Welcome to NELTA ELT Forum, August Issue, 2018!

Editorial…

Dear readers,

We are pleased to present August edition of NELTA ELT Forum. In this issue, we are delighted to have contributions from Nepal and Venezuela, focused on teachers’ reflections concerning the implementation of learner-centred teaching, and the analysis of mood and modality, as interpersonal macro functions performed in a movie dialogue.

Anil Prasad Bhusal, author of the article Some Prospects and Misconceptions of Learner-Centered Teaching (LCT) in the Nepalese Classroom, explores how teachers conceptualize LCT and the common misconceptions students, parents and teachers have about LCT. Bhusal states that schools have to play a significant role to help teachers get both knowledge and skills to implement learner-centered approach. In that way, teachers can help learners develop higher order thinking skills from early grades.

On the other hand, Jairo Vásquez in his article, Mood and Modality: Available Choices within the Interpersonal Macrofunction of Language presents his analysis of a five-minute conversation taken from the movie “Captain America: Civil War” in terms of mood and modality systems. He shows evidence of how each character developed its personal interests through language and how a specific speaker was predominant over the others through the grammatical choices he made.

To have easy access to the aforementioned articles you may use the following links:

  1. Some Prospects and Misconceptions of Learner-Centered Teaching (LCT) in the Nepalese Classroom, by Anil Prasad Bhusal
  2. Mood and Modality: Available Choices within the Interpersonal Macrofunction of Language by Jairo Vásquez

We hope that the articles included in this issue may contribute to reflection and future research and may enhance a critical perspective about the learner-centered approach and discourse analysis on cultural and artistic representations.

Issue editors,

Maricarmen Gamero and Noel Franco

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Some Prospects and Misconceptions of Learner-Centered Teaching in the Nepalese Classroom

AB* Anil Prasad Bhusal

Abstract                                                                                                                      

Learner-centered teaching (LCT) is the most spoken as well as preferred phrase for decades in the field of teaching and learning. However, it is important to know how main stakeholders (i.e., teachers) understand it and practice in their classrooms. This study aims to explore how teachers conceptualize LCT and the common misconceptions students, parents and teachers have about LCT.  Schools have to play a significant role to help teachers get both knowledge and skills to implement learner-centered teaching approach in the classroom that also helps develop higher order thinking skills of every learner from early grades. Without good planning and preparation, it is very difficult to help students grow with these skills, therefore, concerned individuals should continuously be watchful and serious in the implementation of learner-centered teaching.

Key words: higher order thinking skills, constructivism, learner-centered teaching,

Introduction

Learner-centered teaching is an approach to keeping the learners at the center of teaching and learning process. It means giving more importance to learners and their learning needs. Teachers create conducive environment for learning in which an individual gets an opportunity to learn according to his/her interest, need, and pace. In the context of Nepal, classes are heterogeneous in terms of level of knowledge, ethnicity, language and background as Nepal is a multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual country. If learners come from various backgrounds, there will be obvious differences regarding their learning style, level of knowledge, pace of learning and languages. Therefore, having only one way of teaching to students in such condition is futile. It is necessary to understand each individual to make classroom teaching smooth and encouraging.

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Mood and Modality: Available Choices within the Interpersonal Macrofunction of Language

JV                    

 

*Jairo Vásquez 

 

Abstract

Interpersonal relations are marked by multiple elements, language is one of them. The use of language allows human beings to interact with others, influence other people’s behaviors and keep relations. Systemic Functional Linguistics has offered a tool to analyze how the choices made in language reveal roles assumed by the speakers in a conversation. This documentary research study is focused on the analysis of a five-minute conversation taken from the movie “Captain America: Civil War” in terms of mood and modality systems. The analysis showed how each person developed its personal interests through language and how a specific speaker was predominant over the others through the grammatical choices he made.

Keywords: interpersonal macrofunction, mood, modality, systemic functional linguistics.

Introduction

Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) is an approach for studying and analyzing language regarding the functions human beings can achieve through it in specific environments and social contexts. This approach was developed by M. A. K. Halliday in 1985. This linguist created and defined three (3) macrofunctions which deal with how people use language in their daily communication. These three (3) macrofunctions are: ideational, interpersonal, and textual.

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NELTA ELT Forum – June 2018 Issue

Theme: Teacher Research

 

Dear Valued Readers,

Welcome to the June issue of NELTA ET Forum. The theme of this issue is Teacher Research. Like all other professions, teachers are facing various challenges in their classrooms on a regular basis. Traditionally, they were supposed to seek support from the ‘experts’ to solve those problems and they were expected to follow the prescribed solution. But there is a growing trend to value teachers not just as consumers but also the producers of knowledge. The recent literature and discussion suggests that teachers can be successful only if they design activities and materials that are appropriate to the context they are working in. This gives teachers control and autonomy over their teaching pedagogy in the classroom and empowers them.

The concept of teacher research believes that teachers need to see themselves and their students as co-constructers of knowledge regarding which pedagogy best suits them. Rather than blaming the system, administration and colleagues, teachers need to put efforts to bring about changes in their classrooms. They should learn to take responsibility for what happens inside their own classes.

To support this, academic institutions can/should encourage teachers to conduct action research. Teachers can collect the everyday classroom issues, and students and teachers can work together to address any issue that occur in their class. This helps teachers to review their classroom practices and become more effective in their efforts.

In line with these arguments, Dr. Paula Rebolledo in her article Teacher Research as Research introduces the concept of Teacher Research and discusses how it is different from the usual ‘academic’ researches. She concludes her paper mentioning how teacher research helps teachers in their professional development.

Similarly, in the second article on Teacher Research as a Means for Continuous Professional Development, Dr.Aslı Lidice GokturkSaglam explains how classroom-based research can have a positive impact on teachers’ professional skills. She has provided ideas and links to resources useful for teachers to learn how to conduct such research.

In the third article, entitled Exploratory Action Research for Teachers, Ms. Babita Sharma Chapagain discusses the concept of exploratory research and shares how she started practicing this type of research in her class. Finally she shares the process adopted to conduct Exploratory Action Research.

In her article entitled Pragmatics Analysis: A Significant Tool in Literature Teaching, Ms. Motikala Dewan presents the pragmatics analysis of the language discourse, context and its function in the William Golding’s novel Lord of the Fliesto, and sees their relevancy in real life situations.She further tries to look at the purpose of language use and its function in the text on the basis of Speech Act Theory of Austin and Relevance, theory of Sperber and Wilson.

Finally, in the last post entitled Teacher Research: From Universities to Himalayan Highlands, one of our editors DN Joshi has presented the perspectives of three scholars on the status of teacher research in Nepal.

 

Please click on the links below to access the articles in this issue.

Teacher Research as Research by Dr. Paula Rebolledo

Teacher Research as a Means for Continuous Professional Development by Dr.Aslı Lidice GokturkSaglam

Exploratory Action Research for Teachers by Babita Sharma Chapagain

Pragmatics Analysis: A Significant Tool in Literature Teaching by Motikala Subba Dewan

Teacher Research: From Universities to Himalayan Highlands presented by DN Joshi

 

We hope that the issue will help the readers conceptualize the idea of teacher research and inspire them to reflect their pedagogy to improve their classroom practices. Please write your ideas on the issues discussed in the articles in the form of comments and feedback.

Happy reading!

 

Issues Editors,

Laxmi Prasad Ojha

D.N. Joshi