All posts by kamalpoudel

NELTA Choutari October Issue, 2012

Dear October Choutari readers,

I have always been thrilled to answer the questions ‘Kamal, I have heard about Choutari, but I do not know much about it, and please tell me what actually it is.’ when I meet people from the rural and countrysides where internet or information technology are still exotic or foreign matters. I talk to them as if these are everyday activities, and I get more excited when I come to know about their involvement (though relatively slow) in these matters. This normally happens upon my second visit or I come to know about this on phone, or when I get a request, ‘Kamal, please subscribe me the yahoo-groups of NELTA, so I will know about Choutari.’ Naïve they are, but they have kept themselves in the smooth move of ELT.

These are the exciting stories that I have collected from the branches over my visits. Recently, I have visited Dailekh, Rautahat, Ramechhap, and I am visiting Nawalparasi, and I am sure that I am collecting similar stories from the friends in that region. Like in other branches, after participating in the session particularly on ‘NELTA Choutari’, they will visit me and express their inner desire to be the part of Choutari. The obsession to be the part of Choutari is the stimulus for us that they need to be pushed, pulled or encouraged to be the part of wider world through Choutari, no matter what formal text they prepare. Their reflection is all that takes them to the world of ‘High’, which gradually will influence their students. This is one of the unannounced fundamental objectives of all teachers and definitely of Choutari.

Knowing the principle of creating a creative text, a poetic one, Mr Gopal Basyal from Palpa engages his students and endeavors to transform the participants into poets. He deliberates in his reflection how everybody can write poems. This gives the flavor to the readers that the creativity is a common phenomenon to all the learners. He, thus, proves that we all are poets.

Moving further, Mr Ashok Sapkota deliberates that the teachers in the modern world should not feel alienated as there are unlimited sources available mainly because of internet. As a Choutari editor, I request all the teachers to be the part of global world and share the wider information with those who do not have the access to net. And, thus, be a mentor to the society, which is the part of your responsibility.
Being a mentor is a part of professional development. There are other aspects of professional development. Mr Madhukar KC discusses the values of observation in Teacher Development. It is a requirement that a teacher needs to undergo the process of being observed which may show you the unidentified challenges, and this is helpful to grow yourself as a better teacher.

In the meantime, becoming a better teacher is further possible through being a part of wider professional network like NELTA, which organizes professional gatherings at local, national and international levels. These ideas are expressed by Mr Ganesh Shrestha and Mr Ashok Raj Khati in ‘ELT in Rural Context: Growing through Professional Networks’.

The modern world is marked by the feature of interdisciplinary, which is one of the basics for everyone to be the part of modern professionalism. Mr Hem Kafley’s reflection comes up with the idea of ‘intuition and imagination know no disciplinary boundaries’.

So, here is the list of ELT khurak for the month:

    1. Observation as a Key Concept for Teacher Development, by Madhukar KC
    2. Disciplinary Bias, Interdisciplinary Benignity, by Hem Raj Kafle
    3. Everyone can Write Poems: A Reflection, by Gopal Prasad Bashyal
    4. How to Use Newspaper in ELT, by Praveen Kumar Yadav
    5. Bringing Technology to EFL Classroom: The World Wide Web, by Ashok Sapkota
    6. ELT in Rural Context: Growing through Professional Networks (A Brief Report of Branch Conference), by Ashok Raj Khati & Ganesh Shrestha

Finally, Dear readers, I would like to request you to proceed with remarkable feedbacks and comments, which will push the editors to collect more reflections and articles from varied sources, and thus make the Choutari full of required diversity.

Cheers Choutari!

On behalf of Choutari team:
Kamal Poudel

Observation as a Key Concept for Teacher Development

-Madhukar KC
This article begins with the general introduction of observation highlighting on observation with reference to teacher development. It draws some examples to justify how (classroom) observation plays a pivotal role in teacher development in terms of developmental purpose of observation rather than observation for assessment, evaluation and training. Finally it relates observation practice in Nepalese EFL context along with author’s own experience of classroom observations of the teachers at the work place.
Generally, the term ‘observation’ is used as a research tool that offers a researcher an opportunity to garner ‘live’ data from “naturally occurring situations” where the researcher can actually look at directly what is happening in situ rather than depending on second-hand data source (Cohen et al 2007). Peter Maingay, the ELT expert/trainer argues about various roles of observation for training, development and assessment of the teachers. Observation in the recent years has been rigorously used in the field of teacher development. Different people especially teachers, supervisors, instructors, trainers, and trainees use observation for various purposes in various forms like classroom observation, peer observation, a key tool of teacher development. Wajnryb (2002) states observation as ‘a multi-faceted tool for learning which can be learned and can improve with practice’ (p.1). There are various kinds of observations, however, this article concentrates on classroom observation in the context of teacher’s professional development.
Observation and Teacher Development (TD)
The concept of development refers to change and growth. To be specific, the term teacher development is the process of being better, competent and ‘super-teacher’ in terms of professionalism. This concept of teacher development is a significant issue in teacher education that came into prominence in the field of ELT on account of the demand; especially of in-service teachers who really wanted to get input of recent methodologies/pedagogies to tackle the problems and the challenges that come abruptly on the way. TD is a relentless process of life-long learning. If it stops for any reasons, then the process of development ceases with no sign of any professional development in teachers.
There are many components and strategies that are responsible for teacher development; such as observation, action research, in-service training, supervision, counseling, meditation, motivation, mentoring, reflective practice of teaching and learning, classroom research, collaborative learning and teaching etc. However, this article focuses on area of teacher development that is classroom observation, which has been dominantly used as a significant tool in ESL/EFL teacher education in general and teachers’ professional development in particular. Observation in general is a tool/concept used in any kind of observation- be it a classroom observation, peer observation, supervisor, ELT manager observation or a learner observation. It is equally significant tool for mentoring, collaborative development, classroom research ,etc.

Classroom Observation
As one of the prevailing methods within the real classroom settings, classroom observation is a significant tool for teacher development where the teacher develops by observing the trainers, peer teachers classroom teachings. It is the process of studying classroom activities to scrutinize teaching strategies adopted by the teachers and students’ participation with active responsiveness in classroom activities. It is a process in which a supervisor, instructor/administrator (head teacher/principal) sits in on one or more class sessions, records the teacher’s teaching practices and student actions, and then meets with the teacher to discuss regarding the observations done previously.
English language teaching (ELT) classroom observations have traditionally been seen as part of teacher evaluation regarding their way of classroom teaching and observers are typically administrators, instructors, supervisors, trainers, ELT managers hired and senior teachers. Feedback provided by the observer to the observe after the observation task is over is what Sheal (1989) notes as usually unsystematic, subjective, threatening, frustrating and impressionistic rather than objective, systematic, supportive and motivating. Also, the relationship between observers and observees is based on hierarchy where the observers are evaluative, prescriptive, assertive while the observees, unless otherwise, are defensive. Classroom observations tasks done under such conditions might not help much in the observees’ professional growth and development which is in sharp contrast to the philosophy of teachers’ professional development.
Why classroom observation?
There are a number of different purposes for classroom observation. Nevertheless, the primary purpose of observation is for teacher’s professional growth and development. While the teacher teaches in the language classroom, he/she will not be able to clearly observe the process of learning and interaction as it takes place throughout the lesson. Thus classroom observation renders freedom to the teachers to look at the lesson being taught by other teachers from a range of different perspective outside that of the actual lesson plan, procedures and activities prepared by the teacher. Wajnryb (2002) defines classroom observation as a ‘multi-faceted tool for learning. It is about being an observer in the language learning classroom and learning from the observation process of classroom processes’ (p.1).
Classroom observation helps us ‘to test our personal theories on phenomena around us and refine the social and psychological behavior of others and ourselves’ (Foster, 1996, p. 57). Classroom observation is absolutely required ‘to understand and be aware of the intricacies of the social and psychological processes of the classroom which is central to effective teacher development (Wright, 1990, p. 84). Similarly, Maingay (1991) defines classroom observation as a reflective tool for the teachers to explore their own behavior, attitude and their classroom practices. Kafle (2001) argues that mentoring, one of the key concepts in teacher development requires skills of classroom observation so as to figure out problems of classroom teaching practice of the teachers and provide feedback and eventually render assistance whenever needed by the teachers.
Procedures of classroom observation
There are various procedures of conducting classroom observation. Sheal (1989) gives his own way of conducting classroom observation. Mainly he concentrates on classroom observation for teacher development rather than teacher evaluation. With the purposes of observation, he also came up with the observation forms. They are; frequency tabulation, structured description, checklist and rating scale etc. Among them, using observation checklist during observation is pertinent to our Nepalese context.
Fortunately, I got an appointment as an Instructional Supervisor (IS) in one of the prominent schools in the Kathmandu Valley. My job responsibility was not just to teach in the classroom but to conduct classroom observation of the teachers from primary to lower secondary English teachers. The teachers I worked with were trained, competent and skilful. However, I was supposed to manage spare time to sit and discuss with them about the lesson, unit they were about to deal with in the class and later observe their real classroom teaching to see how well they would perform in the classroom and whether they conducted various activities in the classroom with regard to ‘Activity-based Instruction classroom teaching’ implemented in the very school recently. The school administration had given me full liability to conduct classroom observation of the teachers. The administration including myself had also clearly oriented the teachers during the workshop before the early beginning of the new session regarding the observation to be taken by the newly appointed Instructional Supervisors. Since it was mainly for the developmental purpose of observation, most of the teachers took it positively. However, there was some sort of indirect resistance of silence, ignorance towards it which I could sense at the meantime.
Keeping in mind the resistance of the teachers I would observe, I tried my best endeavors to maintain good rapport with them. I used to manage spare time out of their (teachers) hectic classroom schedule so that I could sit with them and discuss for sometime regarding their lesson plan, teaching/learning materials prepared to use in the classroom and teaching/learning activities to be conducted in the classroom. Mainly I used observation format to observe the teachers’ classroom which is divided in to three phases, which is deliberated below:
During this pre-observation phase, my main intention was to inform the observee teacher about the purpose of the meeting and observation and thus prepare him/her for being observed without any sign of resistance. I also used this phase to build good rapport by using motivational orientation to the teacher saying, ‘it is mainly for both of us and our professional development’. I expressed, ‘there is nothing personal but it’s all about professional development to make sure that the teachers are in the state of welcoming me as the observer of their classroom teaching’.
During the meeting with the teachers in this phase, I used to discuss on the lesson plan they had, teaching/learning materials prepared to use and the teaching/learning activities to be used in the classroom teaching. I used to elicit information about the syllabus, other classroom activities they had been conducting from the teachers. I also asked them if they wanted any sort of help from me, e.g., getting other resources to use as materials in their classroom teaching.
While/during observation
This is the second phase of observation which I used to use for my classroom observation purpose. During this stage or phase, I observed the real classroom teaching of the teacher inside the classroom settings according to their lesson plan using teaching materials/aids and conducting various activities in the classroom. During this phase, I mainly concentrated on classroom management, instructions of the teacher, language use, lesson delivery, activities conducted and the participation of the students in the activities and tasks. I recorded the classroom observation and wrote a reflection of the class I observed so that it would be easier for me to use during feedback session.
It is the phase of feedback session. During this phase, I managed some time to meet with the teachers to discuss how the classroom went, how he/she felt about the classroom teaching, what he/she felt went well, what he/she would have to change, what was typical or atypical about the class. I would mainly elicit responses from the observee teachers and would give them cathartic and supportive kind of feedback. I would discuss on the strategy for the next class. The purpose of this phase is to review the observation data and plan any follow-up and new strategy as required.

Observation is a means through which teacher development takes place and thus it is very significant tool or a key concept for teacher development. Unlike observation for training, assessment and evaluation, observation for development of both the observer and the observee should be primarily focused to achieve the objective of teacher development. It provides both the parties with the reflection of their own class and provides them way to think of some possible innovative strategies to implement them in the classes further. Traditionally, the observation task was taken as evaluative, assessment as mere trainer process. Owing to this, teachers to be observed (observee) and the observer both had developed negative attitudes towards observation process. However, now, positive attitudes have developed among the educators, teachers regarding observation in the recent days for teacher development. People related to teacher education, ELT have duly realized the significance of observation and the impossibility of teacher development without observation to explore their hidden self, identity, creative potentiality which is worth appreciating.
Chaudhary, D.L. (2008). Reflection for key concept for Teacher Development. Journal of
NELTA, Volume 13, No. 1-2
Cohen, et, al (2007). Research Methods in Education. Rout ledge
Edge, J. (1991). Co-operative Development
Head, K. and Taylor, P. (1997). Readings in teacher development. Oxford: Heinemann.

Tsai, H. M. (2008). Improving an EFL Class: Starting from Classroom Observations, The Asian EFL Journal, June/2008, Volume 10, Number 2

Sheal, P. (1989). Classroom observation: Training the observers. ELT Journal, 43(2), 92-
104 Corwin, S. (2011). Teacher Observation. IATEFL Voices, 2011 Issue, 220
Wajnryb, R. (2002). Classroom observation tasks. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The following is the sample of the observation checklist form I used for classroom observation of the teachers at ‘The Excelsior School, Swoyambhunath’ where I worked as an Instructional Supervisor (IS) of English.
Pre- observation
Lesson plan/objectives Use of teaching/learning materials

Teaching/learning activities

While/during observation
Activities conducted Classroom management

Language use/ lesson delivery

Reflection on the very observed class by the observer and observee
Providing feedback (Oral/written)
Constructive/supportive feedback

Strategies/plan for next class

These are the various samples I and my intern pair, Mabindra prepared during our fourth semester class on ‘Teacher Development’ at Kathmandu University which I would like to illustrate as below;
Observation checklist form
Name: Topic: Date:
S N. Indicators 0 1 2
Classroom management
T/L materials used and Activities conducted in the class
Presentation of subject matter/issues/themes
4 Clarity of instructions

Pedagogical methods used/ language use
Delivery of the lesson

7 Student’s involvement/participation/motivation

8 Body language

9 Personal Reflection

10 Providing feedback (Oral/written)
Constructive/supportive feedback
0= Needs improvement 1= Satisfactory
2= excellent
Note: Comment:
1 1
2 2
3 3
4 4

Observation form for creative writing
Name of the teacher:
Name of the school:
Phase Activities


Observation form for checking speaking skill
Name of the teacher:
Name of the school:
How does the teacher check speaking skill of the students? What specific aspects does he check? e.g. grammar, syntax, comprehension, etc. Does he give feedback? It can be immediate or delayed, individual or to the whole class

Observation form for Reading Activity
Name of the teacher:
Name of the school:
Learner Activity Teacher response Learner response Evaluation method


Checking effectiveness of listening activity
Name of the teacher:
Name of the school:

1. The component that you feel was very effective while teaching listening activity

2. The area where you feel that the teacher could have improved by using suggested methods or approaches

3. Further suggestions that you would like to give the teacher regarding the class

Everyone can Write Poems: A Reflection

-Gopal Prasad Bashyal
When students are inspired to write, they can produce texts beyond expectation. They need motivation and scaffolding – qualities which foster the scope of imagination and develop characteristics of an honest writer. As the metal-worker transfers the iron into desired tools with fire, anvil and hammer, a writer uses his intellect, imagination, passion, vocation and energy for the perpetual refinement of unformed mass of words to the expression of harmonious fusion of dispersed thoughts, feelings and emotions. “Writers are born and made” (Morley, 2010, p.1). I learnt this during facilitation of one day workshop on creative writing for Bachelor level students organized by NELTA Palpa last month.
The workshop started with introduction. I’m Gopal from Nepal. After two minutes’ thinking, I’m Ravi, studying is my hobby, a student said. Likewise I’m Jyoti, I like wearing dhoti. All 40 participants, including 7 teachers, produced two lines rhyming with their first name. This sounds a very simple exercise that made everyone happy as they developed a little hope to write poems. First, I discussed a few opinions of great poets. For example, “Linguistic creativity is not simply a property of exceptional people, but the exceptional property of all people.” – Ron Carter’s statement encouraged all the participants to take part in the workshop optimistically. Second, the differences between expository writing and creative writing helped them to understand writing much clearly. Expository writing is instrumental, factual, externally controlled, full of conventions, logical, analytical, impersonal and concerned with intellect whereas creative writing is aesthetic, imaginative, internally guided by stretched rules, intuitive, associative, personal, full of multiple meanings and concerned with both intellect and senses. Third linguistic devices like i. Simile, metaphor, ii. Personification, iii. Alliteration, assonance, iv. Rhyme and rhythm, v. Parallelism, vi. Repetition, vii. Unusual collocation and viii. Striking word choices were discussed. Mostly, students were introduced sample poems and linguistic and literary features used in them were analyzed with examples. A few sample exercises are discussed below.
i. How creative are you? I’m creative. The students are given objects like stone, wooden piece, piece of paper, stalk etc. They think how many ways they can use the object for and write. They do it in a minute. One who finds more uses is more creative. One student found 13 uses of stone. Though this is not competition, not the IQ test either, it helps them think from different perspectives.
ii. Haiku: This is a three line poem. It contains five syllables, seven syllables and five syllables in the first, the second and the third line respectively. For practice, the first two lines are given by the teacher and the third line is completed by the students. Gradually, they make second line and the complete haiku and haikus. For example: Waiting in the darkness An aged blind man sitting To marry the moon (Gopal)
iii. Parallel poems: The teacher gives a model poem and the students write another poem in similar form/structure but with different tone or on different topics or themes. The themes can be marriage, love, study, education, job or position, workplace etc. I gave a model poem on marriage with negative tone and asked the students to write with positive tone.
Sample poem
Marriage A mistake Everything went wrong Too late Now.
Students’ poems
Marriage A life Everything with joy Too fantastic Now. (Nabin)
Marriage A gift Bond to make life Memory Now. (Sadiksha)
Marriage A journey Towards happiness A suspense Now. (Shanti)
Marriage A dream Of happy life With wife But children Now. (Sangeeta)
Marriage A drama Everyone enjoys Each other Now. (Ranju)
Marriage Hope Love wins Both lose Children win Now. (Bishnu)
Marriage A journey To continue generations Too short Now. (Gopal)
iv. Diamond poem: The name is given after its shape. This is a five line poem. The first line contains the title of the poem. The second line has two adjectives which define the noun in the title line. The third line contains three gerunds which describe the manner or behaviour and the fourth line is a clause and the line has a word that is synonym or antonym or describing the topic word with an effective punch.
Teacher grey, bald-headed striking, striving, smiling enhances humanity for the better world a Creator. (Gopal)
Friend courageous, helpful sharing, pairing, visiting loves studying English Co-worker. (Prakash)
Mother affectionate, compassionate bearing, caring, rearing devotes life to others Selfless (Bikram)
Husband lovely, kind helping, working, understanding looks always beautiful Doubtful (Indira)
Teacher intelligent, dutiful controlling, inspiring wonderful educational job a Tutor (Dam)
v. Metaphor poem: This has three major steps which are as below.
a. First two columns of words are given. For example: hope a spoon life a knife marriage an egg love a brush anger a widow disappointment a mirror work a plate happiness a rope work a plate time a wheel b. Match. For example: life – a mirror, marriage – a knife.
c. Then add clause. For example: Life is a mirror you can reflect on. Marriage is a knife that cuts your singleness. Hope is a spoon that feeds us to survive. Anger is the knife that cuts our life. Happiness is an egg that broods new one. Hate is a knife that cuts relations. Marriage is the wheel that helps to continue generations. Work is a cup that serves life. Love is a wheel that runs life. Time is a wheel that keeps moving. Love is a rope that ties relations. Disappointment is a knife that cuts hope. Life is a mirror that grows through experience. (Contributors: Ravi, Sangita, Durga, Shanti, Nabin, Sadiksha, Dam, Kaushila, Bigyan, Indira, Biju, Ashish)
vi. Hello poem: Each line starts with a hello phrase and ends with a goodbye phrase. These two phrases contain opposite ideas. For example: Hello holiday, goodbye school. Hello girlfriend, goodbye wife. Hello cigarette, goodbye life. Hello mobile, goodbye landline. Hello pop song, goodbye folk song. (Contributors: Subash, Asmita, Pim, Prakash Chandra, Shrawan, Bhima, Gita)
Reflection: During the workshop the students enjoyed reciting their creative works. They were striving hard to find appropriate and new words. Though sometimes many of them wrote poems with tragic note, their willingness to follow the given structure was really exciting. They have problems in selection of appropriate words and fulfill ambition of making a complex sentence. They realised that complex writing is not creative writing. Creative writing flows freely without any extra ornamentation. If the words are put into proper structure, they can convey message effectively. Commonly used words if used at proper place according to the pattern set for particular design can express feelings well. Moreover, the structured use of language helps to convey feelings full. Likewise the students learn to use the language skills appropriately. They recall vocabulary, deliberately violate rules but in rules and these exercises develop confidence in using language. The workshop was thus concluded with the message that everyone can write poems.
Bashyal, G. P. (2011). ELT handbook. Palpa: Jaya Prakashan.
Marley, A. Mukundan, J. and Rai, V. S. (2009). Life in Words and Words in Life. Kathmandu: Bhudipuran Pubications.
Morley, D. (2010). Creative Writing. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press.

Bringing Technology to EFL Classroom: World Wide Web (www)

-Ashok Sapkota
This article tries to explore about the global use of internet in the language classroom highlighting several solutions to it. It tries to explain how the global use of World Wide Web is useful to connect with the interest of our learners by enhancing the professional development of English language teachers. It provides various examples of web addresses followed by their short annotated descriptions. It also suggests some practical solutions to browse and save those contents on our computers.
Key Words: internet, blog, browsers, on-line, information technology

English language is regarded as one of the most widely used means of human communication under the sun. It has been in use in almost all fields of human life. English language teaching methodology is influenced as much by linguistic theories as by advances in science and technology. Sophisticated computers, multimedia computers and word processors have virtually contributed a lot for actual practice of language teaching.
Due to the rapid growth and expansion of information and communication technology (ICT), the world is becoming smaller and smaller. This is why; we can view the world with a single click of a mouse. This characteristic of information technology facilitates English language teaching through the use of computers. The learners can get a variety of opportunities to brush up themselves in various skills and aspects of the English language just staying at home. Regarding listening, students may get maximum opportunity to listen input at the computers with appropriate comprehension questions, easily controlled repetition and immediate playback. They can hear the rhythms and accents of the language as spoken by native speakers. Regarding speaking, a speaking recognition technology is adopted to permit the shy students to speak up. Voice and video e-mail play an important role in the design of speaking activities. Likewise, reading, skill programmes are used to enhance reading speed by paced reading activities. Jigsaw paragraphs or jumbled texts can be used to enhance reading in which limited time in provided to read the text just after the time limit the text-lines scroll. Regarding writing, word processing has maximum impact on the pre-set writing habit of the learners.
Hence, as an obedient tool, the language teacher has this machine to teach all four aspects of language effectively. A computer has very important role in the provision of exposure to target language environment to learners; and to motivate them towards learning materials. It is, therefore, regarded as an aid for teaching English.
Use of Internet
The internet has become a chain of a huge network of connected computers, linked across the globe. The World Wide Web (www) is the part of the internet where information can be accessed. It contains ever expanding number of pages which we navigate by using web browsers such as internet explorer, Mozilla, Netscape, Safari, or Google’s chrome. Email, as a part of internet, is a means of communication rather than accessing information. Internet offers many opportunities for students and teachers to compose materials other than using paper-pencil works. We teachers or our students largely depend on the hard copy materials, such as books, teachers’ note, etc. In this regard, internet provides a diverse form to the pedagogical orientation than the traditional practices. For Lewis (2009,) some advantages so using the World Wide Web in our classrooms.
The internet provides authentic content: students and teachers get limitless ‘real’ content in the target language. They can read a real menu, find out when a train leaves Paddington station; listen to a sports broadcast, or watch a movie trailer. The internet can complement your course book by bringing language learning to life. Let’s not forget that the internet also provides teachers with lesson plans, ideas banks, test generators, and pretty much anything else you would want to know as a teacher.
The internet offers meaningful language: Studies have shown that students learn language better when the language they are exposed to is meaningful. The internet creates contexts for language use which, through their authenticity, become purposeful in the eyes of the students. The students actively manipulate the language for a clear and logical purpose.
The internet promotes critical thinking skills and ‘constructivist’ learning: On the internet, knowledge is transient. Unlike course books which transmit information in a predictable order, working with the internet is constantly evolving. Students make choices and ‘construct’ knowledge every time they go online. Each search is unique.
The internet reduces focus on the teacher: Working with the internet can take the focus off you and shift communication from teacher-student to student- student. It you are a bit unsure of your own English-language skills, authentic listening and reading from the internet can help model the language you want to teach.
Internet-based work can increase motivation: It is colorful, exciting, and undeniably ‘cool’. Computers and the internet are a key component of youth culture and lend language learning street-credibility.
Students can be benefitted largely by the use of internet network. They can also be involved in chatting online. They can be able to their own first language such as our Nepali language and can chat in English as well. Teachers can organize real time chatting events by using programs like: Google talk or MSN or Yahoo Messenger or face book. It is also easy to set up a chain of network such as groups where people can exchange messages with each other, such as Yahoo groups. Many dictionaries are freely available by the help of internet. One of the potent ways of sharing the people about your creative ideas is the weblog or blog. This is like a public diary that anyone can see or you can design yourself for institutional purpose. It is free of cost. It helps you to tell others what you want to share and get constructive feedback on it. Blogging is not difficult and there are many websites that can help you to create your own personal such as:

Web Search
Browsing the web is the door to the World Wide Web. When we browse the website, web browsers read html code they receive from a website. The code tells the browser to display the information on our computer. If we have this plug- in our computer, it will immediately open it and display the requested content. If it is not available on our computer, we need to download the plug-in from the World Wide Web. Some of the plug-in that are essential to be installed in our computer are:
Media players (such as real player, windows media player, or quick time) allow us to play video and audio files.
Adobe acrobat allows us to display documents formatted as PDFS (files which can be read without a word processing programme)
Flash and shockwave allow us to open web animation files.
Java is a programming system of language which can be used across multiple computer platforms, making it very practical.
In the recent times, there are a number of web browsers available to download free from the World Wide Web. If a web-browser is your gateway to the internet, a search engine is our guide to contents. When we know the URL (Web address) of each site which we wanted to visit, these remains no need of search engine. When we click a simple topic, these appear 100 million websites and 85 million individual web pages displayed on our computer screen. In this mis confusion among the people, e-programmers have created search engines in order to help people to find their way around the internet, ‘Google search’ has become a common search engine, in the today’s world, Like wise ‘yahoo search’ etc. The world has become so much narrower with the help of computer search engines. People create their own personal blogs, web-pages, business sites, job-sites with the help of internet sources.
Web-search engines or e-sources has become a successful means of collecting, sharing our feelings, knowledge, and researches. The trend of online study, face to face chat, and online discussion has become a popular concept in the globe today. Here, I have tried to mention some important URL (Web address) which could be largely useful for English language teachers to derive their professional goals in connection to e-world and helpful to bring the technology into the classroom.
Many (but not all) of these websites have interactive activities which you can use in your schools if there is a computer room or you can recommend to students to access the activities at home.

