigate the crisis. Even though the majority of teachers and students have limited access to internet facilities, some teachers have reported their experiences of practising online teaching and learning. This issue comprises of teachers experiences of using ICT tools for teaching and learning, challenges they faced in their practices and suggestions for post-COVID-19 schooling.

Prem Prasad Poudel offers his critical analysis of the pandemic influence on education particularly in Nepal and suggests ideas for post-crisis school transformation. He shares some ideas for alternative ways to conventional pedagogies to gradually revive school education.

Dr SM Akramul Kabir critically analyses the educational issues highlighted in Bangladesh during the pandemic crisis and suggests alternative ways to mitigate similar issues in general. Dr Thinh Le from Vietnam suggests some ideas for online teaching and learning. He specifically focuses on the community of learning model for online teaching and learning activities.

Dr Prem Phyak, Bhim Sapkota, Ramji Acharya and Dil Kumari Shrestha offer how teachers during COVID-19 crisis have learned to use various ICT tools in teaching and learning. Their interviews with teachers suggest how many other teachers can take advantage of this lock down to develop their professionalism by exploring national and international training opportunities offered in online classes.

Krishna Parajuli and Pushpa Raj Paudel share their experiences of using internet facilities for teaching and learning. Both authors illustrate how teachers have struggled to go on online teaching and what schools can do to transform them to revive and survive ahead.

Karuna Nepal explicates how students can manage their online and distance learning and how teachers can facilitate them to learn their courses. Hiralal Kapar has reported school teachers’ early experiences of using ICT tools to teach their students and gradual development of their confidence in teaching in online classes. Manish Thapa highlights how few university departments have switched their physical classroom to online teaching and learning during the pandemic crisis and how the practice can be adopted to transform traditional pedagogies.

Babita Sharma, one of the editors of this publication, discusses issues of social and family environment for children’s learning, how parents can create supportive social atmosphere for their children’s learning. She also suggests how family members can be teachers of their children to teach them dynamic life skills particularly relevant to social and cultural values. 

1.Transforming school education: Learning from COVID-19 pandemic and pathways ahead. – Prem Prasad Poudel

2. Issues and possible options for teachers: A COVID-19 pandemic  perspective. – Dr S M Akramul Kabir

3. Techniques of online teaching. -Dr Thinh Le 

4. Teacher agency in a superdifficult circumstance: Lessons from a low-resource context during COVID-19. – Prem Phyak, Bhim Sapkota, Ramji Acharya and Dil Kumari Shrestha 

5. Expectations of post-COVID-19 era education in Nepal. – Krishna Prasad Parajuli 

6. Crisis, teaching-learning via alternative means and ground reality – Pushpa Raj Paudel 

7. Empowering learners with learning strategies: A gateway to the preparation for uncertainties. – Karuna Nepal

8. Online class amidst COVID-19 lockdown. – Hiralal Kapar

9. Can distance learning be widely adopted at academic institutions? – Manish Thapa 

10. Significance of parent education and parent involvement in children’s learning. – Babita Sharma Chapagain 

We on behalf of the ELTChoutari publication would like to thank all the authors for your contribution to this issue. We appreciate your academic work and hope to receive your writing for the future issues of this publication. Your contributions will be read and valued across the world. Thank you, Babita Sharma Chapagain (associate editor of this issue) for your incredible support to follow the review process of this issue. Thank you, Jeevan Karki, Ganesh Kumar Bastola and Mohan Singh Saud for your cooperation in the review and copy-editing process. Thank you, Ekaraj Koirala, Jnanu Raj Paudel, Karuna Nepal, Nanibabu Ghimire and Sagar Paudel for your great help in reviewing several manuscripts. Your great help will ever be accountable.

This issue to the date has had many great people since its foundation. Their volunteer contribution in the early days and difficult situations provided a strong foundation for the proliferation of this online magazine. Prem Phyak, Shyam Sharma, Bal Krishna Sharma, Sajan Kumar Karn, Kamal Poudel and Hem Raj Kafle who established this digital magazine have ever been a source of inspiration and motivation for many other friends including the current editorial and reviewer team of this publication. Thank you for your frequent advice and continuous support.

Thank you, readers and followers of ELT Choutari for your invisible but invaluable support to this publication. Your comments and feedback have ever been a source of improving our works and we hope you will keep on supporting us that way.

Karna Rana, PhD

Lead Editor of this issue

Babita Sharma Chapagain

Associate Editor of this issue

 

Welcome to Pandemic Pedagogy Special Issue- Second Quarterly Issue (April-June), 2020, 12(95)

How is everything there? How is your lifestyle in isolation? Not easy, is it? We have been in a halt and despair from the last couple of weeks, especially due to the spread of Corona Virus. It has really affected all walks of our lives in general and education in particular. We have not been able to normally accomplish our daily activities. We have been mentally pressured, physically idle and psychologically awkward due to the lock-down. However, we have been trying to settle down ourselves and continue our discontinued activities virtually.

In this issue, we have collected the reflections of the academics to explore the various practices of online-based teaching and learning. We have also amalgamated some specific tips for teachers of the 21st century to let them know more about digital literacy and using ICT tools to enhance their knowledge and skills required in a virtual classroom in one side and teacher-led professional development on the other. We have tried our best to envisage and offer the possible options from Face-to-Face mode of delivery to virtual ones. Moreover, we as teacher-educators, believe that we need to be able to tackle the problem of our students timely pertaining to 21st-century skills for quality education.

Education is not meant to be limited within the four walls of the classroom rather we should let it go beyond the formal setting. We should always think of the possible alternatives of the physical classroom for expanding the cognitive horizon of our students because teaching-learning can have good going with virtual mode as well. Thus, we are yet to analyse how online classes and resources could serve the purpose in the digitally savvy era of the 21st century to enhance the personal growth of the students and the professional development of the teachers. With the global call for social distancing resulting in the closure of educational institutions, there has been a discourse of how to best use the technology to deliver education in distance mode. The time has come and we have realised the essence of the virtual mode of delivery and it is not just to replace the traditional practice but to initiate the innovative global spectrum of education invited by technology and globalisation for the succinct enhancement of e/resources. The more we bring innovation in our teaching-learning process, the better our activities and learning becomes. Thus, teachers can utilise several social media platform to design and implement online classes for promoting contextually relevant resource materials. In this situation, the government has to initiate and research for the best choices to impart education via this virtual mode to tackle the situation created by COVID-19 pandemic such initiation can be a paramount option for the practice of online-based classes in the days to come in Nepal. In doing so, we teachers need to be supportive and updated.

Journeying for the 12 years, we have tried our best to screen our invaluable papers via the single-blinded peer review process. We have also initiated inviting one of the scholars from academia to share via the interview session. ELT Choutari has pertinently served to disseminate diverse local and global context replicating our ELT situation in Nepal and contextually relevant knowledge to reach into a global context and vice-versa to contribute to the wider readership. At Choutari, we explore the innovative practices made by teachers teaching at different levels on a thematic basis and provide a huge platform for the novice/expert practitioners to read, write and publish their papers to overcome the situation.

As you know, we always think, ink and link our innovative ideas and personal experiences into our classroom practice for the overall development of our students. In this April 2020 issue, we focus on COVID-19 pandemic pedagogy in general and some other relevant and strategic tips to enhance professionalism via ICT tools and digital asset in particular. We have included teachers’ reflections, online-based pedagogical practices, and experts’ perspectives and practices about the virtual classroom.

In this pandemic issue, Tikaram Poudel, Assistant Professor at, Kathmandu University reflects his experience of shifting his academic activities from face –to- face mode of delivery to a virtual one exemplifying some online-based tools to initiate online classes such as MOODLE Portal, Google Meet, etc.

