We are delighted to cover the 23rd International Conference of NELTA in this issue. This year NELTA celebrated its Silver Jubilee, for it has accomplished 25 years since its establishment. NELTA, like any other voluntary and not-for-profit organization, has its unique story which you can now read in the History of NELTA, the electronic version of which was released during the conference, and the final version will be coming out in print form soon. This issue of FORUM primarily deals with the 23rd International conference of NELTA.
Our first post is an interview with the President of NELTA, Motikala Subba Dewan, who talks about how she joined NELTA, the leadership qualities needed to lead any professional organization, and current and future plans of NELTA. Similarly, in another post, author Sarita Dewan presents an overall brief picture of the conference. In this write-up, readers can find a summary of almost all the activities that were organized during the conference. Likewise, Man Bahadur Khadka talks about a specific event, the NELTA ELT Tech Network, that was organized to share ICT in ELT related practices. Next, we have Jeena Maharjan and Satya Mahato who share their reflections about their participation in the conference.
For your ease, we have hyperlinked each post.
1. “We have won a global bidding” – An interview with NELTA president by Sagun Shrestha
2. NELTA has miles to go… by Sarita Dewan
3. NELTA ELT tech network by Man Bahadur Khadka
4. NELTA carnival 2018 by Jeena Maharjan
5. NELTA conference as a mirror for professional development by Shaty Kumar Mahato (Satya)
As usual, we hope you will enjoy reading all the articles. We would appreciate it if you could comment on any of the write-ups and interviews published so far. If you have any general queries, drop them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March Issue Editors,
Miriam Corneli, Mirian Fuhr & Sagun Shrestha
Motikala Subba Dewan is an Associate Prof. of English at Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus, Tribhuvan University as well as an advocate practice in the Supreme Court. She is the current President of Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA), Executive Member of Environmental Unit, Nepal Bar Association, the Supreme Court Nepal and Central Committee Member of Tribhuvan University Teachers’ Association (TUTA). A teacher trainer, creative writer, translator, rapporteur and interpreter, Ms. Dewan has presented papers in many national and international seminar, workshops and conferences and conducted trainings and workshops as a consultant in different parts of Nepal. She has published many articles in different journals and magazines and published books in both disciplines; English and Law.
Following is the interview that one of the editors of NELTA ELT Forum, Sagun Shrestha had with the current president of NELTA, Motikala Subba Dewan.
Sagun: Namaste! Could you please tell us how you got involved in NELTA at the very beginning?
Moti: Namaste! Thank you very much Sagun ji for providing me this opportunity to share my experience of association with NELTA. I have been affiliated with NELTA since 2004 when I became a life member. I came to know about NELTA through Hemanta Raj Dahal, Advisor to NELTA at present and the past president. We were together at Dhankuta Multiple Campus. Then I came to Kathmandu for further my BEd from Department of Education, Kirtipur. I met Hemanta Raj Dahal in Kathmandu after 6 years when I was teaching English at Nepal Law campus. He urged me to join NELTA. In this way, my journey began as a Neltian. From 2011 to 2013, I was appointed as a central Committee member and from 2013 to 2015, I was elected to General Secretary. From 2015 to 2017, I acted as a senior Vice-president. And at present, I am serving as the President. I trace this long journey with gratitude and pride. Gratitude; because I could not have done it alone… I received immense support and encouragement from my peers and NELTA colleagues. My current tenure lasts for three years (2017-2020).
Sagun: How do you find the opportunity as a President to observe Silver Jubilee of NELTA? How do you rate the success of 23rd international conference of NELTA?
Moti: It is a matter of pride because I grasped this amazing opportunity as a female president. I felt thankful for being able to be a part of NELTA’s history, observing Silver Jubilee, standing at the podium as the President conducting the 23rd International Conference of NELTA 2018. My heart swelled with pride, that I could become the part of this auspicious moment.
