ELT at Tertiary level: Perspectives from Far-West Nepal

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Lal Bahadur Bohara

Background

I was grown in a hill district (Bajhang) of far western region. I completed my masters from Tribhuwan University. When I joined a TU affiliated campus in Bajhang, I had some different experiences in teaching English and working with students there. Students’ perspectives toward English language learning, their expectations and efforts made me rethink about my way of teaching and working with students. It made me further investigate the perceptions of ELT professionals and challenges they are facing in far-west region. In this blog post, I am presenting the voices of ELT professionals from this region. It is just a presentation of preliminary data for my paper in Kathmandu University.

Introduction

I taught English in rural areas of far western Nepal for a decade. I think teacher is an only source of motivation for students to learn English in our context. In my case, the way I deal my students sometime motivate them and some other time demotivate. The experience of teaching English in this region, made me further investigate in the area of ELT. This piece primarily discloses the perspectives of English teachers in relation to prescribed English courses in B.Ed. level, common strategies teachers employ in the classroom and challenges they face while teaching English. I had a talk (not structured one) with five English teachers teaching in B.Ed. level in far western region – they were from Bajhang, Bajura, Kanchanpur, Achham and Dadeldhura. They were teaching English in different campuses under the affiliation of Tribhuvan University.

Now, I present the preliminary findings of my study on four major themes. I shall be analyzing the findings and share in future issues.

Gap in contents

I found that academic courses are de-contextualized in relation to contents and culture. In other words, it is found that the contents at bachelor level are de-contextualized with particular reference to the respect to society, culture, age and prior knowledge of learners. Hence, there is a gap between the local reality and the contents in the syllabus. In this regard, a participant put his voice this way:

The prescribed courses are not harmonized with the level of prior knowledge of students in bachelor level. Further, the prescribed books do not incorporate the culture of far western region, even if they were written by Nepali scholars.

Most of the academic contents were from other culture which does not appropriate the socio-cultural background of students in the far western region.

Increasing use of technology

I found that English teachers make of use of the internet, Google and several ELT Webpages. The trend is increasing in urban areas. A teacher mentioned that:

               I use Facebook and make use of several ELT groups and pages. The                               discussions over these venues assist me to facilitate teaching of English                             and keep me up to date in the area. Similarly, webpages such as Learn                           and Teach English of British Council and other ELT resource sites are                             quite helpful for me. Certain mobile applications have also been                                       supportive to me.

It shows that increasing use of technology has added advantages to teach English at tertiary level and the trend is growing in this region.

Teacher centered strategies

Except in a few cases, all participants agree that teachers basically follow lecture method, the conventional method of teaching English. A participant states that:

Without using translation method, the students do not understand the contents. They seem to be happy with translation in Nepali and local dialect. In the classroom of compulsory English (language subject), the number of students is large and teacher primarily depend on lecturing and GT method. In compulsory English classes, some students are from poor language background.

The study shows that in urban areas teachers are, to some extent, more resourceful and innovative than in rural areas. They also agree that students join the English stream with inadequate basic standard in English. However, a participant reports that he sometimes uses project work, group work and problem solving techniques while teaching English.

Use of L1

Next revealing phenomenon is that teachers and students use maximum Nepali and local languages in English classroom in this region. Another participant articulates this practice this way:

Without using local and Nepali language, students can understand nothing. During the lesson, Nepali is a medium of instruction. I often try to use English but students just listen to me, they don’t respond or interact. Then I have to immediately switch to L1.

Participation of students

It also shows that learners’ participation in classroom is very low. Most classrooms are heterogeneous in terms of socio-economic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds of students. Therefore, the one prescribed curriculum from the top does not capture their interests and different motivational orientations. Here is what a participant expresses:

Majority of students neither complete their assignments nor actively participate in classroom activities like pair work, group work, and dramatization. Most importantly, they tend to be highly absent in classes.

Therefore, the study shows that multi- level classroom, students’ irregularity and hesitation to speak English are few reasons to mention for the low participation of students in teaching-learning activities. Likewise, many classrooms do not have sufficient teaching materials which better facilitate language learning. The study also reveals that teachers mostly depend on the textbook. They do not have any internet access.

Conclusions

Teaching English language in non-native context is a challenge for several reasons. Most academic contents were from ‘the other’ culture which may not be suitable for the students in the context of far western region of Nepal. Teachers basically follow the same route, an easy job – lecturing in the classroom. Maximum use of Nepali and local languages can be observed on the part of both teachers and students. Classrooms are heterogeneous in terms of socio-economic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds of students. Students generally expect class notes from teachers and there is low participation of students in teaching learning processes of ELT in the classrooms. In the same way, classrooms are under-resourced, except a few classrooms in urban areas like Dhangadhi and Mahendranagar. However, increasing use of technology by teachers could be an additional advantage to teach English at this level in various ways. Preliminary findings show that the situation of English language teaching is not so encouraging in this part of country.

Mr. Bohara teaches English at Jaya Prithivi Multiple Campus, Bajhang. He is currently pursuing his MPhil in ELE from Kathmandu University.

Writing about Writing

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Doreen Richmond

During my recent visit and involvement with teacher training programs throughout some rural parts of Nepal, I did a lesson on writing, both in schools and during training sessions. Writing about Writing illustrates the process I go through when I teach writing. In this article, I have tried to outline the steps I take while teaching writing for both younger developing writers and older more experienced emergent writers.

When I teach writing, I teach it as a process because that is the way that I view it. Writing involves planning, writing a draft, editing and revising and publishing. It takes practice to develop your skills as a writer; it just doesn’t happen overnight.

To begin with, when I work with students, I do several things that vary only with the age and skills that my students have. First, I activate prior knowledge by having students brainstorm the different ways that they use writing. Younger students generally talk about the notes they write their moms or the handwriting practice they do while older students talk about lists, taking notes, writing letters or now-a-days, texts, and writing stories. Activating prior knowledge is important because students need to become aware that we use writing in many ways and for many different purposes.

After brainstorming about how we use writing, I model my own writing so that my students see me as a writer. For example, if I am asking students to write about themselves then I share with them the process that I go through when I am writing about me. It is important that students watch the process of writing so that they know that this is a process that all writers go through. Again, this process is planning, draft writing, editing and revising, and then publishing.