In the second post, Ashok Sapkota, a faculty in the Department of English Education, Kirtipur, TU, depicts the need and awareness of ICT preparatory tools and their ways out for online-based teaching process in English language education.

In the third post, Jeevan Karki, a teacher trainer, researcher and writer hints some specific measures for professional development via teacher-led professional development (TLPD) in virtual route. Concerning his experience, the actual teachers who led such professional development activities are far better than the outside experts of TPD because these teachers know their students, content and context better.

Likewise, in another blog post, Puskar Chaudhary, an M. Phil practitioner at Kathmandu University, discusses digital literacy and its implementable assets. He also highlights the technocratic knowledge and expertise of a teacher to cope up with classroom challenges.

In another post, Dipak Prasad Mishra, an M. Phil practitioner at Kathmandu University, revisits his personal experiences and brings his lived learning experiences despite the COVID-19 pandemic. He also discusses the opportunities and challenges of the virtual mode of learning and teaching.

Likewise, in another post, Dhansingh Dhami, a master graduate at Kailai Multiple Campus, elucidates his nostalgia replicating Ramayana and its mythical social distancing and its closer lens to the current pandemic which is useful for brainstorming to foster our intuitive knowledge.

And last but not the least, we have also presented an exclusive interview with Dr Karna Rana, an academic coordinator at Open University, who provides insightful input for online classes, and resources to facilitate students and its possibilities at present and future in Nepal.

Here are the list of posts for you to explore:

  1. Teaching virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic – A reflection of a university professor – Tikaram Poudel, PhD
  2. E-learning is only a means but not a replacement of physical classroom – Karna Rana, PhD
    3. Teacher-led professional development in crisis and ever – Jeevan Karki
  3. Awareness of ICT tools: Micro-management and way forward – Ashok Sapkota
  4. Perceptions on digital literacies and implementation practices: Perspectives of English teachers – Puskar Chaudhary
    6. Lockdown, social distancing and isolation in Ramayan: An overview – Bhan Singh Dhami
    7. Unstoppable learning despite the COVID-19 lockdown – Dipak Prasad Mishra

Finally, I would like to thank ELT Choutari entire team in general and Dr Karna Rana, Jeevan Karki, Babita Sharma Chapagain, and Mohan Singh Saud in particular for their rigorous effort in reviewing and editing the blog pieces. We are excited to announce you about the expansion of our team of reviewers to further enhance the quality of content on Choutari. Join me to welcome Sagar Poudel, Ekraj Koirala, Nanibabu Ghimire, Jnanu Raj Poudel and Karuna Nepal, the energetic members with robust experiences in teaching-learning and reading-writing. Let me thank them for their support and rigorous review of the papers starting from this issue.

On behalf of ELT Choutari Team, I would like to offer this ‘Pandemic Pedagogy’ special issue and thank all the invaluable contributors of the issue. If you are thinking of writing and publishing, we are always open to create give you space here. Share your write-up with us at 2elt.choutari@gmail.com.
Thanking you once again for your continued readership, professional support, and volunteering enthusiasm to work with us collaboratively. If you enjoy reading the write-ups, please feel free to share in your circle, and of course, drop your comments too.

Happy Reading!

Ganesh Kumar Bastola
Lead editor of the issue

11th Anniversary Issue of ELT Choutari: Special Coverage on Resources & Materials #Vol 12, Issue 94

Resources and materials for more engaging and comprehensible learning

Welcome to the 11th anniversary issue of ELT Choutari and the first quarterly (January- March) issue of 2020.

On the completion of its glorious 11 years and moving forward for the 12th year, the current editorial team would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all our founding members, past editors, contributors, well-wishers and most importantly you, as our reader! ELT Choutari has primarily served to promote local scholarship and a resource bank for ELT practitioners. The 11th resourceful years of Choutari has produced 11 volumes and 93 issues with hundreds of resourceful articles. Besides, we also have created a resource bank of ELT Blogs, Discussions and ELT Journals to bring the ELT resources at a single venue for our readers. Our ongoing effort of developing Choutari as a resource bank has further encouraged us to dedicate the theme of this issue on production of ELT resources and materials and their use in ELT context of Nepal to generate a focused discourse on this area.

Resources and materials add value in teaching learning as music adds value in a celebration. They are means and tools for making our teaching-learning more engaging, interesting and thus making activities more learnable and understandable to students. Actually, resources are not only for their day-to-day teaching learning but also for the professional development of teachers. Therefore, the use of resources and materials plays a tremendous role in shaping the professional skills of an English language teacher.

The essence of teaching approach or technique largely depends on the resources and materials teachers choose. Because they help teachers in offering students an amazing variety of routes for learning and discovery (Harmer, 2007). So, the classroom that uses resources and materials makes learning more meaningful by engaging learners and allowing them to learn through self-discovery. The resources and materials also support to address multiple learning styles of children through differentiated instruction. Teachers can design the diverse learning activities to address diversified classroom based on them.

The availability and access to the ELT teaching resources and materials both in physical and online formats have been huge than ever. The online resources stand out more in this era due to its menu like ready-made availability. Such resources can also be accessed through simple android phones even in the rural parts of the world. However, a teacher should be able to customise and contextualise the resources as per the need of curriculum and children.

In the context of Nepal, the production of ELT textbooks and supplementary materials is increasing. And there have been some efforts on publishing ELT journals, audio-visuals, digital magazine like ELT Choutari to contribute to the professional development of teachers. Yet, the resources and materials to address the needs of both students (in the classroom) and teachers (for professional development) are insufficient. Likewise, the quality and innovation on the available resources and materials are also far behind the standard. In this backdrop, this quarterly issue of ELT Choutari is presenting you the six blog posts and one bonus resourceful article to create a focused discourse on these issues.

The blog posts offer you good practices of teachers in using locally available resources, teachers’ reflections on using students’ feedback as a resource for shaping their teaching skills, practices of using Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) for professional development and interview with an expert on the resources and materials to the fullest. Moreover, on the occasion of our anniversary, we also present you a special package of reflections- reflections from our founders, editors, ELT experts and readers. Last but not the least, we also present you a super special resourceful article about ELT resources from TESOL blog, which unpacks many other resources once you get into it (so don’t hesitate to unfold the package).

Here you go:

  1. Reflections: Hearing from founders, editors, ELT experts and readers
  2. Quality scrutiny in materials isn’t merely a formalization process: Ganga Ram Gautam, PhD
  3. Teaching English using locally made/available materials: by Rishi Ram Paudel
  4. Open online courses for teachers’ professional development: by Bibas Thapa
  5. How to convert reading into pleasure from pressure?: by Ghanashyam Raj Kafle
  6. Collecting students’ feedback for enhancing my teaching skills: by Somy Paudyal
  7. The Best 2019 Resources for Teachers of ELs: by Judie Hayness

While releasing this issue, we take the pleasure of welcoming and introducing Mohan Singh Saud in our editorial team. Mr. Saud is a PhD candidate at Graduate School of Education, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He has been teaching English at Kailali Multiple Campus, Dhangadhi, Nepal since 2004. He has also authored some books including school level English series and some journal articles. Currently, he is working on Grade 11 compulsory English textbook under Curriculum Development Centre, Nepal.

Before leaving, I would like to thank all the contributors to this issue. Likewise, I would like to offer special thanks to Babita Sharma Chapagain, Karna Rana, Ganesh Bastola, Praveen Kumar Yadav and Mohan Singh Saud for reading and reviewing the blogs rigorously.