Being in a team, we could organize such a mega event, 23rd International Conference of NELTA 2018, successfully. The theme of the conference was “Content, Language, and Technology: Perspectives and Prospects”. More than 1000 participants, presenters, and dignitaries from 17 countries participated in the conference, including four Key Speakers with twelve Plenary Speakers. The conference was held in Galaxy Public School, Gyaneshwor, Kathmandu from 16 to 18 February, 2018. The honorable Chief Minister Mr. Dormani Poudel inaugurated the conference as a Chief Guest. There were 177 concurrent sessions, workshops and poster presentations on the theme and sub-themes. Continue reading →
The International Conference of NELTA has always been a mega event, as Prof. Dr. Jai Raj Awasthi and Prof. Abhi Subedi often describe it, a Kumbha Mela or jamboree for ELT practitioners. It is indeed a grand happening, and it needs lots of perseverance and hard work for months by the NELTA members who work voluntarily, and face the event as a challenge, always to accomplish it with flying colours.
This special year 2018 coincided with the Silver Jubilee of NELTA, and hence, it was a Herculean task for the NELTA Executive Committee in arranging the venue, requesting Key and Plenary Speakers and Chief guests, managing the logistics and executing the entire program properly. Moreover, the amazing teamwork — with the strong leadership of President Ms. Motikala Subba Dewan, the dedication and determination of committee members, and the moral support of branches — allowed the Special Celebration cum International conference to finish as smoothly as if enjoying an elegant evening tea. The much awaited, mega-event of the Three-Day 23rd International NELTA Conference, celebrating its Silver Jubilee Year 2018 , with the theme, “Content, Language, and Technology: Perspectives and Prospects”, was realized with a huge success at Galaxy Public School, Gyaneshwor, Kathmandu.The formal Inaugural Ceremony was launched by the honorable chief minister Mr. Dormani Poudel. After a welcome speech by the President of NELTA, Madam Motikala Subba Dewan, the invited dignitaries along with the founder of the host school, Madam Geeta Rana, put forward their opinions about the conference. To mark the Jubilee Year, a felicitation program was organized, where six host schools of past conferences, founder members and past Presidents, editors-in-chief of the Journal of NELTA and ELT Forum, key partners and sponsors of NELTA, publication houses from home and abroad, academic Institutions, and business institutions who have been supporting NELTA unconditionally, were all honored.
Our first plenary session began with Dr. Maggie Sokolik, the Key Speaker sponsored by the U.S Embassy, who presented her Key Speech on When the World Met: Real and Virtual Learner Engagement. It was Maggie’s first visit to Nepal and she was excited to see the enthusiasm of participants in the Country of the Himalayas. Her presentation was based on giving practical ideas on how to motivate and engage students in the classroom. Continue reading →
*Man Bahadur Khadka
The use of technology in English language classroom has been proven as an empowering tool in this digital arena. Integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in English language teaching (ELT) is considered as building blocks for language learning. This article sheds light on what an event, – ‘NELTA ELT Tech Network’ is and how it helps the language teachers in integrating ICT in ELT classroom. NELTA ELT Tech Network is a platform where the interested practitioners working with ICT in ELT show how they have integrated or can integrate ICT in English language teaching. In the first half of the event, some interested participants shared their ICT practices in ELT and the second half of the event was led by the facilitators of the event sharing the some useful teaching tools and strategies of integrating ICT.
Teaching in itself is an art. An art which, according to many teachers and researchers, is constantly changing depending on the era we live and teach in. In this 21st century, with the advancement of technology, we can see the paradigm shift in teaching. The traditional teaching methods and environments are changed by the use of ICT network. As Ibrahim (2010) discusses ICTs have altered the way we teach and learn, taking education to another level, where a previous teacher centered approach has today become a student centered one. It is a break through by all means which has revolutionized the learning process. Similarly, Dina et.al (2013) discuss that, since our world is constantly changing, so should educational aims and purposes. Computer Assistant Language Learning (CALL) is today regarded as a critical element that has shifted educational goals from knowledge acquisition to aspects and ways that produce the development of attitudes and intellectual capabilities as well as of further assimilation of knowledge. In the same way, Hismanoglu (2011) observes that internet technology provides teachers and learners with ample resources where learning can be generated interactively through real world situations. Students learning possibilities have been found to be increased along with student computer skills and student views that their learning can be promoted and enhanced through communication tools towards autonomy.