Let’s say that it is the beginning of the school year, and I am asking my students to write about themselves. If I am working with younger students or developing writers, I will first model a picture plan by drawing a picture of myself, my family, my house and a few other interesting details. Then I would orally go through my picture and describe it while at the same time labeling key pictures, (myself, my husband, my dog, cat, house, ect.)

By orally describing my picture and labeling, I am showing my students the picture/word association and also giving them some ideas about how they can do their own picture plan. I would also include some discussion with my students about their own families, who is in it, where they live, what they like to do, ect. Before letting students go off and do their plans, again, giving some guidance for their plans. Then I would set them free to draw their picture plans about themselves, their families, where they live, the things they like, and any other details that they might like to add. Picture plans work well for kindergarteners, first graders, and other developing writers.

Older students generally have more language and can use a different type of plan.  Generally, for older students I use a circle map, which is a type of thinking map; thinkingmaps.org. A circle map has a frame around it that guides the writer’s ideas. The frame is usually divided into four sections which can vary dependent on the topic you are writing about. A beginning piece about themselves might be framed with things like:  Facts: name, age, family members, where I live; Things I like; My Favorites; and My Goals or things I’d like to get better at this year. Using a plan like this allows students to jot down their ideas before they begin writing.  Students then list the answers for these questions or topics in the different areas of the circle. I try to remind them not to write out complete sentences in their circles because this is just a plan and that draft writing is when they put their ideas into complete sentences. Just as I did with younger students, I model my own plan and go over it with them and then show the students how I moved from my plan to my piece of writing. For this assignment, I give the direction that they are to write at least one paragraph about themselves using information from their plans.

As students finish their plans, my job as a teacher would be to go around and have them describe their picture plan to me so that I could help them label it. I would encourage students to label what they could beforehand and share their plan with their neighbor, but I would try to get around to all the students to help them label and add any extra details. Planning might take a whole class for some students but for others, it might be quick and they might be able to continue on to the next step- draft writing. My directions for younger students might vary dependent on the age and development of their skills as a writer but usually I would give a direction for students to write 1-3 sentences about their picture. My goals for younger students are to get them to write so I accept invented spelling and look to see that they are generating some sentences that give me information about their picture.

Conferencing with students, I might point out spacing issues, handwriting difficulties, but primarily I am focusing on their ideas. “Wow, I see you wrote that you like to play with your dog. What is your dog’s name? Can we add that to your sentence? Good job.” I like to think of a “Star and a Wish” when I am giving feedback. Writing takes practice and it is important to praise what a student is doing well rather than focusing on the things they need to correct. If I see many students having the same errors or difficulties, then I use that as a teaching point and do a mini lesson the following day about whatever the issue was, or I say, “Today I am going to be looking for good spacing between your words as you write” to draw their attention to something I noticed was an issue previously. If my students need more support to generate their ideas then I will use some patterned sentence starters to help them. For example, I might put on the board the following pattern: My name is ____. I live with _____. I like to_____. I might also have a mind map that I’ve done previously with students to list things they like to do; again, the idea being that they have a list of words already generated that they can use for their own labeling or to add additional information to their sentences.

When I model my paragraph, I point out that I didn’t use all my details to make my paragraph, but if I wanted to use all the information then I share with them how I could write a multi-paragraph piece of writing that included all the information from the plan. I show students both models of writing, (one paragraph and multi-paragraph) and then provide them with models of patterned sentences/paragraphs that they can use for either writing one paragraph or multi-paragraphs. These are written out on charts and hung on the wall, or they are written on sentence strips and put in a pocket chart for students to see.  I also talk about topic sentences, (main idea sentences) that begin a paragraph and let the reader know what my writing is about.  Then I talk about closing sentences that end my paragraph by summing things up or by adding an emotion to it.  I add this in the form of a sentence starter and label it with either topic sentence or closing sentence.  We also spend some time brainstorming aloud some other ideas for topic sentences and closing sentences and if needed, this is organized as a mind map for students to see and choose from.

Now, my students are ready to begin the process of writing at least one paragraph about themselves.  First, they plan and I go around and comment on their details and ask a few open-ended questions where necessary to encourage them to add to their ideas.  I also might make my own connections to their ideas to reinforce to them that I’m interested in them.  For example, one student writes that purple is her favorite color, and I say, “Oh, purple is my favorite color too; how cool is that!”  As the purpose of this writing activity is to help me get to know my students, it’s important to connect with them about common or shared interests when and where I can.

After students finish their plans, they can begin their draft writing and can use either the patterned sentences model for one paragraph or the multi-paragraph model to help them write, if needed.  Again, I rove and comment here and there on something they’ve written, but I don’t use this time to correct, unless a student is asking me something specific.  When their drafts are done, then I set up a writing conference with them, and that is the time to point out some things that might need fixing up or to emphasis some details that might be needed to strengthen their writing.  I still use the idea of a star and a wish to guide my conferencing, and I don’t overcorrect. By pointing out something that they are doing well with their writing before adding a constructive point for them to think about, I help my students recognize their strengths in their own writing while also encouraging them to look more critically at how they can strengthen their writing. I also try to get  students to read back over their writing first before coming to me or to share their writing with a neighbor or a friend first.  I want to be able to help them self edit and do revisions on their own.  I also look for common errors and use them as a teaching point for a mini lesson the following day.

If I have students who are more proficient with their writing skills, then I use my conferencing time to extend their writing.  Some things I might do are to to ask them to select at least two sentences to revise by adding more details using adjectives, adverbs, or other figurative language such as metaphors or similes.  I might also ask students to select a few sentences and add more details by adding the word, “because” to let their readers know why they like something or like to do something.  Combining ideas and varying their sentence structures so that they start their sentences in different ways to improve the fluency of their writing might also be something to conference about.  How I use my conferencing time with students is dependent on their skills and needs.  As with writing, everyone is different; however, taking the time to conference with students isn’t.  It is an important part of the process.  It takes time, but it is important for students to get that one on one time with you to look more critically at their own writing.

When conferencing is done, students go back and revise their writing to produce a final draft, which is their published piece.  Whenever possible, I encourage them to word process this or to hand write it neatly and if time, to add an illustration to it.  We share our published pieces with the rest of the class, so students know that their work is valued and then it is posted in our Writer’s Corner for others to see.  Celebrating their work helps students see that writing is important and something to be proud of.  A saying I like is, “Writing is Power.”  If you can write well, you can do anything.