Finally, you are requested to drop your comments for the blog posts you read, share anything you like in your network, and consider writing your own blog post for April- June issue.

Thank you!

Jeevan Karki,
Lead editor of the issue

Welcome to the fourth quarterly issue (October-December) of ELT Choutari, 2019#Vol 11, Issue 93

Dear valued readers,

Greetings!

It gives us immense pleasure to release the fourth quarterly issue (October-December) of ELT Choutari, 2019 under the theme of ‘EFL/ESL teachers’ new teaching ideas/ methods and best practices on integrated approach to teaching English’. As the Ministry of Education, Nepal is heading towards developing and implementing integrated curriculum especially in basic grades, we felt that the discourse should be centered towards it on the academic forum like ELT Choutari. Many countries around the world have been practicing an integrated approach to teaching and learning and advocating its effectiveness for more than two decades. For instance, Dewey (1938) argued that when various subjects are taught in isolation, children lack holistic understanding of the concepts. Likewise, Brain research has depicted the connective nature of brain development that supports the view of integrated curriculum. Wesley (1992) argues that language learning is a whole brain activity; language is learned faster and better if it is taught in a holistic manner. In this backdrop, English teachers of Nepal cannot remain aloof from this new idea.

Learners always bring culture and life experiences related to different content areas to their classroom as they come from rich biological, ethnic, cultural and linguistic background. Language is learned by using it meaningfully in various contexts. Therefore, language education should not merely focus on teaching language skills in isolation but curriculum should be integrated and students, especially in basic grades, should be given ample opportunities to learn English as a second/foreign language by experiencing it in real life situations across various content.

Exchanging our teaching learning experiences on professional platform is a part of continuous professional development, which helps us to stay abreast with current trends and practices in our teaching-learning.

The 92nd issue of Choutari offers a wide range of experiences, and opinions of the contributors capturing best practices in ELT in the area of integrated approach to teaching English. We hope these articles will give some ideas, especially to English teachers, on how to integrate English language with other content areas and thus to avoid rote learning and treat English only as a subject in isolation. Moreover, these writings reflect the firsthand experiences in the area of integrated curriculum and project based learning of the authors/teachers and thus the ideas can be directly replicated to our English language teaching learning context.

There are five articles in this issue:

Ramesh Prasad Ghimire in his first article ‘Place of English in an integrated curriculum for basic grades (1-3) in Nepal’ provides a glimpse of integrated curriculum as well as relevant materials that have been developed for grades (1-3) and piloted in Nepal. In addition, the author explains where English stands in the new curriculum and finally he talks about its challenges in the part of implementation and highlights the necessity of careful and effective teacher preparation before the curriculum is launched in a large scale.

Likewise, the second article entitled ‘Enhancing project work in EFL class’ by Samira Idelcadi offers practical way of integrating project work in the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) class and some important ideas to help students in their projects, monitor and assess the projects and learning during the process. She asserts that project work enhances both students’ language skills and life skills and therefore it should not be merely taken as an extra-curricular activity and teachers could rather make it a part of their regular lesson.

In the third article ‘The market study- an integrated approach’, Prakriti Khanal shares how a long term project-‘market study’ can be the pivot around which many other themes and objectives of curriculum across the subjects can be strewn. She furthermore explains how this kind of integrated project enables students to enliven the event and develop their communication and other important life skills.

Midesh Maharjan in his reflective piece ‘Experiential learning experience in Innovative Preschool’ shares some of his innovative teaching ideas to integrate English across contents and explains how children learn language by experiencing it while being engaged in various tasks related to different subject areas.

In the last post, Choutari editor Jeevan Karki compiles you the five special photos from different areas that can be used in teaching language skills especially speaking and writing.

For ease of access, below is the list of hyperlinked articles:

  1. Place of English in an integrated curriculum for basic grades (1-3) in Nepal: Ramesh Prasad Ghimire
  2. Enhancing project work in EFL class: Samira Idelcadi
  3. The market study- an integrated approach: Prakriti Bhattarai
  4. Experiential learning experience in Innovative Preschool: Midesh Maharjan
  5. Photography project V: Photos for teaching speaking and writing; Jeevan Karki

Finally, I would like to thank the entire team of ELT Choutari in general and Jeevan Karki, Ashok Raj Khati, Ganesh Bastola, Praveen Kumar Yadav and Dr. Karna Rana in particular for their rigorous effort in reviewing and editing the blog pieces. We are equally indebted to all contributors of this issue.

If you enjoy reading the articles, please feel free to share in your circle, and of course, drop your comments in the boxes below. Likewise, please write your teaching-learning experiences and send us. We will give a space at Choutari. Our email is 2elt.choutari@gmail.com 

Wish you a happy Chhat Festival!

Happy Reading!

References:

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Touchstone.

Wesley, D.K. (1992). Educational implications of brain research applied to teaching language arts for creative and critical thinking in writing. ED345240.

Babita Sharma Chapagain  Lead editor of the issue

 

Welcome to the third quarterly issue (July-September) of ELT Choutari, 2019# Vol 11, Issue 92

Dear readers,

Greetings!

We are pleased to announce the third quarterly issue (July-September) of ELT Choutari, 2019 pertaining to the theme of best practices in teaching English. This issue of ELT Choutari features a variety of topics ranging from teaching strategies, teaching methodologies, writing skills, roles of speakers’ club in enhancing speaking ability and best practices in teaching ELT (English Language Teaching) in Nepal. The writings are based on the firsthand experiences of authors/teachers’ and thus the ideas can be directly transferable to our English teaching learning context.

Sharing our teaching learning experiences on professional platform is a part of the process of continuous professional development, which helps us to revenue current trends in teaching English and contribute to the field of language teaching. The more observation we make the better strategies we are likely to employ. The more we share, the better our classroom practices become. Furthermore, recapitalizing the sense and essence of contemporary pedagogy, we teachers in this era are supposed to share our best practices to renew our contents and pedagogy.

Needless to say, this issue of Choutari highlights how Nepali teachers’ best practices have energized their professionalism and contributed to the development of ELT. Effective teaching and learning are sharpened by sharing best practices among and between the practitioners. Writing and sharing our teaching-learning practices not only increases our visibility but also renews our content and pedagogical skills and knowledge. Thus, novice teachers, and students’ can be benefited exploring the new body of knowledge with practical solutions of the problems. Therefore, practices made in one context may empower the participants another context.

In nutshell, this 92nd issue of ELT Choutari offers a wide range of experiences, and opinions of scholars capturing best practices in ELT, which will benefit teacher educators, students, researchers to be specific and ELT in general.

The first post, ‘Reflection on my teaching journey’, an inspiring narrative shared by Laxman Gnawali replicates his personal practices made by himself in course of his teaching and learning endeavor. Having several experiences teaching from lower level to university graduates, the author hints some of the specific strategies to address the classroom problems.  For him, a participatory way of teaching is the best way to renovate teacher’s pedagogical capital.

Likewise, Binod Dhami in the second post ‘Language course and methodology: An innovation or a prescription? questions our teacher education whether methods should be prescribed in the post-modern era and to what extent are the language course and methodology innovative. There is a philosophical tune amalgamated in his narrative whether language course must be innovative to serve the purpose in 21st century.

Similarly, Gyanendra Yadav in the third post ‘Speakers’ club for enhancing public speaking skills and English language’ shares the experience of Speakers’ Club at Kathmandu University, School of Education. It sheds light on the ideas to empower speaking potentials among the learners at different levels.

Sagar Poudel in his personal narration in fourth post ‘My experiences of teaching writing in bachelor level classroom’ reflects his personal techniques employed in bachelor level students’ mentioning three stages of teaching writing metaphorically.

