Editorial, January 2013

Shyam Sharma

I hope that 2012 was a wonderful year for everyone and I wish everyone a Happy New Year, 2013!

Nelta Choutari’s fourth year was a great one. And as a new–younger, more enthusiastic, more resourceful–team of scholars takes over the role of editors for the blog-zine after this issue, we, the outgoing team, are excited.

As we present you the first issue of the new year, we share our reflection about the year behind us (which has become a kind of tradition); one essay by Bal and Prem and another one by Hem present that reflection. As usual, we have also asked our readers to share their comments and feedback for the blogzine toward improving it further in the new year. Similarly, we also pause to urge you again to join the conversation, thanking you for your contribution in the past year.

Personally, Choutari has been a wonderful mode of connection with a professional community back home, a community I love very deeply; I know that the same is true for my fellow editors and many readers, wherever we are. I call Choutari a “wonderful” platform because our communication here is based on substance; it helps us as a community build knowledge out of the work that we do, the challenges that we face, and the ideas that we share. Because we don’t have many venues for sharing ideas, like academic journals, and because even those that we do have are not easily available across the country and the world, I cannot imagine in what other ways I would be able to read the ideas about ELT written by younger scholars across Nepal; in fact, this blog might have served as the most available and accessible venue for those scholars to share their ideas with the ELT community.

That said, we as editors do not want to claim that Choutari is a “high quality” online magazine or anything like that. Our idea of quality and of scholarship is different: we value the voices of the novice teacher over whether their submission is “academically significant” or professionally polished, and instead of maintaining “standard” by rejecting materials that don’t meet the criteria, we try to support writers toward making their work accessible and interesting to the readers. Within the flexible guidelines that we have developed, we try to run conversations that are thought-provoking and useful. We are sure that the new team will build on the spirit of support and encouragement that this platform has created for fellow teachers/scholars ranging from those who have limited experience to those who have a lot of it. We are also sure that readers will continue to encourage the writers (as well editors) by joining the conversation regularly.

The outgoing team will be stepping aside and not away from the blog; we will be contributing entries, posting comments, promoting the blog, and providing  support and mentoring as needed to the new team. And we wish all the best to the new team as they take their turn at running this wonderful professional forum.

Here are the entries for the month:

  1. Introduction to the New Team of Choutari Editors (compiled by Shyam Sharma)
  2. Critical Thinking in Language Classroom, by Prem Prasad Poudel
  3. Event Report from NELTA Lalitpur, by Dinesh Thapa
  4. Have Your Say (Readers’ Views and Comments), compiled by Praveen Kumar Yadav
  5. Nelta Choutari’s Four Year Journey, by Bal Krishna Sharma and Prem Phyak
  6. A Site-Generated Statistical Overview of Choutari’s 2012
  7. Wish for a Bigger, Better Choutari, by Hem Raj Kafle

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE WONDERFUL FOUR YEARS OF VERY PRODUCTIVE CONVERSATIONS IN ELT! Please do not forget to comment, share, like, or submit a new post. This forum will be greater when YOU share your thought with the community. 

Happy New Year again!!!

-Shyam Sharma
Stony Brook, New York

On behalf of Choutari’s Outgoing Team
(Shyam Sharma, Bal Sharma, Prem Phyak,
Sajan Karn, Hem Kafle, Kamal Poudel)

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