Teaching writing is something I’ve done for many younger and older students.  While the topics and content may vary, the process for teaching writing is generally the same.  Planning, developing their ideas, drafting, and then revising and editing before publishing are steps that all writers take with their own writing.  By modeling and providing structure and guidance, students of all ages learn how to develop their own skills as writers.  They also learn to appreciate that writing is a process and an important one.

The Author: Doreen Richmond has taught at all grade levels in the USA. She was a Special Education teacher for many years and currently teaches Reading and Writing in the Transitional Learning Department at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington.  Recently, she has been involved in a teacher training program in Solukhumbu, coordinated by REED Nepal.

Post-PhD Ramblings: What Is There to Remember?

Hem Raj Kafle

Hem Raj Kafle

I was a bit concerned when my friend Shyam advised me to write about my PhD experiences for this month’s Choutari. Would it be worth a read? But, then, I remembered reading Philip Guo’s PhD Grind with my exhausted, empty mind post-defense. This little book, an account of a computer scientist’s six-year engagement in Stanford University PhD, had nearly inspired a memoir of my own six years in Kathmandu University.

I remember reading a line from the acknowledgements page of a graduate thesis written for an American university. The author, with a visible sigh of relief, writes something like this: I thank my wife [Name] for not eloping with someone while I remained either engrossed in the writing or absent for library or field work. This is perhaps an ‘extreme’ feeling for a culture like ours, where you do not need to fear polygamy or elopement to result from such a pious mission as the PhD. But how you miss the family joy, and remain apprehensive of having become a nuisance to your own dear ones!

I began one of my post-PhD talks with this quote I happened to read on Facebook, “Long time ago, people who sacrificed their sleep, family, food, laughter and other joys of life were called saints. Now they are called PhD students.” Someone asked me right away how I had grown through that supposed phase of sainthood. I said I had come out of a very ungenerous conviction that my own family was the biggest hurdle to my growth and that I sometimes felt like dumping everything away and starting the life of an ascetic. This is another extreme feeling one could ever speak to an eager audience.

Yet, I do not aim to present a very personal experience, which might rather take the form of a grumble than a celebration of success. This is the real danger of post-defense rambling. I would rather love to foreground the aspect of learning and personal growth. People think PhD must have made me wiser. I have no desire to deny this. I take this opportunity to share what I consider worth sharing from my six-year engagement.

 PhD is an adventure marked with meeting many people – interested, disinterested, uninterested – and talking about your research. It is an anxious journey from the known to the unknown and back to the known. In such a process, I travelled to India five times. I presented papers at four international conferences. A couple of these travels were planned for meeting with Prof. Raman, my Supervisor from BITS-Pilani Goa. I travelled alone, with friends, with my better-half. Each travel involved some confusion, some excitement, some irritation, but gave enough impetus for further work.

I spoke to international audiences half a dozen times, a different work and perspective in each presentation while rhetorical theories, Nepalese history and newspaper editorials featured in each discussion. Inside Nepal, I would explore possibility of integrating rhetoric in English teaching and present in NELTA conferences, and grasp any aspect of editorial discourse and present in the conferences of Literary Association of Nepal. In the process, I collected dozens of books in Nepali. I would in fact pick up anything from Kathmandu streets if it spoke of media, movement, contemporary politics, and any stuff from the internet that had a key ‘editorial’, ‘rhetoric’ or ‘fantasy theme criticism.’

In the university, I taught English and communication skills integrating elements of classical rhetoric wherever possible. I made and taught syllabi for the courses in media studies and communication ensuring the inclusion of some useful aspects of rhetoric and discourse. I encouraged undergraduates to take up projects in rhetorical studies, and got about a dozen reports produced on representational themes.

I spent hours downloading YouTube video lectures on communication, rhetoric, discourse, and critical discourse analysis. I spent hours on Facebook gossiping with friends about my progress, crafting statuses and posting notes. I ran at least five blogs, writing, editing and publishing diverse contents. I wrote poems, essays, memoirs and newspaper articles. When I look back at the bulk of the dissertation, its accompanying raw materials, the blog entries and the collection of poems and essays in English and Nepali, I feel that the six years with PhD were my life’s most creative period.

PhD is a phase that comes to your life only when you choose to bring it because you must. Once it comes and you enter a process, it shakes your life to the core. What you have to learn and practice does not necessarily come from your earlier learning, nor from your regular work. Circumstances teach you how to put aside all the previous pomp and baggage. I name this a compulsion of “ruthless submission of adult arrogance to childish ignorance.”

PhD makes you develop a passion for listening and making others listen. My own main temptation was to talk if someone was there to put up with me. Dr. Adhikari, my supervisor from Nepal, would spend hours with me listening and talking things. Each time after I parted from him, I felt reinvigorated. A lot of new ideas would surge up and I would ramble a dozen pages forward no matter whether they made it to the dissertation or not. Then I would talk with my wife about my current epiphanies and progresses. I would explain to anyone my project if they showed a little curiosity to know how I was faring.

There is greater pressure in the share of a scholar in English. You have the burden of the virtue of not committing grammatical and stylistic errors. Most often, you are others’ guru and friend so far as teaching these vital aspects of dissertation is considered your own pious, universal responsibility. You are your own guru and enemy. You know how to tutor yourself, and at the same time keep on accumulating pressure in the name of ensuring quality.

I would take to my undergraduate and graduate classes any theory, method, tips on writing or speaking. That’s how the concept would matter to others and get registered and matured as valuable knowledge for myself. I must have scribbled the largest number of junks during the formative years. The junks were the most original things about my learning and experiences. They still look dearer than the 351-page ‘final’ dissertation.

PhD gave me many good things, especially the readings that were useful to life if not to the dissertation and degree. The materials wait to be revisited, helped to mature and brought to their actual discourse community. They continue to claim to have been the degree’s legitimate offspring.

I understand that the product of PhD (dissertation/thesis) is specific for a small discourse community. Not many people will and have to understand the work. Parts of it may come to a wider network of readers only if the writer opts to work beyond the degree either into a book or a journal article if only he or she is in or joins a university teaching position.

Once your work is brought to the public, every literate person appears to believe and may sometimes brag that they could have done as good or even better if they had thought about doing what you have done. But you are the only person who did it. The work is unique. And you are your own reader. Your supervisor has read it, plus a few people in the evaluation committee. Except for five or six persons, the product may have only a very small audience in the future. I am sure not more than half a dozen people have read my thesis. I only hope some people will read part of it if they happen to work on an identical topic. Else, as far as the saying of many goes, it will remain proudly at a corner accumulating dust – for ages.