In the same way, in the fifth post Rishi Ram Paudyal entitled ‘Some of my techniques to teach speaking skills’, shares some of the best practices for warming up and teaching speaking based on his own experience.

Here are the five blog posts for this issue:

  1. Reflections on my teaching journey: Laxman Gnawali
  2. Language course and methodology: An Innovation or a prescription? by Binod Singh Dhami
  3. Speakers’ club for enhancing public speaking skills and English language, by Gyanendra Yadav
  4. Three techniques of teaching writing to college students: My experience, by Sagar Poudel
  5. Some of my techniques to teach speaking skills by Rishi Ram Paudyal

Finally, I would like to thank the entire team of ELT Choutari in general and Dr. Karna Rana, Jeevan Karki, Ashok Raj Khati, and Babita Sharma Chapagain, in particular for their rigorous effort in reviewing and editing the blog pieces. We are equally indebted to all contributors of this issue.

If you enjoy reading the blog posts, please feel free to share in your circle, and of course, drop your comments in the boxes below. Likewise, please write your teaching-learning experiences and send us. We will give a space at Choutari. Our email is 2elt.choutari@gmail.com

Ganesh Kumar Bastola

Lead editor of the issue

Welcome to the second quarterly issue of ELT Choutari: Conferencing and professional development #Vol. 11, Issue 91

Source: onestopenglish.com

Dear valued readers,

We are delighted to present the second quarterly issue (April-June) of ELT Choutari of 2019. The issue focuses on ELT (English Language Teaching), conferencing and professional development of English language teachers.

It is always important to bring scholars together in a venue to discuss current issues in the area of knowledge and to renew the professional energy. We observe that attending and organising scholarly conferences is a growing trend here in Nepal. Furthermore, Nepali scholars are presenting their researches in the international conferences in different parts of the world. The learning and understanding are advanced through such participation. Through conversations, dialogues and interactions about contents, pedagogy and recent trends, a teacher inernalises and integrates the concepts and issues into his/her own personal framework. This is how a teacher can seek practical solutions to solve his/her problems of his/her own context. Therefore, an attendee of the conference starts to socially construct his/her own understanding.

Attending conferences is always rewarding for students, teachers and researchers. However, there are some issues regarding the themes of the conferences, speakers’ presentations and impact of those conferences. It is important to see whether the conference theme is rightly raised at the right time. Likewise, the areas of expertise of the key speaker/s to speak on the theme is equally crucial. Some speakers deliver the same ideas for years in different conferences. The point is key speeches, plenary speeches and presentations need to be based on researches and should contribute in the field of knowledge. Furthermore, conference organisers need to assess the output and impact of conferences at different levels.

In this connection, this 91st issue of ELT Choutari offers a wide range of articles, opinions and blog pieces of scholars capturing ELT, conferencing and professional development of English language teachers. I believe that teachers, students and researchers will be benefitted from it.

Here are six blog posts for this issue:

  1. ELT conference culture and confusions in Nepal: A personal reflection by Pramod K. Sah
  2. My reflection on second ELT and applied linguistics conference in Nepal by Somy Paudyal
  3. Conferences and professional development: An exclusive interview with Bal Krishna Sharma
  4. My story of growing as a professional English teacher by Narendra Airi
  5. TPD in community campus in Nepal: Importance and expectations by Nani Babu Ghimire
  6. Photography project: photos for language teaching: Part IV by Jeevan Karki

Finally, I would like to thank Choutari editors Dr. Karna Rana, Jeevan Karki, Babita Sharma Chapagain, Ganesh Kumar Bastola for their hard work and reviews to release this issue. Our special thanks goes to the contributors of this issue.

If you enjoy reading the blog posts, please feel free to share in your circle, and of course, drop your comments in the boxes below. Likewise, please write your teaching-learning experiences and send us. We will give a space at Choutari. Our email is 2elt.choutari@gmail.com.

Ashok Raj Khati

Lead editor of the issue

Welcome to the 10th Anniversary Issue of ELT Choutari: Special Coverage on Reflection #Vol. 11, Issue 90

Dear readers and contributors,

Moving forward with ELTChoutari.com rejoicing new years and new tastes of academic curries, here we come with new issue of the online magazine. While saying big bye to 2018 and wishing Happy New Year 2019 to you, the editorial board would like to thank millions of readers and those who have contributed something to the magazine in the past ten years and so. We would like to express our gratitude to the past editors for giving birth to Choutari and their invaluable effort to give it a shape. On this occasion, Dr Sharma, Dr Phyak and Bal Ram Adhikari also share their reflections on the journey, contributions and the future of ELTChoutari.com. We, Karna Rana, Jeevan Karki, Ashok Raj Khati and Praveen Kumar Yadav, the current editors, would like to collectively extend sincere gratitude to millions of readers who have ever supported us and many other writers by reading varieties of articles published on this magazine and by providing feedback to develop our works. Your continuous support has ever made us promising academics and ever inspired to volunteer our time and effort to promote this magazine and we hope you continue your academic activities and share your reflections in the future issues of this magazine.

In the previous ten volumes, ELTChoutari.com has published teachers’ experiences of learning and teaching English, university students’ reflections on their academic writing, researchers’ views, ideas, arguments and suggestions on improving academic productions and teacher trainers’ experiences of training Nepali teachers to teach the English language in public schools. Particularly English as a medium of instruction (EMI) in government schools in Nepal, teachers’ poor English, under-developed research culture in Nepal, learning to research, teaching writing skills, unclear language policy, ICT in the classroom teaching, and reflections on learning and teaching English have attracted the attention of thousands of readers in the past 89 issues of this magazine. We believe that the writings would have positive influence on academic activities of teachers, students and professionals. Also, this magazine would have contributed something positive in policy making, language planning, classroom teaching and research writing.

ELTChoutari.com, an open online magazine, allows professionals, researchers, teachers and students from across the world to share their writings as few issues in the past have published international articles from various countries such as India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Pakistan, Jordon, Ghana, and so on. Many articles published in various issues have received good impact with citations in standard peer-reviewed journals. We hope the magazine will have much brighter days in the future.

This issue includes various reflective writings including instinct responses from the founder editors, teachers, ELT practitioners and workshop participants’ (the participants attending the reflective writing workshop the last month) on-the-spot lived reflections on reflective writing.

Here is a list of posts for this issue:

1. Looking Back and Forward: Hearing from the Past Editors and Readers

2. A Journey of Gaining Pedagogical Capital: Reflection of an English Teacher by Ganesh Bastola

3. A Step-by-Step Lesson Plan and Assessment for Paragraph Writing by Dr Md. Kamrul Hasan

4. Radio, My Coach for English Language Teaching by Sreejana Chamling

5. Reflection on a one-day-workshop “How to Write and Publish Reflective Writing” by Muna Rai

6. Video Changed the Way of Teaching Poem by Ram Chandra Pokhrel

While releasing this issue, we take the pleasure of welcoming and introducing two new energetic colleagues Babita Sharma Chapagain and Ganesh Kumar Bastola.

Babita Sharma Chapagain is a Hornby Scholar (University of Warwick, UK, 2014/15) having completed MA in ELT and Master’s degree in ELT from Kathmandu University. She is a freelance teacher educator from Nepal having gained 15 years experience of working as a teacher and teacher trainer. She also brings in experiences of writing and reviewing articles.

Likewise, Ganesh Kumar Bastola is an M. Phil graduate from Kathmandu University in English Language Education. He is a teacher, teacher educator, and researcher and translation practitioner, who also brings writing and reviewing experiences.

They will work together on our editorial team.