The Global Gateway






BBC websites include:


Speak English Fluently!
The Exploratorium Museum

Study Skills, Reference Resources, and Research Strategies
Dictionary and Thesaurus Resources
Roget’s Thesaurus
Your Dictionary, A Global Language Resource
Encyclopedia Resources
Columbia Encyclopedia, from Bartleby
Helpful Study Skill Links
Advice on time management, test taking, note taking, and much more.
Journals and Magazines
English Teaching Forum (ETF) Online
Forum Electronic Journals
Language and Civil Society
Language and Life Sciences

Once you have added a basic structure (or, URL address) to your bookmarks, you can save in your computer. You can read it on your leisure period. Lewis (ibid, p.49) provides some procedure to organize our book marks:
• Open a search engine and search for two or three websites that you particularly like or that interest you.
• Bookmark the sites (add them to your favorites), then create two folders by clicking on the favorites menu.
• Click ‘organize favorites’/ ‘create folders’.
• Name the folders to reflect the content of the websites you selected.
• Select one of the websites you added, by left-clicking on the title with your mouse.
• While still holding down the mouse drag the favourite to one of the folders you created and release the mouse.
• Do the same for the other favorites you created.
• If you like, open one of the folders, select a link as above and drag it from its current folder to another folder on your favorites list. In this way you can reorganize your favourites according to your needs.
By the stages mentioned above we can easily save the selected documents in our computers. In the leisure period we can read those selected articles whenever we feel necessary.
The use internet in this e-world and e-classroom has occupied a greater space not only in the pedagogical orientation but also in the minds of many learners. Well, all e-materials may not be so authentic as we have speculated. It is us to verify whether internet site is authentic, valid, reliable or updated. If we can verify these matters we can occupy our in own space o in this global IT era to make us professionally equipped.

Suggestions for Further Reading
Bhattarai , G.R. and Gautam, G.R. 2005. English language teachers at the cross roads: The journal of NELTA Vol.10 No. 1&2, Nepal English Language Teachers Association.
Dudeney, G.2000 The internet and the language classroom, CUP, London
Harmer, J. 2010. The practice of the English language teaching, Person Longman
Lewis, G. 2010. Bringing technology into the Classroom. OUP, London.

ELT in Rural Context: Growing through Professional Networks (A Brief Report of Branch Conference)

-Ashok Raj Khati
-Ganesh Shrestha

The title itself is the theme of the branch conference of NELTA in Ramechhap held on 21st and 22nd September 2012. More than two hundred fifty English language teachers attended the conference from this region. The conference made the ELT professionals meet at a platform once again in the mid-eastern hill of Nepal. The conference attendees shared their experiences and challenges in teaching English as foreign language and excitements with other participants and presenters. This is a brief account of a two days event.

The two-day conference and training program was a significant get together of EFL (English as Foreign Language) teachers in Manthali. The teachers from Sindhuli, Dolakha and Okhaldhunga also attended at the program. Majority of the participants travelled for two days to attend the branch conference of NELTA Ramechhap in Manthali. NELTA Ramechhap had decided to hold this event particularly to energize the NELTA members and English teachers of this region to expand the NELTA networks and generate discussions on how a teacher from hinterlands of the country grow professionally through professional networks.
The inaugural ceremony was chaired by Mr. Tanka Prasad Dahal, the chair of NELTA Ramechhap, and Mr. Hemanta Raj Dahal, President, NELTA Centre was the chief guest. There was the gracious presence of Mr. Narayan Mainali, Local Development Officer Ramechhap, Mr. Yubaraj Poudel, District Education Officer Ramechhap, Mr. Damodar Regmi, Department of Education, MOE, Mr. Kamal Poudel, General Secretary, Ms. Motikal Subba Dewan, Ms. Madhu Neupane and Mr. Ashok Raj Khati from NELTA Centre, heads of different governmental and non-governmental organizations, representatives from various publications, campus chiefs and head teachers. Mr. Hemanta Raj Dahal, President, NELTA Centre and Mr. Narayan Mainali, Local Development Officer/Chair of District Education Committee jointly inaugurated the conference in the presence of 250 English language teachers/professionals/practitioners at DDC hall in Manthali. Mr. Chandra Singh Dhami, one of the founding members of this branch, welcomed the guests and participants by making special recall of its initial days. Mr. Nanendra Singh Dhami recalled the hardworking members and NELTA activities on its initial days.
On the occasion, Mr. Hemant Raj Dahal elaborated the theme on the first day sharing a lot of examples of himself on how he grew at this level of professionalism. He highlighted the importance of teachers’ professional networks to grow and update professionally. Further, he explained on how NELTA is working in the field of teacher development in collaboration with government of Nepal and other national and international agencies. At the end of his remark, he mentioned the future directions of NELTA including the building of resource centre in Kathmandu.

Mr. Kamal Poudel also made remark on the prominent role of professional networks and supporting role of NELTA to enhance professionalism among its members and non-members. DEO, Yubraj Poudel expressed his pleasure being a part of this event and thanked NELTA branch Ramechhap for holding a two-day branch conference. He promised to support NELTA in the days to come and requested NELTA Ramechhap to come with plan to improve the performance of students in English at 10th grade for collaboration. Mr. Damodar Regmi from Department of Education, MOE and Mr. Gunja Bahadur Shrestha, Campus Chief of Manthali Sahid Smriti Multiple Campus, also thanked NELTARamechhap for organizing the branch conference and highlighted the importance of conference.
At the inaugural ceremony, Mr. Lambodar Ghimire, the chair of Shuvaramva Publication handed over a computer to Mr. Tanka Prasad Dahal, the chair of NELTA Ramechhap and expressed that he wanted to see more collaborations with NELTA in the days to come. On the occasion, Mr. Ashok Raj Khati, central committee member and former chair of NELTA Ramchhap, shared the experiences of working in NELTA in rural context and appreciated various contributors of this branch.
Mr. Hemant Raj Dhahal offered the letter of appreciation to special contributors from different institutions who contributed to establish NELTA Ramechhap branch. Mr. Ganesh Shrestha, an executive member of NELTA Ramechhap branch, expressed vote of thanks to chief guest, guests, all the participants, contributors, on behalf of NELTA Ramechhap, who had extended their hands to make the event happen and made an appeal to all be unified under the umbrella of NELTA to develop the professionalism. Mr. Tanka Prasad Dahal, the chair of the programme and the president of NELTA Ramechhap branch, expressed his pleasure for the remarkable attendance of the participants and for their enthusiasm.
Training Sessions
Ms. Motikala Subba Dewan, central committee member, presented a session on “Creating Short Stories from Everyday Life”. Her presentation made participants think practically to produce short stories from everyday events. She demonstrated many real incidents through short stories of real interest. All the participants enjoyed and felt its relevance to make the classroom learning lively and full of creativity.
Mr. Kamal Poudel gave a session on, “From Recipients to Initiators and Players: Transforming EFL Classrooms into playgrounds”. He focused on the failure of traditional teaching strategies in Nepalese contexts where most English classes end up with teachers’ one-way instructions, and learners are left as bored recipients. The workshop focused on EFL games and activities which enable the learners to hold the roles of initiators and use L2 with fun while playing locally relevant and context bound games, and thus improve L2 innately being motivated intrinsically. He shared various activities to make the classroom live.
Mr. Hemanta Raj Dahal presented some practical tips in ELT. He particularly focused on assigning tasks to the students to make English language learning meaningful. His emphasis was on creating authenticity in EFL classroom. Further, he made the participants involve in various activities during the workshop.
2nd Day: Training Sessions
On the second day, Ms. Madhu Neupane Bastola, central committee member, gave the first presentation on “Promoting classroom interaction using cooperative learning” with special focus on maximizing student talking time and minimizing teachers talking time. The presentation focused on the elements and benefits of cooperative learning. She activated the participants involving in many activities like Four Corners, KWL, JIGSAW, Debate, Panel Discussions, One Sentence Story and Interactive Reading to promote collaboration in learning in the classroom.
The second session was followed by the workshop of Mr. Kamal Poudel, on “EFL songs and stories for young learners”. He stressed on the issue that teaching L2 to young learners is a daunting task in Nepalese contexts. In this light, he suggested that a teacher could exploit locally tuned L1songs to enhance their L2 motivation, which are enjoyable too. With the support of context-bound pictures, local melody, and L2 activities, the teachers can make their classes instrumental for learners to emulate their target language. He made the session lively and enjoyable by making the participants sing the EFL songs in melody of Nepali folk songs like Resham Phiriri.
Mr. Ashok Raj Khati, central committee member, briefly shared about his experience on teaching reading texts, particularly, advertisements at tenth grade. He generated interaction among the participants on the experiences of teaching English and preparing students for SLC examination to perform better in the written test.
There was the gracious presence of various dignitaries in the closing ceremony. Mr. Hemant Kumar Budhathoki, the under-secretary, District Education Office Ramechhap, was the special guest who expressed his pleasure on the entire effort of NELTA members and English teachers of this region to enhance professionalism. Further, he made the remarks that the conference had given a great message to foster the professionalism.
Mr. Kamal Poudel, General Secretary, expressed his pleasure for the overwhelming responses of the participants to the event. He mentioned that the event was remarkable particularly to expand the NELTA networks and to learn from each other.
Ms. Madhu Neupane conveyed the message that this type of platform was really crucial to grow professionally on the part of English Language teachers at outlaying part of the country. She found NELTA branch Ramechhap vibrant, organized and dedicated.
Similarly, Mr. Laxman Kumar Ghimire, the advisor of NELTA Ramechhap, appreciated the effort of NELTA members for holding the branch conference in Manthali. He further expected that NELTA would organize the level wise training for English teachers only after collecting the trainees’ needs.
At the end of the both days, children from various schools performed a cultural show reflecting the ethnicity of this region, mid-eastern hill of Nepal.
Participants’ Remarks
“It’s a great event of NELTA Ramechhap. The conference has increased the level of confidence on the part of English teachers. The sharing of experiences of speakers was really insightful. I was thrilled by inaugural, training sessions, closing and cultural show.” -Dinesh Kumar Shrestha, Principal, Gangalal Academy Ramechhap
“First of all, the conference made me know many English language teachers/professionals from this region. The event provided a key message to me that teaching and learning are the collaborative processes. The event is like an eye-opener for me in the sense that we need to think globally to grow professionally in our own local context. ” -Deepak Khadka, Principal, Tamakoshi English School, Manthali
“The second branch conference and training program was so systematic in terms of management related perspective. I am very glad to be a part of this event. This event made my hesitation in speaking in public remove i.e. it built up my level of confidence.” -Gauri Tamang, Teacher, Little Star Academy, Manthali
“This is the first time I have ever attended a big NELTA event. The conference made me more shared and know how others are doing. It provided me a great opportunity to know many NELTA colleagues and English teachers.” -Rajesh Thapa Magar, Teacher, Vangeri High School, Ramechhap
“I am very glad being a part of this event. I learnt how professional networks do work to produce a different outcome. I knew a lot of ELTers on this occasion. Even in this large get-together, I enjoyed the interactions and discussions during the training sessions. I would expect, NELTA would organize specific training program in the days to come.” -Keshav Timilsina, Principal, Karkaladevi English School, Manthali
“ I had never participated such a grand event. I really enjoyed the remarks made by the president and other speakers on their speeches. Actually they did not delivered speeches; they shared their experiences regarding English language teaching and professional growth through NELTA like professional associations. I felt privileged being a part of this event. I enjoyed the practical training sessions on using songs in EFL classroom and tongue twisters very much.” -Ramita Rai, Teacher, executive member, NELTA Ramechhap
The branch conference was successful in terms of generating discussions on how a teacher can grow professionally in rural area. NELTA like professional associations are instrumental to connect the digital world to non-digital world through networking. In forms of organizing workshops/training events, conferences, publications, chaining of members at different levels, and mechanism of support from bottom to top or vice versa may certainly assist English teachers to grow. An affiliation to the NELTA like professional associations seem to have increased the feeling of ownership among the members, furthermore, that has fostered a sense of belongingness in a wider ELT community. Eagerness to make difference professionally and active involvement of participants of this branch conference made NELTA Ramechhap review its future directions, particularly, to increase its institutional capacity in terms of human and physical resources to host the international conference phase II in near future.

Ashok Raj Khati is an executive member of NELTA and former chair of NELTA branch Ramechhap.
Ganesh Shrestha is an executive member of NELTA Ramechhap branch and he teaches at Seti Devi college, Salu, Ramechhap.

Editorial : NELTA Choutari April Issue

Kamal Poudel

Dear Readers,
Professional conferences can be vanguard of change for a community like ours. If you have been a teacher for some time, you may remember the teaching approaches that you adopted in the early years of your career and how you have refined them over time. The way you think now is the consequence of the change in the time that you have undergone. Knowingly and unknowingly you are changing the patterns of your professional behaviors. You feel the same way in the days to come; no matter you are a novice teacher now. But such changes are possible only when you are charged with the concept of development. The professional development is the key factor to change you and your working pattern. As soon as you believe in the principle professional development, you start feeling to involve yourself in the gathering of teachers where you develop your network and finally you influence and get influenced. You, as a result, always feel the dire need of joining the conferences where people from different parts of the world bring various stories and you also convey your message in the same way.
NELTA organized its 17th International Conference in the month of February. There were teachers and ELT experts/practitioners from more than 22 countries to present and participate in the conference. There were a lot of sharing and discussions among the ELT stakeholders.
We are making this issue a special conference discussion issue. In addition to the reports of the conference, you will enjoy the materials by the three key speakers viz Prof Angi, Prof Malderez Fredricka L. Stoller and Prof Rod Ellis. Please enjoy the brief report of the presentations of various speakers from the different societies in the world. Further, we have articles that address the classroom teaching directly. It is my pleasure to share a report of training that was supported by Kate Miller.

  1. 17th International Conference of NELTA Phase I (Kathmandu)
  2. 17th International Conference of NELTA Phase II (Chitwan)
  3. Summaries of Conference Events 
  4. Three-day Teacher Training in Tanahu and Siraha supported by Kate Miller (a report by Shyam Pandey)
  5. Principles of Instructed Language Learning (by Rod Ellis)–click to open a slide show
  6. The Use of English Words in Teaching ESL in Jaffna (by T.Karunakaran)
  7. Beyond Binaries in Supporting in Teacher Learning: the Vital Role of Mentors (by Angi Malderez)
  8. Stories in ELT (by Angi Malderez)
  9. Project-Based Learning in EFL Classrooms (by Fredricka L. Stoller)
  10. Vocabulary Building: A Response to Students’ Present & Future Needs (by Fredricka L. Stoller)

Please join the conversation and share posts you like on your networks.

Choutari Team

A Report on 17th NELTA Conference

The following sessions (plenary presentations, workshops, poster presentations, symposium, and papers) were presented in the 17th International Conference (18th -20th Feb, 2012 Kathmandu (Phase I) and 22nd – 23rd, Feb 2012, Chitwan (Phase II))

In the workshop What is a task? Prof Rod Ellis suggested that ‘task’ is a fuzzy construct and that therefore it is not possible to determine whether an instructional activity constitutes a ‘task’ or an ‘exercise’. This workshop provided participants with an operational definition of a ‘task’ and then explored to what extent it could be used to distinguish tasks from non-tasks by examining a variety of instructional activities. In addition, participants examined how they could modify ‘exercises’ to convert them into ‘tasks’.

In the session Consciousness-Raising Tasks for Grammar Teaching, he began by explaining the difference between two types of second language (L2) knowledge – implicit knowledge and explicit knowledge. It then considered the role that explicit knowledge plays in both the use and the acquisition of an L2. One way of developing explicit knowledge pedagogically – through consciousness raising tasks – was discussed in terms of both its advantages and its limitations. A framework for designing such tasks was presented by examining ‘data’ and ‘implementation’ options. A number of studies that were investigated consciousness – raising tasks were discussed.

Angi Malderez in On Stories in ELT expressed, ‘Have we forgotten to use the oldest didactic technique we have? This talk provides a current rationale for the use of stories in ELT. The talk was illustrated by, and demonstrated the use of four stories – one for a primary language classrooms, one for a secondary classroom, one for teacher development, and one for mentor development. Sources for more stories are also provided.’ And in On Noticing she expressed, ‘In this workshop, participants will be involved in exploring the importance of noticing in effective teaching and teacher development, and in some of the many challenges we all face in noticing accurately. How to use what we have noticed to manage our own on-going learning is discussed, and a recent term in education – learnacy – is also introduced.’

In the presentation Vocabulary Building as a Response to Students’ Present and Future Needs Prof F. Stoller expressed, ‘Our students are typically the first to tell us that they are either at a loss for words or that they desperately need more vocabulary. And from our own experiences learning other languages, we know how critical vocabulary is for speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Although students can learn a lot of vocabulary incidentally, through language input, they benefit greatly from explicit attention to vocabulary learning in the classroom. In this presentation, we’ll explore important principles of effective vocabulary teaching and learning that can be used with students at all proficiency levels. Emphases will be placed on vocabulary selection criteria, principled ways to teach vocabulary, teaching techniques for recycling vocabulary, and instructional options that encourage students to see key words in relation to other words.’

In the workshop Techniques for Developing Students’ Reading Fluency she said, ‘Second language reading is a complex skill that requires main idea comprehension, discourse awareness, vocabulary learning, reading strategies, reading for different purposes, motivation, and fluency (Grabe, 2009; Nation, 2009). Sadly, fluency training is often neglected even though research has demonstrated that it contributes to reading comprehension abilities. Teachers sometimes believe that they lack the time to devote to fluency training; they assume that students will develop fluency on their own; and/or they are unaware of the many activities that can be integrated into their classrooms to promote reading fluency. Workshop participants will be introduced to the key elements of reading fluency (e.g., automaticity, accuracy, reading rate, word- and passage-reading fluency) and then explore various ways in which reading fluency can be addressed in the classroom with existing reading materials.’

Aaron P. Campbell’s presentation Guided Imagery for Language Learning focused on the use of text, photos, audio, and video as the primary means of content delivery in language learning. However, how often do we draw upon the imagination of our learners for the same purpose? The presenter introduced a guided imagery technique used in EFL classes with Japanese university students. In addition to giving participants a chance to experience the technique firsthand, the presenter also shared feedback from learners who practiced the technique repeatedly over a semester.

Afsana Laila and Ashik Sarwar’s presentation The Interior of EFL Classroom and the Tertiary Learners in Bangladesh focused on whether there was motivational and de-motivational relationship between the student’s peripheral learning and the interior design of an EFL classroom at the tertiary level. The focus of this study was on the environment, specially, the decoration of the classroom, the shape of chairs and musical background. The survey was on the Bangladeshi tertiary level of education where most classrooms are designed in such a way that they unintentionally develop learner’s tension affecting learning. This study drew on the Suggestopedic method that was concerned with affective filter and positive learning outcome.

Amber Powers’ presentation How to Make Exams Fair and Useful deliberated the assessments that come in all shapes and sizes, but one of the classic assessment tools is the written exam. This presentation discussed the benefits of creating term and mid-term exams and reviewed the rules for designing effective and fair exams for students in English medium classes. Moreover, it also looked at the examples of effective and ineffective test questions and tasks, and reviewed the process for designing, giving, and correcting tests. Amber Powers’ another presentation How to Teach While Students Play focused on all children who are born with a natural curiosity and love of learning. In this session, the presenter discussed easy ways to teach and assess younger students through playful, hands-on activities. They presented real examples from public school classrooms where teachers transform lessons from English medium government textbooks into engaging, rich learning experiences that efficiently teach students important concepts and vocabulary.

Amitpal Kaur’s paper Innovations: Crux of ELToffered some innovative classroom practices for the promotion of originality and divergent thinking through the teaching of English. They include issues like approach to teaching, role of learners, assessment methods and use of language outside the class. Creating humorous situations help to achieve useful results. In that, learners need to be self-motivated and tasks should provide multiple interactions.

Ananda Sharma and Laxman Gnawali’s presentation on Dictionaries and Foreign Language Learning discussed the importance of dictionaries in teaching and learning language cannot be stressed too highly. Often, however, the language users simply confine the use of dictionaries in finding word meanings, spelling and pronunciation. However, in fact, dictionaries come closer than grammars and textbooks to dealing with language as a totality. A good dictionary contains information on grammar, usage status, synonym discrimination, application of derivative affixes, and distinctions between spoken and written English. Such information is barely found in any grammar or textbook even in rudimentary fashion. Thus, the dictionary becomes an indispensable weapon in teacher’s arsenal, and discussions on its preparation and practice seems important in every teacher-training program.

Anil Gaman Ahire’s The Bonding of Culture and Language in the Language Learning Process
dealt with the teaching situation and teaching methods used in English Language Teaching (ELT) that needs to be changed to involve culture instead of language knowledge only. Teachers need to know to what extent cultural background knowledge influences language learning and teaching, and how teachers can take advantage of that influence in listening, speaking, reading, and translating.

Aniruddha Burm’s presentation MI Theory can be Used for Teaching and Learning of English
focused on language games and songs can be very effective tools in language teaching. Visits to places of environmental degradation can be made a source of teaching and learning both language and literature. Group Discussion, debates, quiz programmes, dramatization, seminar etc may be other ways of teaching language and literature. Charts, tables, diagrams, pictures can also be used for teaching language.

Anongnard Nusartlert’s presentation The effect of Thai Orthography on English Final Consonants Pronunciation deliberated that the Thai orthography (Karunt) is used for expressing the absence of sound especially when transcribed from foreign language into Thai. The objective of study was to analyze whether it affects English final consonants pronunciation. The data was collected from 10 Thai native speakers by reading target words. The analysis shows that Thais pronounce English final sound partly in accordance with their orthography and final sound pronunciation according to English loan words in Thai under constraints. It can be concluded that Thai orthography partly play important role on English pronunciation.

Antara Basak expressed in the presentation Classroom Action Research: An Effective Technique for Teaching Plan that carrying out the action research, he selected the students of class VIII of a school to check their efficiency in the use of “–s” and “-es” morphemes with the third person singular number in present indefinite tense.

Arup Ratan Das in Primary Teachers’ Attitudes towards English Language Teaching and Learning expressed that teachers’ attitudes are a crucial variable in any change (of materials, methods, etc.) in teaching-learning process. The introduction of new materials and methods need to be supplemented with the change of teachers’ attitudes and beliefs. English in Action (EIA), a language development programme is currently piloting a facilitative pedagogy to teach communicative English in Bangladesh. EIA aims to engage students and develop teachers’ practice through innovative classroom resources. This session explored primary teachers’ attitude using the new methods and materials.

Ashley Hager’s presentation Using Literature to Encourage Critical and Creative Thinking and English Language Proficiency dealt with learning how to use books, other than text books, to encourage critical and creative thinking and to promote English language proficiency. More specifically, teachers would understand the difference between critical thinking and memorizing, use fiction and non-fiction children’s books to ask questions to encourage critical and creative thinking and to design lessons use children’s books to design lessons that promote English language proficiency.

Ashok Sapkota and Mahendra Poudel’s presentation Choice of Languages by Nepalese Multilingual Speakers concentrated on Multilingual speakers’ aims to explore the different contexts where multilingual speakers use different languages. It tried to find out the attitudes of the participants towards the language they speak. The study revealed the fact that multi lingual speakers use different languages in various domains. Mainly eight domains: family, friendship, religion, education, job, business, mass media and health were taken in the study. The study tries to find out how multilingual speakers were benefitted by using multiple languages which help to reflect their multiple identities in context of Nepal. Likewise, Sapkota’s another presentation on Bringing E-technologies to EFL Classroom dealt with the use of several internet sources such as: blogs, ELT websites, several texts related video clips useful for higher secondary schools and web-based resources that are useful in the EFL classroom. It provided a practical on-line discussion to create blogs, search for ELT materials through web, and participant in the discussion shared their classroom experiences or problems related to it. It also tried to focus on the different teacher related on-line resources and the discussion forums that are useful for teachers’ professional development.

Ashutosh Ramakant Vardikar’s paper Teaching of Grammar: A Task-based Approach clarified that grammar teaching is an essential part of teaching of English language. The first part of the present paper briefly looked at basic issues in teaching grammar and discusses the principles of teaching grammar, as well as procedures that could be used in the classroom. The second part showed how grammar could be taught communicatively. It also described the characteristics of a good grammar task and how such tasks could be constructed.

Glocalizing Teaching of English as Communication by Avinash Yograj Badgujar mentioned that a problem in the teaching of English as communication in the rural scenario has come into particular prominence over the past few years; the presenter suggested a way in which it might be resolved. The problem is that students from rural area, who have received several years of formal English teaching, frequently remain deficient in the ability to use the language and to understand its use, in normal communication, whether in the spoken or written mode.

Vygotsky’s Theory of Scaffolding to Develop Students Reading and Writing by Babita Sharma Chapagain expressed when students learn new topics and begin new tasks, they may not have prior knowledge of the topics and tasks introduced, so they start panicking from where to begin or what to do. If their teacher ignores this reality, it can create a blockage that slows or hinders students’ learning process.

Barbara Law in Increasing Fluency and Speed in Reading discussed that fluent reading is essential to academic success. However, most texts students and teachers read are at either the instructional or the frustration level. It is difficult to increase reading and fluency when a reader has to struggle with vocabulary, complex sentence structure and unfamiliar content. This practical workshop demonstrated ways to increase fluency and speed in reading. Together participants read sample texts and discussed ways of improving their reading.

Bhawana Pokhrel’s presentation Essay Writing: Challenges and Fascinating Facilitation mentioned that writing is an arduous activity. This paper explored strategic approaches to facilitate learners/writers to write better essays creatively at the expense of less effort. It focused on starting strategies, innovative ways for generating ideas, ending strategies and know-how of the transitional words.

Bhirawit Satthamnuwong’s Teaching, Learning and Sharing: Implementing Genre-based Approach in a Writing Course proposed a genre-based lesson plan for teaching writing. Burns and Joyce’s Teaching-Learning Cycle model (1991) is implemented which includes four stages: ‘hands-on’ exploration of the genre; analysis of the rhetorical structure and lexico-grammatical features; joint-construction; and individual text construction. Learners explored the genre meaningfully and purposefully by scaffolding tasks, co-operative learning, and negotiation of meaning though class and group discussion.