What do you find out, or develop out of half-a-dozen years’ straining? Perhaps, you create knowledge, or a perspective. Or you have uttered a popular idea in a more interesting and philosophical way. Someone else can give equal scholarly hue and worth to similar task later. But for the moment yours has got qualified, it is the only work on earth that can claim novelty if it is novel.

Nevertheless, the dissertation is not out to change the world, neither the degree it brings, but you are. You are at least expected to initiate some kind of change.

The people from your scholarly network may read you and try to make a difference. You have not closed the lid for new perspectives. You cannot do so. You only transfer one perspective to your community and hint at new avenues of reflection. If one PhD ended all possibilities, we would have been mugging up stale thoughts and moth-eaten books and none would ever think of sweating for three to six years.

The hard-bound black book is only a signifier that a section of the work in continuum has taken a tangible shape. Every dissertation is in the making. It is just a beginning. A ‘finalized’ work has several other works ingrained in it. Only some curious and profoundly informed scholar can interpret the text and nourish its discursive embryo into one or more useful births later. The continuum exists. A scholar in discourse lives in this continuum.

The author: Dr. Kafle is an assistant professor and coordinator at humanities and management unit, school of engineering, Kathmandu University Nepal.

 

 

Attending an Online Course: My Experience

 Rajan Kumar Kandel Teaching Assistant Surkhet Campus (Education)

Rajan Kumar Kandel
Teaching Assistant
Surkhet Campus (Education)

This post deals with a short synopsis and experiences of participating an online teacher training course named Practical Applications for Listening and Speaking Skills (henceforth PALSS). It is written to share the willing teachers to help participating an online course in spite of the challenges like frequent power cuts and unstable networking.

Introduction

The course was 10 week long, (started from January 7 to March 15, 2013 for me) offered through the University of Oregon, Linguistics Department, American English Institute (UO AEI) as one of the nine courses funded through the E-Teacher Scholarship Program. We spent at least 8 to 10 hours per week engaged in online studies and activities. We had to score 70% or above to pass the course.

It required us to have the Google email and Skype account which was used exclusively to communicate with the instructor. The course included weekly asynchronous readings and online Nicenet discussion, synchronous weekly small group Skype meetings with the course instructor, synchronous weekly small group Skype meeting with a conversation leader, weekly audio journals where we reflected on what we learned that week, and self-study materials to improve our listening and speaking skills using online resources among others.  We had to keep a record of self-study along with reflective comments by the end of each week, in the self- study log (click here to view my self-study log). The course also included whole-group webinars at different times during the course. There were 7 webinars altogether and we were asked to attend and view at least 3 of the webinars and write synopsis and reflection. At the end of the course there was final project of preparing a long lesson plan integrating new methods and activities for teaching listening and speaking. We had to put the written assignment into the appropriate weekly folder in the Dropbox shared by the teacher.

We were expected to read the weekly readings and then post at least two times each week in the related Nicenet online discussion. We had to reflect about our activities during the week in an audio journal. I was much tempted to get acquainted with all the activities of the course and was hurried and impatient to know what I was going to achieve after I complete the course and become eligible to receive the certificate. A kind of storm was haunting inside me.

A glimpse of the course topics and the activities performed

The first week included introduction to the course, meet and interact with course participants, instructor, and conversation leader. The Nicenet discussion for the week was self-introduction. Everyone was asked to write the first post between 100 to 200 words and then post a reply to the post of at least one other participant. As the assignment was finished the obtained marks was immediately sent through the Jupiter Grades.

The second week brought the topics -listening and speaking, accuracy and comprehensibility, and learning objectives. The concept of weekly audio journal and synchronous Skype meetings were started from the week. We enjoyed both synchronous Skype meetings very much. I also prepared 5 minutes audio journal describing and reflecting everything done on that week as I was suggested and I posted it in the Drpobox week 2 folder.

Week 3 started with the topics: speaking, evaluation, teacher and peer evaluation with rubrics, and social bookmarking. The first webinar of the course was also scheduled for that week. The webinars were delivered via a program called Blackboard Collaborate. The webinar was on ‘Building Classroom Community’.  Because of the unstable connection I could not attend the online webinar that week but I managed to view the recorded version the next day.

The fourth week was focused on listening and accuracy, lesson plans, and scaffolding with graphic organizers. The synchronous Skype conversation that week was on the use of social media for instruction and the teacher led Skype meeting on information gap drawing. Asynchronous Nicenet discussion was about lesson planning. I attended the webinar for the first time. The main agenda of the webinar were overview of PBL and its application to ELT illustrated by a real example of PBL for ELT. I found it very much interactive, interesting, encouraging, and fruitful.

Pronunciation, syllabus and word stress, and lesson plans were the topics for the fifth week. The asynchronous Nicenet discussion that week was based on correction and providing feedback while teaching speaking. Transcription of the first one minute speech of any of the journals earlier was an added assignment for that week that provided an opportunity to observe and evaluate my own speaking. The webinar that week was on ‘Integrating Pronunciation across the Curriculum’. I got familiar with different steps that we can consider while teaching pronunciation.

The sixth week dealt with listening, note taking, and final project. I explored the websites VOA learning English and BBC Learning English for more than two hours and thought how it can be helpful to me and my students. I thought about how I can make use of those websites in my class.  I completed the self-study log and posted in the Dropbox. We studied the mechanics of note taking and found it new and impressive. I prepared the audio journal for the week and posted in the week 6 folder of the Dropbox.

Week 7 introduced the topics: speaking with focus on fluency and speed, using music in the classroom, and final project. Asynchronous Nicenet discussion that week was based on the importance of accuracy and fluency in language learning and which one should be focused at what time. I posted on the Nicenet about the topic and replied on the posts of other participants. I completed the first draft of final project plan and sent it to Mr. Salah Mohammad Ali, my feedback partner for necessary feedback. I also got his plan to suggest some feedback for him. I transcribed first one minute audio of my week 6 audio journal and listed the reflection of my speech. I posted it in the week 7 folder of my Dropbox and shared with my instructor. Synchronous Skype conversation was about role model and teacher led meeting was on songs and lyrics. I found that it was very easy to teach to speak/pronounce longer and complicated constructions using backward build-up technique. The webinar that week was on ‘Free Listening: Autonomous Extensive Listening for ELT’. It discussed about the three strands of listening instruction by Nation and Newton (2009): language focused listening; meaning focused listening, and fluency building listening. I learned that fluency building listening should consist of message focused activities; it should have easy task, and high level performance.