Finally we, the current editorial team, would like to thank the contributors in this issue and founding editors for their continuous support. Jeevan Karki, a leading member of our editorial team, deserves special thanks for his overall support in this issue. Thank you Ashok Raj Khati and Praveen Kumar Yadav for your cooperation. We hope we will have brighter days ahead.

Karna Rana, PhD

Leading editor of this issue

Welcome to the Fourth Quarterly Issue of ELT Choutari: Special Coverage on Teaching Reading #Vol. 10, Issue 89

First Let’s Talk About Reading Skills Then Only the Habit

Source: Richard_Rivera

Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics defines reading as the process of “perceiving a written text in order to understand its contents.” The written text here indicates written symbols of languages. Therefore, reading is making meaning from written symbols. Reading can be both aloud or silent. When you are reading this paragraph, perhaps you are reading silently and making the sense of what I’m trying to convey. Now, please read this statement aloud, yes please start reading aloud and feel the difference yourself. Have you read? That’s great. You read aloud so easily and subconsciously at the moment but I bet it took a great deal for your teacher to make you able to correlate each written symbol and their corresponding sounds and pronounce words accurately, which you just did without much effort and feeling that. Ok, just a moment for you to think, can we read silently without first being able to read aloud? Umm, generally not. Reading experts urge that a reader reads silently once s/he is fluent enough and to be fluent, one should have a considerable practice. And the practice comes from reading aloud. Therefore, the sub-skill of being aware of symbols and their corresponding sounds is a basic skill for reading.

In order to explain the process of reading more clearly, researchers have identified five components required for reading success. They are Phonemic awareness (sound- symbols relationship), phonics (name of the symbol and its sound), sight-word recognition, and fluency (NICHD, 2000), as well as vocabulary (Stahl & Bravo, 2010) and comprehension (Snow, 2002). Once we teach our children these five components of reading effectively, the children become independent readers and being an independent reader is the foundation for being successful in all areas of education. Check yourself now. You are reading this editorial independently because of these five components. Yes, our reading skill is based on these components and all other reading strategies we learn as we grow are also based on them. Similarly, our reading habit comes from these basic reading skills. Until and unless we children master these basic reading skills, we cannot expect a good reading habit in them. The ultimate goal of reading is to comprehend the text or grasp the meaning, which is equally important for any early grader to any university graduate.

Now as a teacher, future teacher, teacher educator or policy maker, we need to ask ourselves, in our reading lesson, do we really teach reading skills in our classes (like phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading fluency and comprehension)? When we remark our children do not have a reading habit, have we assessed whether they have a proper reading skill? How do we assess the reading skills of children? Mostly in written? Isn’t that somehow funny that we assess oral reading skill in written? These are some questions I leave up to you to reflect on our teaching reading practices.

Presenting you a special issue on reading skills and reading habits, we have opened up a discussion on developing reading skills- reading skills required for an early grader to the skills required for a university graduate. Moreover, we also have tried to capture some of the practices of promoting reading habits in this issue. We have covered six posts in this issue, which all are based on the experience of the authors. Some of the posts explore the challenges in developing reading skills and reading habit followed by some ways out. Likewise, other offer wonderful strategies and tips for accelerating reading skills at school level and also in research level. Moreover, some post views reading as the means of exploration and experience. Interestingly, this issue brings up the writing from three ladies and three gentlemen, gender equality, isn’t it? It is so good to see them coming up with academic discourse here at Choutari.

Read our posts to explore more about reading. Please follow the link below, read, drop your comments for the writers, share the posts among your circle and most importantly, write your experiences, reflections, best practices, challenges and so on in your profession and email us at 2eltchoutari@gmail.com. We will take your writing in the process.

Finally, wish you all a joyous, colourful and brightest Tihar and Chhat festival. Have a good time. Here is the list of the posts for this issue:

  1. Let’s Borrow Something from Nepali Language Classrooms into English Classrooms: Ekraj Koirala (Siddhartha)
  2. Some Ideas of Developing Reading Habits in Children: Babita Chapagain
  3. How to Review Literature Effectively: Sharing My Research Experiences: Karna Rana, PhD
  4. Why There is No Good Reading Habit in Our Students: An Exploration: Nabina Rokka
  5. My Experience of Teaching Reading in Higher Secondary Level: Yashoda Bam
  6. A Professional Journey of Exploration, Experience and Expression: Balram Adhikari

Catch you up in the January issue.

Before leaving, I would like to thank all the contributors to this issue. Likewise, I would like to offer special thanks to Ashok Raj Khati and Karna Rana for their rigorous reading and review of the articles.

Jeevan Karki, the Lead Editor of the Issue

Follow me at Twitter: @G1Karki

Welcome to the Third Quarterly Issue of ELT Choutari: Special Coverage on Writing Education #Vol. 10, Issue 88

A teacher providing feedback on her students’ writing (www.alamy.com)

Editorial

We are delighted to present the third quarterly issue (July- September) of ELT Choutari of 2018, the 88th issue. The issue focuses on writing education in Nepali schools and universities.

We, the teachers of English in schools and universities teach about writing not writing itself. For instance, students are made to memorise what a paragraph means rather than making them write a paragraph on different topics. In the university, many students strive to create original pieces of writing. To meet the dates for submitting assignments, students ‘copy and paste’ in rush. They do not receive enough opportunity to practice writing in the classrooms. On the other hand, in schools, teachers generally write paragraphs, letters and essays on the board and students just copy them. They even memorise those notes including essays for the examination. Furthermore, there are ‘ready-made’ paragraphs, letters, job applications and essays in the markets; the “Bazaar Notes”. In a way, these notes make the teachers’ lives go easy. Of course, there are few teachers and students who invest their sufficient effort to practice writing processes in schools and universities. Interestingly, it has also been observed that the teachers and university faculties who have never produced a single piece of original writing in their career grade the students’ papers for their creativity and originality in writing. I mean, do we have experience of the process of writing? We need to rethink and revise the practice of teaching writing in our academic institutions.

In this connection, this 88th issue of ELT Choutari offers a wide range of writing practices, experiences and analysis of scholars. I believe that teachers, students and researchers will be benefited from reading these writings.

Here are nine blog posts for this issue:

  1. Thesis Writing: A Big Learning Opportunity: Nabina Roka
  2. Good Writing is All About Practice and Knowing its Requirements: Dr Hayes (by Jeevan Karki)
  3. Thesis Writing: A Next Step in Learning: Tara Rai
  4. Writing a Writing Education in Nepal: Dr Shyam Sharma
  5. Developing Students’ Writing Skill: Teachers’ Views from Far West: Januka Bhatta
  6. Academic Writing and the Reality in Universities: A Review of Academics’ Voices: Dr Karna Rana
  7. My Experience of Teaching Writing in School: Shanti Upreti
  8. Being Familiar with Academic Writing: Nani Babu Ghimire
  9. Teaching Writing at University Level: Practices from Far West Nepal

I would like to thank Choutari editors Dr. Karna Rana, Jeevan Karki, Praveen Kumar Yadav and a learning editor Narendra Airi for their reviews to release this issue. Finally, if you enjoy reading the blog posts, please feel free to share in your circle and of course, drop your comments in the boxes below. Likewise, please write your teaching-learning experiences and send us. We will give a space at Choutari. Our email is 2elt.choutari@gmail.com.

Ashok Raj Khati

The editor of the issue

Welcome to the April- June Issue of ELT Choutari: Special Coverage on Advancing Writing Education #Vol. 10, Issue 87

Editorial

We are delighted to present the second quarterly issue (April- June) of ELT Choutari of 2018. Standing at this point and looking back, we have been able to publish 87 issues in the past 10 years, and we believe that it has been a good source of learning and a place for expressing feelings, ideas and professional experiences. This has really encouraged us to keep the ball rolling.

