July Issue Editorial

Dear readers,

Greetings!

We are extremely happy to announce our July edition of the NELTA ELT Forum!

There are three articles of very different perspectives for this July issue.

Our first article is a study by D.N. Joshi on the use of technology in education in Nepal. It is called “ICT and ”. The study reflects on the teachers’ perceptions and on some challenges faced by them, and suggests that the use of technology is a need, but still teachers need some training on technology to be able to use it efficiently in the ESL/EFL classrooms.

Our second article entitled “National Conference of NELTA”, by Sarita Dewan, is a reflection about the NELTA Conference that was held in March 2019. The author gives a detailed overview of the keynote and plenary speeches, and shares some glimpses of the conference.

And the third article “Listening is not passive: A focus on listenership in backchannelling”, by Mirian Fuhr, in which the author makes use of the theory related to the Conversation Analysis to interpret extracts from a real everyday conversation, focusing on the role of the listener in the conversation.

Enjoy the readings!

For ease of access, the link for each article can be found below:

  1. ICT and ELT Perspectives: Practices, Challenges And Motivation As An Impetus by D.N. Joshi.
  2. National Conference of NELTA by Sarita Dewan.
  3. Listening is not passive: A Focus on Listenership in Backchannelling by Mirian Fuhr.

We hope that the articles included in this issue may contribute to continuous education, reflection and future research.

You are all invited to write comments on the topics discussed in the articles.

Best regards,

from the NELTA EZINE  Issue Editorial Team,

Maricarmen Gamero and Mirian Führ

 

ICT and ELT Perspectives: Practices, Challenges And Motivation As An Impetus

*D.N. Joshi

Abstract

This is the era of Information and Communications Technology. Technology is not in our hand, but we are in the hand of technology. It has invaded almost every sphere of human interest and activities, may it be industry, may it be culture, or may it be science. Education is no exception in this regard. But the extent to which ICT has been in practice in Nepal is really deteriorating even in ICT accessed places like Kathmandu, Lalitpur or Bhaktpur. Even the institutions themselves seem to lack due concern in integrating ICT and education.

This paper aims at presenting an overview of ICT, its importance as well as teacher perception in ICT application. Similarly, it aims to highlight institutional inclination towards the use of ICT and strategies used by ESL/EFL teachers in using ICT in the classroom. Further it equally aims at presenting challenges encountered by the ESL/EFL teachers on ICT based classroom. 

Introduction

Information and communication technology denotes computers, the internet, and different electronic delivery devices such as radio, television, and projector. These 21st century devices or tools have created revolution in the field of teaching learning since they have optimized  activeness and effectiveness both for teachers and learners. In this regard, Kenning (2007) opines that as technology has become woven into the fabric of everyday life, so language study has come to rely on forms of technological enhancement, from audio to video recording to world wide web resources. This is the reason why I prefer to say ICT is an incarnation in ESL/EFL classroom because the infusion of ICT has really brought about a shift in paradigm. No matter whether in developed or developing country, ICT has become indispensable.

However, influence of ICT is superficial in the context of Nepal, especially in the context of Lalitpur district. Although Lalitpur is assumed as academically sound city and even though people call it educational hub, the scenario of ICT seems quite passive there. Salehi (2012) say, “Although ICT is of paramount importance in teaching and learning, teachers are faced with some barriers like lack of technical skills, lack of knowledge of integration of ICT in teaching and learning.” (p.41). Similarly, teachers are lacking dense knowledge on strategies of using ICT in classroom. This may be because of the lack of baggage on it, lack of pre-service and in-service trainings and so on. Continue reading →

National Conference of NELTA

                                                                            

*Sarita Dewan

                       

Together we can do great things-Mother Teresa

 Another milestone in the history of NELTA has been established by accomplishing the first National Conference of Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association, Province, 3 with grandeur. The mega event was held on March 2-3, 2019 at Solidarity International Academy, Hetauda, with the theme Transformation in ELT Methods: Addressing the 21st Century Classroom Contexts, and several sub-themes on burning issues of ELT.