The eighth week was based on listening comprehension, using video in the classroom, saving audio and video online files, and copyright. I posted in the asynchronous Nicenet discussions about how to introduce and use video activities with our students. Synchronous Skype conversation group discussion that week was about music. Teacher led meeting was about the discussion on the TV news video and one of the best songs of Whitney Houston. I also attended on the webinar on ‘Independent Pronunciation Practice for Intermediate and Advanced Learners’.  I worked on final project plan, read Salah’s plan thoroughly and completed the lesson plan feedback checklist and sent it to Salah and Donna (my instructor) both.

Pronunciation with the focus on suprasegmentals, fluency, using L1 in the L2 classroom, and lesson plans were the issues for discussion during the ninth week. I posted on asynchronous Nicenet discussion about teaching pronunciation: techniques and activities and replied the post of one of the colleagues. Then, I completed final project- preparing lesson plan and posted it in the Dropbox week nine folder. The synchronous teacher led Skype meeting was on suprasegmentals and mainly focused on the sentence stress. Our teacher taught us comprehensively that  the content words, negative contractions, question words, possessive and demonstrative pronouns are generally stressed but function words like articles, auxiliary verbs, personal pronouns, prepositions, possessive and demonstrative adjectives are generally not stressed. We were illustrated that stress is based on the emphasis or the focus. I participated in conversation group discussion and we shared recipe of our best food. The seventh and final webinar was about ‘Jazz Chants for EFL Classrooms’ which taught the basic information about Jazz Chants. I knew that Crolyn Graham, the musician, writer, teacher, and teacher trainer, was the originator and creator of Jazz Chants and she has written many books on Jazz Chants. It is musical and it is loved by all learners: children and adults. It helps the learners to learn pronunciation, stress, and rhythms very easily and comfortably. It can be a great assistance in pronouncing the connected speech in natural speed. It helps to develop fluency of the learners. It can make the environment funny and really safe. Jazz Chants can be used with music or without music even in a crowded class.

The tenth week focused on course overview, dictation, post-course listening assessment, post-course survey, and teacher evaluation. It was the shortest week and the course ended on Friday, March 15. There were no readings and self-study log to do. Nicenet discussion, the last transcription task, course evaluations, an audio journal, and two synchronous Skype meetings were there as the assignments. Asynchronous Nicenet discussion was mainly focused on the course evaluation.  Synchronous Skype conversation was about the concluding remarks of the course and any queries related to it. Teacher led Skype meeting was about dictation. I transcribed the first one minute audio of the week 9 audio journal. I also prepared the audio journal of the week as usual.

The course contents for every week along with the checklist, activity plan, and other links were sent by Gmail the day before the week started. I was so interested and busy during the course. I even left many of my regular duties. I never regret for that. As a whole it was much engaging.

Conclusion

I got opportunity to interact with many colleagues teaching English as second or foreign language at different location of this universe in different context, virtually. It also helped me to think critically and creatively to overcome the potential problems in teaching in general and in teaching listening and speaking in particular. I have realized that it has also helped me to evaluate my own learning and teaching English.  I knew different new techniques much comprehensively than ever. Frequent speaking with the native and non-native speakers of English and the weekly audio journal helped to sharpen my spoken English. Transcription of the audio journal and different webinars not only added to the improvement of my listening and speaking English but also comprehensive teaching of these skills to my students. Readings and the self-study options expanded my horizon of English and broadened the creative faculty of my lesson preparation and presentation. I found the information gap activity, the backward build up activity, the illustrative description of old and revised version of Bloom’s Taxonomy of objectives, the rubrics, graphic organizers, word and sentence stress, and music and chants in EFL classroom really enlightened me. Synchronous teacher led meetings and conversation group discussion, and asynchronous Nicenet discussion among many participants built my confidence. I encourage novice ELT practitioners to try such online courses.

Reference

Course website PALSS course https://sites.google.com/site/uopalss2013winter/

Conference through eyes of a rapporteur

Jyoti Tiwari

For the first time, I have ever attended an international conference recently. I was not just a participant but I was one of the rapporteurs in the 20th International Conference organized by Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA) in Kathmandu from 17th to 19th February 2015. The conference covered wide range of issues about various aspects of English Language Teaching (ELT) among ELT professionals, practitioners, researchers, experts and scholars. It proved to be a change agent to promote better ELT scenario in the country. In this blog entry, I make an attempt to share with you about the conference from personal and rapporteur’s view.

It was my first experience and perhaps in the ELT history of Nepal that over 800 participants including teachers, professors, researchers, trainers, and other freelance professionals from 16 different countries including UK, USA, Bangladesh, India, China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, UAE, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, and Nepal presented, participated and made discussions on different issues of ELT.

Prof. David Hayes, Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics, Brock University, Canada and Prof. Elka Todeva, a language educator with a doctorate in English in Applied Linguistics, who now works as a professor at the SIT Graduate Institute in the USA, were the keynote speakers of the conference. Both of them have highlighted on the conference theme. The theme of the conference this year was “The Quest for Quality ELT: Riding the Waves and Creating the Landscapes”.

In addition to the keynote speeches, there were 10 plenary sessions, 2 panel discussions, 161 concurrent and 18 Interactive Language Fair sessions.

Day One (Feb. 17, 2015)

I attended a few other panel discussions and concurrent sessions other than the plenary sessions on the first day. The two concurrent sessions that I attended, as one of the rapporteurs, were from India and Bangladesh. Uma Maheshwari Chimirala, one of the ELT professionals from India presented a paper on impact of anticipation and peer assessment on oral task performance who discussed ‘anticipation’ as a teaching strategy to design ‘anticipatory’ tasks to maximize learner investment, noticing and learning opportunities in the ESL classroom.

In the second session, Md. Eftekhar Uddin, an associate professor in the department of English Language and Literature in International Islamic University Chittagong, Bangladesh, made a discussion on ‘Developing Postgraduate ELT Students’ Research Skills through Blended learning Approach’. He presented a detail course module for developing research competence of MA ELT students in a private university in Bangladesh. The module was based on blended learning approach using tech tools like Schoology, Padlet and PowerPoint.