Why skill for doing a job? Whatever we attempt to do, it requires particular skills to accomplish the task successfully. For example, the way of dressing up for a party, driving a car, decorating a room, painting a picture, performing a dance, designing a building, speaking in a conference, writing an essay or doing so and so activities are skills. In a generic sense, skill is an ability to perform an activity systematically. Whether preparing a cup of coffee or writing a thesis for a degree, skills specific to the jobs label the quality and taste of both of them. I believe that a customer enjoys the taste of coffee in a cup but not the cup in a cafeteria. Therefore, the owner of the cafeteria employs professional barista to attract maximum customers and increase the sales. However, customers always talk about the taste of coffee but not the barista who prepares a nice cup of coffee for the customers. Does it make a difference to the barista’s job and skill? Sometimes it does but mostly not.

An academic writer perhaps needs to understand this fact. Although it is not easy to develop academic writing skills, the skills play a vital role to offer a nice piece of writing to readers. It does not matter whoever you are like a barista in a cafeteria kitchen but the taste matters- the taste of your writing matters! I have heard several gossips among teachers and academics that they would like to be an academic writer but I have never heard how they would become a writer. How many postgraduate students internalise the role of a barista? I believe that a barista must have spent a long life preparing the coffee to become a professional barista. S/he might have learned the skills from several mistakes and losses.

This issue offers reading various experiences of several academics who share their struggles, challenges they faced, skills they learned and some degree of academic knowledge. These articles focus on skills of writing an academic paper and suggest that academics learn academic skills from their writing activities similar to a barista who learns skills of preparing coffee from the workplace. I believe that teachers, students and emergent researchers will be benefited reading these writings about “writings”.

In the first post, Thesis Writing: A Hard Nut to Crack, Muna Rai shares her anxiety, process and pain, and pleasure of writing her Master’s thesis.

In the similar second post, Sharing My Experiences of Master’s Thesis Writing, Mamata Bhattarai shares her reflective journey of thesis writing.

Likewise, in our third post, A Teacher’s Journal of Teaching Writing in Community School of Nepal, Bimal Khanal shares his experiences and feeling of teaching writing in the community school and perceptions of students.

Similarly, introducing our one of the popular genres “the interactive blog post”, Ashok Raj Khati weaves the policies, practices, processes and challenges in teaching writing in English Language Education (ELE) Program in Nepali Universities with the collaboration of the faculties of different universities in Nepal.

In the same way, in an exclusive interview with the expert from our thematic area of this issue, Dr Shyam Sharma focuses on the beliefs and assumptions about writing, need of writing today, issues and challenges in our writing education, and some ways forward.

In another post, Thinh Le shares tips for composing an essay and taking academic notes effectively based on his experience.

Finally, in the last post, our Choutari editor, Jeevan Karki presents you the seven special photos from different areas that can be used in teaching language skills especially writing.

Here are the seven posts for you in this issue:

  1. Thesis Writing: A Hard Nut to Crack (A Student’s Experience) by Muna Rai
  2. Sharing My Experiences of Masters Thesis Writing by Mamata Bhattarai
  3. A Teacher’s Journal of Teaching Writing in Community School in Nepal by Bimal Khanal
  4. Writing Practices in ELE Programs in Nepali Universities: An Interactive Blog Post by Ashok Khati
  5. Training Teachers to Integrate Writing Across the Disciplines: Dr Shyam Sharma
  6. Tips for Writing an Essay and Taking Academic Notes by Thinh Le
  7. Free Photos for Teaching Writing: Jeevan Karki

I would like to thank my dear friends: Jeevan Karki, Ashok Raj Khati and Praveen Kumar Yadav, the editors of http://eltchoutari.com/ for their support to bring this issue. To be honest, they have done much more than me on this issue and have ever put their greater effort to make this professional online magazine sustainable. The founders of this online magazine always deserve the core place of bigger thank you.

Finally, if you enjoy reading any post, please feel free to share in your circle and of course, drop your comments in the boxes below that will encourage us to keep moving. Similarly, you can send your reflective experiences, journals, best practices, book reviews, case studies, local and global perspectives on ELT, etc. You can email us your post at 2elt.choutari@gmail.com

Dr Karna Rana

Editor of the issue

Welcome to the Ninth Anniversary Issue of ELT Choutari, with Special Coverage of ELT Curriculum and Materials in Nepal

Growing older and giving back better

We are delighted to present the ninth anniversary issue of ELT Choutari. This is a legacy of work and inspiration of scholars at home and abroad for sustaining a forum and building new knowledge on relevant issues in ELT and on education more broadly. In 2017, we were able to publish two strong issues on ICT in education and language planning and policy. While we have published less often recently, we remain inspired to present high-quality scholarship through this venue. We are committed to regularising the publication of Choutari and we encourage our readers to share their work.

As we celebrate the ninth anniversary of “Nepal’s first digital ELT magazine,” this issue covers the subject of “ELT Curriculum and Materials in Nepal: Process, Quality, and Learnability”.

The curriculum is an area that needs the attention of scholars and policy-makers alike. Curriculum Development Centre (CDC), Nepal states that only the materials produced by it are textbook, whereas the materials published by private publication are called additional reading or reference materials. Students of private schools around the country are reading these additional reading/reference materials as the textbooks except for district and regional level exams in class eight and ten respectively. Big private publishers supply a large amount of such additional reading materials to schools around the country and those materials have their own characteristics. The additional reading materials available in the market do not show that their quality is controlled (or the national benchmark set) by the CDC, which is one of its primary roles.

Private publishers seem to believe that if their materials are thicker and heavier, they are better. Therefore, they include more material, in fancier format, for better ‘branding’, loading more materials beyond the expectations of the curriculum and levels of students. As a result, the current curriculum (unfortunately defined narrowly as textbooks) puts almost cruel and educationally absurd pressure on young students. Most of our teachers and parents strictly stick to the materials, rarely adapting the materials but instead just trying to “finish” the book by the end of the term (as their schools and parents also want them to do). It rarely matters whether the material is good, if it is relevant to course objective, or if it is appropriate and learnable to the students–not to mention how the approach undermines the ingenuity of the teacher.

Students are judged on the basis of how much of the material–however bad–they can ‘master’ through memory, rather than by understanding and using meaningfully. It is saddening to see the absolute power of developers, public officials, and school administrators, most of whom are both uninformed and uninterested in issues like this–while they love to lead the education sector. Who has time to think about boring issues like this, right? The intellectual development of students, meaningfulness of curriculum from social perspectives, role, and the ability of educators in the classroom is ignored. What really matters is whatever glitters!

On the other hand, textbooks published by the government are far from ideal. They may have been strictly based on the curriculum of the government and appropriate to the average students but does their content address the needs of students with different levels and types of abilities? Likewise, is there variety in activities? Are the lessons attractive and engaging for them? Do they try to tap into the teacher’s own ideas and ingenuity? Do the materials published especially by private publication undergo quality control? Are writers and developers sufficiently knowledgeable about curriculum and pedagogy, about benchmarks and reality on the ground, or even the subject matter? Are others involved in the publication process–such as illustrators and graphic designers–trained and qualified? What is the role of the national body of curriculum and textbook CDC to produce such manpower? Are our learners reading truly appropriate and learnable curricular materials? Or have we given in to the whims of the market and fashion as a nation?

Thus, curriculum–in both narrow and broad senses of the term–is an important issue that needs a lot more attention in our scholarship. It is in this context that this issue of Choutari focuses on ELT curriculum and materials in Nepal. Our writers and hopefully readers are also involved in this discourse, and we hope to generate more conversations around this topic in the future.

