TESOL-NELTA Regional Conference and Symposium 2019, Nepal

NELTA organized the TESOL-NELTA Regional Conference and Symposium 2019 from November 20-23, 2019.

 
Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA), a professional Organization of English Teachers of all levels founded in 1992, records another historic event in its long journey of improving ELT in Nepal and empowering EL professionals. As an Affiliate member of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language), International, the largest ELT organization in the world, NELTA tendered bidding for the TESOL, Regional Conference 2019 and amid the high competition, the organization was able to win the bidding to host TESOL-NELTA Regional conference in Nepal on the eve of Visit Nepal 2020. TESOL-NELTA Regional Conference and Symposium 2019, Nepal, the historic event in the history of NELTA has left a footprint as a milestone in its timeline. The dream of NELTA came true for hosting a TESOL conference for ELT professionals who have not been able to witness its conferences in the US and other countries. A considerable number of human resources, intellectual brainstorming, time, efforts and teamwork of both TESOL and NELTA contributed to making the event happen for the first time in Nepal.

Main Events


 Preconference Event 1: English Access Microscholarship Summit

The preconference English Access Microscholarship Summit was held between 12 and 19 November 2019 for eight days at the Malla Hotel, Thamel, Kathmandu, to discuss and learn best practices in developing and implementing needs-based community service projects, identifying and using social media to promote and advocate for projects, and connecting with colleagues locally, regionally, and internationally. There were 134 participants from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the USA. The Regional English Officers and RELO Program specialists from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the English Language Specialists, English Language Fellows from the USA facilitated the program and marked the eve of the slogan of the Government of Nepal Visit Nepal 2020, to promote tourism.                 
The Access Summit was a collaboration of the Regional English Language Offices in Islamabad, Kathmandu, and New Delhi to promote stronger regional collaboration and relationships. The Summit was an opportunity for the participants to learn best practices from experts, as well as to meet, network, and learn from colleagues throughout the region.  
Themes of the Summit
  • Service Learning (SL)
  • Connecting Communities (CC)
  • Media Advocacy (MA)
  • Resource session on best practices
 

Preconference Event 2: TESOL-NELTA Symposium

A one-day pre-conference symposium was held at DAV Sushil Kedia Higher Secondary School, Sanepa, Lalitpur on November 20, 2019, for 180 participants from Nepal and abroad. The experts from TESOL International Association Prof. Lia D. Kamhi-Stein on Exploring and Reflection on Teacher Identity in World Englishes Classrooms, Dr. Heidi Faust, (Director of Professional Learning & Research at TESOL International Association) on, Social Responsibility in English Language Teaching: Developing Global Citizens, and Dr. Joshua Jodoin on Language Education for Sustainable Development: How to Guide for Language Teachers facilitated the symposium on the themes/topics.
  

NELTA Conference Events

The three-day conference was held at DAV Sushil Kedia Vishwa Bharati Secondary School, Jawalakhel, Lalitpur.  Honorable Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Prasad Bhattarai inaugurated the conference as a chief guest. The minister, in his opening remarks, inspired and encouraged the organizer by not only his gracious presence but also acknowledging the contributions of NELTA in Education and Edu-Tourism in Nepal. Minister Bhattarai requested all the participants to manage their time to explore the natural and cultural beauty and diversity of Nepal, in addition to their valuable contribution and active participation in the conference and workshops. He reiterated that Nepal would look forward to welcoming the foreign delegates and participants in Visit Year 2020, as a single visit is not enough for Nepal. He further requested the organizer and participants to disseminate Nepal’s welcome message to the globe through their respective institutions and network. Finally, he wished the grand success of the conference.
In the inauguration ceremony chaired by Motikala Subba Dewan, the President of NELTA, the program began with the national anthem. Ms. Bhubhaneswori Rao, Principal, DAV Shushil Kedia Vishwa Bharati HSS welcomed speech followed by inauguration by lighting panas. The President delivered her presidential speech. The guests Mr. Ajay Kumar, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India,  Prof. Dr. Jai Raj Awasthi, Former Vice-Chancellor of Far Western University &Advisor, NELTA, Dr. Lava Deo Awasthi, Chief Commissioner, Language Commission, Dr. Kamal Pokhrel, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education, Culture & Technology, Mr. Curtis M Chan, RELO, US Embassy, Kathmandu, Dr. Jovan Ilic, Country Director, BC, Anil Keshari Shah, CEO, Nabil Bank Ltd., Mukunda Raj Sharma, Principal, Little Angels’ School, and Prof. Dr. Abhi Subedi, and Heidi Faust –Representative, TESOL International,  delivered their speeches.
There were more than 700 participants from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, the UK, the USA, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Canada, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Qatar, Hungary, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Key Speeches

Prof. Dr. Abhi Subedi presented his key speech on the Imbrication of ELT and Ecology. Prof. Subedi was born in Tehrathum in eastern Nepal, who received his higher education in Nepal and Britain. He is an essayist, literary critic, linguist, playwright, cultural writer, and poet. He has over two- dozen books on different subjects including English language teaching, to his credit.
Prof Alan Maley presented his key speech on The Ecology of Educational Revolution.  Prof. Maley has published extensively and was the series editor for the Oxford Resource Books for Teachers for over 20 years. He was a co-founder of The Extensive Reading Foundation, and of The C group: Creativity for Change in Language Education.  He is a past-President of IATEFL and a receiver of the ELTons Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
Prof. Lia D. Kamhi-Stein the past president of California TESOL delivered her Keynote on the topic; From Methods to an Ecological Approach to Language Teaching. She discussed how an ecological approach to language teaching would be relevant to the post methods era and identified the features of this approach.
Prof. Dr. Jai Raj Awasthi is delivered his Key Speech on; Ecopedagogy and English Language Teaching in Nepal. Dr. Awasthi’s four- decade long teaching at Tribhuvan University continued until he retired as a Professor of English language Education. He worked as the founding Vice-Chancellor of Far-western University. Currently he is visiting faculty at the School of Education of Kathmandu University.
 