Textbook in Action’ Through Technology by Bikash Chandra Sarkar and Malcolm Griffiths presented a scenario in Bangladesh. The national primary English textbooks in Bangladesh intend to focus on a communicative approach, yet there is little opportunity to practice listening and speaking skills in the classroom. English in Action (EIA) aims to improve communicative skills using innovative methods and materials.

English for Academic Purpose to the Students of Science and Technology by Bir Bhadur Shahi and Suvash Gautam highlighted the different activities carried out in English by the science and technology students, asking whether or not there is compatibility between the needs specified by the science and technology students and teachers. The major focus of the paper was to suggest to teachers, students and planners how science can be taught effectively through English.

Shadowing and Summarizing: Developing Fluency and Accuracy with Inspiring Stories by Brian McMillan presented the opinion that shadowing is the complete or partial repeating, either silently or out loud, of another person’s speech. By shadowing stories, learners can internalize phrases and grammatical structures which can later be recycled as they retell the stories, leading to improved fluency and accuracy. In this session, participants were shown how to introduce shadowing to their students, and tried shadowing and summarizing with stories that can motivate learners and promote new ways of thinking. Ideas for using split stories, action logs, class newsletters, and shadowing with movie scenes were also discussed.

Brian McMillan’s Curriculum and Materials Design for False Beginner to Pre-Intermediate Learners showed how teachers at a Japanese university planned an EFL course for non-English majors, designing learning materials targeting language from the A1 to B1 levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Participants viewed and discussed sample lessons and feedback collected from teachers after initial classroom trials. Other aspects of the course, including vocabulary learning, speaking tests, autonomous learning activities, and classroom language policies were also discussed.

Paraphrasing Stratégies & Techniques by Caroline Ouyang focused on English language learners’ composition abilities with a specific emphasis on the techniques and strategies the learners employed in paraphrasing outside sources in their original compositions. The presenter found that language learners’ paraphrasing strategies differ according to their level of mastery of the target language. The results of this project offered insight to the teachers in how to guide students in citing third party texts appropriately and references in personal writing.

Chiranjivi Sharma’s Dealing with the Building Blocks of Writing Compositions highlighted the problem of not being able to create effective compositions. The paper discussed techniques of writing effective paragraphs as prerequisite of a composition.

Big Class, Few Resources Activities by Christine Stone talked about the issues of the availability of few resources in teaching a big class in the developing countries like Nepal. The workshop also involved the participants in some general activities that can be adapted to any level and type of school where this is difficult.

Communicative Activities for Research Paper Writing by Corrie Wien presented communicative activities that help students improve such skills as avoiding plagiarism, using a variety of reporting verbs effectively, and practicing effective source integration. Participants also tried out some of these activities during the workshop and leave with handouts detailing others.

Daniel Stead’s Paraphrase Power: Paraphrasing Tasks that Support Language Development focused on the teaching of paraphrasing as a powerful tool for language learning and development. It also explored what paraphrasing is, how it is done, and why it is such an important but underemphasized language skill. The workshop showed how structured practice in both written and oral paraphrasing can help students expand their vocabulary and knowledge of grammatical structures and improve both productive and receptive language skills. The workshop was interactive, and audience participation was expected.

Authentic Language in the Classroom: Teaching Spoken English with Video by David Norton focused on strategies to use authentic language video clips as an interesting and accessible context to develop awareness of spoken English pragmatic devices and vocabulary. The presentation included sample mini-lessons and a discussion of possible sources of authentic language for classroom analysis and conclude with a discussion of other possible language forms to focus on using this technology, and a note on how to best meet the needs of your particular students using authentic language.

Teaching Effectively through Project Based Learning (PBL) by Dhundi Raj Giri gave a talk on how Project Based Learning (PBL) aims to teach the students without textbooks involving them in the real tasks in real life experiences to develop communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. PBL can be effectively used in EFL classroom.

Teaching Writing through Short Stories by Dilruba Jahan and Ms. Sarah Asefa Zaman demonstrated the effectiveness of short stories in teaching writing to the first year students with empirical data. Data were collected from the learners’ performance in group works, discussions, and from the end products. The findings indicated that using short story facilitate students’ writing skill more effectively because of the motivational benefit rooted in the stories.

Dilruba Jahan and Sarah Asefa Zaman’s Using Literary Texts/Poetry Writing in ESL/EFL Classes illustrated the benefits of using literary texts ( poetry/ short stories) in ESL/EFL classes to motivate students to use English in different situations as it will improve not only their understanding of the target language but also improve their vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.

Benefits of Reading Strategy Instructions by Dilruba Jahan presented how reading has been a gateway to all other knowledge. She shared how students, in Bangladesh, are exposed to reading comprehensions from a young age, yet their performance at the tertiary level is not quite satisfactory. This paper also aimed to discover the strategies used to teach reading in different language courses in some private universities in Bangladesh, effectiveness of these strategies and, keeping the context in mind, it tries to offer some useful strategies for the language teachers.

A Radio Programme in English by NELTA Sindhuli: Exciting Experience by Dinesh Raj Dahal and Khemraj Dhungel (Pramod) shared their exciting experience of running a radio programme at rural EFL setting of Nepal under NELTA Sindhuli, in the mid-eastern part of Nepal. They have been running a radio programme in English for one year. It has successfully completed more than 30 episodes. The goal of the programme is to assist English language learners, teachers, trainers and other who are interested in English language in general and English language pedagogy in particular. This talk session

English Language Teaching Aids in Under-Resourced Classrooms by Durga Prasad Pandeya offered variety of techniques on designing and using various contextual language teaching learning aids and materials in under-resourced classrooms especially for elementary school children. Moreover, this paper also dealt with communicative way of language learning and multipurpose usage of the same teaching tool with no more consumption of time and energy if a language teacher is conscious in the language class.

Eak Prasad Duwadi’s Use of Local Myths in Teaching EFL facilitated ELT practitioners to help their students learn examples of some grammatical rules and to create stories by using local myths, stories based on tradition which has a deep symbolic meaning. The great power of the meaning of myths, to the culture in which they developed, is a major reason why they survive for thousands of years. Uses of Local Myths in Teaching EFL Class draw students’ attention in class since it assists them become more imaginative and resourceful.

Engaging Students into Developing Rubrics to Ensure Learner Autonomy by Effat Hyder and Hasna Khanom focused on how students can be involved in setting the rubric for group, pair or individual writing tasks or speaking presentations and also discusses the effectiveness of this involvement in ensuring learner autonomy.

Human Rights and the English Classroom: A Practical Activities Workshop by Elizabeth M. Muller demonstrated practical activities including games, worksheets, discussions, and debates that can be utilized and adapted by teachers of all levels to educate students not only to be conscientious citizens of their own communities and countries, but of the world. Additionally, this paper also talked about how incorporating human rights and tolerance education into the English language classroom can foster understanding and open-mindedness, while also teaching positive and empowering human rights language and law to English learners of all ages.

The workshop Inter-Textuality in the Teaching of Reading by Ercilia Delancer was intended to demonstrate that EFL students who aspire to study in an American university would benefit from learning how to read pieces of text and to connect them to other reading materials in their own culture and other fields. Inter-textuality refers to the interdependent ways in which a text stands in relation to one another (as well as to the culture at large) to create meaning. So, the students must be familiar with the repeated uses of metaphors, alliterations, clichés, allusions, quotations, parodies and other literary devices form an integral part of the text to generate meaning.

Esmat Azizi’s presentation on Newsletter and Motivation talked about how writing newsletter is one of the best ways to combat this common problem, as it brings about an element of authenticity to their writing. It was a four-week long project, in which a group of five or six students completes an actual four-page newsletter. Each student writes at least one article on the topic of his or her choice. The emphasis is on originality, creativity, fun and teamwork.

Is Writing really Difficult or we Do Make it? by Faisal Naseer highlighted the fact that most teachers are accustomed to teach writing skills with a strong focus on completing syllabus, teaching grammar, intensive exercises and tasks based on isolated expressions and sentences. This brings students to bookish knowledge and experiences, whereas, the fresh minds could do wonders if their imagination is properly stimulated.

The Need for Nepal Studies and CLIL (Content Language Integrated Learning): Combining the Study of English and Social Studies by Sudhir K Jha, Babita Labh Kayastha, Hem Raj Khatiwada, Narayan Prasad Sharma and Ewan Davies looked at important aspects of syllabus design of Nepal Studies within the GCE A Level curriculum framework in Nepal. In collaboration with Ministry of Education, the Curriculum Development Centre, principals of A Level schools and the British Council a syllabus design approach has been completed that integrates important aspects of both Social Studies content knowledge and the English Language. This paper discusses the importance of combining the teaching of content knowledge through the medium of English.

The presentation Teaching English in large and under-resourced classes by Farzana Lodhi focused on the classroom practices of an English language class in Hyderabad Pakistan. The findings posit that the professional training has impacted practices more than the size of the classroom.

Submitting Our “Gems” for Publication in English Teaching Forum, and other professional journals, a presentation, by Fife MacDuff highlighted the issue that English teaching practitioners are sometimes reluctant to submit for publication. He explained that often what needs to be done is not clear and the supposition is that it is far too complicated. A step-by-step walk through the process, using English Teaching Forum as an example, will help future authors develop the confidence to submit their contributions.

Native Speech in Non-Native Classrooms: An Effective Tool for Teaching Pronunciation by Fauzia Janjua aimed at presenting her finding on the effectiveness of the use of native speech in English language classrooms. The results of the study were compared with the help of t-test and it was found that experimental group spoke English with more native like accent and was able to understand native speech quickly as compared to control group. The results of the study call for the use of native speech listening material in the spoken language classrooms to develop the pronunciation skills of second language learners.

Reflection- Mirror in Teaching, a Poster Presentation by Ganesh Gnawali discussed that most of us see our face in the mirror daily and remove our marks but how often do we observe ourselves professionally? He raised a question, ‘Do we need to see our past and reflect on it?

I’ve been Doing the Same for a Decade, a presentation by Ganesh Shrestha & Ashok Raj Khati initiated discussions and presented some experiences of six English language teachers from around the globe to give an example of how can the monotony of English language teachers in under-resourced part of Nepal generally find their profession, i.e. teaching English, monotonous and boring both inside and outside of the classroom.

Gary Cook’s presentation on Vocabulary Testing for Dummies” Starting from Scratch talked about the process of designing, an engaging computer-based vocabulary test to help with freshman and Sophomore to improve their English to better represent the words used in the BECC curriculum.

Assessment – an indispensable Part of the Curriculum, a presentation by Gayatri Khanna highlighted the issue that a curriculum is what constitutes a total learning-teaching program composed of overall aims, syllabus, materials, methods and assessment. Assessment, not only measures the progress and achievement of the learners, but also the effectiveness of the teaching materials and methods used for transaction. Hence, it should be viewed as a component of curriculum with the twin purpose of effective delivery and further improvement in the teaching-learning process. Thus, assessment improves a student’s performance by identifying his/ her learning difficulties at regular time intervals and employing suitable remedial measures for enhancing their learning performance.

Gayatri Khanna’s presentation on Dictionary: Indispensable Part of Life highlighted the fact that the use of dictionary can never be undermined to everybody who uses language, especially to students, teachers, and researchers. The average language user (and often translator) relies on a dictionary as authoritative source of information. It is not merely a compilation of words with their meanings but also their right utterance, syllable structure; part of speech, usage and etymology. Idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs are often too difficult to guess, thereby necessitating the use of dictionaries. Clearly the dictionary improves students’ writing skills with practical tips and step-by-step guidance through the planning, writing, and editing stages. Rightly so, then most people typically refer to the dictionary; not a dictionary.

Auto-ethnography: An Emerging Trend in Research, a presentation by Gokul Sharma, focused on how auto-ethnography emerged and its style of writing. Auto-ethnography is grounded on the postmodern philosophy and is linked to growing debate about reflexivity and voice in social research. In auto-ethnography, the author explores the state of understanding auto-ethnography as a research method and describes the experience of an emerging qualitative researcher in learning about this new and challenging genre of inquiry.
Gopal Prasad Bashyal’s presentaion on Learner Autonomy: Enabling Learners as Self-directed Learners talked about strategies that help them make the learners more independent, self-directed learners.

Gopal Sharma’s presentaion on Wrappers and Teaching Beyond the Text-Book focused on how Wrappers (realia) brought in classroom stimulate spoken or written language production. Its value in fostering an active teaching-learning makes English language input comprehensible. It builds an associative bridge between the classroom and the world around learners. These wrappers describe the ways of target culture and understanding. These are sets of teaching aids that simulate experience in the target culture. They give multi-sensory impressions like seeing, touching, and manipulating. These authentic materials are contextual and students bring into contact with language in the target culture. They enhance vocabulary, and are language learning tools beyond the classroom text books.

Gyanu Dahal and Bikash Rimal’s presentation on ‘Analyzing and Addressing Forgetting Problem among School Children’ focused on one of the common problems among the school children. It explored the causes of forgetting in the context of our school children and suggests some ways to minimize the problems. It has close relationship with the ways of presenting the lesson. The session tried to link different theoretical aspects and their practical application in our context.

Hannah Haegeland’s Teaching Hamro English: Developing Critical Thinking Skills highlighted how the English classroom is an ideal place to develop critical thinking skills. Emphasizing the unique capacity of every individual student to contribute is pivotal if we are to graduate thoughtful students who are responsibly engaged with the world.

Hannah Haegeland’s presentation on ‘Teaching Creative and Analytical English Writing in the Nepali Classroom’ stressed how to teach analytical or essay-writing and creative writing—including poetry, “free-writing,” stories, and descriptive pieces—to students.

Hannah Haegeland’s presentation on ‘The Globalization of English: Contextualizing Language Learning in the Nepali Classroom’ showed how EFL teachers in Nepal can make the language relevant to the South Asian, and specifically Nepali context for better learning and comprehension

Hari Maya Sharma’s presentation on ‘Just 45 minutes; 40 Students and Teaching Reading Interactively: How? suggested some steps to involve students in reading activities even in a short lesson in a large class. The presenter also shared interactive reading lesson in which the students participate in the reading activities.

Harry Samuel’s presentation on ‘Interview Role Play’ demonstrated a lesson in which members of the audience participate in a simulation of an interview. Some play the roles of interviewers and others play the people being interviewed. Problem solving skills are also practiced through participating in a selection process. This activity can be performed using a variety of situations including an employment interview, a university admissions interview, an academic exchange interview, and many others.

Task Based Language Teaching, a presentation by Hikmat Bahadur Oli and Mukund Kumar Giri shed light on the emergence of TBLT, its theoretical foundation, framework, components, types of tasks, procedures and advantages.

Ishwor Adhikari’s presentation on English Language, Globalization and Teachers’ Role focused on English as an interdependent global village with discussion on how teachers stimulate, participate and link lessons with real life world.

Teaching Oral Communication Skills using Task Based Method, a presentation by Ishwor Prasad Kadel, described the applications of the task-based approach to teach oral communication skills in an academic setting. A course ‘Oral Communication Skills’ is taught to the language learners from any walks of life.

James Stabler-Havener’s presentation on ‘Using the Action-Research process to Develop Teaching Themes in State Curriculum’ introduced the participants to the cyclical techniques of action-research (1. identifying a problem, 2. systematic data collection, 3. analysis, 4. reflection, 5. data-driven action, and 6. problem reformulation.) to address practical classroom challenges and then was described how action research can be used to develop teaching themes.

Janak Raj Pant and Ram Prasad Niraula’s presentation on English Through Games and Rhymes: An Initiative for Child-friendly Teaching presented some techniques and tips for applying games and rhymes in an English language for making the teaching learning activities fun for the students and easy going for the teachers who have to deal with the students of varying levels.

Using Innovative Methodology on Task-Based Language Teaching, a presentation by Janakie Chandrani Jayalakshmi Gunatilake involved the participants in group activities. Each group got a picture to describe so, they have to study it carefully and contribute their own ideas.

Off the Page, On the Air by Joseph Dwaileebe showed that listening activities can be created to fit materials being taught in any of the other skill areas and in grammar. A wide range of original exercises were presented and the participants, after doing them, discussed and evaluated their merit.

How to Check Meaning? by Jovan Ilic explored ways of how to check that your students understand language. A review of traditional techniques was followed by a focus on ‘concept check questions’ and ‘time-lines’; on why they work, and more importantly, on how to do them.

On Testing by Jovan Ilic reviewed the main types of tests that are administered, in particular achievement and proficiency tests. He then looked at the three key indicators in determining whether a test would be effective: Validity, Reliability and Practicality.

Received Pronunciation as Panacea for Second Language Learners, a presentation by K. Balasubramanian projected RP as the standard model for learning English pronunciation. Then the presentation was followed by the discussion that English teaching/learning would become holistic only when its pronunciation is emphasized.

Kamal Poudel and Padam Chauhan’s presentation on ‘Facilitating Learners’ Reading Efficiency’ focused on facilitating learners’ reading efficiency involving communicative activities. The workshops gave away some handy ideas that can be replicated in classroom while doing reading lessons.

Growing Without Tears: Games and Activities in the EFL Context, a presentation by Kamal Poudel and Florence Droza concentrated on how language learning can be made easy. Learning a new language is always a big challenge to the students in the context where they have to memorise and follow the rules in a structural pattern. If the learning of foreign language is accompanied with the games and activities that involve them more actively, the learning enhancement will be in smooth move which is characterised by the first language acquisition. The learning slowly moves towards the pattern of acquisition, and this enables the learners grow the linguistic skills without anxiety.

Kamal Raj Devkota’s presentation on ‘Teaching Free Writing: Link with the Real-Life Experience of the Learners’ shared the classroom practices that the presenter carried out while teaching it to the students using semi-controlled and free activities that enhanced free writing skills.

Kamal Raj Lamsal’s presentation on ‘Critical Thinking in the Classroom’ aimed at helping teachers design activities for fostering critical thinking, e.g. 1. What letter is next in this sequence? M, A, M, J, J, A, S, O, __. 2. Which is faster, heat or cold?

Use of Internet in Teaching of English at Undergraduate Level by Karandikar Vallabh Shankar dealt with different uses of the Internet, which has given a new dimension to our modern digital world, in the process of teaching of English as the Internet and English are inseparable from each other. The Internet provides various types of reference materials and sources, which are extremely useful for teaching of English at undergraduate level.

Teaching of English Narratives in India, a presentation by Kavita Ashok Chouhan and Niteen Vasant Dandekar focused on the teaching methods used for the teaching of English narratives. It focused on the feasibility of various teaching methods in teaching and learning of English narratives in India.

Word: Root of Creativity by Keshab Prasad Joshi and Dib Bahadur Sherbuja focused on encouraging the students not to use the same words and sentences repeatedly for better writing skills. They discussed on the issue that students should be inspired to produce varieties of sentences which is ultimately “answer in own words.”

Shared Experiences: Collaborative Learning Theory, Methodologies and Techniques, a presentation by Kevin Ramsden explained the advantages of collaborative learning as an effective model of learning/teaching, and looked at why it is believed to contribute to a more positive learning experience for a broad cross-section of students at the high school level and undergraduate level in tertiary institutions.

Kh. Atikur Rahman and Md. Nurunnabi’s presentation on Use of ICTs in English Teachers’ Professional Development in Bangladesh shared the opportunities created and the challenges faced while using ICTs in teachers’ PD.

Developing the Art of Interpretation: A Pedagogical Device by Khedkar Sandip Prabhakar attempted to explore possibilities of interpretations to use in the teaching of celebrated poems.

Creating a Communicative Context to Develop a News Story by Khila Sharma Pokharel revolved round the features of communicative language teaching and its application to developing a news story in a communicative context with very limited resources.

Dictionaries and Foreign Language Learning by Krishna Niroula and Phatik Poudel highlight the importance of dictionaries in teaching and learning language and how it assists second language acquisition. Furthermore, they also presented the theories with activities to use a dictionary effectively in a language classroom.

Culture Issue in English Language Teaching by Krishna Prasad Suwal focused on gathering the views of the participants on is it good or bad to incorporate our cultures in teaching English with rationale to incorporate culture in an English classroom.

Critical Thinking Strategies: Useful Tools to Foster Creativity and Increase Learner-centeredness in EFL/ESL Classes by Lal Bahadur Rana and Bimal Nepali highlighted how critical thinking strategies have been used to help learners develop higher level of thinking. However, they have also been found to be very instrumental in order to foster creativity among the learners, and to increase learner-centeredness in EFL/ ESL classes, because those strategies require learners to carry out various kinds of activities on their own.
Laxman Gnawali in ELT Conferences and Teacher Professional Development: Exploring the Thread deliberated that English teaching professionals attend ELT conferences for a number of reasons: some may attend to get new teaching tips while others may come to network with colleagues from another country. Whatever intentions the attendees may have, the conference experience is an opportunity for their professional growth and development. But for the experience to become professionally enriching, the attendees must know how to best avail from these professional events.

In the presentation, Handwriting Improvement through Different Activities by Laxmi Aryal explained that handwriting is not a big issue in the language classroom. The presenter addressed the following questions. Why handwriting problem isn’t focused in the classroom? Is copying only the way to improve handwriting?

Which Accent to Follow? by Laxmi Bahadur Maharjan dealt with the significance of the accent in every English language teacher. An intelligible accent is always considered a characteristic feature of not only an English language teacher but all and it enhances our will power and personality. There are no good or bad accents. Accents are all absolute. Any inadequate instruction in speech/pronunciation can result in a complete breakdown in communication.

Activities for Large Classes by Lisa Roegner deliberated that trying to create student-centered activities in a large class of 50 or more students can be challenging for many instructors regardless of the learning context. However, there are some ways to make such classes less teacher centered and more dynamic for second language learners.

Empowering Trainee Teachers to Use Drama and Theatre-in-Education in their Classes by Logamurthie Athiemoolam provided an account of the strategies implemented in the English methodology class to empower trainee teachers with skills to use drama and theatre- in-education in their classes. The focus of the training is on experiential learning whereby students are provided with the contexts for their own creative pieces. Some of the techniques that students are exposed to include short role play exercises, frozen image building, the creation of improvised plays and the use of short scripts for play production. The students are also afforded opportunities to create their own piece of theatre which they present to an audience.

Using Art as a Tool in ELT by Mobindra Regmi explained that expression through art is sometimes more effective than expression through words. Many learners may find it more comfortable to use art as a means for expression, especially if they are reluctant or unable to use words instead. Afterwards, the art form can be translated into words through description or reflection as spoken or written activity in English Language classroom. This session looks into ways that medium of art can be useful in the field of English Language Teaching. After all, as the old adage goes, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’

Madhu Neupane (Bastola)’s Strengthening Teacher Association for Professional Development discussed that the role of Teacher Associations for professional development of teachers cannot be overemphasized. In the present day world no knowledge can be used for long time; only truth in this dynamic world is ‘change’. The idea of a person as an expert has now been questionable. Teacher Associations are helping teachers grow professionally by taking their situations into consideration, by providing them with the platform to share their ideas and learn from each other and create knowledge locally. The strength of any teacher association lies in the preparation and implementation of strategic planning. This presentation helped the participants to strengthen Teachers Associations by giving them the practical ideas for preparing strategic planning

Incorporating Literary Texts in EFL Classroom for Creative Writing by Madhukar K.C. discussed that the role of an English teacher today is not just to teach students, but to make them self-dependent learners .The success of a teacher depends upon how he remains in motivates students to use their creative energy. Ironically, creative writing and creativity is rarely dealt with in EFL classrooms in Nepal because of teachers’ belief that their students can ever create something of their own. This presentation focuses on how the teachers can motivate their students for creative writing using various literary texts.

Improving Handwriting of EFL Learners by Mandira Adhikari Nibedita Sharma presented the findings of an action research carried out with the primary level students in order to improve their handwriting. Thirty-eight participants of the action research had problems with their handwriting: the problem was greater when they shifted their handwriting from four line cursive writing notebook to two line normal notebook.

Manju Basnet and Shailaja Jha’s Techniques for Teaching Vocabulary in EFL Context involved the participants in various activities with the aim to develop vocabulary without making learners feel threatened. It also presented innovative strategies which made the presentation more enjoyable experience for both participants and the presenter.

The session Use of Mini-Speeches in ESL Classroom by Mark (Max) Dodds dealt with the use of ‘mini-speeches’ in the classroom to help students develop the ability to briefly and logically state their point of view using appropriate vocabulary after which they must defend their view by answering classmates’ questions. The session included methods of eliciting topics, and some practical exercises to build the vocabulary needed for the speeches.

Teachers Benefiting from Researching their Own Practice by Mark Wyatt presented how the teachers can benefit from researching their own practice. This paper reported on a University of Leeds BA TESOL project in Oman with in-service primary and secondary school teachers of English. The BA TESOL encouraged the participating teachers to engage in research projects of their choice for their final year dissertations. Benefits reported by the teachers were discussed, as were lessons that could be drawn from this experience that were applicable to other geographical and educational contexts.

The session presented by Muhammad Saeed Akhter on Impact of Syllabus on ELT Methodology: SAARC Countries Perspective explored the impact of syllabus on English language teaching methodology in SAARC countries. The sample of the study was 1040 students and 340 teachers of English, selected randomly. The findings indicated that the present syllabuses did not conform to the requirements of the effective methodology for teaching English. Suggestions were given for process oriented and task based syllabus.

Symposium on Creative Writing presented by Maya Rai Motikala Subba Dewan Sarita Dewan discussed various aspects of creative writing activities for teaching English. This symposium was a part of regular activity of Asian Teachers’ Creative Group. In this symposium, they proposed to involve participants in the following creative writing activities and discuss how those activities can be applied in teaching English.
1. Writing poems
2. Performing creative writing (e.g. Slam poetry)
3. Story writing

Md. Abdullah Al Mamu and Rasel Babu’s presentation on We Want to Learn English: Voices from Bangladeshi Learners presented the result of the study which explored secondary level learners’ motivation for learning English. Data were collected from 400 secondary students and 10 English language teachers of ten secondary schools of two different districts of Bangladesh. Data had been gathered through students’ questionnaire, focused group discussion (FGD) with students and English teachers’ interview schedule. Six students participated in each FGD. Data had been analyzed following both qualitative and quantitative approaches of research. Findings of the study showed that Bangladeshi learners have different sources of motivation for learning English like passing exam, getting good job, using modern technology, upgrading self status in society etc.