In the first post, Prem Prasai shares A teacher’s practice and perception on English language textbook of secondary level based on his day to day experience as a textbook user.

In the second post, Bishow Raj Joshi shares his journey from a teacher to English language textbook writer including the process, achievements, and challenges of developing textbooks.

Likewise, in an interview, Bal Ram Adhikari shares his experiences of a higher level course developer including the process, trends in course development, his observation on the available courses, prospects, and challenges of course development.

Similarly, in another post, Ramesh Ghimire, a Curriculum Officer at Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) shares his observations on the ELT textbooks in the market and the process and policy of CDC.

On the other hand, Bal Krishna Sharma in another post sheds light on the two ‘tremendously useful’ books the English teachers.

The next post is a survey on students reading habits on the non-textbooks translated by Praveen Kumar Yadav based on the survey conducted by Research and Analytics. It explores the interests of students in the non- textbooks, their reading habit, the role of teachers and parents to promote reading non-textbooks, the popular genre among students etc.

In the quest of offering you something innovative and engaging, we have stepped up to offer you an audio-visual interview. In the interview, Dr. Vishnu S. Rai shares his journey of developing textbook, the inception of the functional curriculum in ELT in Nepal, the quality and learnability of the available textbooks and materials in the market, and the future of ELT curriculum and materials.

Last not the least, we have an announcement made by Dr Prem Phyak for our readers about the first ever annual ELT and Applied Linguistics Conference, organized by Department of English Education, Tribhuvan University Nepal.

Likewise, it gives us the joy to share you that ELT Choutari has launched its own YouTube Channel ELT Choutari- YouTube  in order to share the audio-visual resources and thus expanding the horizon of ELT Choutari. We are very hopeful that you will subscribe our channel and stay updated.

Please check the list of the eight posts in this issue:

  1. A Teacher’s Practice and Perception on English Language Textbook of Secondary Level: Prem Prasai
  2. My Journey to Become a Textbook Writer: Bishow Raj Joshi
  3. We’re Still Toddlers in Designing Materials for University Level: Bal Ram Adhikari
  4. Parents & Students Have no Choice in Materials Selection: Ramesh Ghimire
  5. More to ELT: Two Books on Language Education and Communication: Bal Krishna Sharma
  6. [SURVEY] Reading Habit: Do our students read the books outside the textbooks?,translated by Praveen Kumar Yadav
  7. (VIDEO) Dr Vishnu S. Rai in Conversation with Dr. Prem Phyak on ELT Textbook and Materials Writing in Nepal
  8. [Announcement] First Annual ELT & Applied Linguistics Conference 2018, Prem Phyak

I would like to say thanks to all the founders of ELT Choutari and the past editors; we’re building on the legacy you’ve passed on to us. I am very grateful to Dr. Shyam Sharma for help with editing, to Praveen Kumar Yadav for support with materializing this issue, and to fellow Choutari editors (Karna Bahadur Rana and Ashok Raj Khati) for their contributions and leadership.

Please remember to leave a comment on what you read, share anything you like with your network, and to consider contributing your own writing in the future.

Thank you.

Jeevan Karki
Lead Editor, ELT Choutari, New Year Issue, 2018

Welcome to the June Issue of ELT Choutari: Language Planning and Policy

Language Plan & Policy

Editorial

English teachers should initiate discussion on rationales of English medium of instruction

It is common to experience different issues in teaching-learning process in educational institutions, which is not desirable but inevitable. Most of the problems can be solved through an effective communication and discussion among the team.

One of the key issues in our educational institution now is the appropriate use and practice of language/s both as a medium of instruction and access of children’s mother tongue in teaching learning. Before addressing the issue of mother tongue based multilingual education, there has arisen another key issue in teaching learning, which is the increasing use of English as a medium of instruction in our multicultural and multilingual classes. And the interesting thing is the practice of English medium instruction is merely guided by a statement in policy, which states that “the medium of instruction at school level can be Nepali, English or both. However, Mother tongue can be used up to basic level and the same language should be used for a language subject.” There is no any other policy guidelines to systematise this practice. Schools are imitating each others and the practice is increasing. In this backdrop, the communities, local governing bodies and teachers as local executives should also play an important role to make a wise decision on the language practice in the educational setting. An initiation from a teacher also can make a big difference. Therefore, teachers, especially English teachers should initiate effective communication and discussion among the team to avoid the situation from getting worse because they know more about English language and its limitation.

In the context of Nepal, the increasing shift to the English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) seems to be guided by two major factors. First, to stop the transfer of students to private boarding school and increase students in community school. Second, the belief that the English language proficiency of students can be enhanced by teaching all subjects in English medium.

There are several other factors behind the distrust of parents towards community schools, resulting the decrease in number of students. Merely introducing English medium instruction does not solve the problems but its impacts can further deteriorate the condition of school. On the other hand, schools and parents believe that the teaching all academic subjects in English can improve the language proficiency of students. But are schools only English language teaching centres? Or they have roles to deliver the academic contents effectively to students as set by curriculum. Can the existing teachers deliver the contents effectively in the new language? Are students ready for that? Most importantly, is it necessary to deliver all academic contents in English language from primary level? What is the rationale behind it? What do the researches suggest?

We, therefore, need to consider several important questions before making the decisions of language shift in schools. It is very important decision, which can affect the future of children and society but schools are taking it very lightly.

As an English teacher, we can do something to rethink and review this practice. Firstly, we ourselves should be clear that language is just a medium to deliver the information, knowledge and skills. Therefore, the medium of instruction should be the language in which both the students and teachers feel comfortable. It has been huge challenge even for teachers of English to teach English effectively around the nation and how can other teachers teach academic subjects (well packed with contents) effectively to students? Therefore, let’s teach English language subject effectively first. If only English language is taught effectively, students can achieve a level of conversational English. In the name of EMI, actually parents are asking for a workable conversational English, which is possible through effective teaching of the English language. It is not necessary to make such a big shift to attain this purpose. As an English teacher, if we only can clarify these illusions in our school management and school family, it could avoid the random practice and decisions regarding the medium of instruction.

And presenting you the June issue for you, we have tired to re/start the discussion on the language planning, policy and language practices. This issue is packaged with language planning and policy, language in education, professional development and general thoughts on education. The following lines will guide you to select the writing in the area of your interest:

In the first post, Kumar Narayan Shrestha talks about language planning and policy, and its process, and also reviews the language planning and policy of Nepal.

Similarly, Gyanendra Kumar Yadav explores the actual language practice and the issues related to language policy and English language teaching (ELT) in Nepal.

Likewise, a PhD scholar Karna Rana, shares the global need of multilingual citizens and rationales for education in children’s mother tongue.

In an exclusive interview, Dr. Prem Phyak shares his insights on the effective approach to language planning and policy analyzing the flaws in the existing language planning and policy. Similarly, he also shares the possible approach in language in education and multi-lingualism and evaluates ELT in Nepal.

In another post, to present you a different taste, Dr. Shyam Sharma urges us to reframe our perspectives and look the realities through positive lens and encourages everyone to take action from their level for language policy and quality education for all.

In the last but the not the least post, Shikha Gurung shares how teachers can continue their professional development through the three dimensional act of reflection, research and networking.