Prof. Dr. Vishnu S Rai is presented his Keynote on Ecological Education and Nepali English Teachers. Dr. Rai has extensive experience of working in the fields of ELT, Endangered Languages, Multilingual Education, Ethno-linguistics, Language-Literature Interface, Material Development, and Creative Writing. He has over 30 years of teaching experience, and he is still active in doing researches.
 
 Dr. Willy Renandya presented his keynote on Learner Engagement in L2 Learning: An Ecological Perspectives. Dr. Renandya is a language teacher educator with extensive teaching experience in Asia. He currently teaches applied linguistics courses at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
 
Mr. Ryan Brux spoke on, Key Components for Delivering an Effective English Immersion Camp. Ryan’s interests in the EFL field include student motivation, the EFL learning environment, English camp programming, service learning, and teacher leadership.
 
Ms. Jennifer Borch spoke on Courageous Classroom in the 21st Century: Daring Greatly to Bring out the Best in our Students.

Plenary Speeches

The Plenary speakers were Prof. Dr. Z. N. Patil from India, speaking on Indian English: A Product of Language Contact, Prof. Dr. Zakia Sarwar from SPELT, Pakistan, on the topic; The Relevance of Learner Autonomy for EFL Learners, Prof. Dr. Arifa Rahman from BELTA, Bangladesh, on Global Issues and Local Contexts: A Case for Materials Design, Prof. Dr. Richmond Stroupe from JALT, Japan on Teaching English in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts: Strategies for Effective Teachers, Prof. Dr. Laxman Gnawali, from Nepal on An Ecological Perspective of Integrated Curriculum for ELT, Prof. Aymen Elsheikh on An Ecological Approach to Language Teachers’ Professional Identity, Dr. Jovan Ilic from  British Council, Nepal on Should Primary Nepali Classrooms Use English as the Medium of Instruction? Mr. Curtis Chan, Regional English Langauge Officer, US Embassy, Kathmandu, Nepal on Making Digital Content Work for You, Dr. Ganga Ram Gautam from Nepal on, Introspective Zooming in on English Language Teacher Education Curriculum, Dr. Tamas Kiss from Hungary on Ecology, Creativity, and Language Play, Dr. Gopal Prasad Pandey from Nepal on, Are We Ready to Teach English in a Digital Age?  Dr. Ramnita Saini Sharda from India on Climate Change and the Changing Paradigms of English Language Teaching. Dr. Joshua Jodoin from TESOL on Language Education for Sustainable Development: Lessons Learned From a Case Study in Japanese Higher Education, David D. Perrodin from Thailand on Does International Teacher Training Influence Teacher Self-Efficacy? Hemanta Raj Dahal from Nepal on Post-modernism on the Move: Navigating Strategies in ESL Pedagogy, and Bishwa Raj Gautam from the US Embassy, Nepal on; Integrating Ecological Approach to ELT.

Panel Discussion

There was a panel discussion on the topic, Three-language Multilingualism: Privileging Languages or Creating Language Ecology? The discussion was moderated by Dr. Ganga Ram Gautam with the panelists Prof. Alan Maley, Prof. Dr. Arifa Rahman, Prof. Dr. Zakia Sarwar, and Dr. Lava Deo Awasthi. The key objective of this panel discussion with the specific topic was to explore the experts’ opinions related to the issue of critical concern in Nepal.

Concurrent Sessions

The concurrent sessions covered talks, workshops, interactive language fair, and symposiums, on different issues and topics based on the researchers and educationists from home and abroad. There were 27 sub-themes and more than 180 presenters presented papers on them.

Cultural Program

A cultural program was organized by the DAV School teachers and students to entertain the national and international delegates, with eastern and western cultural music, songs and dances.

Books Exhibition

Books exhibition is an integral component of the NELTA conferences. This trend was continued in this conference too in order to help the ELT professionals update about the latest publications and their contribution to enhancing the quality of education through English, by the courtesy of international and national publishing houses such as Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Routledge Francis and Tayler Group, Ekata Publication, and others.
For more photos of the TESOL-NELTA Regional Conference and Symposium 2019, Nepal click the links below

Unique Features of this Conference
  1. Jointly hosted by TESOL International Association, USA and NELTA. 
  2. Wide ranges of sub-themes In ESL.
  3. Meet and greet more than 1000 ESL professionals, authors, publishers, vendors and movers, and shakers.
  4. All sessions are open to registrants (no ticketed session).
  5. A platform for ESL professionals, trainers, researchers, scholars, advocacy leaders, policymakers and students.
  6. A large resources exhibition from Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Routledge, and many more for a one-stop shop.
  7. Best weather in November in Nepal.
  8. Meeting with the international TESOLers, and key members.
  9. The registration fee covered lunch during the conference, bag, stationery, journals, newsletter, and certificate. 

     

For more information explore the links below

1. Pre Conference TESOL Symposium

2.Conference Theme and Sub Themes

3.  Venue
6. Call for Proposals: Proposal Submission deadline August 31, 2019: Proposal Submission Form (nelta.org.np/forms)