Similarly, Beauchamp et.al (2010) discuss that while ICTs have offered teachers and their classrooms new pathways towards language learning, they have also given students the liberty to orchestrate resources, thus, move towards autonomy and be able to devise some dialogic and synergetic approaches in the future, transforming their learning whether that is individual or group. Chapelle (2003) discusses that besides having effective and faster positive impact on students’ achievement compared to conventional learning activities, technology based learning activities offer more advantages and opportunities for natural learning.
These above lines of different scholars reveal the great importance of ICT in ELT. Considering the importance and need of ICT in ELT, NELTA created an event, ‘NELTA ELT Tech Network’, which is a platform where the interested practitioners for ICT in ELT showed how they have integrated ICT in ELT. The event was divided into two halves. In the first half, the interested participants presented and demonstrated their ICT practices in ELT in which they shared about moodle, an online learning site, Google classroom and digital story-telling. The second half was led by the facilitators – Mr. Sagun Shrestha, Mrs. Sarita Dewan and Mr. Man Bahadur Khadka – who dealt with some useful tools and strategies like lyrics training, Word Press, Kahoot and Nearpod. Continue reading →
I heard about 23rd NELTA conference as a student of M.Ed second semester in Tribhuvan University through my teachers. Actually I was not interested in participating but my friends insisted me to attend this conference and now I am glad that I participated in this conference.
I was wondering then what this NELTA was and the activities it does. In the conference, I got to know that it is an association of English language teachers from Nepal and it provides ELT practitioners and researchers a platform for their professional development. The theme of the conference this year was ‘Content, Language and Technology: Perspectives and Prospects in ELT’ and the conference was held in Galaxy Public School, Gyaneshwor, Kathmandu from February 15 to 17.
On the first day of conference, I reached at Galaxy Public School, parked my scooter and went for registration. Then I got a nice bag with program booklet, Journal of NELTA, NELTA ELT forum, NELTA Conference Proceedings, some note books, lunch coupon for 3 days, a card holder, certificate of participation and a pen inside it. I felt good to use the card holder as the card inside shows the identity of a participant. I including my friends had breakfast and entered hall where inaugural Ceremony started by welcoming guests. After the ceremony was over, there was first key speech by Dr. Maggie Sokolik on ‘When World Meet: Real and Virtual Learner Engagement’. She explained how digital tools can expand student autonomy and can motivate learners to learn. She also showed how we can overcome barriers to engage English language learners. I liked her presentation because I learned that mobile phones and social medias can also be the place for the students to learn. Continue reading →
*Shaty Kumar Mahato (Satya)
I have first attended NELTA conference in 2007 when I was a Masters’ Degree students at Kirtipur. Since then I have been participating and engaging in all NELTA activities. I became life member of NELTA in 2009 and an active executive member of NELTA Janakpur branch in 2010/11. After completion of my Master’s Degree in English Education from Tribhuvan University, I have been teaching in college, and organizing as well as participating in different seminar and conferences too. NELTA made me professionally sound, and active. Currently I am an MPhil scholar in Kathmandu University. I believe NELTA is the best platform for those who would like to grow professionally in the field of English language teaching and applied linguistics. NELTA made all English teachers together and be in a community of practice. It has taught me the skill to collaborate which is a pivotal in teaching and learning. An English teacher who wants to expand their professional career NELTA can turn out to be the best platform.
23rd International Conference of NELTA was held on 15th to 17th February at Galaxy Public School Gyaneswor, Kathmandu. The venue was fully comfortable and beautiful. We found very appropriate hall for keynote speeches, plenaries and good rooms for other concurrent sessions. Indeed NELTA international conference is a big festival for English teachers around the globe. Our guru Prof. Jai Raj Awasthi equates NELTA conference as the ‘“-Kumbha Mela”’ (a big national festival) but since day by day the number of the participants is increasing, it can be termed as ‘“Mahakumbha Mela”’. This year the theme of the conference was language and technology. I learnt and enjoyed a lot in this 23rd international conference. This year I found some special events of NELTA which were connected to celebrating silver jubilee of NELTA for its successful completion of 25 years of establishment. I worked as a volunteer from the beginning of the day and I took an active participation in documentation and managing activities with my colleague. A group effort is what made all difficulties possible. The bag, the silver jubilee pin, the souvenirs are the special things to remember how we observed silver jubilee. Continue reading →