Leveraging Mobile Phones to Make Bangladesh’s ‘Vision 2021’ a Reality by Md. Sikander Mondol reported on English in Action’s (EIA) field test of mobile phones, audio and visual resources and portable rechargeable speakers to realize the government’s goal of creating a ‘Digital Bangladesh’. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative data, described the uptake, results of how these kits help both teachers, and students learn communicative English.

Ensuring Fairness in Marking Students’ Writing: The Question of Inter-Marker Reliability presented by Md. Zulfeqar Haider Takad Ahmed Chowdhury explored the way students’ writings are marked by the different markers at selected private universities in Bangladesh. The study addressed two questions – do all markers follow the same criteria while marking a piece of writing? and, do test takers know the criteria used by the markers? The paper compares the marks awarded to selected samples of writing by several markers and collects the views of markers and test takers. The findings showed little evidence of inter-marker reliability. It was also evident that the test takers were not made aware of the criteria used for marking their writing.

Mehedi Kayser Pabitra’s Business World in Language Classrooms: An Effective Language Acquisition Model presented a simulation model of an authentic communicative platform to develop students’ business communication skills in speaking, reading and writing. Carried out for a group of ESL/EFL Business English course students, intended to help them experience business world settings inside and outside the classroom, the paper discussed the teaching techniques, the learning outcomes, and the stages of the simulation model. It also outlined the major benefits, hindrances and suggestions of simulations for ESL/EFL classrooms.

This paper cum workshop on Strategies in Teaching Listening by Molly Jo Gorevan and Sarala Bhattarai deliberated easy way to teach listening skill. The approach discussed in this paper offered a means of empowering teachers to help students deal with problems in listening movement. This paper discussed the method of listening. It is important to prepare the students for the listening by setting the context, introducing vocabularies and ideas and helping the learners predict what they will hear concentrating on extensive and intensive listening.

Mostan Zida Alnoor’s “Does Open and Distance Learning work for Teachers’ Professional Development?” discussed the idea that the teachers always need scope for continuous learning. In Bangladesh, on-going support remains limited. English in Action– has opted for a specific mode of Open and Distance Learning (ODL). ODL is an advanced step of distance learning which attempts to make learners’ learning easier by freeing them from constrains of time and place and offers flexible learning opportunities (UNESCO, 2003).

The paper on Changing Teaching: Changing learning by Mostan Zida Alnoor Sharmistha Das focused on how students’ learning is strongly linked to the quality of teaching and teachers’ professional development. Improving the quality of teaching does mean changing teachers’ beliefs on learning, their thinking and understanding of classroom practices. In Bangladesh, professional development is a challenging concept, especially in relation to life long-learning and reflective practices. In this situation, English in Action (EIA)-has initiated an innovative technology-driven teacher training and supports programme including, periodic face-to-face support, distance support and peer learning. This paper focused on the successes and challenges of the pilot phase of this initiative.

The Lens of Linguistic Difference and Institutional Interactional Practices in Pakistan presented by Mohammed Ali khan used the lens of linguistic difference to interpret the concrete discursive practices of four research sites in Pakistan. The findings suggested that understanding of the socio-economic inequality of local actors is and investigates these gives insights into the ways participant respond to ELT teaching on their everyday institutional lives.

Translation has crossed innumerable bends. In its journey from ‘random practice’ to systematic ‘translation studies’, numerous scholars have appeared, and contributed a lot in consolidating its trademark. Remaining in touch with them, Nabaraj Neupane’s Strategies Applied in the Translation of Nepali Culture-Bound Terms into English attempted to analyse its different definitions and perspectives, traced out major gaps and recommended some of the major strategies to bridge the gaps which occur in translating culture-bound terms in English. Newmark (1988), Hervey and Higgins (1992), and Harvey (2000), are adapted in the context of translating Nepali texts into English, in cases of ‘Socrates Footsteps’, ‘Muglan’ and ‘Blue Mimosa’.

Critical Thinking in ELT Classroom by Narendra Narayan showed how critical thinking enables the teachers and learners to determine their own criteria and accurate facts on the basis of plausible sources, how it is precise for a lifelong learning, unbiased and free from logical fallacies. How it equips with logically consistent and strong reasoning power.

In Motivate your Students in EFL Classroom by Narendra Singh Dhami and Ashok Raj Khati presented that learner motivation has a powerful influence in language that makes the learning productive. It is very easy to tell others: “motivate the students”. But how to motivate the students is not an easy job. Moreover, motivation in teaching EFL is different from that of teaching other subjects. In the National Curriculum for the Secondary levels, there is hardly any focus on English Literature in the English syllabus. Students in Dhaka University face great difficulty in tackling literature.

Introducing Literature Critically and Creatively to Bangladeshi University Students by Dr. Nevin Farida and Begum Shahnaz Sinha aimed to show how we meet the needs of our learners. They drew upon the techniques of close reading and stylistics to develop their critical and creative abilities in order to respond to literature. The workshop presented the approach and shared some of the materials and activities used.

Niteen Vasant Dabdekar and Kavita Ashok Chouhan’s presentation on Teaching of English through Literature focused on the use of literature as an innovative technique for teaching basic language skills LSRW and grammar in multilingual India. It also focused on the feasibility of using literature in teaching language. It studies the issues, challenges and opportunities in the use of literature for the teaching language. At a young age, we are taught to tolerate and even embrace the innate differences each person possesses. Why then, do educational practices continue to standardize instruction for a uniformity in students, which does not exist? Differentiated Instruction refers to an educational approach in which instruction and assessment are altered to accommodate the needs of every individual student.

English for Everyone: Differentiating ELT Instruction and Assessment by Olivia Drabczyk highlighted valuable practices of differentiation to implement in the ELT classroom; and emphasized the imperative of transitioning ELT in Nepal from rote learning and memorization to a multi-faceted approached in which each individual student can flourish.

Parash Malla and Janak Raj Pant’s Web-Based Learning Materials: Boon for the ELT Classroom presented some techniques/tips for applying online resources in an English language class for making the teaching learning activities fun for the students of varying levels and interest, moving from traditional classroom practices making the transition smooth. The participants were provided with a set of CDs based on British Council website.

Teaching English as a Gateway to Diverse and Integrated Learning by Parvati C. Mazumdar demonstrated how English Language teaching learning can become an instrument to widen students’ conceptual learning of different subjects other than what is traditionally considered English Language and Literature syllabus. Teacher-participants learnt how to use grade appropriate texts and multi-media to enhance listening, oral and writing skills of students. This model of integrated teaching-learning of English with other subject areas will enable English language teachers in primary, secondary and non-formal settings, to enhance their given curriculum using local resources and drawing upon the experiential knowledge of their students in a constructivist way.

Principles of L2 Vocabulary Learning by Paul Joyce deliberated that the acquisition of vocabulary is an extremely important part of L2 language and teaching. However, in order to develop your lexical knowledge as quickly and efficiently as possible, it is important to understand the principles of vocabulary learning. This workshop helped participants to develop a framework for their vocabulary acquisition by addressing such questions as: How many words do you need to know? What does it mean to know a word? How should you learn vocabulary?

Language Choice and Religious Identities: Pedagogical Implications by Phyllis Ghim-Lian CHEW presented that each language carries the particularities of its socio-cultural and historical contexts and each language cuts markers on the landscapes, maps out the cognitive terrain and provides the thought pathways whereby we may habitually traverse. This paper was a comparative study of language choice and religious identities of three Singapore madrasas. The study revealed how language chance or the medium of instruction, be it Arabic, Malay or English influence, is intricately connected to religious identities as manifested in an array of classroom semiotics and pedagogical practices. The methodology used includes ethnographic research methods ranging from field notes, participant observations, audio and video tapes to interviews with pupils, teachers, and parents.

Vocabulary Comes First by Prassanna Karki and Tika Maya Rai discussed that teaching vocabulary is essential. It can be taught in various ways. They shared ideas on teaching and learning of vocabulary through games, songs and pictures for enhanced English language learning.

How Communicative is the Communicative Approach? :The German Teacher’s Experience by Pratiti Shirin stated although reservations remain, the English language classroom has accepted CLT as the dominant approach to teach English. The German language teaching classroom is no exception. But how communicative is the communicative approach really?

Children’s rights to acquire basic education through Mother Tongue by Praveen Kumar Yadav discussed that Nepal is a home of diverse linguistic communities with more than 92 languages. The children with mother tongues other than Nepali cannot compete with Nepali speaking children. They feel inferior, isolated, or incompetent and are forced to remain as a disadvantaged group in our school situation. There is low enrollment of non-Nepali speaking children at primary level, their low achievement and higher dropouts. The present paper made an advocacy for children’s right to acquire basic education through Mother Tongue.

Experience from a Bangladeshi Primary School: Milestone in English Learning by Pushpen Chandra Paul focused on how a primary school and its community can be helpful for the tender aged students for practicing English language. Motivated learners, devoted teachers, sincere school administration, joyful learning environment, enthusiastic parents and community found as the components behind the success.

Rabeya Binte Habib’s Teacher Education Policy in Bangladesh: Gap to be Bridged dealt with the fact that the government of Bangladesh has also become serious in promoting ELT in order to gain economic growth Despite taking different plans and projects, the teacher training program in Bangladesh did not develop efficiently to meet the demand of time. This empirical research delved into the prospects and challenges of EFL teacher education at pre-university level with a view to closing the gap between policy level expectations and actual practices.

Muteness in Teaching: an Awesome Practice by Raj Kishor Chaudhary and Kishori Sharan Yadav’s explained that communication in the ELT Classroom generally takes place in the aural-oral form. Non-Verbal communication (NVC) is also one of the vital ways of communication. NVC is communication through sending and receiving wordless messages. His presentation shared that an understanding of NVC can improve the effectiveness of communication.

Raju shrestha’s Current practice of TPD: From insiders’ perspective presented current practices of teacher professional development in. He shared findings of the investigation about the potential areas of teacher development practice and explored the ground reality. This paper concluded with the practical ways to enhance teacher professional development practice focusing on local solutions to local problems.

Cambridge Advanced English Test at a Glance by Ram Sharan Dhakal focused on a general overview of Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) offered by Cambridge University ESOL.

Ramesh Khatri’s Attitudes of Student-Teachers towards Practice Teaching Programme presented attitudes of student-teachers towards practice teaching at Tribhuvan University. Practice teaching aims at helping students put their theoretical knowledge of teaching into practice and work jointly with and learn from teachers and supervisors. A questionnaire was constructed and administered to 90 informants. It was found that 72.38% respondents have positive; 20.31% have negative and remaining 6.84% respondents have neither positive nor negative attitudes towards the programme.

Rasel Babu’s Learning English at Primary Level: Fun, not Fear discussed that English-in-Action (EiA) is a project working in Bangladesh to develop learners’ English language skills. This study explored the success story of the project. Data were taken from ten primary schools of EiA intervention areas through classroom observation, focused group discussion with students and teachers’ interviews. In those schools, students learned English through games, songs, rhymes and different interactive activities. This paper highlighted the English class activities of EiA Primary schools through which students started to enjoy their lessons and became motivated towards learning English, while leaving all their anxieties behind.

English Curriculum of Bangladesh: Prescription and Implementation by Rasel Babu deliberated that English Curriculum of Bangladesh was introduced in 1995 by National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB). The curriculum suggested different instruction for English language teaching-learning. The study aimed to explore to what extent the instructions of curriculum has been implemented in the real context. As the findings, the study revealed some mismatches between the prescribed English curriculum and its practice, especially in case of classroom interaction and assessment system. So, this paper presents the major findings of this research study.

Encouraging Collaboration through Project Works by Richard Hawking was a poster presentation that focused on a project in which ESL students collaborate to prepare and deliver a presentation, and then act as ‘teachers’, leading the class and guiding other students through communicative activities. Though this project was designed for university students, using PowerPoint during the presentation, it could easily be adapted to be used with ESL students of any age, and in teaching environments with even very basic facilities.

Robert Kirkpatrick’s presentation IELTS Writing test: reliability and raters explained the IELTS writing module, including a detailed look at rater training. It highlighted the difficulties involved in scoring writing tasks and the ways that the IELTS organization attempts to achieve objective and reliable rating. Explanations of the band scores should help students understand what good academic writing is and what they need to improve so that their own writing becomes clear, structured and focused.

Rokshana Shirin’s workshop Text Based Teachers Training focused on findings from a pilot training project that having a planned text book is not the core thing for effective second or foreign language teaching. The objective of any well-formed lesson planning is for learners to comprehend which requires highly text based trained teachers.

Roxana Ahmad Chowdhury and Golam Kader Zilany’s presentation Drama: Proven Essentials of BRACU CFL to Create Competent Learners focused on incorporating drama which is one of the most unique features of the Foundation Course in English at BRAC University Centre for Languages. This feature has been integrated aiming to make learners overcome fear and introvert attitudes at the very beginning of their academic life. Beside this there are some other much needed faculties for the learners like; creative/productive, cultural awareness and critical responsiveness nurtured during pre, while and post drama classes. The presentation uncovered how drama works and how objectives are achieved in the classroom situations with abundant practical evidences.

Sabiha Sultana’s presentation Learning English: Reshaping Students’ Aspirations focused on all learning arrangements revolve around students’ needs, this paper investigated learners’ aspirations and preferences about learning English. The data were collected from five groups of students at grades VI to VIII using group interviews from five rural schools in. The analysis of data shows a new dimension of students’ ambition about learning English.

Sagade Balasaheb Babanrao’s presentation Use of Computer& Internet in Teaching English: Activities for Teachers talked about Today Teaching of English, as learning of English is no more just a classroom phenomenon. The computer revolution has dissolved the differences between rural and urban students. Internet not only supports teaching but also accelerates the speed of learning English. Teachers have significant function to play in helping students achieve their goals while using the Internet. The researcher intended to explore possibilities of multifaceted use of Internet in teaching English, virtual class room, on line lectures of experts, video conferencing ,websites and other much more support services can be perceived in the pedagogical light. It will explore some internet based activities for teachers.

Sagun Shrestha’s workshop Can I Be a Blogger? Emphasized Blog is a common electronic forum for a teacher and students in a language classroom these days. They can post their thoughts and opinions on a regular basis and get immediate feedback which paves the way to be more creative and critical. Teacher blog, student blog, class blog and project blog have really transformed the traditional language classroom into techno-language classroom.

Sajan Karn’s presentation Why we are not doing what we are not doing? Integrating critical thinking into ELT Lessons emphasized that most human beings take things for granted. In other words, they have developed the habit of doing things conventionally without questioning. This is because they are not critical thinkers. The importance of critical thinking in human life can hardly be exaggerated. So is its value in education. However, Nepalese ELT seems to have virtually ignored the element of critical thinking. In this paper, he questioned why we are not doing what we should have been doing and why we have been doing what we should avoided doing during teaching of English.

Sally White conducted the workshop Look, Listen, Feel – Matching your Students’ Learning Styles. In this interactive workshop, participants were guided through Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques that serve to enhance teacher and learner autonomy in the classroom. The focus was on identifying and using the three systems of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic in teaching and learning. Through awareness of individual preferred learning styles, students can take charge of their learning and teachers can more effectively meet the learning needs of each student. Participants were engaged in activities involving reading, writing, discussions, focused observations, and gentle physical movement.

Samjhana Pradhan’s presentation English Teaching Techniques in Business Education explored teaching techniques to Business students graduating from Bachelor’s programme. It discussed methods and approaches of teaching, the role of English teachers in Business education. Teachers undergo teacher training and teacher development programme. Despite their knowledge on language and literature, the teachers need to understand business individually as a consumer in the world business.

Sarah Elisabeth Howlett’s workshop Rapping with Obama: The Power of Music in Understanding English Texts explained Essay writing is a challenging concept for any student, whether they are native or foreign language speakers. This workshop aimed to demonstrate how complicated English texts can be broken-down and restructured into songs, thereby enabling students to extract fundamental information from a given piece of writing and simultaneously comprehend the components of formulating an essay. Furthermore, students are encouraged to exercise their creativity and their concluding performances not only entertain all, but provide valuable lessons in teamwork. Students come to appreciate the value in English writing and, through their own ingenuity, understand that English essay construction is not such a daunting task.

Saraswati Dawadi’s presentation Testing plays a very important role in teaching learning process discussed five assessment principles that are important when designing any type of test. In addition, it provided varieties of techniques and strategies to make our test a good test. The participants were involved in various activities so that they can experience and understand the five important aspects of testing and get equipped with the standard techniques to design an authentic test.

Hermayawati Setijadi’s presentation Improving Speaking Skill of Domestic Migrant Worker Candidates Using FELM focused on English Module designed for improving overseas job-seekers speaking skill for survival needs. It is effective to use in the Authorized Institution of Indonesian Overseas Worker Candidates (for alpha was 0.04) to improve a hundred overseas job-seekers in Yogyakarta, in 2010. The training project funded by the Department of Education aimed at improving their speaking skill to increase their bargaining position abroad and to communicate with employers. This program was a community service project in the form of English training using FELM as my previous research finding.

Teaching English in Large and Under- Resourced Contexts by Shaila Ahmed discussed that most schools in Bangladesh have large, under-resourced classes. As a result, teachers are constantly applying various methods and approaches to make their ESL class successful and provide the best opportunities to every individual. Group work and pair work may be good methods for not only reaching out to large classes but also helping back benchers, under-motivated and shy students. This paper presented the findings of an action research done to determine the benefits and disadvantages of group work or pair work in large and under-resourced classrooms.

Shama Rajbhandari Shrestha and Jolly Shrestha Subba’s presentation Games In EFL Classroom
Focused on language learning skill which can be taught through different language games, students learn more if they are involved in language through games. Different language games are required for strong motivational impact on learning language upon students. So the presentation focused on how teachers can motivate their students by the help of language games in EFL classrooms.

Sharmila Sitaula and Kalpana Paudel’s presentation An action Research: How to make Grammar Class Interesting? Explored the possibilities of teaching grammar in interesting ways, grammar seems to be a boring part for the ESL learner. ‘To be an effective teacher and to make learner enjoy with the grammar’ an attempt was made with the questions viz, “How do we teach grammar in the ESL classrooms? Can it be taught in an interesting way?” They shared how difficult and problematic component of grammar can be taught in interesting and interactive way in ‘teacher friendly’ environment.

Experience of Developing Reading Materials for Bangladeshi L2 Learners by Sharmistha Das and Masuda Khatoon highlighted the challenges and opportunities of a context where additional readers need to be integrated with the mainstream English language curriculum and English in Action in Bangladesh. In Bangladeshi Government schools, children are hardly exposed to any English reading materials except their course books. In the classroom, reading is treated as a mere process of decoding linguistic components rather than an interactive approach to developing the skill in a meaningful context. To expose primary children to a variety of English reading materials, English in Action has introduced a pilot reading scheme initiative.

Shawn Huizenga’s presentation Content Based Instruction: Approaches and Considerations highlighted on content-based instruction which is an increasingly important aspect of second language education. As one of the broadest of all pedagogic categories, however, it presented unique challenges to language instructors. This presentation addressed some of these challenges, discussing the nature, benefits and practical applications of content-based instruction. The presentation was of interest to educators interested in expanding their current English courses to include greater substantive content as well as instructors who are teaching content-based classes and are interested in exploring new methods of instruction.

Shefali Kulkarni’s presentation Listening and Speaking Activities for Under-Resourced and Large Classes conveyed the fact that under resourced and large classes cause great anxiety to teachers. In this workshop, they talked about listening and speaking activities where the class is large and under resourced and the teacher and the students become the resource themselves. The participants experienced predominantly listening and speaking activities and class management techniques to handle large classes. The three activities would be a scenario created by a team on the instructions of another team, a cheating dictation and a jig-saw story-telling with presentations where the resources are extremely limited.

Shyam B. Pandey and Suman Laudari’s workshop Teaching Grammar: Not a Problem Any More stressed on some handy ideas to teach grammar to teachers teaching English at different level. The workshop began with a warm-up activity and was followed by some intensive communicative activities to teach grammar. Then, the presenters presented the rationale of the activities and briefly highlight the theories of teaching grammar.

Suresh Kumar Shrestha’s presentation Fossilization: shall we challenge a challenge? focused on fossilization as a hindrance to language learning which appears naturally, when it comes to learning foreign languages. It is the result of having incorrect linguistic stuff set by repetition. So what about all those correct assets we possess through long practice? Can native speakers avoid their naturalness? Isn’t it fossilization? We know attitude dominates aptitude.

Susan Deith’s session Teaching IELTS Skills explored some motivating and interesting ways to present and teach a number of IELTS skills for each of the four sections i.e. reading, writing, speaking and listening. In her another paper, Making Learning Fun – without Paper!! By Susan Deith conveyed the fact that we have all been there when we need to start a lesson with something to grab our students’ attention and then finish it where you have time to fill! In this active, hands-on session, participants learned paperless or low resource activities for all ages and abilities.
Sushma Parvathini’s presentation Grammar in Communicative Approach: Classroom Practice focused on the nature of grammar teaching in the communicative classroom. The situation is examined in the Indian context. The paper provides a clear picture of teacher perceptions in teaching grammar through the communicative approach and an understanding of how these perceptions are realized in classroom practice. An attempt has also been made to develop a pedagogic framework for teaching grammar through the communicative approach. The study is based on the data collected through classroom observation, questionnaires and informal interviews.

Language as a Medium to Teach for Social Change by Sylvan Blignaut highlighted on South African society which has undergone dramatic educational changes in the past decade. Considerations about redress and equity have now been elevated to the top of the agenda. Although many policies have emerged in post-Apartheid South Africa, addressing issues of race, redress and equity, racism and poverty continues unabated in the society. In this paper, the presenter argued that a focus on language teaching offers the best possibility to mitigate racism and move the society towards social cohesion and a more democratic and just future. Without social justice teaching, ideals like reconciliation and the “rainbow nation” could never be realized.

Tania Hossain’s presentaion Native- vs. Non-native-Medium Schools in Bangladesh: Inequalities and Policy Options highlighted that in Bangladesh disparities between native- and non-native-medium schools are fuelled in part by government actions such as resource allocation and administrative oversight that determine institutional policies and practices which lead to societal inequality. Students from resource-poor schools, where English teaching is at best perfunctory, are significantly disadvantaged. The implications of these findings for reframing current language policy are presented. A four-pronged ethnographic method was used to find out the differences between observed Native medium and Non-native medium schools. Results indicated that students from resource-poor rural schools are fraught with pedagogical inequalities, and call into question the government’s current educational policy.

Tapasi Bhattacharya’s presentation Beyond the Binary: English in Nepali highlighted on the magical power of English Education in the Nepalese context from the South Asian perspectives in course of the globalization process. She attempted to address the policy documents on English in Nepal and trace the history of the changing status of English Education in Nepal illustrating and referring to different texts from the Nepali scholars and foreign scholars, she also discussed how English have greatly influenced the Nepali context, the Nepali vernacular and also the Nepali society. Finally, she also demystified the hurdles to achieve the national goal and suggest some remedial measures.

Making Your Classroom an “English Zone” by Tara Bates emphasized For most students who study English, the classroom is their only chance to practice. Many teachers would like to set up an environment where the students speak English without translating into their native language — but it can be hard to get the students to follow along. This workshop showed how to start out the school year right with simple activities that create an “English zone.” As your students begin to listen, speak, and think in English without translating, you will see an amazing improvement in their skills!

Tasik Mumin’s presentation Teaching Speaking English: Nervousness or More? Justified that most ESL students are either shy or nervous to speak English, be it at personal level or public sphere. There are different opinions regarding the methods and techniques to improve speaking skills. While developing speaking abilities of students, ESL teachers experience multi-faceted challenges such as cultural barrier, methods to be adopted, class size and mixed ability class. This paper enquired into the reasons behind students’ hesitation at tertiary level in Bangladesh and suggests ways to overcome the barrier within limited time-frame.

Tazin Aziz Chaudhury and Md. Ziaul Karim’s Presentation, CLT Approach in Developing English Reading Skills in Bangladesh focused on the methodology known as Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), in relation to other teaching methods and explore its applications for enhancing reading skills of the English language learners in Bangladesh. It also focused on the different understanding of CLT from teachers and students, its misconceptions and perceptions and also its future prospects in Bangladesh. Finally, it suggested guidelines for employing it more successfully in ELT classrooms with the view to developing English reading skills.

Learners’ Acceptance of Feedback on Their Writing and its Impacts by Tazria Islam Discussed the effective role of different types of feedback (oral, written and peer) for improving the students writing skill in a large class room and learner’s perception about the feedback strategy that they prefer as their assessment tools for the composition class. About one-twenty Bangladeshi English Non-Major Students of Stamford University Bangladesh took part in the investigation. The result showed learners’ positive attitude towards oral and written feedback. They also suggest that the first draft of writing should be checked by their peers, but the teacher should provide the written feedback on their final drafts of writing.

Thakur Prasad Bhusal’s presentation Developing Extensive Reading in EFL Classroom discussed that with the changing context in ELT stressed on to develop such a reading skill in their students in which they could get the real taste of reading as independent fluent readers which, in fact, is the ultimate goal of teaching reading. In this sense, to maximize benefits from reading, students need to be motivated and should be involved in both extensive and intensive reading. In this regard, this presentation revealed the research findings on what several kinds of motivational strategies English teachers find useful and of great importance for making the learners motivated toward extensive kind of independent reading development.

Tirtha Raj Wagley’s presentation Decision Making in ESL Classroom clearly expressed different approaches have been introduced in the field of second language teaching. Therefore, ESL teachers are often required to make the best decisions to suit a particular goal while planning, teaching and evaluating the students. The teachers are unable to make right decisions because of lack of appropriate training. The workshop created feeling of self-awareness in teachers making them able to select the right options, which helped to develop their professionalism. The paper has been divided into three sections: Planning Decision, Interactive Decision and Evaluative Decision. Each of them presented some reflective questions and tasks for discussion, which helped create self-awareness in teachers.

Tushar Madhukar Kamble’s paper Cultural Influence on Teaching English focused on the fact that the learning of a second language entails conscious analytical efforts. It encompassed several components such as syntactic, semantic, and communicative competence. Learning second language does not only mean to get command on vocabulary, pronunciation and grammatical structures but to incorporate cultural elements, which are inseparable from language itself. Second language learning plays a crucial role in paying respect towards one another’s culture. The disconnection of the learner and teacher with cultural roots of second language may lead into a confused state.