Day Two (Feb. 18, 2015)

The second day of the conference on February 18, 2015 began with the plenary talks by key note speakers Prof. David Hayes, and Prof. Elka Todeva and Prof. Dr. Abhi Subedi.

Key speaker Hayes facilitated a plenary talk on Teaching Learning and Context: What We can learn about Innovation and Quality in ELT from Studying the Lives and Careers of English Language Teachers. In another plenary talk was on Tapping into the Good Learners in All of Us. Likewise,  Dr. Subedi facilitated a plenary talk on ‘Is Writing Colourless Green Ideas Sleeping Furiously Together?

Following the plenary talks on the second day, I attended three concurrent sessions. The first concurrent session was of Catherine Owens and Robert Burges from Thailand, who jointly presented a paper on “Blended Learning: Building Critical Awareness and Autonomy”. Secondly, Humaira Cheguft Chowdhary from Bangladesh made a discussion on “Using Pictures to Enhance Appropriate Uses of English Descriptive Words”. In the third con-current session,  Ganesh Kumar Khanal from Nepal presented a paper on ‘Addressing Multiple Intelligence in EFL Classroom’.

The second day concluded with two plenary sessions by Z. N. Patil on ‘Enriching Linguistics and Communicative Competence through Literature’ and Ganga Gautam and Zakia Sarwar on ‘Learners Autonomy in Large Class through Innovative Project Based Learning’.

 3rd Day (February 19, 2015)

The third day of the conference began with three plenary talks and followed by concurrent sessions. Sanjeev Upreti from Mimic Man to Global Citizen: Interpreting EFL from post-colonial and post-modern Perspective”. The next plenary talk was by Laxman Gnawali on ‘Not Just Action: Blend Activities with Conten’. The last plenary talk facilitated by Balkrishna Sharma was on ‘Whose Waves and For What Qualities: Nonwestern Philosophies for Professional Development in ELT’.

I participated in four concurrent sessions facilitated by the presenters from Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Asmaul Husna from Bangladesh presented the paper on ‘Movies for the English Class’ while Akhilesh Kumar Sharma from India on ‘L2 Teaching learning Process: Students Preference’. Likewise, Thirth Karki from Nepal presented on ‘Short Stories in EFL Classes’. Last but not the least, Praveen Kumar Yadav facilitated a session on ‘New Media Technology for English Language Teaching and Learning: What and How.

To conclude, the three-day conference was a huge success. NELTA president Hemant Raj Dahal’s closing remarks wrapped up the conference. I must say everyone who are directly or indirectly related to ELT field, they must join this forum. As one of the rapporteurs, I felt myself confident and proud to be a member of this largest ELT forum of Nepal. 

Presenting for first time in the conference

Priyanka Pandey

Attending conferences, seminars and training is not just effective ways to develop one’s professional skills, but presenting papers in such events also plays vital role to develop professionally. Presenting paper in those professional venues boosts up confidence of the presenters when they utilize the opportunity to share their ideas, skills, knowledge and experiences. Last month, when I presented my first conference paper and also participated in Interactive Language fair session, I learnt a lot. In this piece of writing, I will reflect on and share my experiences of presenting my paper in the recent held conference of NELTA in Kathmandu.pandey1

The interactive language fair (ILF) coordinated by Dr. Laxman Gnawali, my mentor, was an add-on to the conference. As I participated in the fair, I had an opportunity to realize my strengths as well as weaknesses. It is true that most of the people in every field feel scared when they are doing something for first time and so did I. Although I was excited to present the paper for the first time in the conference, I also feared at the same time and was worried about my presentation since my proposal was accepted for the presentation. My worries grew further as the date of presentation drew closer. I always thought and worked on how I could make the best presentation. The more I worried, more I started losing my confidence. Even I wondered whether I could have sufficient participants in my session.

Many scholars from different countries of the world and different parts of our country were participating in the conference where I was going to present my paper. Such a thing always recurred to my mind and thought. As it was my first presentation in any conference, I prepared my stuff to be exhibited in the ILF session in advance and visited my professor. I received some suggestions from him to make my presentation better and I did accordingly. Even excitement, curiosity and fear of making mistakes within me continued affecting me. But later, I became more relaxed after I got positive and encouraging feedback from my professor when I showed my presentation slides. Then I felt relax a bit and decided not to worry about my presentation any more. I was determined to present my paper at any cost, no matter what could be the results.

But again, when I looked at the conference schedule, I found both of my presentations of concurrent session’ and ‘ILF’ were on the same day.  Even I talked to my professor but he told me that it would be difficult to change the schedule.  Further, he encouraged and told me not to worry as well.

Finally, the conference started from February 17 and my presentation was the next day. On the first day, I was more curious to learn from the key note speakers and other presenters when they facilitated their sessions. I tried my best to concentrate on the ways they were making presentations.

On the second day, I rushed to the ILF session and exhibited the presentation stuffs in the fair.  In the beginning of the session, everyone was invited to introduce themselves and the topic of their presentation and exhibition. It was my turn. As I had slightly changed my topic for ILF, I was little confused and shared the title of previous topic which interrupted me during my speech. I felt little nervous but quickly corrected myself. Upon my presentation, here I question myself, “Is it sin to make mistakes or get confused?”, or do we need to feel humiliated when we don’t have fluency in English? No, not at all, I answer. Making mistake is a process of learning but we should never give up.  Such thoughts encouraged me to avoid all the fear of making mistakes and feeling of humiliation. Finally, I increased my level of confidence and perception of looking into making mistake also changed. Finally, my hesitant soul transformed into a confident soul. Then, I realized that it is necessary to change the perception to develop one’s profession.

The first session in the ILF was at 1 pm and the second was at 1:35 pm at different halls. During the ILF session, I talked to the participants on ‘learning negation at early years by EFL learners in Nepalese context’. I mainly focused on developmental process of learning negation by Nepalese EFL learners at their early age. I found most of the participants were interested to observe developmental process of learning negation as it reminded their childhood. In the session, I enjoyed myself to interact with participants and also felt more confident as I talked to them. Likewise, I found most of the participants interested to listen to me and they were attentive in the session. Moreover, some participants gave positive feedback and appreciated my session.pandey2

Despite of nervousness, both of the sessions I have facilitated went well.This made me feel better and also encouraged me to present my paper in the days to come. I was very happy and got confidence and determined to show my strengths with the help of presentation in the days to come. From that moment I decided to overcome my fear which always blocks me to go further in my life.

