Expansion and Growth of English as a Language of Instruction in Nepal’s School Education. Towards Pre-Conflict Reproduction or Post-Conflict Transformation
AuthorBaral, Lekh Nath
Despite growing understanding and recognition of the need to offer education in the mother tongue or in a familiar language, there is a growing trend to adopt a foreign language (more particularly English) as a language of instruction. In Nepal, language of instruction (English vs Nepali) has been one of the major factors that distinguish private schools from the state schools. In recent years, however, there is a new trend among government schools to switch to English. In this presentation, I present the findings of a study that sought to critically examine how English as a language of instruction has affected the quality of teaching and learning. The study is the result of a qualitative field research conducted in three cities in Nepal (viz. Kathmandu, Pokhara and Surkhet) in June 2014 that includes the voices of practicing teachers. It is also supplemented by the researcher’s observation notes and interactions with gatekeepers and local contacts. Although Nepal’s English medium schools have been able to secure good examination results for their students, the results of the study indicate that adoption of English has not only limited students’ creativity, but has also hindered implementation of student centered classroom teaching. Lack of teachers’ proficiency and sub-standard text materials have further compounded the problem thereby seriously limiting classroom interaction, and dialogue. The conclusion of this study is that the current trend of growth of budget English medium schools and expansion of English as a language of instruction to government schools does not address the need to educational reform and end the two-tier inequality so as to contribute to a post-conflict transformation. Key words: transformation, reproduction, quality, budget schools, government schools, education, and Nepal.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
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