Introducing Humour in English Language Classroom by Ushakiran Wagle focused on the fact that lesson stands a better chance of success if it is based on the learning-through-fun principle. This principle is realized when the language lesson includes elements of humour. Humour is the ability to amuse others: the quality of being funny. Applying this ability to amuse in the language classroom can be a good way of making our students motivated towards learning. Motivation definitely makes our lessons effective. Come and join me in my session in which she shared some ways of using humour in the language classroom. Bring some humour with you, too.

Cambridge ESOL Examinations in Nepal by Uttam Panta clarified about the importance and usefulness of ESOL Examinations. It covers different examinations that Universal Language & Compute Institute (ULCI) administers in Nepal. These exams are beneficial to students, teachers and people of all occupations. ULCI is the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations Testing Centre in Nepal. ULCI administers
• Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT)
• Key English Test (KET)
• Young Learners English (YLE
• Preliminary English Test (PET)
• The Business English Certificates (BEC)

In the paper Role of LI in English Language Classroom: Does it help or Hinder?, Huma Khan reviewed the role of L1 in English Language Classroom and to determine to what extent L1 might be utilized to maximize in learning English at tertiary level. She further deliberated that the general assumption that has prevailed is that English ought to be learnt through English, and not by the use of L1. Consequently, several teaching methods and trends support the use of L1 as a helpful teaching and learning tool.
Role of English Consonant Letter Name in L2 Spelling Development by V.E.Venkatasamy explained learners’ use of knowledge of letter name to spell words. Two sets of learners, typically developing learners (TDL) and visually impaired learners (VIL), across 4th, 5th and 6th grades were selected. The result showed that learners use their knowledge of letter name in vowel consonant letter names. In comparison to the TLD, VIL are developmentally slow but not developmentally deviant and the letter-name error percentage among learners decreased with a rise in their proficiency and age. The study argued for a need to develop phonemic awareness skills.

Ms. Valerie Pflug’s presentaion Discourse Analysis: A Tool for Reflection in the Language Classroom conveyed the fact that as language teachers, we want our students to have as many quality opportunities as possible to practice the target language during a class session. Therefore, it behaved us to eliminate classroom talk that is not productive, and behaviours that cause some students to be excluded. Discourse analysis was an invaluable tool for creating a reflective practice in which the conversational exchanges between teacher and students are examined.

Varpe Machhindra Govind’s presentation Linguistic and Communicative Competence in English focused on time when English education was started in India. It argued the different Education Commission views about the importance of English. It suggests two types of competences – Linguistic and Communicative competences. Linguistic competence consists of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics.

Vocabulary Learning Strategies adapted by Nepalese Secondary School English as Foreign Language Learners by Vim Lal Shrestha presented a paper based on an academic research. It has explored the vocabulary learning strategies adapted by Nepalese secondary level students. On the basis of gathered literatures, the presenter analyzed the Nepalese learners’ experience through the qualitative paradigm. Qualitative is a methodology and philosophy this research study.

Vishnu S Rai conducted a workshop on Creative Writing: Getting out of the Box. Creative writing helps learners not only to develop their writing skills but all other skills. It breaks the monotony of the class and brings fresh air in. Many people wrongly believe that creative writing cannot be taught, that it is only for a few genius students. It is true that by only teaching creative writing we cannot make Eliot or Hardy. However, that is not the main purpose of creative writing: the main purpose is to help learner develop their language competence for which nothing is better than creative writing. My experience is that students like creative writing, that it boosts their moral as they realize that they can write in English and that they take more interest in learning because creative writing activities are fun. It is therefore, desirable for the teacher to know use creative writing activities in their class.

Symposium on Creative writing by Tapasi Bhattacharya, Maya Rai, Motikala Dewan and Sarita Dewan presented various aspects of creative writing activities for teaching English. This symposium was a part of regular activity of Asian Teachers’ Creative Group. In this symposium, they proposed to involve participants in the following creative writing activities and discuss how those activities can be applied in teaching English.

1. Writing poems
2. Performing creative writing (e.g. Slam poetry)
3. Story writing

Professor W. Jon Lambden’s presentation Taking Stress out of the Test emphasized on testing which is an integral part of both learning and teaching but it doesn’t have to be nor should it be stressful. The presenter discussed student attitudes and fears and highlight the most useful and appropriate techniques to moderate and overcome stress in testing not only in the classroom but also in periodic and annual assessment events such as the SAT,GRE, GMAT and TOEFL.

Turning Students into Temporary Teachers: Effective Techniques for Teaching Pronunciation by William Wolf focused on teaching pronunciation, which is especially difficult in large classes: generally, there is only one person (the teacher) who knows how to produce the correct sounds. Quite often, teachers use methods in which only the teacher is active and in which students only listen passively. However, several techniques allow teachers to turn students quickly into co-teachers. When students are co-teachers, it becomes possible for them to be far more active in class (in peer-group activities, for example). This workshop shows a clear step-by-step method to turn students into temporary teachers and to build learner autonomy.

Yadu Prasad Gyawali’s presentation The Reflective Teacher introduced reflective teaching as a significant way to facilitate teachers to build their professionalism. It also talks about the levels and time of reflection. It attempted to split out the causes of non- reflective behaviour of English language teachers in the second language context. A strong ethical component emphasizes the several techniques available in our context. This presentation suggested every teacher needs to be reflective-friendly in the real world of teaching and professionalism.

CLT Materials/Assessments at the Secondary Level in Bangladesh: Teachers’/Learners’ Perception by Golam Kader focused on CLT (Communicative Language Teaching) which was introduced in Bangladesh a decade ago, but to what extent has it accomplished its target? The CLT materials are tools to implement this approach. Furthermore, the mode of assessment, a major parameter to assess learners’ performance, is expected to be designed to prepare more competent language users. The presentation was about the CLT materials being used and modes of assessment being practiced at the secondary level in Bangladesh. The presentation also uncovered the teachers’ and learners’ perception about CLT from a survey of 20 teachers and 200 learners.

The 18th International Conference of NELTA will take place on 16th – 18th, February, 2013 and 20th – 21st , February, 2013.

The Use of English Loan Words in Teaching ESL in Jaffna

University of Jaffna,
Sri Lanka.

The contact between English and Tamil, one of the national languages of Sri Lanka, and the consequent expansion of bilingualism caused the borrowing of many English words into Tamil. The verbal communication between bilinguals and monolinguals in different situations led to the penetration of English words into the speech of monolinguals. The variation in the sound systems and the number of phonemes of English and Tamil is the main reason for assimilation. Especially, the Tamil monolinguals who are not concerned about the root of the English words employ them comfortably in assimilated forms.

Although equivalent Tamil terms have been made available for some technical terms, the English terms are enjoyed in the casual communication of Tamils due to the reputation of English words. The translated or transliterated forms of English words are used in written texts. A severe decline of English bilingualism can be seen in Jaffna now, especially following the introduction of Tamil, the first language as the medium of instruction in government schools and other higher educational centers in 1945. There are many other factors that hamper the acquisition of English in Jaffna. Jaffna students do not have chances to have a good contact with English. Because of the long standing civil war, tourist industry and business and cultural activities have been paralyzed. Interruption in the transport service obstructs free contacts with those living outside Jaffna peninsula. This kind of obscured and culturally confined surrounding in Jaffna turns out to be shutters against the English oriented world.

The purist feeling of Tamils also posed restriction on the use of English. There have been propagandas emphasizing the use of Tamil technical terms possibly for all general concepts and common objects. A lack of enthusiasm can be seen among the Jaffna people in acclaiming the English programmes delivered by the electronic media like radio and television and internet. Indifference to English programmes and materials might be attributed to the deficiency of English proficiency.

However, influx of several hundred household articles, electronic tools, consumable goods and so on cause innumerable English terms to penetrate into the communication of speaking and writing of Tamil. In business transactions and bargain, financial institutions such as banks and normal social interactions, the mingling of many English words can be seen. The economy in usage and assimilation of such English words urge people to mix them. There are instances where speakers make effort to use English words with prestige motive in showing themselves as literate ones in order to create a social identity.

The authors of modern literature make effort to introduce new genres and adopt western literary modes in their works. They try to bridge the divisions which are found between the themes, language, and style of the conventional literature and western literature chiefly the English influences which are becoming more and more a part of the experience and a way of life. To attain this goal, they focus on the new literary language that is flexible enough to put across the experience of the changing set up of social and intellectual trend that can reach out to large middle class reading public that is anxious for reading material but not intellectually competent enough to read classic literature. At present, social relevance has become an important issue. All works on literature whether fiction, poetry, or play concentrate on political and social matters and themes.

The application of English borrowings as part of the English impact over the social and political experience of people has turned out to be unavoidable in the modern Tamil literature generated particularly by writers of Jaffna. The use of English borrowings is adopted as a literary tool to emphasize ideas and form impression of humour and mockery. Moreover, the unavailability of Tamil equivalents or translation and in case of certain borrowings the greater familiarity of people with the practice of these borrowings make writers select borrowings to insert in their works. The use of English borrowings in the modern Tamil literature makes it easy for the writer to convey the theme effectively.

The infiltration of English words has in fact enhanced and extended the Jaffna Tamil lexicon. The use of English borrowings has facilitated one’s expression of ideas with ease and effect. Despite certain degree of criticism with regard to the language purism that may be damaged by the fusion of borrowings from other languages, the very truth that the scope and a merit of a language expand and flourish through addition of foreign linguistic elements. Unequivocally, the linguists and philologists with the positive perspective would recognize the presence of English borrowings in Tamil. The following discussion illustrates how the presence of English borrowings in Tamil could facilitate ESL teaching.

Through the adoption of certain manipulation pertaining to teaching, the ESL teacher can focus on teaching some language areas like vocabulary, phonetics and to some extent English grammar. For instance, the ESL teacher in Jaffna context, when teaching vocabularies can quote a borrowing that deals with its different shades of meanings in different contexts. The spelling and correct pronunciation of words must be treated properly, since in the case of totally assimilated forms, the pronunciation is vastly deviated while interpreting the meaning of an English word. It is advisable for the teacher to offer a Tamil equivalent for the English word, so that the students will be able to understand the meaning more easily. The presence of a Tamil equivalent would enable the students to identify the concept for the object and associate it with its social and cultural background in the better sense. For example, the word ‘cigarette’ is pronounced as ‘si:krat’ ,when it is used as a borrowing. Here, it is a responsibility of a teacher to make the students aware of the spelling of the word and the actual pronunciation of the words as well. Then, students will be mentally more comfortable in getting the right pronunciation through linking the spelling of the word with a pronunciation of the uttered word by the teacher. A Tamil equivalent for cigarette does not exist in usage and the students will not expect the teacher to give an equivalent for it, as the frequency of this word is very high. Another interesting example that somehow baffles the teacher is that, when the teacher looks for its Tamil equivalent, is the word ‘boycott’. An equivalent frequently used in Tamil for ‘boycott’ is ‘pakiskarippu’ that is not of Tamil origin. Despite its origin, being of another language other than Tamil, when the teacher equates ‘boycott’ with ‘pakiskarippu’, students are psychologically at ease. Here, the teacher’s effort to supply the available equivalents in Tamil for English borrowings is stressed. It is very much essential that educationists and curriculum designers should venture in creating technical terms in order to eliminate famine for Tamil equivalents. The need of the availability of technical terms or Tamil equivalents for English borrowings is felt necessary, since the literary compositions or research pursuits in Tamil compulsorily require Tamil terms instead of translated forms of English borrowings.

The use of English borrowings in Tamil can be successfully applied in the English classes to teach certain portions of English language structure, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. The Tamil ending ‘-ai’ is added to the borrowings in Tamil, if it is a noun: for example, in Tamil ‘vayarai ǝu’ (Take the wire), the ending ‘-ai’ is added to the English ‘wire’. Further example, ‘tiai kui’(Have the tea). If the borrowing is a verb, word ‘paṇṇu’ (Do) goes with ‘vayarai yoin paṇṇu’(Join the wire). Similarly, test paṇṇu(Test).If the borrowing is an adjective, the Tamil ending ‘a:na’ goes with ‘ni:a:na velai’ ( Neat work). In case the borrowing is an adverb, it is combined with the Tamil ending ‘a:ha’ as in ‘silova po:na:n’(He went slowly) and visia: irukkiraan(He is busy).

Highlighting the above features which are involved in the Tamil expression entailing English borrowings, teacher can explain as to how English nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs can be distinguished and identified. Sometimes, it is difficult to differentiate distinction code-mixing from borrowing due to lack of linguistic evidence. It is encouraging to say that currently a greater stress is given to the production of technical terminology in Tamil. Immense efforts are made in India and Sri Lanka in this regard.
Special focus needs to be given to produce a set of standardized technical terms at least in the academic discipline to evade puzzle caused by the presence of various Tamil translations for the same English word. Further, in some texts, Tamil translations and in some other texts Transliterations are used for the same terms. Hence, it is necessary to plan whether an English term, whether it is borrowed word or not, needs to be in transliterated form or it should be restored by a Tamil translation. Considering the economy of effort in pronunciation, proper meaning expression needs to be taken into account.


Canagarajah, S. (1995). Use of English borrowings by Tamil fish vendors: Manipulating the context. Multilingua 14: 5–24.

Canagarajah, S. (1997). Challenges in English Literacy for African-American and Lankan Tamil Learners: Towards a Pedagogical Paradigm for Bidialectal and Bilingual Minority Students.Language and Education, no1,Vol.11.

Gunesekera, M.(2005).The Post colonial Identity of Sri Lankan English .University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.
Karunakaran, T. (2008). English Borrowing in Jaffna Tami from 1993 to 2006.
Unpublished Mphil thesis, University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya.

Three-Day Teacher Training in Tanahu and Siraha

-Shyam Bahadur Pandey

This training course was especially designed to the primary level English language teachers of public schools who possessed very low level of English language proficiency. Based on the teachers’ needs, the course consisted of some basic understanding of English language teaching methodology as well as some teaching techniques viz. classroom language, English sounds, four language skills/grammar/vocabulary and reflection. Classroom language sessions were based on the book titled Classroom English and sessions on four language skills/grammar and vocabulary were focused. These sessions were believed to provide guidelines to the teachers to deliver their class in communicative approach. These sessions were also implemented by Action Plan; a reflective session which helped teachers to reflect over the techniques they had experienced/learned. Sessions on classroom language/four language skills/grammar/vocabulary was basically designed and practiced considering the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) techniques (pair work, group work, role play, dramatization, gestures, facial expressions, games, rhymes, etc.) so that the training would be the blend of teaching pedagogy and language input in order to improve the teachers’ proficiency of English language and their classroom practice simultaneously.

This training was conducted in two different NELTA branches viz. Tanahu and Siraha which were selected based on the exposure of teachers. The life members have been rarely getting chance to involve in such trainings. The sponsor of the training was Ms. Kate Miller who is from the UK and she has been proved herself as a true NELTA family member who did not only sponsor the training but also accompanied with the trainers to Tanahu. She minutely observed the training sessions, guided them and delivered one/two sessions in Tanahu, too. Her guidance, mentoring and suggestion to the trainers, to NELTA center, NELTA branches are really praiseworthy. She sponsored for the training and came to Nepal from UK to observe and see the training personally on her own eyes. In short, this training was a joint venture of the sponsor Ms. Kate Miller, NELTA, trainers and the teachers of Tanahu and Siraha.
NELTA selected four teacher trainers who have spent a long time in training the school teachers. These trainers were in different NELTA branches many times through NELTA. They have been actively contributing to NELTA in other such programmes, too. The selected four teacher trainers were Mr. Janak Raj Pant, Ms. Sarita Dewan, Mr. Uddab Bhattarai and Mr. Shyam Bahadur Pandey.
1. Janak Raj Pant: Mr. Pant has done M.ED. in English Education from Tribhuwan University and he is a teacher trainer cum training coordinator of Global Action Nepal (GAN), as well as NELTA teacher trainer. He has been to different parts of Nepal with short and long term training packages. Recently, he has been doing the TESOL Diploma from Kathmandu, Nepal.
2. Ms. Sarita Dewan: Ms. Dewan, is working as the head of department in Little Angels’ School, she has done PGDE from Kathmandu University, Masters in Sociology from TU, has devoted more than 10 years to NELTA, has visited different NELTA branches with short term teacher training packages. She is a master trainer of Student Quality Circle (SQC) Nepal. She has done the TEFL International TESOL Course from Kathmandu, Nepal. She is a member of creative writing. She is the Scholarship Winner of the 46th IATEFL Conference too who participated the conference held in Gloasgow, Scotland, UK in March, 2012.
3. Mr. Uddab Bhattarai: Mr. Bhattarai has done M.ED in ELT (English Language Teaching) from Kathmandu University and he is a professional teacher trainer who has conducted more than 10 long-term school level teacher trainings in different parts of Nepal through different INGOs and NGOs (Good Neighbors Nepal, COSAN, RRN, WVIN, GAN, NELTA and so on). He is also a roster trainer at Training Institute of Technical Information (TITI). Recently, he has been doing TESOL Diploma Course from Kathmandu, Nepal.
4. Mr. Shyam Bahadur Pandey: Mr. Pandey has done M.ED in ELT (English Language Teaching) from Kathmandu University, Nepal and he has been actively serving to NELTA since last 5 years and has been to different NELTA branches to conduct school level teacher trainings. He is a lecturer at Brilliant Multiple Campus, Chabahil, Kathmandu who teaches English literature and grammar to the students of tertiary and Bachelor of Arts. He is a Program Coordinator of NELTA as well as English Access Microscholarship Program (The U.S. State Department sponsored program implemented by NELTA into the different parts of Nepal). He has done TESOL Core Certificate and Young Learners Course from Wisconsin University, USA and Teaching English to Teenagers (TET) Course from University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA. He is also a TEFL International TESOL graduate and recently he has been doing TESOL Diploma Course from Kathmandu, Nepal. He is the Scholarship Winner of 46th IATEFL Conference who presented a paper in the Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
Selection of Location
NELTA centre selected two NELTA branches; Tanahu and Siraha, which are newly established branches. These branches have not got any such chances of conducting trainings yet. People in Tahanu and Siraha do not know much more about NELTA. Based on the especial request of the branches: Tanahua and Siraha, NELTA centre selected these two branches for the three day training.
This training was totally focused on the teachers who have been teaching in the primary level because comparatively primary level teachers get less chance to get involved in training. Generally, they enter in teaching right after their SLC or intermediate. Therefore, they mostly are not familiar with the newly practiced teaching techniques. Since primary level is the base of other levels of education, it is a very crucial phase in the foundation of education. Until and unless the primary level teaching gets improved, one can/should not expect the progress in education. Considering this fact, the participants were selected from primary level only. Although some participants’ level of English was not up to the desired level and some of them were higher than others, most of them were similar in their level of English which added plus point to make the training more effective.
This training was grand to achieve the specified objectives. Similarly, it was able to give a kind of impression to the teachers about the language teaching techniques. Though the training is was not long, it is expected that the teachers got maximum benefit through the training because the modality of the training was not ‘top down’ rather ‘bottom up’ as it was based on the needs of the teachers. Prior to the training program, it aimed to achieve certain objectives which were as follows:
a) This training will make aware about the different language skills of language teaching in the participants’ class e.g. four language skills, grammar, and pronunciation.
b) This training will enable the participants to use communicative language teaching techniques such as pair work, group work, role play, dramatization, gestures, facial expressions, songs, games etc. in their classroom.
c) The participants will be able to use classroom English confidently with their students.
17—19 November, 2011: Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA) organized a three day teacher training programme for the primary English teachers in Tanahu. The training was inaugurated by Ms. Kate Miller, the sponsor and Mr. Chakra Adhikari, the NELTA Tanahu Branch Chair. There were two NELTA trainers; Ms. Sarita Dewan and Mr Janak Raj Pant who facilitated the training simultaneously turn by turn. On the middle of the training sessions, Ms. Miller took one session on pronunciation. The training basically focused on modeling the teaching skills along with the content that the primary English language teachers need to deliver in their classroom so as to make them familiar with the different teaching techniques and activities that are more fruitful for their classroom practice. The content of the training basically focused on was the two major areas; English language improvement and English language teaching techniques. For example: the basic concept of grammar along with the language teaching tips, reading, writing, listening and speaking/ vocabulary along with some useful techniques, pronunciation, classroom dynamics and classroom English.
Based upon the aforementioned major areas, the training was guided by the participatory approach. In other words, this training was designed to highlight some teaching tips for the primary teachers; no matter they might have heard some of the techniques previously. The reflection at the end of each day gave some insight to the trainees and trainers both about the adoptability of the techniques in the local context. The training modality adopted was very close to loop input method in which content as well as process was focused using the same session. The trainers tried to make the sessions maximally participatory and reflected over those activities immediately after the activities so that they can relate it to their training context. Regarding the delivered sessions of the trainers, refer to the appendix I please.
24—26 November, 2011: NELTA organized three-day teacher training for the primary level English language teachers in Lahan, Siraha. The training was inaugurated by Dr. Anil Kumar Yadav, Chair NELTA Siraha. Dr. Yadav briefly highlighted the importance of training in teaching English. There were two NELTA trainers; Mr. Uddab Bhattarai and Mr. Shyam Bahadur Pandey. Mr. Pandey shortly talked about the generosity of Ms. Kate Miller, the sponsor of the programme. Ms. Miller has been to Nepal many times with different teacher training programs into the different NELTA branches. She is a life member of NELTA as well as a true friend of NELTA.
The content and nature of the training was quite similar to the training of Tanahu in terms of the objectives. This training was focused to use everyday English, to use different language teaching techniques in the classroom such as pair work, group work, role play, gestures, facial expressions, songs, games, matchstick figure, etc., to teach students using the phonic method to improve pronunciation and to make them able to help themselves to develop their professional development in teaching. The training basically focused on modeling the teaching skills along with the content which teachers’ need to deliver in their classroom so as to make them familiar the techniques and activities that would be fruitful for their classroom practice. The major two aspects of the training were English language improvement and English language teaching techniques. For example: the basic concept of grammar along with some useful language teaching tips, reading, writing, listening and speaking/vocabulary along with some useful techniques, pronunciation, classroom dynamics, and classroom English.

Standing upon the aforesaid major parts, the training was guided by the participatory approach. In other words, the training was designed to highlight some teaching tips for the primary teachers. The training modality adopted was very close to circle participation method of training teachers in which content as well as process was focused using the same sessions. The trainers tried to make the sessions maximally participatory and reflected over those activities immediately after the activities so that the trainees could relate it to their teaching context. It was completely workshop based. The participants were active throughout the day. They listened less, involved themselves more in different activities. The reflection at the end of each activity gave some insight to the trainee and trainers both about the adoptability of the techniques in the local context. English was the medium of training. Please refer appendix II for sessions’ details.

There were 27 participants who were the primary level English language teachers. They have been working in the local public schools of Lahan, Siraha. Although they were good enough to understand the instruction in English, they were hesitant to speak in English. Since the training was based on participatory approach, they were expected to actively take part in the training which went in accordance to the objectives. The participants were really active and worked hard during the training. They made an action plan and assured to implement the ideas in their classroom. They were impressed very much by the nature of the training. Almost all the branch executive committee members actively took part in the training even though some of them were veteran ELT experts for example Dr. Anil Kumar Jha, Mr. Pawan Kumar Shah and others. These people are University teachers but they used to ask to the trainers if the trainers could allow them to stay in the training session. They were allowed to stay in the training but they were not counted as participants because the training was not focused to them. The logistic support was very nice. It proved that the local people understood the spirit of the training which was for them to utilize the ideas in their local context. All the participants were provided the necessary stationery with free of cost, transportation and accommodation cost to the trainers were covered by the fund sponsored by Ms. Kate Miller.
The three-day programme was aired by the different local F.M. Radio stations. They did not forget to announce the name of the programme sponsor; Ms. Kate Miller.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Conclusion: Therefore, the trainings were able to achieve the specified objectives. It again proved by the remarks expressed by the teachers in their reflection sessions, too. Most of the participants were assuring and informing us that they first time in their life attended such trainings where they got many handy tips to teach English as well as they got some ideas to develop their level of English and professionalism together. Previously, they were hesitant to speak in English but at the end of the training, there were excited to speak in English. They had a kind of perception that training is meant to get some abstract philosophical and theoretical ideas but this training added training is/should be focused on the needs of the teachers. This training was able to give to the participants some useful teaching techniques which might be useful to their daily classroom. Before starting to the training, the participants were elicited different speaking tests but could not speak. Later, they were asked how they would engage their students in speaking activity and they were excited to share and promise to the trainers that they are going to engage their students into the different activities which they learnt in course of the training.

• Although almost all the participants were from the primary level, some of them were high and low in their level of English language. This factor should be considered in the future. There should be need analysis before going into the training either it was short term training or long term.
• No matter for what level the training was focused on, if any teacher trainer minutely observes and takes interest into the sessions, he/she might learn something new and use those ideas in the future. Even though the training was especially designed to the primary level English language teachers in Tanahu and Siraha, there should be some local NELTA branch representatives so observe the effectiveness of the training as well as they can cash cede the ideas to the other local teachers. It was not found in Tanahu.
• In spite of the good coordination between NELTA Center and the NELTA branch there were some lapses regarding the logistic matters e.g. program banners, logistic support to the participants and signatories of the completion certificates, etc. which shouldn’t be repeated in the future.

