Working on Diversity in English Pedagogy
Bal Krishna Sharma
Welcome to the June 2010 issue of NeltaChoutari Webzine!
We have always tried to work around a particular theme in each issue and collected contributions that go along with that theme. Contrarily, we receive the contribution from the authors who address diverse issues in English teaching in Nepal and some write ups go beyond English teaching to general issues of education and pedagogy. This time as well, we received articles that discuss varied and important issues in education. I believe this diversity is a more valuable asset to address the tastes of our audience who have different academic and professional interests.
The first post by Laxman Gnawali on teacher development emerges from his own experience of observing his teacher after a professional development course and his own academic degree in the UK for his MA. His convincing arguments with his narrative based on his real life experiences prove helpful to reinforce the NeltaChoutari’s mission to localize and situate language teaching profession that connects teacher training and professional development program with the teacher’s lived experiences in the local contexts. Bishnu Mani Thapaliya in the next article has raised a very important issue of challenges that English language teaching profession is facing in public schools that are located in more rural areas where teachers and students do not have necessary instructions, let alone the tools of technology. His arguments make our editorial team as well as the English teaching community to rethink our ways that technology can bridge this gap. Thapaliya also raises another critical issue that English is serving differently for different socio-economic class people: those who can send their kids to private, well-equipped schools versus those who send their kids to public schools where they mostly learn English from a translation method. Thapaliya also raises another critical issue of how and to what extent our rural teachers can participate and benefit from the type of professional discourse we have initiated online. Another post by Lekhnath Sharma Pathak outlines the importance of Student Quality Circle- a student centered, action-oriented approach to address student issues in schools- in schools in Nepal. Pathak convingly argues that these types of circles promote cooperation and problem solving nature among our students in schools where they have traditionally been more oriented toward competition. His writing is able to look at our teaching from a macro perspepctive where we aim our instruction not only to develop basic four skills of language for communication; we in addition have to aim for more social skills like cooperation, team work and excellence in our students. Another post by Eak Prasad Duwadi draws on his teaching experience in different contexts. I have also provided an MP3 audio on Information Technology in Nepal broadcast by the BBC Radio Nepali Service. The last item provides a link for a teacher resource for managing discipline probmels in a classroom but I refrain from generalizing it as a universal teaching tip; it, however, certainly is one of several ways to handle discipline in classrooms.
Enjoy the readings and leave your feedback.