To conclude, presenting paper in the conference of NELTA helped me boost up my confidence and I believe that it has a great impact on my professional development. It helped me realize my strength and encouraged me to present the paper in the upcoming conference as well. I wish to become a good presenter, which is an essential part of teaching.

My first ever experience attending the conference

Deepak Dulal, Master Second year

Mahendra Ratna Campus , Tahachal , Kathmandu

Attending the twentieth international conference of English Language Teaching (ELT) last month was my first ever experience. I cannot help myself expressing immense pleasure to be a part as a participant in the mega event.

Like in the past years, it was the 20th time that NELTA organized the annual international conference that in Kathmandu. This year, the conference was held at DAV Sushil Kedia Vishwa Bharati Higher Secondary School, Lalitpur, Nepal on Feb 17, 18 and 19.And, the theme of the conference this year was “The Quest for Quality ELT: Riding the Waves and Creating the Landscape”.

In addition to the key note speeches, I attended in 10 plenary sessions, which included ‘whose woods are these….? By Vishnu S. Rai-postmodern ELT;  Neuro ELT by Marc Helgessen; Teaching, Learning and Context by David Hayes; Tapping into the good learners in all of us by Elka Todevais writing colorless green ideas sleeping furiously together? by Abhi Subedi; Enriching linguistic and communicative competence through literature by Z.N. Patil; Learners autonomy in large class through innovative project-based learning by Ganga Gautam and Zakia Sarwara; From mimic men to global citizens, interpreting EFL from post-colonial and post-modern perspectives by Sanjeev Uprety; No just Action: Blend Activities with content by Laxman Gnawali and Whose Waves and for What quality; Non-Western philosophies for professional development in ELT by Balkrishna Sharma. All the ten sessions I attended were interesting and insightful. However, I found the three sessions quite interesting. Firstly, Marc Helgesen widely talked of learners need, interest and their neurological science in learning language. Secondly, Ganga Gautam and Zakia Sarwara talked about learners’ autonomy in learning, which I found most interesting and greatly useful. They presented free writing or project-Based learning strategies methods and their findings. The third, Laxman Gnawali talked about the flipside of communicative teaching method in language teaching and he also provided the solutions. He argued that communicative method followed by English teachers in Nepal hardly focuses on content.

Likewise, the two panel discussions I attended during the conference were impactful on participants. The first discussion moderated by Dr. Laxman Gnawali was about the role of literature in proficiency development of English language and panelists were Professors Abhi Subedi, Vishnu singh Rai and Tej Ratna Kanskar. The second discussion with panelists Jai Raj Awasthi from Nepal, Zakia Sarwara from Pakistan and Z N Patil from India were on ‘policy issues on ELT’, and it was moderated by Bal Krishna Sharma. They largely discussed on ELT issues and policies on ELT in the contexts of three neighboring countries.

Out of total 161 concurrent sessions in the three-day conference, I attended Flipping the classroom by Christina Torres (USA); Learners autonomy in ESL teaching by Faisal Naseer(Pakistan); Errors correction techniques in ELT by Jagdish Poudel (Nepal),  Continuous Assessment to increase motivation by Soniya Urfat Urmee (Bangladesh); Active, independent and lifelong English language learning(part-i) by Umer Farooq (Pakistan); Story writing through a creative fun game by Umes Shrestha(Nepal); look ma: I did it-Reclaiming the joy of learning by Elka Todeva (USA); Working with teachers in the Quest for Quality ELT, Understanding and controlling our experience by David Hayes(UK); Collaborative Approaches to writing effectively in a large class by Chiranjivi Sharma(Nepal) and lastly New media technology for ELT: what and how, by Praveen Kumar Yadav (Nepal). I found each session with own importance and value. Mostly importantly, I came to know that language (English) teaching and learning has wider perspectives of issues and challenges. I learnt about different innovations and investigations in the field of ELT from different countries. Most of the presentations focused on how to teach effectively.

Another interesting session was interactive language fair session, which was coordinated by Dr. Laxman Gnawali. For the fair, 18 presenters stood with their stalls and explained the visitors about their presentation stuffs. I found it most effective session among all sessions, wherein I had an opportunity to meet talk and share our experience face-to-face with the presenters and participants.

As an ELT practitioner, while attending on this mega event I learnt about wide range of ELT issues focusing on diversified areas covering alternative assessment, leaning outcomes and teaching effectiveness, ICT in ELT, creative writing, critical thinking, academic writing, critical thinking, teacher professional development, literacy in EFL, literature in pedagogy, mother tongue education and EFL, multilingualism, trends and research in EFL, new media in ELT, and fun games in ELT. The conference was a get-together of English language teachers, I was able to meet many of them including Dr. Laxman Gnyawali, Ganga  Gautam, Rishi Rijal , Balram Adhikari , Umes-Shrestha and Praveen Kumar Yadav. For me, it was also a networking event, I met many of the participants from Nepal and other 16 different countries for the first time and exchanged our experiences and email addresses with a hope to become friends to do the same in future.

Acknowledgment:

I am indebted to the support of our teacher Miriam Corneli from the US, English Language Fellow for Nepal, who I believe is a great ELT scholar.  I was one among ten M. Ed. students from MRC Tahachal Campus, who Corneli sponsored for the participation. Through essay writing contest, the ten of us were selected for the reward and the opportunity to attend the conference.

Hiding the Gold Coins: A Reflection on Choutari Writing Workshop by Hem Raj Kafle

umes

UMES SHRESTHA

He is tall. Very tall compared to my height. He looks into the world through a pair of slightly shaded glasses. Those glasses probably let him filter all the negativity around him and help him see a vision – a vision of a teacher, a writer and a mentor. He speaks gently and seldom smiles. He stands in the middle of the class and with his words; paints an exciting picture of characters, themes and conflicts; and walks us through the colorful fields full of metaphors, similes and hyperboles.

 He is one of those rare teachers who writes a lot. His blog is a testimony of his prolific writing habit. Even his facebook statuses, usually very short poems, reflect his creativity. Then, it makes me wonder. May be creativity is a verb, not a noun. One has to constantly work at it. It’s just my perception. His creativity could be as natural as breathing.