Appendix I
Program Schedule
Date: 17, November, 2011
Location: Tanahu Day: First
Session Topic Remarks
First Session Introducing: interactive activities useful in language class Janak Raj Pant
Second session Teaching alphabet Sarita Dewan
Third session Classroom management: Job chart
Tea Break
Third Session Pronunciation: sounds Kate Miller
Fourth Session Janak Raj Pant
Fifth session Reflection Session Sarita Dewan

Location: Tanahu Day: Second Date: 18 November, 2011
Session Topic Remarks
First Session Grammar lesson Sarita Dewan
Second session Reading lesson [incorporating dramatization activity] [Three big fish] Janak Raj Pant
Third Session Teaching Vocabulary Sarita Dewan
Tea Break
Fourth Session Making letters Sarita Dewan
Fifth session Reflection Janak Raj Pant

Location: Tanahu Day: Third Date: 19 November, 2011
Session Topic Remarks
First Session [10:15-11:15] Listening through story telling
Running dictation] Janak Raj Pant
Second session [11:20-12:50] Writing Sarita Dewan
Third Session [1-2] Classroom English and manner teaching
[Starting to use classroom English: when English and when Nepali
Checking understanding
Teaching classroom English and Development
Classroom English
Practice ] Janak Raj Pant
Fourth session [2:30-3:00] Action plan
Now please think about:
What new things
Kate and Janak

Appendix II
Program Schedule
Date: 24 November, 2011
Location: Siraha Day: First
Session Topic Remarks
Preparatory Session Workshop management:
Workshop Agreement
Responsibility Distribution
Appreciation Box
Expectation & Objective Sharing Uddab Bhattarai
Introductory Session Introducing myself through using five fingers
Introducing our group members
Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Uddab Bhattarai
Team Building Activity Two Truths and a Lie
Uddab Bhattarai
Tea Break
First Session Reflection our English Language Teaching Practices Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Second Session Material Development : the Dice and its usages in language teaching Uddab Bhattarai
Reflection Session Reflection on the Day’s Activities and Learning
Feedback Sharing Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Location: Siraha Day: Second Date: 25 November, 2011
Session Topic Remarks
Preparatory Session Report Presentation
Job Distribution Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Team Building Activity The Cocktail Party Uddab
First session Understanding and Eliciting Classroom English Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Tea Break
Second Session Techniques to use Classroom English Uddab Bhattarai
Third Session Material Development: Easy Learning Roll and its Usages in Language Classroom Uddab/ Shyam
Reflection Session Reflection on the Day’s Activities and Learning
Feedback Sharing Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Location: Siraha Day: Third Date: 26 November, 2011
Session Topic Remarks
Preparatory Session Report Presentation
Job Distribution Shyam Bahadur Pandey

First Session Ten Little Ducks: Using Rhymes/Songs in Language Classroom Uddab Bhattarai
Second session Life at the Age of Ten: An Speaking Activity
Uddab Bhattarai
Third session Writing our Own Story
Using Stories in Language Classroom Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Tea Break
Fourth Session Using Matchstick Figures in ELT Uddab Bhattarai
Reflection Session Reflection on the Day’s Activities and Learning
Feedback Sharing Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Closing Session Closing and Celebration NELTA Siraha, Trainers, Participants and others

Appendix: IV
Participants’ Feedback
Participants’ feedback has been always crucial to evaluate the effectiveness of the session/training/workshop. It not only helps the trainer to explore out what efforts remained effective and what are the areas to improve but also gives an insight for further works. We as practitioner trainers also collected feedbacks from the participants at the end of the workshop using focused group discussions and feedback sharing cards. The feedback sharing cards were given to each participant in which they had to write down two areas they appreciated and an area to improve. After they wrote their feedback individually again they were asked to discuss in their respective groups and come up with their groups’ feedback. Since there were four groups, each group’s feedback after some language edit is mentioned below in their own words:
Group A says,
“The training organized by NELTA followed a participatory approach from which we learnt how to make our teaching participatory. The contents which were delivered remained very fruitful to the teachers who are trying to enhance fluency in speaking. We as primary level English language teachers would be grateful to have similar kind of trainings time to time.”
Similarly, group B states,
“First of all we would like to thank to the sponsor Ms. Kate Miller who became so generous to us and NELTA for organizing this kind of training for us. We have learnt a lot of classroom English expressions in this training which would certainly influence our teaching in the coming days. Stories, jokes, songs and dances during the training created a comfortable learning environment. We are really thankful to you both trainers.”
Group C mentions,
“We learnt many things from the training such as the new and interesting way of introducing each other, the responsibilities distribution to make all the participants feel responsible for their learning, classroom English expressions etc. We also came to know that how to use classroom English expressions in our teaching so that students could use them in their day to day communication. We thank to trainers and the NELTA and the sponsor Ms. Miller from the bottom of our heart.”
Group D says,
“In this short period we learnt a lot. We never forget the lesson that we learnt from this training. We will always try to use classroom English expressions in our classroom teaching and maintain English speaking environment in our classroom. We had really enjoyed all the activities during the training. We are very grateful to Ms. Kate Miller and NELTA trainers for giving us this opportunity.”
Finally, group E, states,
“This NELTA training is really good for the teachers. It taught us new techniques to use classroom English expressions in our classroom along with so many refreshing activities. After attending this training, we came to know that there is still a lot to learn as English teachers. We, therefore, request you and NELTA to organize this type of training time and again. Thank you very much for this wonderful training.”
Training Glimpse

Figure 1) Ms. Kate Miller, UK inaugurating the three-day teacher training programme in Damauli, Tanahu on 17 November, 2011.

Figure 2) Teachers in Siraha in a group work activity on 24 November, 2011 which was facilitated by Mr. Shyam Bahadur Pandey.

Figure 3) Participants in Siraha at the training session learning to sing and act the children song which was facilitated by Mr. Uddab Bhattarai.

Figure 4) Participants enjoying with the balloons after winning the classroom expression making competition and the two trainers enjoying with the trainees.

Figure 5) Trainers and trainees in Siraha after the group presentation.

Figure 6) Participants after the completion of the three day teacher training in a single lens.

NeltaChoutari October 2011: Developing Teachers’ Professionalism: An Ongoing Process

Dear Readers, this issue focuses on professional development of English teachers in settings like ours. It includes a great set of experience-based reflections by our fellow teachers.

In “Beginning Teaching in an EFL Class: a Novice Teacher’s Experience,” Ed Saul deliberates that becoming a teacher, especially a teacher of English, is a task which enriches one’s own mind while additionally bringing about the opportunity to constantly enrich the minds of others. As long as you keep your determination, feel ready to face the challenges given to you, and remember to have fun with the subject, you’ll be guaranteed success in this, your chosen career. Smile, put your best foot forward, and be prepared to be professional.

In his article “Teacher Development, its Nature and Classroom Observation as a Tool,” Thakur P. Bhusal discusses how as teachers we learn from our own experience of teaching and through personal engagement with ELT scholarship as well as through formal training, conference, networking, using ELT publications to guide our teaching, experimenting new curricula, taking on new roles in professional development initiatives, adapting our teaching strategies when curricula change, collaboration in teaching like team teaching, collaborative projects, peer observation, supervision and so on. Mr. Bhusal’s essay discusses in greater detail classroom observation as a strategy of teacher development.

Taru Budha’s article “Teacher Development through Reflective Practice” explains how teacher development is a process of becoming better teachers, while also seeking to facilitate the growth of fellow teachers, understanding teaching as well as themselves as teachers or individual persons. Development means a continuous and dynamic process that involves making sense of and interpreting one’s experiences as a teacher.

In his essay “Reflection on Monthly Talk on Professionalism and a Professional Organization,” Praveen Kumar Yadav shares a reflection on professionalization of teachers based on his participation of a monthly talk series in Kathmandu, presented by Ganga R. Gautam, immediate past president of NELTA, upon his return from the US where he completed his one year Humphrey scholarship at Boston University. Yadav asks, “Do you know who a professional is? What are the characteristics of professions?”

In his entry “Self-Directed Professional Development: Success Mantra or a Myth?,” Tika R. Bhatta discusses the values and importance of self directed professional development. He delineates that self-directed learning acts as a scaffolding device for a professional to augment his or her knowledge base and competency. His article deliberates on how adoption of certain strategies assists teachers to gain professional development thereby making teachers self-directed. The strategies discussed in this article are applicable to teachers teaching any subjects at any level, but they are most relevant to teachers of English as a foreign language. The essay presents a few strategies for self-directed professional development of teachers.

Please read the articles and leave your suggestions and comments. This will encourage the writers as well as give us the opportunity to share ideas.

Happy Dashain!

On behalf of NELTA Choutari team
Kamal Poudel

Beginning Teaching in an EFL Class: a Novice Teacher’s Experience

-By Ed Saul

The United kingdom

So, what’s the big secret behind Teaching English? The short answer: there is none. English, like any other subject, is completely open to the learner with an open mind and a strong will. Granted, it’s not the easiest subject to grasp though no one knows which the easiest actually is – but it is, on the bright side, one of the most rewarding.

Why exactly was it that you decided to become a TEFL teacher in the first place? It’s likely that your interest stems in a general interest in teaching, in a need to help others, in a need to broaden your horizons and see other places, and/or a need to have a steady, accessible job. You’ve made the right decision! However, all of these things come about through a steady and admittedly rough schedule of hard work. Most of it is enjoyable, luckily, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble!

What is English if not one of the most convoluted and constantly changing languages in the history of the Globe? English is rooted in Ancient Greek and Latin, and over the years it has spread through thousands of Nations across the world, from Ireland to the USA to Australia, and absorbed words from many other languages and dialects, such as French, Hebrew and Greek. Why is it that this Frankenstein’s-Monster language has survived all this time? No reason, other than simply because it’s so childishly easy to learn, and therefore just as easy to teach.

Granted, the Grammar and Pronunciation of English are no picnic for anyone to learn – take it from a bewildered native speaker – but they grow easier through constant practice and through learning to associate them with the innate knowledge already lodged within your own mind. Learning, for instance, the Phonetic Alphabet can be achieved in a matter of two or three steady afternoons of copying, reading out and writing practice sentences if the learner is able to properly assign the symbols to the sounds and letters which they have remembered since childhood. This is made especially simple by the fact that many of the consonant symbols of this alphabet (F, T, C, etc.) are basically the same as their regular English equivalents.

Grammar is similar though it may seem odd to think of words in terms of ‘Prepositions’, ‘Conjunctions’, ‘Complements’ and ‘Adverbials’, these are simply terms that the quick-minded learner can grow used to over time and become comfortable with in terms of their definitions; for instance, a Conjunction seems far less daunting when you are reminded that it simply means a word which connects two sentences, such as ‘And’, ‘Or’, ‘So’, ‘Then’. Eventually these difficulties become second nature, just as the more basic elements such as Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives are to a speaker of English.

But Teaching English as a Foreign Language, or alternatively, Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages, is not merely about the terminology or the work on paper. Over the course of your learning and teaching career, you’ll find that simple practice does a world of good towards improving upon even the most advanced skills as a language instructor. Your skills are only as good as the amount of times you’ve been able to use them, to test them out and improve upon them for lessons in future. So, don’t be afraid to go into a lesson and make mistakes! The worst that can happen is that you’ll learn something, and the best is that the students will learn something else.

What about the students themselves? This is your chance to make a genuine difference in their lives. Teaching English in a foreign country – or even in your own country of origin – can open up its learners to a world of possibilities that might otherwise be denied to them. By enabling them to converse in this simplistic tongue, one which, to reiterate, is spoken all over the world and used as a bridge between individuals from all the different cultures, races, and walks of life that you can think of, you are at the same time enabling them to seize a promising future for themselves and reach out towards a stable career.

For this reason, you’ll find that many of your students can and will be responsive and enthusiastic during your first few sessions of teaching. You can’t expect 100% performance from every class, and if you make allowance for the standards of teaching and school resources in some areas of your chosen field, you’ll find that at times either you or your students may be poorly equipped or badly prepared to carry out a lesson to your satisfaction. This is bound to happen for a number of reasons, not least the fact that certain schools are better funded than others.

But you cannot allow this to discourage you. Even during the most disastrous lesson (which isn’t usually all that disastrous – more like slightly different than as planned), students usually are attempting to try their best and to participate. A small amount of gentle encouragement, accompanied by fun games and warmers such as ‘Hangman’ or ‘Chinese Whispers’ to break the ice, will help them to come out of their shell and help you to gain their trust as a teacher.

Depending on the locale, your overall experience in becoming a qualified teacher may place you up against a cultural barrier, so that you find that many words, concepts and/or practices that are part of your everyday life are alien to your students – and vice-versa, particularly in stringent, tightly-run schools or institutions set up and managed by a church, such as Islam or Catholicism. This, too, need not be a great difficulty as long as you keep an open mind.

Alienation and a lack of communication between teachers and students are easily solved when the teacher focuses their methods on approaching from an equal footing – introducing English through universal, simplistic concepts (such as ‘Rain’, ‘Lion’, ‘House’) and building on that foundation towards more complex sentence structures (“The frightened Lion ran into the Three-Storey House to get out of the sudden rainstorm”).

Ultimately, becoming a teacher, especially a teacher of English is a task which enriches one’s own mind while additionally bringing about the opportunity to constantly enrich the minds of others. As long as you keep your determination, feel ready to face the challenges given to you, and remember to have fun with the subject, you’ll be guaranteed success in this, your chosen career. Smile, put your best foot forward, and be prepared to be professional.

Good luck!

Teacher Development, its Nature and Classroom Observation as a Tool

-By Thakur Prasad Bhusal
SOS Hermann Gmeiner School, Kavre

Teacher development can be taken as a process of becoming “the best kind of teacher and it starts from the very beginning and continues until the retirement professionally and until the deathbed personally. Generally, we as teachers, learn a lot from our own experience of teaching and being acquainted with new ideas and development through personal reading, formal training, conference, net working sharing, following the guidelines from course book, experimenting the new curriculum, taking a new role, changing the course books, collaboration in teaching like team teaching, joint work, peer observation, supervision and so on. This paper mainly talks about teacher development, its nature and about classroom observation as a strategy of teacher development.

Teacher Development, as its name suggests, means change and growth of teachers in terms of his/her professionalism during his/her profession. In this sense Teacher Development is the ongoing process of keeping on learning, always to keep alive a sense of challenge and adventure in his/her career and to avoid getting into rut (Underhill, 1988 as cited in Head and Taylor, 1997, p.7). It intends to increase the skills, knowledge or understanding of teachers and their effectiveness in schools. It also maintains a certain level of professionalism and it has positive impact on teachers’ belief and practices. For this, although, we can benefit from being trained by people with more experience or expertise, we have to be innovative in terms of motivation, planning, decision making, research, focus, implementation, updating ourselves .So, it is the process of becoming “the best kind of teacher that one personally can be with changing context regarding curriculum design, materials selection, teaching methodology as well as testing and evaluation (Underhill, 1986, as cited in Head & Taylor, 1997, p.1). This definition mainly focuses teacher development as to refer to the teachers’ own inner respire for change. In other words, it is mainly centered on personal awareness of the possibility for change. Here, it is better to link the idea of Underhill (1986, as cited in Head & Taylor, 1997) that teacher development is a continuous process of transforming human potential into human performance, a process that is never finished (p.12). This transformation is a lifelong process. So, teacher development starts from the very beginning and continues until the retirement professionally and until the deathbed personally (Gnawali, 2008).
Gnawali, (2008) states that teacher needs to be update themselves as a part of their development to adjust themselves in the new kinds of issues and challenges coming by and new ideas and concepts coming up in the disciplines and also to act accordingly with the changing needs and desires of the learners with time and economic, social and technological change. He says without teacher development, the profession will be monotonous, tedious, slow and uninspiring.
We, as a teacher, ourselves are responsible for our own development. Wanjnryb (1992) is of the opinion that teacher development is voluntary and it comes from the individual teacher or the group and that nobody can force teachers to develop. Supporting this idea Gnawali (2008) argues that development is voluntary and they can not be forced but they can be helped to develop because not every teacher will be able to diagnose their problems and areas of weaknesses and be able to find appropriate solutions. Many teachers knowingly or unknowingly develop themselves learning from their own experience, working with and learning from the experience of others and becoming more active in their own continuous process. However, there are some common strategies a majority of teachers adopt to develop in their professional development.
Many teachers in our context think that when they start teaching after having certain degree, they have attained their own personal best and have nothing more to learn. Some decide to go on to a further course of academic study such as master degree or some kind of in-service training so that they can and should advance in their professional experience and knowledge throughout their career. However, adult development is voluntary; no one can force a person to learn and grow (Wajnryb, 1992) and also each teacher is unique in important ways. Thus, it is impossible to create single centrally administered and planned strategy of professional development that meets everyone’s needs and desires. Generally, we as a teacher, learn a lot from our own experience of teaching and being acquainted with new ideas and development through personal reading, formal training, conference, net working sharing and our own classroom research. Sharing and discussion among the colleagues is another important strategy for teacher development. James (2001) says …. “teacher can best learn through their own experience, following the guidelines from course book, experimenting the new curriculum, taking a new role, changing the course books and trying out different ideas in classroom practice”. He also says that collaboration in teaching like team teaching, joint work, peer observation, supervision, support, discussion plays an important role in teacher development. Similarly, according to him innovation and research help in developing professionalism in teaching (p. 161). It is difficult to discuss about all these strategies in a single paper. So, I discuss about classroom observation as a strategy of teacher development in this paper.
Classroom Observation
Wajnryb (1992) defines observation as a focused activity to work on while observing a lesson in progress which focuses on one or a small number of aspects of teaching or learning and requires the observer to collect data or information from the actual lesson ( p.7). It is done with some aim, goals so a teacher and the observant may have pre-conference, post conference as Gaies & Bowers (2010) presents the three stages of observation like pre- observation consultation, observation itself and post observation analysis and discussion which they call clinical supervision; a process by which teaching performance is systematically observed, analyzed and evaluated (p.167). Regarding the purpose of observation, Maingay (2010) presents the four purposes of observation like for training, for development, for assessment and for observer development where as Sheal (1989) presents three types: diagnostic, formative and summative. It can be done as SOI (supervision of instruction) by administrator or coach or senior teachers, in fact to observe and to suggest. In fact, in broader sense, Peer Observation is very useful to learn from each other’s idea in terms of methodology, teaching materials design, preparation, selection and their effective use, studentsteachers interaction and so on. .Highlighting the significance of observation, Maaggioli( 2003, p. 7) writes:
“….. through observation, teacher can explore the effectiveness of their own practice or incorporate new methods and techniques into their teaching. Similarly, expert coaching is ideally suited for marginal plateau and collaborative coaching can become a mutually beneficial process”.
But as Sheal (1989) highlights the common trend of not using the observation tool as development but as evaluation, specially, and says many observations have been conducted by administrator, are seen as, judgmental observers use themselves as a standard impressionistic and are used as teacher evaluation purpose and the feedback from observers is often subjective, impressionistic, evaluate and teachers tend to react in defensive ways (p.242-47). In fact, this kind of trend in observation doesn’t help in teacher development. In this regard, Wajnryb (1992) states that one needs to remember that the observation experience has to be meaningful, rewarding and non-threatening to all involved: teacher, observer, learners, colleagues, tutors etc. Thus, observation’s focus needs to shift more towards colleagues working together and toward teacher development rather than teacher evaluation.

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Ellis, R. (1985). Activities and procedures for teacher training. In Gnawali, L. (2010). A course pack on teacher development in ELT. Kathmandu: KU.
Gnawali, L.(Commpiler, 2010). A course Pack on Teacher Development in ELT.
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Head, K. and P. Taylor (1997). Readings in Teacher Development. Oxford: Heinemann.
Maggioli, G.D. (2003). Options for Teacher Professional Development. English
Teaching Forum. April, 2003.
Wajnryb, R. (1992).Class room observation tasks: Cambridge: Cambridge University
Gaies, S. & Bowers, R. (2010).Clinical Supervision of Language Teaching: the supervisor as trainer and educator. In Gnawali, L.(2010). A course pack on teacher development in ELT. Kathmandu: KU.
Gnawali, L. (2008). Teacher development: what is it and who is responsible? Bodhi: An interdisciplinary Journal. P.219-220, 2(1).
Maingay, P. (2010). Observation for training, development or Assessment? In Gnawali, L. (2010). A course pack on teacher development in ELT. Kathmandu: KU.
Sheal, P. (1989). Training classroom Observers. ELT journal. 43(2). April, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Teacher Development through Reflective Practice


Generally, the term development refers to general growth or change. The concept of teacher development is thus a process of becoming better as it seeks to facilitate the growth of teachers, understanding of teaching and of themselves as teachers or individual persons. Development means a continuous process i.e. dynamic that involves the making sense and interpretation of one’s selves and experiences. Thus, education or learning is an ingredient for the teacher development. It is an ongoing learning about how to teach and to help the learners’ learning. The teacher needs to have an extensive repertoire of classroom skills and the judgmental skills to implement in the real classroom situation as required.
Pennington (1990, cited in Gnawali 2008, p. 219) states that every teacher needs professional growth throughout his or her career. So, the teacher development is necessary for dealing with the different new pedagogy or theories and practices that exist in the teaching system. Without learning, there is no possibility of professional growth of the teachers, and will lack the latest practices and principles of teaching. When the professional growth or changes stops the teacher will not be able to deal and tackle with the new practices and theories. Similarly, Underhill (1988) says that it is to keep learning always to keep alive a sense of challenge and adventure in one’s career, and to avoid getting into rut (p. 4). From this, we can understand that the teacher development brings changes in the teacher and this will enable the teachers to impart the knowledge better in the learners and also the teacher will learn himself or herself better. When the teacher stops growing or learning he or she will not be in position to sustain the career further and unable to help the learners learn in the teaching field. Therefore, the teacher needs to face challenges and it can help them in developing an understanding of different styles of teaching and teaching pedagogy and determine the learner’s perception of classroom activities of learning. It is a teacher who has to understand his roles according to the type of the learners he or she is teaching since demand of teaching way varies according to the context.
Change is inevitable in the life of the teachers as the adapting of changes or developmental outlook will help the teachers to deal better with the problems or changes they are facing within and around their work environment and enhance the capacity to deal with new techniques or strategies and enable the learners learn effectively according to demand of time and situation. Therefore, the aim of education is to enable the learners understand themselves where they are and what they are now. Until a teacher tries equipping herself or himself with such skills the goal cannot be achieved. For teacher development, there are many different ways or strategies that teacher can use for himself or herself. Among various strategies of teacher development, Reflective Practice is one.
Reflection means flash back of the teachers’ own daily classroom activities, practices and experiences for his/her professional growth. Ur (1999) says that the first and most important basis for professional progress is simply the teachers’ own reflection on daily classroom events. So, she gives emphasis on the personal progress through reflecting on own activities and practices that happened in the class and think when talking about personal reflection which will certainly lead towards change and growth in the teacher. According to Whitton et al (2004), “Reflection is a threefold process comprising direct experience analysis of our beliefs, values or knowledge about that experience, and consideration of the options which should lead to action as a result of the analysis”. This statement clearly states that the teacher’s professional growth is possible only if they reflect and analysis their actions and that will enable them to find other options for better teaching styles or behaviors. Supporting the idea of Whitton, Walkington (2005) further states, “Reflection is one’s own perception, beliefs, experiences and practices is a core activity for all the teachers pre-service and in-service, in schools and universities” (p.59). Therefore, personal growth is pre-requisite for either pre-service teacher or in-service teacher in order to teach effectively according to the demand of time and change of principles or theories so that one can survive and impart the ideas or knowledge by motivating the learners. Through reflecting, the teacher can not only teach and impart the knowledge but can interact with the learners and with their needs in learning process. When the teachers use reflective practice in their professional development they can improve their own teaching by reflecting on their own teaching experiences and daily activities in the classroom since the teachers can use the data gathered from the systematic reflection. Thus, teachers will make meaningful change in their profession. When the teachers try to reflect on the situation that he or she faced and ask themselves what needs to be done and are able to find the new way to deal with the situation and certainly brings changes.
Similarly Pennington (1992) relates development of the teacher to reflection where he views reflection as the input for development while also reflective as output of teacher development. So from this, we can clearly understand that when the teacher reflects it instills lots of input in the teacher for professional growth, and if the teacher practices that in the action gives output of the teacher’s growth and becomes able to instill good input in the learners as well. Therefore, the use of reflective practice enables, as a teacher is not only to experience but also to the new teachers to make his or her class effective which enhances the further development of the teachers. It enhances the discussion and evaluate their own practices as well as implication of different strategies or theoretical perspectives in the teaching learning process so that they can have deeper understanding of their own teaching style and techniques and finally greater effectiveness as a teacher to impart knowledge into the learners part and own self development. Practitioners engage in continuous cycle of self-observation and self-evaluation in order to understand their own actions and the reactions they prompt in themselves and in learners in reflective practice (Brook Field, 1995, Theiel 1999 cited in Cunningham, p. 17). In order to bring changes in one’s practice one has to do self-observation and self-evaluation which is essential for finding one’s weakness in the teaching learning and innovate new ideas to apply in the action. Without self observation and evaluation the teacher won’t understand how he or she acts or teaches in the class and understand the impact on the learners. Therefore, when they are curious or interest for changes or their personal growth the teachers certainly involve in observation and evaluation to think about his or her way of teaching and actions and to understand its impact on the learners so that he can think about other alternative ways to do teaching differently and effectively and interact with the learners in different way than he used to do in previous classes or days. If teachers don’t try to do instead of growth will lead into rut. Furthermore, Reflective practice occurs when teachers consciously take on the role of reflective practitioners, subject their own beliefs about teaching their own beliefs about teaching and learning to critical analysis, take full responsibility for their action in the classroom, and continue to improve their teaching practice (Farrel, 2007; Jay & Johnson, 2002; Valli 1997). Further, Dewey talks about the responsibility of the teacher (as mentioned in Pollard & Triggers, 1997). He said, “Responsibility means to consider the consequences of a project step; it means to be willing to adopt these consequences when they follow reasonably. Intellectual responsibility secures integrity”(p.13). Further Pollar and Triggs(1997) said that the Reflective teaching requires attitude of open-mindness, responsibility and whole heartedness(p.9). Therefore, every teacher has a responsibility to extend the boundaries of professional knowledge through reflective practice and systematic engagement in continues professional development from the very beginning to the end of their career to instill and impart the knowledge in the learners. Every teacher should do rigorous reflection which will enable them to discover their strength and weakness. So the teacher should be always open and whole hearted to take the responsibility. When they take on personal responsibilities for their own development, the teachers will be able to achieve better personal and perspective growth just like learners appear to make better progress while making their own learning decision. Further, Dewey talks about the responsibility of the teacher (as mentioned in Pollard & Triggers, 1997). He said, “Responsibility means to consider the consequences of a project step; it means to be willing to adopt these consequences when they follow reasonably. Intellectual responsibility secures integrity” (p.13). Further Pollar and Triggs(1997) said that the Reflective teaching requires attitude of open-mindness, responsibility and whole heartedness(p.9). Therefore, every teacher has a responsibility to extend the boundaries of professional knowledge through reflective practice and systematic engagement in continues professional development from the very beginning to the end of their career to instill and impart the knowledge in the learners. Every teacher should do rigorous reflection which will enable them to discover their strength and weakness. The teacher needs to be always open and whole hearted to take the responsibility. When they take on personal responsibilities for their own development, the teachers will be able to achieve better personal and perspective growth just like learners appear to make better progress while making their own learning decision. Valli (1997) further says that the teacher can look back on events, make judgments about them, and alter their teaching behavior in light of craft, research and ethical knowledge (p. 70). Because of reflection, the teachers will know how to monitor their own practices or activities in the classroom. They will be conscious of exploring and doing research on their practices and beliefs for a personal growth as a teacher.
So to understand herself or himself her/his teaching practice and other people, s/he needs a rigorous reflective practice. The teachers need to look back on their teaching behaviors and actions. According to Gnawali (2005), “Through reflection teacher can explore their selves and that of others. When teachers carry out systematic enquiry into themselves they will understand themselves, their practices and their learners (p.69)”. It’s true that the teachers and learner will be able to achieve their goal as well as adopt the changes for n their development if they carry out the systematic self inquiry. Similarly, Claxton stated (as cited in Bell & Gillbert,1996) that teachers must look outwards, to gain insight into the dynamic of their own stress; and they must look outwards, to understand better social forces that surrounds them(p.39). So for the development the teachers needs to see or understand not only within but also outside so that it will be easy for him or her to understand himself or herself and the learners as well. As the teachers need to be able to relate the classroom world to the outside world while learning and helping learners learning. Ruddock (as cited in Gnawali, 2008) on professional development stated “Not to examine one’s practice is irresponsible; to regard teaching as an experiment and to monitor one’s performance is a responsible act (p. 70)”.
Prabhu (1987, as quoted in Gnawali 2008, p. 70) conceptualizes the idea of professional responsibility as “equipping” which means providing teachers with pedagogical knowledge and skills for immediate use, and ‘enabling’ meaning helping teachers to develop ability to independently handle professional affairs. Training can ‘equip’ teachers with low inference skills but to ‘enable’ them with high inference skills teachers need to be involved in reflective practice”. Thus, the teacher needs to develop and equip with the new skills, theories and competences according to its new roles and time demand. It is most necessary to have quality education and a systematic process of continuous professional development to keep the teachers up-to-date with the new skills and strategies required in the teaching society. Without updating self the teachers will not be able to survive.
As Day (1999) states that professional development consists of all natural learning experiences and those conscious and planned activities which are intended to be direct or indirect benefit to the individual group or schools and which contribute to the quality of education in the classroom (p.4).Thus professional development cater both for the individual needs of teachers and for the institutional needs of the whole school (Bell, 1991). So through reflective practice the teacher herself or himself, the learners, and the schools will benefit from such a process of professional development or changes.
Reflective teaching is the teachers’ thinking about what happens in the classroom lessons and thinking about alternative means of achieving goals or aims; he sees it as a means to provide students with an opportunity to consider the teaching even thoughtfully, analytically and objectively (Cruickshank & Applegate, 1981; as cited in Bartlet, p. 171). It clearly states that the development of teaching techniques is the most important means to enable the teachers in improving their practice. Larsen-freeman (1983) said that awareness is the first step toward being able to change out teaching practice. Through reflecting on their own practice the teachers will be able to learn and bring certain level of awareness. Nunan & Lamb (1996) further states that “reflecting on one’s teaching and in the process, developing knowledge and theories of teaching, is essential component” in the lifelong process of professional growth. They further added that teachers “are capable of monitoring, critiquing and defending their actions in planning, implementing and evaluating language programs (p.120).we can understand from the that reflection provides teachers with knowledge and skills necessary for a lifetime of teaching. For professional development, the teachers need to learn new skills and knowledge and also to develop them continuously. The professional development of the teachers is a lifelong task and it should be therefore structured and resourced accordingly. Ur (1999) also talks about the awareness of the teacher. He said development doesn’t just happen with time, it happens with awareness. So there should be an awareness of a need to change. This means that awareness is a tool of change and improvement for the teachers. Gnawali(2008) said, “Reflection is the key to raising focused awareness and a pre-requisite for any altering of personal construct”(p. 70).
Richards (1990) see reflection as key components of teacher development. He says that self-inquiry and critical thinking can help teachers move from a level where they be guided largely by impulse, institution or routine to a level where their actions are guided by reflection and critical thinking. Similarly in an interview with Farrell (1995) Richards said that critical reflection is a response to a past experience and involves conscious recall and examination of the experience as a basis for evaluation and decision making and as a source for planning action. Reflection is thus a key component that enables to bring changes and growth of the teachers and in their teaching learning theories and practices in the classroom. Similarly, Ur(1999, p. 318) states that the teacher teaches or observes lessons and recalls past experiences then reflects, alone or in discussion with others in order to work out theories about teaching; then tries these out again in practice. Such cycle aims for continuous improvement and the development of personal theories of action. When teacher makes a self inquiry to understand the process that’s going around her/his and tries to keep himself or herself into consideration as objective; the teachers development will take place which will certainly help the learners in learning process. Therefore, it will encourage the teachers to innovate or produce and share their theories of teaching. Barlett(1990) in Farreell(1998) says that in order for teachers to become critically reflective, they have to “transcend the technicalities of teaching and think beyond the need to improve their instructional techniques”. The teachers can improve their teaching practices and change the techniques or ways of teaching styles if s/he does critical reflection of his/her work every day. Only then, the teacher will be able to deal according to the social and cultural context of teaching practices and principles. Thus for further skill development and personal growth the teachers needs to adopt any approaches in the teaching as through reflective practice.
Kelley talks about personal construct psychology. Each person constructs a representational model of the world composed of series of interrelated personal constructs, or tentative hypotheses about the world, with which past experiences is described and explained and future events are forecast. One can construe or understand another person’s construct system”(1969, cited in Bell & Gilbert, 1996, p. 46). As said above each person tries to make or construct his/her own sense of understanding and interpreting of himself/herself, about the learners and events on the basis of personal psychology. So they act according to their own sense and understanding and adopt the new changes in their teaching profession. Whereas Bartlet says, “A teacher’s action are influenced by intentions in the social setting and by the beliefs and chains of reasoning that are held before and after the occurrence of the action”(p.173). So teaching through reflective inquiry requires deliberation and analysis of our own ideas about teaching as a form of action based on the basis of our changed understanding. This doesn’t mean that externally imposed directions bring changes in the behavior. Hence teachers need to reflect to explore their potential of acting or teaching according to their own beliefs and experiences in the classroom. Therefore, reflection is in fact an important part of the effective and meaningful teaching as it motivates the teachers in being more aware of their views or theories and tries to analysis them and restructures or generates new ideas or styles if possible to do. So the teachers will be able to deal with new and various problems that might occur in classroom situation if they engage themselves in learning for their development and familiarize themselves with the new innovative techniques and strategies. According Head and Taylor (1997) said, “Teacher development is a reflective way of approaching whatever it is that we are doing as teachers and at whatever level of experience we are doing it”(p12). Therefore, being a teacher one needs to reflect on the experiences or activities what they are doing for their growth.
In short, by developing knowledge and understanding the setting practice and the ability to identify and react to the problems the teacher can become effective teacher. Teachers can deal with needs and different issues of the learners and demand of time if he reflects his daily teaching learning activities for his professional growth. To deal and survive in their professional filed the teachers need to grow and bring changes in their behavior and style. Reflection is flash back that the teachers need to mediate for their development.