 What is there in name? Though it was a National Conference, it was addressed as the mini International Conference of NELTA by many presenters, because of paper presentations from abroad, as well as, the presence of so many presenters and participants. The hard work of the team of Province 3 was evident managing the unexpected outnumbered participants during the conference. The conference was attended by more than 850 participants; who were presenters and dignitaries from home and abroad. The keynote, plenary and other very exciting sessions have made the conference very live and fascinating.

In the beginning, in the presidential speech, Ms. Motikala Subba Dewan highlighted on what NELTA has been doing in the field of English language teaching in Nepal and also highlighted what the upcoming activities are. She reiterated by saying, “Our pride is our professionalism so, NELTA always emphasizes on developing professionalism in teachers so as to deliver quality education to students.”

The Chief Guest, honorable Chief Minister Dormani Poudel, congratulated Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA) Province 3 for organizing the National Conference for ELT professionals in his inaugural speech. He further added NELTA has proved to be a forum for all the English language teachers, trainers, researchers, students, and scholars. Emphasizing the significance of English language teaching in Nepalese context, he said, “English language can open the doors of opportunities of our students in this globalization era at the international level.” Similarly, other speakers in the inaugural ceremony had appreciated on the significant work of NELTA for the professional development of English language teachers for enhancing the situation of English Language Teaching and Learning in Nepal.

Prof. Dr. Jai Raj Awasthi in his Keynote Speech entitled, ‘ELT in the Post-Method Era’ emphasized on the use of post method pedagogy to cater the needs of the postmodern learners, not sticking to the particular theorized methods but implementing the teacher generated techniques to the present context. He talked about the effect of colonialism and spread of English and various approaches, methods and techniques of ELT and the effect of methodological controversies in the west at the beginning of the 21st century, and recently in Nepal as well. Continue reading →

Listening is not Passive: A Focus on Listenership in Backchannelling

1562351663789blob

 

 

 

 

 

*Mirian Fuhr

Abstract

The article presents a short literature review and the analysis of the data collected from a particular conversation among a group of housemates and transcribed, under the perspective of the Conversation Analysis (CA). The data presented several occurrences regarding the interaction between the listener and the speaker. This lead the analysis to focus on the role of the listener in a conversation. The data analysis indicates that the role of the listener is not passive, and that the listener and the speaker stablish a partnership, building up the conversation and influencing on its continuity. It is possible to notice a backchannelling behaviour of the listener through some signals during the conversation. This activity can influence in the conversation flow, for example, by motivating the speaker to continue talking or not.

Key words: Conversation Analysis (CA). Backchannelling. Listenership.

Introduction

 Conversation analysts place great emphasis on building collections of instances of a particular conversational phenomenon, according to Hutchby and Wooffit (2008). After having collected a small collection and transcribed it, the last step for doing Conversation Analysis (CA) is, as stated by ten Have (2007), analysing the data. Although Hutchby and Wooffit (2008: 89) say that “data are not necessarily approached with a particular question in mind”, they also stress the importance of establishing a focus on one interesting aspect in the data (2008: 89).

Looking closer to the data collected, it was possible to notice that the occurrences in the interaction contained a lot of backchannels, showing the partnership between speaker and listeners, it led to the interest on further studies on listenership. Thus, extracts from the data collected are analysed based on related researches in the field.

Researches show that the use of backchannelling represents good listenership. Gardener (2001), states that literature brings many ways to call the term backchannel, such as acknowledge acts and minimal responses, depending on the researchers. The pieces of interaction selected show that the participants were engaged in building up the interaction and on keeping the conversation going. It means that listening is not a passive activity, and the way the listeners react can influence in the continuity of the conversation. Speakers tend to pay attention to the listeners’ reaction and the feedback may point to the necessity of adjustments in the talk.

Continue reading →