I had met him back in 2012. He taught me Fiction in my M.Ed. ELT first semester and since then I have had a renewed interest in reading, interpreting and analyzing literature. I started becoming passionate but critical of the texts I came across. In addition to that, he has inspired me to write down my own fictional works.

Naturally, I was pretty excited about the workshop. I had always wanted to be in his classes one more time and the workshop was it. Even though the focus of the workshop was “Academic Writing”, I knew he would have his own twist on it, with a few pinch of strange concepts sprinkled around here and there.

So he started the workshop by asserting that writing is not an isolated activity, but it is an activity integrated with reading, listening and speaking. “The key word is perform. Writing is a performance, it is an action of hands as well as an action of minds,” he added. And most importantly, he continued, “Performance doesn’t mean a writer’s activity alone… it is about a reader’s action also”. This made so much sense that it immediately struck a chord with me. A writer has to let readers perform too. Otherwise, what’s the point in writing at the first place? An effective writer thus leaves enough clues here and there in the text for the readers to come up with their own knowledge.

Hem Kafle Workshop

Writing is a performance because the writer has to make sure that his/her ‘authorial presence’ and credibility are visible in every word and every sentence of the text. Moreover, a writer has to make sure there are implicit and explicit moments of communication with the reader. He/she has to constantly facilitate the reader towards understanding and creating new perceptions. Similarly, a writer has to represent his/her community and contribute towards adding new knowledge and scholarship. Therefore, writing is not merely scribbling texts on a sheet of paper, it is a performance that involves both the writer and the reader.

 Next, he talked about some of the common attributes every writer exhibit in some ways. For instance, the ‘writer’s block’ which he also labeled as the ‘blinking cursor syndrome’ for those who keep staring at the computer screen searching for words to start with. Similarly, every writer has the irresistible urge to tell the background or the whole story. Next, most of the writers can’t decide on the choice of diction – whether to use big or small stock of words, or on the choice of sentence – short sentences or longer sentences.

And to come to the main focus of the workshop, he talked about the process of creating an argument in academic writing and substantiating one’s stance. He gave an instance of Stephen Toulmin’s elements of a proper argument: claim, ground, warrant, backing, rebuttal, qualifier and final claim. A good paragraph is a combination of all or some of the above elements. The concept of ‘rebuttal’ is quite interesting. Apparently, acknowledging opposing views and giving them a small space in one’s argument adds more strength to one’s argument.

At the end, he gave us eleven tips on how to improve one’s writing. I am reflecting on these points from my perspective.

  1. Write aloud.
    It helps shape the quality of writing.
  2. Speak – record – transcribe – Edit
    This is very useful when one is facing the imminent ‘writer’s block’.
  3. Toulmin uncle really works!
  4. Three is enough.
    Three examples, three explanations, three stories.
  5. Keep the big below you.
    This is quite interesting. Start a paragraph with your own sentence and end it with your own. Keep the citations and ‘big’ personalities underneath your first statement. Don’t ever start your paragraph with a citation because this just weakens your stance.
  6. Kill the subordinates.
    If your main info goes to the subordinate clause, rewrite the sentence. Bring your info to the front.
  7. Passive is lousy.
    I also hate sentences in passive voice. I always try to write everything in active voice.
  8. Let the verb stand high.
    Let the verb ‘speak’, rather than ‘be’.
  9. Do not repeat a word if there’s a replacement.
  10. Hear me between the lines
    Make your presence felt. Don’t let the reader forget about the writer.
  11. Dump me if I let you go!
    Challenge: I will not bore my reader. I will not break my reader’s heart, effort, money, etc.

After attending this workshop, I now feel the urge to go back to all my writings and scrutinize them strand by strand – to find my ‘authorial presence’ in them. I had never thought about this aspect of writing – that the author has to be present in the text. Similarly, I am going to try speak-record-transcribe method whenever I feel stuck in the rot. I will also make sure none of my paragraphs start with a citation but with my own sentence. In addition, I will use these techniques in presentations and in writing scripts for speaking as well.

Writing has always been an elusive grape for me. I feel like I am always getting ‘there’ but never near enough. I always go back to my texts, interact with them and revise them. That singer from Rolling Stones is probably right. I can’t get no satisfaction out of my writing. But just like Hem sir once said during his class, “A text is always in the making”. May be it’s not about getting ‘there’ and being satisfied after all. It is a process… a continuum… a journey. And our job as a writer is just to enjoy the ride.

The author, one of editors with Choutari, is a teacher, writer, & blogger.

Teaching Reading Texts through Critical Thinking Perspective

images

Lal Bahadur Rana

 

In this blog post, I discuss how the core principles of critical thinking such as open-mindedness, ability to see any phenomenon through multiple perspectives, etc. can be exploited in EFL classes with a view to increasing learner-centeredness in our EFL classes and enhance learners’ critico-creative thinking.

 

Context for teaching and learning English
Despite the strong desire of getting mastery over English, many Nepali learners of English do not have sufficient level of English mainly because of the amount of exposure. Let me give an example of the time teacher and students spend using English throughout a year. Most of the government-aided schools in Nepal have the classes of forty minutes and six classes a week. Thus, there are spending (40 x 6) = 240 minutes in a week (240 x 4) = 960 minutes a month and (960 x 10) = 9600 minutes a year. If we change this amount of time into hours, they study 160 hours. To count in days, they study just 6.67 days a year. Hardly a week! If we deduct the time such as the use of the Nepali language, the time spent on coming and going to class, bandh days, etc. I am afraid, students might be studying in some minus days. Continue reading »

Teacher Training: One of the Best Ways of Self-development

-Parista Rai

Since the day I joined M.Ed. ELT program, it was my dream to be an ELT trainer and fortunately for me, it came true recently. As a part of Teacher’s Development course, I conducted training sessions in Janakpur and Tanahun in July and although it was my first experience of delivering training, I gained tremendous knowledge and experience. I experienced that conducting a teacher training session is a very challenging job where a trainer has to manage everything for the sake of in-service teachers’ satisfaction. In this article, I am very glad to share my experience.

I had heard about ELT teachers’ training before getting enrolled in Kathmandu University but when I got an opportunity to be a part of the ELT program here, I learnt many things related to English language teaching, learning and training. I neither had experience of a trainer nor a trainee but once when I got a chance to attend an in-service teacher training delivered by our seniors, I got many ideas about the teacher training and started dreaming to be a trainer. And at the same time, I became more interested in teaching and learning English as a foreign language.

Continue reading »

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