Bailey, K.M. (1997). Reflective Teaching Situating our Stories. Asian Journal of English
Language Teaching, 71-19
Bartlett, Leo. 1990. Teacher development through reflective teaching. In J.C. Richards and D.
Nunan (Eds), Second Language Teacher Education (pp. 2002-214). New
York: Cambridge University Press

Bell, B. & Gilbert, J. (1996). Teacher Development: A model from science education. London:
The Flamer Press.
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Researching teaching methodologies and practices for understanding Pedagogy.
London: Falmer.
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reflection practice. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education. 33(1), 53-64
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teaching: Teaching for learning. Southbank, Victoria: Thanson Learning.
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Farrell, T.S.C. (1999). Reflective practice in an EFL development group. System 27, 157-

Reflection on Monthly Talk on Professionalism and a Professional Organization

By Praveen Kumar

Dear Valued Readers,
Are you a professional? If yes, do you know who a professional is? What are the characteristics of professions? If you are a professional or live in a professional society or involve in a professional organization, you must have some ethics or ethical principles. Do you know what they are? Have you ever marked what the stages of development of a professional are? Have you prepared an action plan to achieve professionalism? Dear ELT professionals, where do you fall in the professions grading if a survey is carried out in our society, the country and the world?
I was not familiar with the answer of the questions stated above and so are many of us although we have been talking about professionals and professionalism time and again. I have recently attended the talk by Respected Associate Professor Ganga Ram Gautam, (the Immediate Past President of NELTA) on “Professionalism and a Professional Organization” that opens the door of the answers of the above questions, which have left a clear imprint on me and guided me to walk on the way of professionalism. Respected Ganga Sir had a talk on the theme on September 10, 2011 at NELTA office, Kamaladi, Kathmandu, which brought together 25 NELTA members from NELTA central and branches. I would like to share in this brief post a few thoughts and reflection on his talk ‘professionalism and a professional organization’.
The word ‘profession’ comes from the Latin word ‘professio’, which means ‘to acknowledge’, ‘ to confirm’ and ‘to promise’. Oxford English Dictionary offers the following definitions of professions;
– The occupation which one professes to be skilled in and to follow.
– A vocation in which a professed knowledge of some department of learning or science is used in its application to the affairs of others. Applied specifically to the three learned professions of divinity, law and medicine.
– Any calling or occupation by which a person habitually earns his living (now usually applied to an occupation considered to be socially superior to a trade or handicraft).
He further talked about the history of professions. By medieval times, (500 CE-1500 CE.) all the classic professions (medicine, law, education and clergy) began to come near the modern conception of professions. Around the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, middle-class occupations such as dentistry, architecture and engineering began to professionalize, seeking to achieve the gentlemanly status of the classic, learned professions.
The talk moved on with the presentation on perception and characteristics of professions. He referred ‘The Encyclopedia of Sociology’ to say that Professions are groups which declare in a public way that their members will act in certain ways and that the group and society may discipline those who fail to do so. The profession presents itself to society as a social benefit and society accepts the profession, expecting it to serve some important social goals.
On the perception of professions, he presented that George Bernard Shaw declared in the Doctor’s Dilemma, first staged in 1906: “All professions are conspiracies against the laity.” Similarly, Talcott Parsons defines that professionals are ideal citizens of an ideal state and are holding society together. He shared Magali Sarfatti Larson’s three dimensions of the ideal profession: cognitive, normative and evaluative dimension.
In the talk, I came to know about popular notions of professionalism and I think we must consider and follow them as they are quite inspiring for a professional individual and professional organization (here, NELTA as a professional organization and its members as professional individuals). They are

  •  “High level of knowledge and morality”
  •  “Integrity and occupational pride”
  •  “Having the ability to do what one claims to have”
  •  “To be good at what you do”

To support the notions, N. Roscoe Pound, Former Dean of Harvard Law School opines that professionals find fulfillment, self worth and true happiness in contributing to their society and improving the human condition. Your first duty is to do good.

Then he continued his talk with professional ethics. Ethics can be defined by a set up of moral principles or values. Each of us has such a set of values. We may or may not have considered them explicitly. TESOL-association of American educators claims that professional ethics express what a professional society is about. A code expresses who the professionals are, what they do, and show how this profession functions or the good of all.

Christiphor J. Cowton, Dean of Business School, University of Huddersfield puts his views, profession can defer in degree to which they serve the public interest by being ethical.

Of course, we need to be ethical in order to be professionals. There are certain ethical principles that one has to follow. NELTA, being a professional organization, its members should think of the ethical principles;
1. Responsibility: Professionals should exercise sensitive and moral judgments in all their activities.
2. Public interest: Members should accept the obligation to act in a way that will serve and honour the public.
3. Integrity: Members should perform all responsibilities with integrity to maintain public confidence.
4. Objectivity and Independence: Members should be objective, independent and free of conflict of interest.
5. Due Care: Members should observe the profession’s standards and strive to improve competence.
6. Scope and Nature of Services: A member in public practice should observe the Code of Professional Conflict.

The presentation and talk further included the Code of Ethics of the Leadership in a Professional Organization like NELTA. They are Commitment to its Members and Commitment to the Organizational Values and Missions. When the organization makes commitments to its members and the organizational values and missions, NELTA will, no doubt, have professional development.
Now I am familiar with six characteristics of professional styles: altruistic, ethical, responsible, theoretical, committed and intellectual style. There are certain stages of development of a professional shared in the talk according to Meszaros and Braun (1980).
Once we have understood about the concept, characteristics, styles and stages of professional, we can set action plan to achieve professionalism for ourselves and our organizations as well. While preparing action plans, we should keep these things in mind
– What have I learned that I can put to immediate use?
– What do I want to do in the future to improve my professional style?
-Notice your own actions and those of others that exhibit that elements of, or lack of, professionalism
– Carefully evaluate your own actions and how they relate to your internal beliefs and assumptions.
– Challenge whether the belief or assumption is valid.
– Create an action plan to work on bringing more coherence between actions and beliefs, creating greater integrity and authenticity.

Finally he talked about professional grading, for which, rating of a survey carried out of 21 professions in America was presented, wherein nurses are found highly professional.
Source: GALLUP /
Such surveys can be carried out in the context of Nepal as well and the participants explored its opportunities in the session.
In conclusion, it can be said that ELT has not yet acquired professionalism. To support, Ur (2010) puts her views, “English language teaching has not yet reached the level of professionalism (p. 390). That is to say, English Language Teaching (ELT) is in the process of professional development in the world including Nepal. Besides, the talk proved an exposure to my M. ED. Research which I am currently carrying out on the topic ‘Professional Development in Nepalese ELT through blogs: A Case of NeltaChoutari’.
Dear NELTA members- Let’s promote professionalism in us and in NELTA both. The more NELTA becomes professional organization, the more its members become professional.

Self-Directed Professional Development: Success Mantra or a Myth?

Tika Ram Bhatta

PhD Fellow
EFL University, India.

Self-motivation and self-readiness are considered the sine qua non for teacher professional development since it does not just happen precipitately as soon as one gets involved in a profession. Self-directed learning therefore acts as a scaffolding device for a professional to augment his or her knowledge base and competency. Therefore, this article delineates how adoption of certain strategies assists teachers to gain professional development thereby making teachers self-directed. The strategies discussed in this article are more common to teachers teaching any subjects at any level; however, they have a great deal to do with English teachers in the Nepalese context where English is taught as a foreign language. The article begins with the introduction to professional development and self-directed learning and subsequently moves to introduce a few strategies for self-directed teacher professional development.
1.1 Introduction
There are several factors that substantially enhance the knowledge base, skills, attitudes and competency of a teacher causing him or her to gain professional growth. These factors may embrace both formal and informal learning experiences which contribute to the continual enhancement and maintenance of the professional skills, competencies and experiences (Guskey, 2000). Therefore, teachers assuming the responsibility as professionals need to be equipped with motivation for continuous and career-long learning which enhances sustainable, intellectual and service-oriented maturity. In order for teaching professionals to keep abreast with change – renew and review their own knowledge, skills and attitudes – they need to involve themselves in a number of learning activities such as self-directed learning, collaborative learning, reflective practices and experiential learning. Such processes can lead them along their professional trajectory whereby they gain both vertical and horizontal professional development. However, this increment or development does not happen precipitately, instead it is a time taking process, and only happens gradually in a piecemeal approach.
Professional development, therefore, subsumes not only the facilitated learning opportunities but also self-motivation, intention, systematicity and many other relevant factors. In order to sensitize professional development in teachers, they should, therefore, be encouraged to incorporate conditions of specialized knowledge, self-regulation, autonomous performance and a large dose of responsibility (Darling-Hammond & Berry, 1988) for learner welfare. Teachers, among all the stakeholders, are the only on-stage actors whose behaviour directly affects learners’ progress and accountability. Learner accountability can be strengthened only if teachers are imbued with spontaneous and self-motivated readiness to assume their responsibility for their own learning and development as lifelong learners (Knowles, 1975; Dickinson, 1987). Teacher learning, in the pursuit of their professional development, is, therefore a cornerstone in their career path. In this respect, teachers look back at their past activities and compare them with those of present and bring necessary changes in their behaviour and thereby they update their knowledge, skills and attitudes. Therefore, teacher professional development is a self-reflective process (Head & Taylor, 1997), and it extensively demands the use of self-directed professional development strategies so that teachers not only become professionally sound but also near themselves to achieve true professionalism.
The use of strategies coupled with intrinsic motivation is momentous in developing a language teacher as a self-directed learner because strategies are the specific action plans (Oxford, 1990) which essentially help teachers grow as true professionals thereby teacher-learners become teachers par excellence. Such strategies can be both self-initiated and learnt from others. Self-initiated strategies may differ from person to person. However, some strategies of language teacher development such as developing teaching portfolios, peer observation and journal writing are commonplace strategies that teachers can adopt as self-directed strategies for their professional development. In this sense, self-directed learning corroborates lifelong learning which edifies language teachers about becoming dynamic and informed adults. Self-directed learning therefore is both a crucial gateway and an essential strategy for lifelong learning (Harvey et al, 2003).
1.2 Self-directed Learning
Self-direction, according to Dickinson (1987), “refers to a particular attitude towards learning, one in which … the learner is prepared to take responsibility for his own learning” (p. 12). Guglielmino (2008) further clarifies self-direction in learning stating that it “can occur in a wide variety of situations, ranging from a teacher-directed classroom to self-planned and self-conducted learning projects developed in response to personal or workplace interests or needs and conducted independently or collaboratively” (p. 1). Therefore, the self-directed learner, as Dickinson (1987) states, is one who retains responsibility for the planning, decision making and implementation of the decisions throughout the period of learning. It does not necessarily entail that the learner is autonomous but it can be done by joining a formal course too. Knowles et al (2005) state that there are two dimensions of self-directed learning prevalent in the literature: self-teaching and autodidaxy. They say that “self-directed learning is seen as self-teaching, whereby learners are capable of taking control of the mechanics and techniques of teaching themselves in a particular subject … [and it] is conceived of as personal autonomy, which Candy (1991) calls autodidaxy” (p. 185-86).
Brockett and Hiemstra (1991), on the other hand, state that “self-direction in learning is a way of life” (p. 16). However, they further argue that it has been misinterpreted by some people. For example, it has been equated with self-planned learning, self-teaching, autonomous learning, independent study and distance education. But all these terms vary and are subtly different from each other. The early view of self-education is that it was thought to have been denoted as an achievement made by a learner without a teacher. Therefore, it needs to be taken as a lifelong perspective. This means that learning takes place across the entire lifespan. This can be made clear by comparing it with the formal education being acquired in the institution where the learner has no control over the objectives or means of their learning but in self-directed learning learners control both the objective and the means. In other words, self-education occurs outside of formal institutions but self-directed learning can occur within the formal setting too. Self-directed learning, according to Knowles (1975), describes a process in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies and evaluating learning outcomes.
Self-direction in learning can be taken as an umbrella concept because it refers to “activities where primary responsibility for planning, carrying out and evaluating a learning endeavour is assumed by the individual learner” (Brocket, 1983b, p. 16 as quoted in Brockett & Hiemstra, 1991, p. 24). It refers to a process in which a learner assumes primary responsibility for planning implementing, and evaluating the learning process where an education agent or resource often plays a facilitating role in the process. It centres on a learner’s desire or preference for assuming responsibility for learning. Therefore, self-direction in learning refers to both the external characteristics of an instructional process and the internal characteristics of the learner where the individual assumes primary responsibility for a learning experience.
In this sense, the self-directed learner is one who takes responsibility for the management of his or her own learning being autonomous in all the processes without assistance. Self-directed learning, as Dickinson (1987) posits, is an attitude of mind towards learning rather than any particular techniques or activities. Self-directed adults are more frequent but are probably still a minority of learners. However, “it is not the case for the school children that they are the paragons of virtue who will learn a language unaided, but that it is possible to teach them to be self-directed” (Dickinson, 1987, p. 5). He further states that Self-directed learners have many of the qualities of good language learners. So, by promoting self-directed learning one is improving proficiency in learning in general and language learning in particular. The manifestation of self-directed learning differs according to the context, i.e. how far the context has been especially arranged to allow self-direction. Self-directed learning very well fits with autonomy individualized instruction auto didaxy and self-access. The distinction between them is made by their focus upon a learner or the material. Autonomy is one possibility within self-directed learning in which the learner undertakes all of the management tasks associated with his own learning.
1.3 Self-directed Professional development
Professional development is a process of continuous growth of teacher professionalism and behaviour which they gain by actively participating in various programmes, activities, conferences and workshops, designed in order to enhance their knowledge, skills, competency and attitude, both individually and in groups. Therefore, in many countries like Nepal, a number of days of work for teachers are included in the operation calendar of the school for developing teachers professionally with no loss of instructional days for students. During these days, teachers are provided with trainings, seminars, workshops and many other professional development activities in order to hone their skills, improve practice, and stay up-to-date with changes related to teaching and learning. However, self-directed professional development not only provides an opportunity to determine his/her own learning goals but also helps to identify activities and resources required to pursue these activities. It also helps teachers to reflect on their learning experiences in order to augment their own professional expertise. The well-planned and continual self-directed professional development yields more effective professional learning than one-shot workshops and conferences. Teachers, since they have intrinsically initiated such activities of development, get involved in them wholeheartedly thereby recognizing the necessity of continuous learning and reflective practice.
Self-directed professional development enhances teacher self-reflection whereby teachers have control over their professional experiences and are motivated by tasks or problems that they find meaningful. Because teachers are already aware of their strengths as well as needs, they create a self-directed professional development plan for them. These plans can be meant to be fluid, with the ability to grow and change over the course of the professional life in response to experiences and opportunities encountered. Self-directed professional development activities may include both collaborative and entirely individual activities whereby teachers, with or without the consultation of teacher educators attempt to diagnose their needs and solve them by themselves. The other forms of self-directed professional development activities may include action research, collaborative learning teams, peer mentoring and coaching relationships or lesson studies. In this way, self-directed professional activities are listless. It can include professional reading or the discussions with colleagues or may be attending conferences either being a sponsor teacher or mentoring a beginning teacher. The development of innovative programmes for use in the classroom either individually or by joining a teacher-research-group can also be coupled with exploring resources through internet in order to hone their professional knowledge and skills. Teachers can also participate in curriculum development they can write a subject related course or maybe they can visit the subject related bookstore or a university library and the like.
Self-directed professional development encourages self-reflection, commitment and responsibility with higher motivational attitudes and thereby increases staff satisfaction. Since teachers are cognizant of their needs and strengths, and also they have freedom to interpret and pursue interests and what they consider important, it increases contingencies of personal responsibility for their ongoing professional development. The role of the institution, administrators, supervisors, teacher educators is also crucial in this respect. They should facilitate the teachers with whatever the way it is feasible for them because objective feedback is an important gateway for successful acquisition of self-directed professional growth. Pierce and Hunsaker (1996) described self-directed professional development as a model of professional development for the teacher, of the teacher and by the teacher. This model is known as the School Innovation Through Teacher Interaction (SITTI) model. In this model the teachers agree on how they would like the school to look and be then they complete a needs assessment involving administrators in the process in order to decide on who will be the experts (from within the school) on the topics chosen to work on, and elect people as team members who will participate in peer coaching. Subsequently, the team experts develop a module to address the needs and topics chosen by all those involved. However, this model has not yet found practiced. Easton (1999) described a model self-directed professional development as “tuning protocols” which was developed by David Allen and Joseph McDonald. In this model, “a teacher presents actual work before a group of thoughtful ‘critical friends’ in a structured, reflective discourse aimed at ‘tuning’ the work to higher standards” (Allen, 1995, p. 2 in Easton, 1999, p. 54), and after discussing with the group of colleagues all the positive and challenging aspects of the work, the presenter reflects on how the work could be improved.
1.4 Strategies for Self-directed Professional development
The word ‘strategy’ is derived from the ancient Greek term ‘strategia’, which means the art of leading an army in a planned campaign of the optimal management of troops. Therefore, it implies that the basic characteristics of the term strategy involve planning, competition, conscious manipulation, and movement toward a goal (Oxford, 1990). However, “[i]n a nonmilitary settings, the strategy concept has been applied to clearly nonadversarial situations, where it has come to mean a plan, step, or conscious action toward achievement of an objective” (Oxford, 1990, p. 8). Strategies have been “transformed into learning strategies” (ibid) in the educational setting. Oxford (1990) enumerated twelve features of language learning strategies, most of which can be incorporated into strategies of teacher learning as well. According to her, language learning strategies:
1. Contribute to the main goal, communicative competence.
2. Allow learners to become more self-directed.
3. Expand the role of teachers.
4. Are problem-oriented.
5. Are specific actions taken by the learner.
6. Involve many aspects of the learner, not just the cognitive.
7. Support learning both directly and indirectly.
8. Are not always observable.
9. Are often conscious.
10. Can be taught.
11. Are flexible.
12. Are influenced by a variety of factors.
The aforementioned features of learning strategies encourage greater overall self-direction for learners and, therefore, are applicable in adult learning as well. For instance, the learning teachers, in particular EFL teachers, have to deal with peculiar situations in the classrooms, also known as critical incidents, and they have to act quickly where they do not get any support of others like trainers and they should find the way out by themselves and hence use strategies for the solution or it can be that they want to develop themselves for achieving greater professional augmentation. Adult learners are self-directed because they seek out learning activities to enhance their own knowledge in order to meet their needs. Besides, the adult learner wants to draw on their rich personal and professional experiences. If the learners are involved in their learning rather than becoming merely passive participants they are more likely to master the information or concepts presented, apply them to their practice, and retain the information presented. Self-directed activities include a variety of activities before, during and after the learning experience to engage the participant in active learning. Self-direction, according to Oxford (1990), “is often a gradually increasing phenomenon, growing as learners become more comfortable with the idea of their own responsibility” (p. 10). This assists them to gradually gain greater confidence, involvement, and proficiency. Overall she talks about such strategies as cognitive, memory, compensation, metacognitive, affective and social strategies that a language learner employs while learning a language. However, Richards and Farrell (2005) examined that teacher learning has been shifted towards self-directed, more democratic and participatory forms of teacher development from an authoritarian organizational structure in schools shifting responsibility for professional development from managers and supervisors to teachers themselves. Similarly, the power of experiential learning and action-based learning has also been recognized in today’s teaching-learning environment and this has given rise to self-direction.
Wallace (1991) emphasizes the use of self-directed strategies stating that teachers ought to be encouraged to become ‘reflective practitioners’ and thereby self evaluation takes place and the teachers can become cognizant of their professional competence. He stated that “teachers should be flexible, capable of further independent study, able to solve problems in a rational way, able to combine speed of response with depth of understanding” (Wallace, 1991, p. 26). Richards and Farrell (2005) discussed the strategies of teacher professional development. These strategies include: “self-monitoring, journal writing, critical incidents, teaching portfolios and action research” (Richards & Farrell, 2005, p. 14) each of which is discussed below.
1.4.1 Self-Monitoring
Self-monitoring is a strategy that a teacher can adopt for his or her professional development. Self-monitoring in teaching involves having a teacher record his or her teaching behaviour for the future reference so that he or she can go through it for self-appraisal. Self-monitoring can make the teachers aware of their current knowledge, skills and attitudes as a basis for self-evaluation. Teachers can therefore collect information regarding their classroom behaviour for future reference to bring about necessary changes. Richards and Farrell (2005) stated that self-monitoring refers to “activities in which information about one’s teaching is documented or recorded in order to review or evaluate teaching” (p. 34). According to them, there are three approaches to self-monitoring of language lessons: lesson reports, audio-recording a lesson, and video-recording a lesson. Self-monitoring provides an opportunity in order not only to better understand one’s teaching but also to review one’s own strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. Therefore, a teacher, especially an EFL teacher, should garner information about teaching behaviour and practices objectively and systematically such that this information can act as a basis for making decisions about whether there is anything that should be changed.
Larsen-Freeman (1983, p. 266) further explicated Richards and Farrell’s view saying that teachers need the heightened awareness, a positive attitude and knowledge in order to make informed choices about their teaching. She stated that:
I cannot make an informed choice unless I am aware that one exists. Awareness requires that I give attention to some aspect of my behaviour or the situation I find myself in. Once I give that aspect my attention, I must also view it with detachment, with objectivity, for only then will I become aware of alternative ways of behaving, or alternative ways of viewing the situation, and only then will I have a choice to make. (Larsen-Freeman, 1983, p. 266 as quoted in Bailey et al, 2001, p. 23).
Similarly, self-monitoring or self-observation embodies a systematic approach to the observation, evaluation, and management of one’s own behaviour (Armstrong & Frith, 1984; Richards, 1995) in order to gain better understanding and control over the behaviour. According to Richards (1995) “self-monitoring refers to the teacher making a record of a lesson, either in the form of a written account or an audio or video recording of a lesson, and using the information obtained as a source of feedback on his or her teaching” (p. 118). According to him, self-monitoring not only complements but also replaces other forms of assessment, such as feedback from students, peer, or supervisors. Richards stated that “it can help teachers in at least four ways” (ibid, p. 119). First, the amount of time available for professional development is quite short when compared to the length of our teaching careers, even though professional development should ideally continue throughout our teaching lives. Second, self-monitoring can lead to critical reflection about the work. Third, it can help the teachers to better understand their own instructional process and thereby bridging the gap between what we actually do and what we think we do. Finally, it relocates the responsibility for improving teaching squarely with teachers as an individual.
Richards and Farrell (2005, p. 38-47) present some of the procedures that teachers can employ in order to carry out self-monitoring in their pursuit of professional growth. They say that teachers can prepare lesson reports or a written narrative to record the incidents that have taken place in the classroom. According to them a lesson report serves as a way of documenting such observations as a source of future learning. Similarly, a written narrative consists of a descriptive summary of the lesson, which a teacher can go through later and make improvements in the necessary areas. Audio and video recording of the lesson or the use of checklist and questionnaires can also help teachers to make a record of the account of the classroom activities.
Dickinson (1987) also talks about the self-monitoring as an effective self-measurement device. According to him, the learner can become self-directed by keeping records of his or her own progress. It can be in the form of simple checklist of the items covered or it may include a self-rating scale on each item.
1.4.2 Journal Writing
In the pursuit of their professional development, teachers can keep a teaching journal as an effective device. Richards and Farrell (2005) explained that a teaching journal is “an ongoing written account of observations, reflections, and other thoughts about teaching, usually in the form of a notebook, book, or electronic mode, which serves as a source of discussion, reflection, or evaluation” (p. 68). Such journals are sometimes called teaching logs or teaching diaries, and, can be used as an important reflective device or the self-directed strategy for the professional development of a teacher. Journals are more elaborate and systematically written in their nature and therefore can work as an aid to “reflection on action” (Schon, 1983). A teaching journal enables the teachers to go back and see their thinking whereby creating a lasting record of thoughts that provides evidence of the teachers’ self-development. According to Blake (2005, p. 2), the goals and benefits of journaling include: “ (1) discovering meaning, (2) caring for self, (3) making connections, (4) installing values, (5) gaining perspectives, (6) reflecting on professional roles, (7) developing critical thinking skills, (8) developing affective skills, and (9) improving writing” (Blake, 2005, p. 2 as quoted in Utley, 2011, p. 92). Utley (2011) also stated that “[r]eflective journaling also provides an avenue for integrative learning experiences” (p. 93). According to her, integrative learning expands the concept of critical thinking.
The teaching journal provides a record of the significant learning experiences that have taken place. Equally, it helps teachers to keep themselves abreast with the self-development processes that have been taking place for them. The journal also provides an opportunity to foster a creative interaction between the novice teachers and the facilitator or more importantly it increases collegiality among colleagues if it is done by the experienced teachers and finally proves to be useful in their self-development process.
Richards and Farrell (2005) explicated that “Journal writing enables a teacher to keep a record of classroom events and observations” (p. 69) without which teachers hardly make substantial recollection of what happened during the lesson. They say that the experience of successful teaching can be the source for further learning. It opens up the way for a teacher to question, explore, and analyze how teachers teach. It not only serves as a device to demystify their own thinking but also clears the way for exploring their own beliefs and practices. Journal writing, in this way, offers a simple way to conscientize teachers about their teaching and learning whereby teachers gain growth and development in their profession.
Bailey et al (2001) highlighted that journal writing paves the way in furthering professional development and thereby offering an opportunity to view teaching more clearly. It not only helps teachers to explore teachers’ own teaching practices but also proves useful at probing the sources of frustrations.
Similarly, Dowrick (2007) stated that journal writing is a “gloriously self-directed source of inner development, yet it also makes the world beyond your own self more real and more vivid” (p. 2). According to her, a journal can become a companion that supports without any assessment. It can be a source of discovery, of learning, emotional relief and insight. Similarly, Stevens and Cooper (2009) define journal as a “sequential, dated chronicle of events and ideas, which includes the personal responses and reflections of the writer (or writers) on those events and ideas” (p. 5). According to them a journal has six defining characteristics that: the journal is written, dated, informal, flexible, private and archival. The journal appears in the written form consisting of information, ideas, thoughts, and questions and the like. All the journal entries are dated in a sequential order and are usually informal. Thus, teachers can write whatever they feel like in their journals because it is private and for a personal use such that they can archive information in the later phases as required.
1.4.3 Analyzing Critical Incidents
A critical incident is something we interpret as a problem or a challenge in a particular context, rather than a routine occurrence. It is a short description of an event that has taken place over a certain period of time. It can happen to anyone and anywhere in a real-life situation too. The incident is critical because it is important, essential or valuable in a way that it has some meaning. Critical incidents are based on real-life situations and typically involve a dilemma where there is no easy or obvious solution. The objective of critical incidents is to stimulate thinking about basic and important issues which occur in real-life situations. Tripp (1993) stated that “… a critical incident is an interpretation of the significance of an event. To take something as a critical incident is a value judgement we make, and the basis of that judgement is the significance we attach to the meaning of the incident” (p. 8). Tripp believes that incidents happen but critical incidents are created because of their importance. Therefore, for Tripp any lesson can be critically analysed and a particular event made critical by our reflection on it. In making incidents critical, one needs to ask not only what happened but also why it happened. This should then be situationalized for the future reference.
Critical incident in teaching refers to a particular occurrence that has taken place during a lesson. Teachers make it critical because they think it important and want to utilize it for future reference. Richards and Farrell (2005) stated that “a critical incident is an unplanned and unanticipated event that occurs during a lesson and that serves to trigger insights about some aspect of teaching and learning” (p. 113). They say that critical incident analysis refers to the documentation and analysis of teaching incidents in order to learn from them and improve practice. Such incidents compel teachers to ruminate the long-term implications they may have. This process of documentation and reflection provide opportunity for teachers “to learn more about their teaching, their learners, and themselves” (ibid, p. 114). Like Tripp (1993), Richards and Farrell (2005) also opine that the majority of critical incidents that happen in classrooms are commonplace events that are critical in the sense that they reveal underlying beliefs or motives within the classroom. At the first appearance, these incidents seem to be insignificant but soon they become critical when they are subject to review and analysis since they trigger a sense of weird occurrence in that particular situation.
Brookfield (2006) emphasizes the use of critical incident questionnaire (CIQ) in order to identify the feelings of the students regarding teaching out of which teachers can identify which incident is critical and which is not from the words of students. This activity can assist teachers to deal with similar incidents in the future. Brookfield (2006) stated that CIQ is a “quick and revealing way to discover the effects your actions are having on students and to find out the emotional highs and lows of their learning” (p. 41). Administering CIQ, according to him, is just a five-minute activity. The students are asked to write the answers to a few questions without putting their name on the form. If they do not know the answer, they can also leave the space blank. This is done on a weekly basis.
1.4.4 Teaching Portfolios
Teaching portfolios, often known as dossiers, are compilation of teaching materials and related documents that teachers employ during teaching and learning processes. Portfolios serve as tools for reflection, a way to thoughtfully document teaching practices and progress toward goals. Portfolio entries can inform professional growth plans. As actual artefacts of teaching, portfolios help teachers to systematically ponder over their practice, reflect on the problems they face, and learn from their experience. They provide direct evidence of what teachers have accomplished. Richards and Farrell (2005) defined teaching portfolio as “a collection of documents and other items that provides information about different aspects of a teacher’s work” (p. 98). The teaching portfolio not only exposes the teachers’ performance description but also facilitates professional development by providing a basis for reflection and review. The portfolios reveal how creative, resourceful, and effective the teachers are. They can also become the source of review and reflection and also they can promote collaborative work as well.
Teaching portfolio has been defined variously by various authors. According to Porter and Cleland (1995) teaching portfolio is “a collection of artifacts accompanied by a reflective narrative that not only helps the learner to understand and extend learning, but invites the reader of the portfolio to gain insight about learning and the learner” (p. 154). Similarly, Stronge (1997, p. 194) stated that “In its most basic form, a teaching portfolio is a collection of information about a teacher’s practice”. Seldin et al (2010) explicated that teaching portfolios offers an opportunity to reflect upon the teachers’ work and thereby they rethink strategies and methodologies, revise priorities, and plan for the future. Consequently, teachers get stimulated to hone and to improve their performance in a better way. They stated that:
A portfolio is a valuable aid in professional development for three important reasons: (1) the level of personal investment in time, energy, and commitment is high … and that is a necessary condition for change; (2) preparation of the portfolio stirs many … [teachers] to reflect on their teaching in an insightful, refocused way; and (3) it is grounded in discipline-based pedagogy. (Seldin et al, 2010, p. 8)
Portfolios offer a lot of opportunities for teachers for executing exercise of reflection. Therefore, apparently, portfolios and reflections go hand in hand. However, building automatized reflective skills is an arduous job; it requires huge patience in order to make reflection more natural. In this way, the most important use of portfolio is for self-reflection. Self-reflection encourages teachers to review their activities, strategies, and plans for their futures too. Broadly, the habit of keeping teaching portfolios empowers teachers with reflective strategies to help understand themselves as learners. Kerr (1999) explicated that portfolios are all about growing a person as learner. He said that “portfolio documents your growth in three areas: developing self-awareness, managing emotions, and building relationships” (p. 23). He further expounds that portfolio is all about both learning and making commitments.