Here is the complete list of the posts in this issue:

  1. Language Planning in Nepal: A Bird’s Eye View: by Kumar Narayan Shrestha
  2. Language Practices and Food for Thought for Language Policy Makers: by Gyanendra Kumar Yadav
  3. So What, If Not Mother Tongue?: by Karna Rana
  4. Language Planning and Policy Should Embrace Inclusive and Co-learning Practices: Dr. Phyak: by Prem Phyak
  5. Beyond Beating Dead Horses: by Shyam Sharma
  6. A Three Dimensional Approach to Professional Development of English Language Teachers in Nepal: by Shikha Gurung

Finally, I would like to thank Karna Rana for his rigorous support in reading and editing. Likewise, I am thankful to Ashok Raj Khati and Praveen Kumar Yadav for their support to release this issue. Similarly, special thank goes to all the contributors of the issue.

Read, comment, share and write your own practices and send to us at 2elt.choutari@gmail.com

Happy reading!

Jeevan Karki the Editor of the issue
Jeevan Karki
the Editor of the issue

Welcome to Eighth Anniversary of Choutari: A Special Issue on ICT in ELT

ict-in-education-elt-choutariDear teachers, educators and learners,

Learning is a lifelong process. Even a person at the end of his or her life says, ‘Had I done that…’. The philosophy of education and teaching profession keeps changing in the course of time. The traditional meaning of teacher has been modified as soon as the technologies emerged into the social life. The new digital technologies in daily life have transformed the socio-cultural aspects, educational norms and learning strategies. It has mounted the responsibilities of teachers, institutions and community to understand the fast-changing society and move with the time. At the same time, smart technology has already been accepted as a part of daily life. With the advantages of using smart technology, the technological environment has also generated challenges for the teachers, schools and communities.

Social mobility, migration and transformation of values and norms have consistently engendered various innovations, options and obligations in daily life. Such movements develop some aspects of the society as well as endanger some identities of the human beings. Among the several identities of different communities, language is one of them. There are still over 6500 languages surviving in the world although most of them are limited to verbal form only. After the World War II, the rapid social mobilisation brought several changes in social life. The development of computer technology emerged into our daily life. It increased industrialisation, international business, globalisation of education. The developments created such an environment where the world had to redefine ‘education’ as per the social needs and changes. The national institutions in different countries were renamed as International; these international institutions followed the way of world trade organisation. Education then has been driven by business motive rather than social transformation. Consistently industrialisation dominated socialisation and demanded socialisation according to industrialisation.

When we review last two decades of global change, industrialisation has led socialisation. Industrialisation of natural resources, human resource, technology, ideology and education has changed the way of socialising in the modern world. No nation can survive independently in the world today. It has been imperative for every country to share products, skills and bills. The powerful nations accelerated industrialisation and internationalised their products. The internationalisation of every product in a country demanded link language to communicate with each other. The underdeveloped and developing countries as consumers of multi-national products had to learn the language of industrialised nations. For instance, English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Russian and Chinese languages have been international languages due to their industrial development. Whereas, thousands of other languages are in the line of extinction. Technological development has much deterred the use of other languages existing in different communities in the world. Over 2000 languages with less than 1000 speakers are going to extinct soon whereas other several languages are dying gradually.

With the development of Web 2.0 technology in the new millennium, the world has been much controlled by the English language. The recent online information states that the English language has occupied over 90 percent digital information world. It is evident that the English language has been an international language and official language of many countries. The internationalisation of English language has been dominating other languages in the world.

The acceptance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education has much accelerated in the development of English language in the non-native ground of English language. This issue of http://eltchoutari.com/ presents various experiences of English language teachers from different countries in South-East Asia, Middle-East Asia and West Africa. It shares English teachers’ ICT practice in English language teaching and learning in various contexts. Teachers from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, Jordan and Ghana have also written about ICTs in English language teaching and learning in their contexts. Their contribution along with the English teachers from Nepal has made this issue a more reflective and hopefully productive.

Jeevan Karki, one of the editorial team members of this digital portal, has highlighted how the teachers can integrate mobile phones into English language teaching-learning activities and also shares the practices of English language teachers of remote schools of Nepal. In another post, Dr. Kofi Ayebi from Ghana has described the strategy of ICT integration in education from primary to tertiary level. He highlights ICT in primary school education as a fundamental course to prepare the children for higher level school. The government of Ghana has executed ICT in education policy at all levels with the aim of developing the skilled human resource to meet the requirement of the industry. Ghana equally emphasises the English language in institutions and official purpose.

SM Akramul Kabir from Bangladesh describes the situation of ICT use in schools in Bangladesh. He points out the challenges of implementing ICT in education policy in teaching and learning where there is a lack of skilled teachers and technology support. Although there are schools in Bangladesh trying various forms of ICTs in instructional activities, he says that insufficient IT support for the academic institutions across the country, lack of high-speed internet connection, and frequent power cut problem in rural and suburban areas are major issues to be fixed to execute ICT in education policy successfully.

Ambadatta Joshi from Nepal who has been teaching English in a primary school with digital devices (Laptop) reflects his lifelong learning. His schooling with Dhulauto (a wooden flake with dust on it) to teaching with digital technology can be an inspiring story for many teachers and learners in the world.

Upendra Ghimire in another post suggests some advantages of mobile in English language learning. Thinh Le from Vietnam explicates that his practice of online tools resulted in good after a long online teaching and learning activities. His experiential writing may encourage many school teachers and learners to use digital tools such as Skype, Moodle, Zoom, Facebook or other tools to communicate with each other, discuss lessons and share ideas from distance virtual environment.

Similarly, Muneir Gwasmeh from Jordan shares his English language teaching experience in Jordanian and Abu Dhabi schools using audio technologies. He considers that digital technologies provide the second language learners with an opportunity of learning the language in the absence of teachers or even what the teachers missed. Haprpinder Kaur from India explicates that how a school teacher came to learn the correct English pronunciation with the support of smartboard in the classroom. Her reflective writing may insist the non-native English teachers teaching English in the exotic ground to rethink about their English language teaching. It also suggests that the teachers have to learn to use digital technologies to upgrade their knowledge and skills. Similarly, Shaista Rasheed from Pakistan suggests the teachers use online tools to teach English as well as other subjects. Her experience of using Google group in English language teaching can be a good example for English language teachers.

In this connection, Choutari editor Ashok Raj Khati has talked to Dr. Balkrishna SharmaPraveen Kumar Yadav and Dr. Shyam Sharma to reflect back the seven years journey of ELT Choutari. In the same line, one of our regular readers, Narendra Singh Dhami, explains on how he exploits this forum for his day-to-day teaching.

Here is the list of the hyperlinked posts included for this issue:

  1. Avenues of Mobile Phones in ELT- Practices of Remote Schools in Nepal, by Jeevan Karki
  2. ICT/Digital technology in Ghana, by Dr Kofi Ayebi 
  3. ICT in Bangladesh: A potential tool to promote language education, by SM Akramul Kabir
  4. My experience using digital technology in primary school, by Ambadatta Joshi
  5. ICT in English Language Teaching and Learning: South-East Asia, by Upendra Ghimire and Thinh Le
  6. ICT in English language teaching and learning in South to Middle-East Asia. by Muneir Gwasmeh, Haprpinder Kaur and Shaista Rasheed
  7. ELT Choutari Journey of Seven Years: Reflections 

Finally, the thanks go to the contributors who have given their invaluable time to share their experiences, ideas and researches. At the same time, the team of Choutari who have constantly been putting their efforts to develop this platform equally deserves credits. To bring out the special issue, I am also grateful to the members of the editorial team, Ashok Raj Khati, Jeevan Karki and Praveen Kumar Yadav for their editorial and technical supports.

Thank you.

Karna Rana
Karna Rana

Editor of the Issue

Mr. Rana is a PhD Candidate in the School of Teacher Education, College of Education, Health and Human Development, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.