Theme: Potential Issues and Topics for Research Activities in the Nepalese ELT Context
Research is a way of answering one’s quest towards an issue, context, belief or phenomenon. The term research is a common term in the academia to explore certain issues, to verify or validate ideas, and even share one’s feelings towards the issue raised. The context of research in Nepal has also been a long way: in form of theses, or mini-research projects in universities, at University Grants Commission, and other private or public research centres, which have been exploring new ideas as a form of self- reflective inquiry. Every year more than hundreds of theses are being conducted in the educational sector in general, and in the departments of English education or English literature in particular. Furthermore, teachers conduct hundreds of action researches or classroom research across the country. Despite such scenario, many researchers feel difficult in framing titles or funneling the concepts into the form of research. What could be my topic? Who will help me to frame a distinct topic? How can I explore? Are not there any new issues? How can I explore the new topics? Such questions are raised when we start our research work. Keeping this very concern in mind, in this 2015, August issue of NELTA ELT Forum, we have focused on such potential issues and research activities which are possible in the Nepalese ELT context.
In this issue, the first entry concentrates on ‘Selecting a Researchable Problem: Some Research Worthy Issues in EFL Reading’ by Ms. Madhu Neupane, who tries to look at initiating a researchable problem, the ways of exploring researches, particularly experimental and correlational researches. Spread into two sections, the first section presents the considerations for selecting a researchable topic and modifying it, while the second section presents some issues worthy of exploration in English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) reading research. The second entry in this issue, ‘Action Research and its Understanding’ by Dr. Laxman Gnawali, deals with the tenets regarding how to grasp the basic understanding of action research. It focuses on basic concepts on action research, the undertaking reasons, the process and a layout of the components for an action research. Similarly, the third entry is by Mr. Eak Prasad Duwadi, entitled ‘Make Reading an Addiction’, which focuses on the ways of reading and eliciting information from textbooks and other academic materials. Based on a longitudinal experimentation with the college students in Nepal, he has suggested for an immersion method, and has recommended some activities that will help accelerate reading skills. Likewise, the entry ‘Motivation in second language learning as a possible research issue’ by Mr. Suman Laudhari focuses on the importance of motivation in language learning drawing on the theoretical explorations from several scholars around the world. In addition, he suggests five major areas where the researcher can explore their research. The fifth entry, ‘Error Analysis of the Written Paragraphs of Banglaeshi EFL Learners’ by Ms. Sushmita Rani, is a mini- research empirically carried out in the Bangladeshi EFL context. Here, she aims to examine and analyze the errors committed in written paragraphs in English by the sampled cohort of undergraduate students, who are undergoing gradual English learning courses in different private universities of Bangladesh. Given the similarity of the research context, this study amply sheds light on the nature of potential errors committed by Nepalese learners of English.
We believe that this issue helps the novice researchers or the researchers underway to research to explore several possible areas in ELT. Similarly, we would like to request the readers to share their views regarding potential areas of ELT research in the form of comments and/ or writing in the days to come. At this juncture we would like to reiterate, ‘your constructive comments are ever welcome!’
Enjoy Reading! Happy Reading!
Dinesh Kumar Thapa