1.4.5 Action Research
The application of research to educational problems in a particular classroom setting is known as action research. It is carried out not for the development of a theory or the generalization of the applications but it is done for the immediate application in order to find the solution of the problem. Therefore, it refers to “teacher-conducted classroom research” (Richards and Farrell, 2005, p. 171) that attempts to solve practical problems. Many teachers- whether deliberately or inadvertently- involve in conducting action research in their day-to-day classroom activities when they have to tackle a problem. Thus it is a crucial tool for a teacher for his or her self-development. Action research is, typically, a reflective process that allows for inquiry and discussion as a component of the research. Therefore, it also involves a cycle of activities such as problem identification, information collection, strategic plan, implementation of the plan and reviewing of the executed plan. Best and Kahn (2007) explicated that action research applies “scientific thinking and methods to real-life problems and represents a great improvement over teachers’ subjective judgements and decisions based on folklore and limited personal experiences” (p. 20).
The goal of action research is to improve the teaching and learning environment enabling teachers’ growth. Usually, action research is conducted in a small scale both individually and collaboratively. Rather than dealing with the theoretical aspects, action research allows practitioners to address those concerns that are closest to them, ones over which they can exhibit some influence and make change. Individual teacher research usually focuses on a single issue in the classroom or the teacher’s individual problems related to his or her professional development. The teacher, in this sense, may be seeking solutions to problems of classroom management, instructional strategies, use of materials, or student learning or his or her own professional development issues. Carr and Kemmis (1986) define action research as a “form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants in social situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of their own practices, their understanding of these practices and the situations in which the practices are carried out” (p. 162 as cited in Burns, 1999, p. 30). This critical definition of action research- though reflective in nature- goes beyond classroom to society. It may therefore have some connection with the unexamined aspects of educational system rather than investigating the immediate practices. Therefore, action research being a reflective practice follows a cyclical process of planning, action, observation and reflection in which if the outcome is negative then this process begins again with a new hypothesis.
Nevertheless, like many other researchers, Burns (1999) prefers action research to be a highly collaborative practice. She has presented “not so much of the cyclical processes of doing an action research but a series of interrelated experiences involving the following phases: exploring, identifying, planning, collecting data, analysing/reflective, hypothesising/ speculating, intervening, observing, reporting, writing, presenting” (p.35). Thus, action research can also be a collaborative activity among colleagues searching for solutions to everyday real problems experienced in schools, or looking for ways to improve instruction for better student-achievement. Additionally, it helps to develop professionalism among teachers should they be involved constantly in researching and educating themselves about their expertise. However, this is different from the study of more educational questions that arise from the practice of teaching.
Collaborative action research differs from the individual teacher research in that the individual teacher-researcher may not prefer sharing the outcomes and the processes with the others like colleagues or the principals. He or she may not go for a formal presentation of the outcomes or submit written material to a listserv, journal or a newsletter. The findings may not be publicized. On the other hand, collaborative action research is done to address a common problem or an issue shared by two or several colleagues; the outcome of which is later shared and discussed. There may be a discussion during the research too regarding the issues that they come across. Therefore, action research- whether it is carried out individually or may be done collaboratively- can become a form of professional development because research and reflection allows teachers to grow and gain confidence in their work. Action research projects influence thinking skills, sense of efficacy, willingness to share and communicate and attitudes toward the process of change. Through action research, teachers not only learn about themselves and their students but also about their colleagues and administrators and the other concerned authorities such that it assists them to determine ways to continually improve. If done collaboratively, it allows time for teachers to talk with others about teaching and teaching and learning strategies. In this sense, they can share their teaching styles, strategies and thoughts with others. In this way, action research can provide teachers with opportunities to evaluate themselves in schools. It serves as a chance to take a look at one’s own teaching in a structured manner. Teachers can investigate the effect of their teaching upon their students.
1.5 Conclusion
To sum up, the professionals possess knowledge and competence acquired from highly specialized training and formal education. Professionals have respect and trust of community and peers that leads to a degree of autonomy and self-direction. In this way, they hold a set of moral as well as ethical values that allow the performance of the job to become more service-oriented. Various types of people engage in professional development, including teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, engineers, pilots and the like. These individuals often have a desire for career longevity and personal growth. They are, therefore, willing to undergo the necessary training to obtain these goals. Teachers, as professionals, therefore, go through the process of reflection to examine where they are and where they want to be in order to gain professional development. This is indeed an ongoing process.
Teacher professional development, being a self-reflective process extensively demands the use of self-directed development strategies to keep teachers abreast with the changes such that teachers not only become professionally sound but also near themselves to achieve true professionalism. Strategies such as self-monitoring and journal writing are essential wheels for driving teachers towards the realm of self-directed professionalism. Self-direction is highly found in technical field such as medicine in most of the parts of the world. However, this can add a new dimension if practiced in teaching and learning in the Nepalese context because of the barriers that relinquish teachers from attending training and other professional development activities. Self-directed learning is entirely a new phenomenon in the Nepalese education system. If the concerned stakeholders pay attention to self-directed learning, the gap that has been created in the professionalization of teaching, particularly in ELT, can then be filled in easily.
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NELTA Choutari 2011 April Issue

Dear Colleagues,

Here is the April issue of NELTA Choutari. We have an interview with Mr. Hemanta Raj Dahal, newly elected President of NELTA. The President has covered a wide area of issues about NELTA focusing on how he will lead the organization forward and address the increasing expectation of its members. Please share your thoughts and reactions to his plans and strategies on how to lead NELTA in more professional ways and how to enhance the practice and scholarship of ELT in Nepal. In addition, Mr. President highlights the significance of the role of NELTA Choutari in promoting NELTA’s professional/academic activities.

In this issue, you will also find ELT articles which address a variety of issues about teaching English in Nepal. Shyam  Pandey’s article Mentoring in Nepalese Context highlights the necessity of mentoring in the context of Nepal. The article is based on the writer’s teaching and learning experience. It stresses that mentoring as one of the best modes of teacher professional development, which is being late to be formally adopted it in Nepal.

Similarly, Suman Laudari’s article Use of Authentic Materials in Language Classrooms: A Fashion or Compulsion? explains what authentic language teaching materials are. It also highlights the importance of using authentic material in the EFL classroom. It concludes that the use of authentic materials should reflect the language change in the classroom which helps teachers and students become aware of such changes.

Ganesh Gnawali’s article Reflective Learning concentrates on the subject of reflective teaching practice which can lead us to better understanding of pedagogy and professional development. It involves one’s own critical thinking and analysis with the goal of improving professional practice. Engaging in reflective practice requires individuals to assume the perspective of an external observer in order to identify the assumptions and feelings underlying their practice and then to speculate about how these assumptions and feelings affects practice.

In his article Outrunning the Unknown, Mr Hemraj Kafle reflects on his professional experiences as a teacher by drawing an analogy between  professional life and a race. Whether you like it or not, there is always the pressure to run faster. You may not know others’ speed but must constantly try to outrun them without tresspassing their trails.

Mabindra’s article The Role of Local Culture and Context in English Language Teaching is based on the assumption that English is fast becoming a global language and it will become more so in the future. We are learning to use English in our communication; so, the local context cannot be disregarded, and also it is important to consider the cultural values. Although the opinions about how or if local context and culture should be used in teaching English are divided,  the use of local context and culture can be done at least in the  earlier stages to facilitate learning of English language. It will also enhance the feeling of ownership of English among learners which can further assist in a more progressive learning to take place.

We  hope you will enjoy this issue of NELTA Choutari April issue and leave your comments. I would like to request all the readers to leave more substantial comments than simply saying ‘Good job’, ‘Wonderful article!’, ‘Yes, I agree with you’, etc. Such comments will be only for the sake of comments. We want increase in readership and sharing among readers. As a teacher, you might have achieved much professional success through learning and training yourself, but it is our responsibility to contribute to the professional development of other teachers as well. Substantial comments can be a good resource for others, now and in the future.

(If you are unable to upload your comments, please send your comments to or )


Kamal Poudel

Coordinator for NELTA Choutari April Issue

General Secretary, NELTA

Contact: 9851060155

An Interview with Mr Hemanta Raj Dahal, President of NELTA

NELTA Choutari had an interview with Mr Hemanta Raj Dahal, newly elected president of NELTA for the tenure 2011-2013. In the interview, he has addressed a number of questions that are directly related to institutional and professional development of NELTA, English Language teaching in Nepal, Choutari’s role in promoting ELT activities and its support to NELTA, present challenges and opportunities and many other issues. Please go through the interview, and leave your comments which can be instrumental in giving right directions to NELTA in the future. Your voice matters to shape the ways of NELTA. Please, come up with innovative ideas after reading the interview with Mr Dahal.

1. Choutari: You have been serving NELTA for long. How the organization has been instrumental in enhancing the professional skills of the teachers in Nepal? What challenges have you foreseen as it is a volunteer orgaisation and there is always a substantial expectation from the people. Also, what are the opportunities? To address this situation, what are your plans and visions so that NELTA will be able to achieve the goals?

Mr. Dahal: NELTA has been providing a platform to the ELT professionals which could be instrumental to learn and let learn. The core of our modality is the exchanges of knowledge and skills on English language pedagogy not only limiting ourselves within the domestic periphery but beyond. As regards to the challenges, NELTA has grown so big and it is still growing in terms of its size and the scope. All the members are expected to contribute voluntarily. Naturally, every member has aspirations. One of the opportunities is to be able to contribute NELTA voluntarily because there are set examples that the NETLA volunteers have been better recognized by national and international institutions professionally and socially. However, what has been getting tougher is to convince the roles of the members without expecting any special individual gains. I have a strong feeling of a need to decentralize NELTA programs and activities so that every member will own the institution. Consequently, the members will explore opportunities to better qualify and meet their expectations while the institution will support their mission.

2. Choutari: What are your plans for the institutional growth of NELTA in order that it meets its goal? Institutionally, how are you planning to work with NELTA partners? To what extent the partnership has been successful for NELTA?

Mr. Dahal: NELTA has envisioned to contribute for quality education in Nepal through English language as a powerful tool. Though the institution has been distinctly standing amidst the crowd of professionals and the other key stakeholders – national and international both, we have yet to build up a rapport so that NELTA will enhance not only social and moral recognition but also institutional one. It reminds me when I presented the General Secretary’s report in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the 16th international conference venue on 19th February 2011 when one of my key concerns for future direction of NELTA was to institutionalize it. Our partnership with other key stakeholders in ELT has been successful in the institutional level to some extent where we have been chiefly collaborating with Ministry of Education, the US Embassy, British Council and private and boarding school associations. However, we have yet to convince these communities regarding our professional expertise and the contribution NELTA can make to this country. Our institution is being expanded from Sankhuwasabha, the far eastern part to Baitadi, the far western part of Nepal where NELTA has been working through its branches. Now is the time to enhance quality within ourselves first. Our members by now have already become very receptive. Therefore, we do not have to wait for long to achieve this goal.

3. Choutari: What are your plans to develop NELTA as a consultant for the government so that education in general and English teaching in particular will be more effective and meaningful?

Mr. Dahal: The 21st century has become extremely competitive in every discipline. NELTA has been working for last 17 years without any full time human resources but taking time of those professional members who have been generous, stealing some of their times either from their academic pursuit or from their jobs for subsistence, not leaving any moment for their family. Of course, this modality has one significant advantage that every member would like to look for some opportunities how he or she could support NELTA. However, we have yet to prove with our concerted effort that we are the appropriate entity so that the government will be ready to buy our expertise. NELTA has discovered that only a few of its members have been involved in research, developing manuals and materials and doing project reviews and monitoring. Moreover, we have yet to create atmosphere to bring them in a boat so that instead of working on individual basis they can join hands with the institution. We should be proud that the editorial team of NELTA journal  has undergone a considerable transformation in its working modality. As a result, the journal has been peer reviewed which is worthier than ever before. However, our publications are very limited and they are mostly circulated among our members only. Therefore, the government should have very little knowledge about the strength and quality of NELTA. I would therefore encourage the NELTA family to adopt special strategies that help develop our strengths, recognition and network. As a president, I look into the opportunities how I could contribute towards this direction.

4. Choutari: How does our effort for promoting professional communication relate to NELTA’s goals and how might we be able to enhance them?

Mr. Dahal: We should first establish the norms of professional communication. Communication is the most powerful tool to help break the digitally divided world. Consequently, quality of education will not be superseded by the notion of its access. To me, the professional communication has two-prongs. One is for the network and another is for sharing of the culture of developing capacity and the best practices. The more efficient is the communication, the faster is the global recognition of the institution. Again, our performance and commitments should be reflected in each and every communication. One of the ways of promoting our professional communication is learning from other organisations of similar nature, for instance, IATEFL, TESOL and Asia-TEFL. I am sure my colleagues in the central committee have better ideas in this area.

5. Choutari: Do you have any suggestions for conducting networked discussions in better ways so that branches and members can contribute better? Where do you see the present strength (academic and institutional) of NELTA to help teachers enhance their professionalism?

Mr. Dahal: Despite unbearable power cut hours in Nepal, many English language professionals including the learners have started using the medium of IT. If you ask which one is odd man out in  rice, vegetable, computer, lentil, yogurt, I am sure the answer will not be ‘computer’. Therefore, Wiki can be the easiest and effective means for such network. Mr Prem Phyak, the Secretary of NELTA has already initiated the design of Wiki. In my experience, many ELT professionals mainly outside the Kathmandu valley would like something specific that how to teach particular content from their courses. Our Wiki modality then should address the expectations of the ELT community looking for resources so that the benefit of our effort will go to the real learners of English.

6. Choutari: Choutari is a volunteer mission that works as per the core missions of NELTA, for which it is cost and labor free; but Choutari’s organizers would greatly benefit if NELTA could help us promote the forum through its existing communication mechanisms. What could be, for example, one significant way in which NELTA can help us in increasing our reach, readership, and involvement where there is more limited access or recognition of professional conversation?

Mr. Dahal: I am sure the Choutari involves a lot of cost if we convert our colleagues’ valuable time and use of their brain. It is free only because they have sponsored it. This is one of the most striking issues at the moment. I would recommend to motivate more and more contributors to the NELTA Choutari mission and also to disseminate it more widely. Some of the modalities I could suggest are to link Choutari to the NELTA website and also request the  British Council, the US Embassy, TESOL and IATEFL to link to their websites as well. Moreover, it would be very exciting to publish it as a booklet  or bulletin form either on regular basis or occasionally as an special issue. We can then receive feedback from the readers. Consequently, we will have better opportunity to learn what our readers want.

7. Choutari: We have got good support from NELTA in the past. How do you plan and intend to support Choutari as NELTA’s new President? Do you have any new ideas as per your presidential vision as our new leader?

Mr. Dahal: I have a feeling whether we did a proper justice to NELTA Choutari in the past. I am always aware that Bal Krishna Sharma and Shyam Sharma in the US and Prem Phyak, Kamal Poudel, Hem Raj Kafle and Sajan Karn in Nepal have been rigorously contributing to bring it out. They deserve special recognition from NELTA. Now is the time NELTA has to disseminate the core value of the Choutari mode of professional development. I would like to support the Choutari team to make this noble work more visible among the ELT communities and heighten the level of ownership of NELTA members. I would expect the Choutari materials to be combination of some theoretical notions  with more practical tips, professional reflections of the members and the guest contributors and the best practices in ELT. I can see the opportunity to forge partnership and collaboration with other similar sort of network and agencies so that quality of this e-platform can be enhanced.