Mr. Brendan McSharry began a career from 1975 in overseas education and training as a teacher of English in Sweden and Italy, then as educational/ cultural manager in the adult and aid development sectors. He has also been a country director for the British Council in Yemen, Zambia, Palestine, Bahrain, Iraq and latterly Nepal. Brendan graduated from the Universities of Wales (BA English & History), Exeter (PGCE) and Leeds (MA in Linguistics & ELT), has been a CELTA and DELTA tutor and assessor at Cambridge, and an Associate Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He has received several awards for his work.
1. What is your opinion towards the ELT community of Nepal? How has the British Council supported it these days?
The ELT community in Nepal is actually quite vibrant, with many teachers of English being interested and committed to improving their skills and to making the ELT classroom an interesting place where students like to learn English. NELTA is effective in taking the lead in driving this community.
The British Council has supported it through its English teacher training in partnership with NELTA & GAN, and teacher education programmes (English for Teaching: Teaching for English EET:TE+ and Connecting Classrooms school links), its University of Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) programme largely for Nepali teachers of English, its Hornby regional school and UK scholarship for English teachers, the one-day master series workshops in the teaching of the 4 skills, support to the annual NELTA conference (providing a UK key note and other local speakers, hosting a networking conference reception), English radio series and so forth.
2. What do you think is the state’s role to fortify the Nepalese ELT community?
The state’s role should be to support teachers and schools as they move to English medium education in the state sector from grade 8 onwards; to train basic school English teachers and provide them with material updates to strengthen the curriculum; and to assess the English curriculum revision as it unfolds under the School Sector Reform Programme.
3. What are the forthcoming English language programmes that the British Council is going to launch in Nepal?
· The Learn English Radio OBLA Air series on FM
· The expansion of the ET:TE+ programme to a national cascade programme across Nepal
· Our global certificated training programme: English for Teaching Level 1 for novice teachers
· The Hornby Regional School for English teachers engaged in action research
· Supporting the Ministry of Education in its SLC examinations reform programme
· The doubling of our school links programme to cover over 200 schools each in Nepal and the UK
· Increase access to the global Learn & Teach English on-line programmes to over 1m learners and teachers in Nepal
4. The British Council owns a good on-line resource which is widely used in Nepal. What do you suggest to the new team of NELTA’s Blog to make it more resourceful?
I suggest that the NELTA Blog team could:
· Help promote these on-line programmes (Learn English and Teach English portfolios) through its growing network of teachers
· Encourage self-access learning and demonstrate that this on-line resource is easy to register for and it is free
· Blog with our Digital Lead and English Project Manager Vaishali Pradhan