On behalf of the ELT Choutari team, I would like to wish everyone a slightly belated Happy New Year 2015! And welcome to a special Anniversary issue once again!!
This is the seventh year of our blogging about ELT. The web traffic remains robust, we have maintained high quality in content, and I am grateful to our readers for their conversations here on the blog and on social media sites. We are grateful to you for reading and promoting the ELT khurak we provide here. And we are grateful to those who contributed blog posts. Your contribution to professional conversation is invaluable.
Times have changed since Choutari was first published. Since this first ELT forum in Nepal was first established, the Internet has become more accessible, there are larger numbers of professional forums and resources that we can benefit from, and potential contributors (both experienced and new, both writers and editors) seem to have become busier due to increasing number of commitment to the professional community. This year, we also disambiguated the blog’s name so that our readers know that there is a different, official blog run by NELTA and that this one remains an open space run by independent volunteers, continuing a tradition and adding a necessary dimension to professional conversation outside of an organizational structure. Today, we see our community blogging both individually and institutionally or in groups. We are inspired by new developments.
When changes in the broader social, technological, and professional world affect our success and effectiveness, we remember to look at the big picture and recognize what we have achieved in the long run. As we reflect on our past, present, and future, the Choutari team of editors would like to invite you to consider joining us and contribute more directly than you may have so far. Let me describe how you can do so.
If you are willing and able to dedicate some time to a professional community, Choutari is for you. Choutari is for you if you are excited by the impact you can make on the professional lives of English language teachers across the country (and also across the world) with the power of volunteerism, with your technological skills, with collaboration and networking. Choutari is for you if you want to add a line on your resume, and want to fill that line (or say a paragraph) with meaning and substance. It is certainly not “being on board” that counts: it is what you do after you get on board. First, editorial colleagues take turns to be monthly coordinators (you may need to take one or two turns during the year). The coordinators request other editors to collect materials, as well as collecting contributions themselves. They start conversations early in the month before their turn with the editorial group (by email and Facebook), developing their theme and ideas. And toward the end of the month, before publication, they get help from the rest of the team to improve and copy edit all materials. They pass on the baton to the next coordinator on the schedule after they publish the month’s issue. In terms of time, editors spend about 3-5 hours every month (and more if they like to run or follow conversations), and coordinators invest 5-10 hours for collecting, coordinating, improving, publishing, and promoting. If you are interested, or have questions before you can decide when to join, please do not hesitate to send them at eltchoutari at gmail.
Let me conclude with an emphasis on the value of volunteerism and the power of blogging. Initiatives like Choutari may not have direct incentives or material return for editors or writers. They may not have organizational structure, recognition, support, or promotion. But it is precisely in these gaps/lacks that we will find value for our professional and social lives when working with a team of independent scholars. To share my own experience, by actively contributing to and leading Choutari for some time, I have got the opportunity to know and work with, and to gain respect from, many respectable ELT colleagues in Nepal and elsewhere. I tremendously improved my skills for writing and professional communication (both academically and socially), coordination and leadership, use of technology and emerging media platforms, reviewing and editing fellow professionals’ work, research and reporting. I not only have a line on my resume that describes what I have done and learned, I have gained tremendous knowledge and confidence that I use in my professional advancements. What I gave to Choutari is what I got. Needless to say, “being” on Choutari will not magically benefit us in any way (one has to work even to gain recognition from readers and fellow editors). Nor can anyone “use” Choutari’s name to benefit professionally: people and organizations will judge the work we’ve done, the time we’ve invested, the visible achievements we’ve made, the impact that we can show in order to recognize our role. But if you are eager to dedicate your time to develop professional skills and confidence in a scholarly venue, come on join us! Please write to the email provided above.
Thanking you again for your continued readership and your support, and wishing you a great year ahead again, here are the ELT khuraks of the month:
- Interview with Program Manager of British Council Nepal
- 2014: A bad fortune for Nepali universities, by Nirjana Sharma
- My Trip to Oregon, US: A Teacher’s Travelogue, by Pema Kala Bhusal
- AmericanEnglishState.Gov: Great Online Resource for English language teaching & learning (Feature Story), by Ganga Gautam
- New Year Resolutions by English Teachers, complied by Praveen Kumar Yadav
On behalf of ELT Choutari Editorial Team,
Praveen Kumar Yadav