City: Birendranagar, Surkhet
Nepal’s physical geography has three layers—the plain (Terai), the mountains, and the Himalayan regions throughout east to west. The Terai is very fertile land and, for this reason, many people are migrating to that area. The beautiful valley of Birendranagar, Surkhet, is located in the mountainous middle part of the country and is a three-hour drive from the airport in Nepalgunj in Terai. The valley is fairly small, but has a local hospital/clinics, restaurants, and educational institutions and modest hotels. There is a foreign presence in the area. Maggie Doyne, one of the notable foreigners in the valley, runs a children’s home and was recipient of the prestigious CNN Hero of the Year Award in 2015. Surkhet also has an American Space/Corner and English Access Microscholarship Program. The city also has a hospital and airport.
Host Institution: Mid-Western University and NELTA
The university was founded in 2010 by an act of parliament. It is a public university with the aim of providing quality education in the region/province. The university is new but lacks modern educational technology; classrooms have basic fans, furniture and (weak) internet. Class sizes consist of approximately 25-35 students. The Access center is within walking distance and the American Space/Corner is located about one kilometer from the university. Hiring a car is a more reliable means of transportation than public transit.
Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA) is one of the best teacher associations in South Asia having more than 6000 members throughout the country. Currently it has 50 (operational) branches, covering almost 70% of the country, and 4-5 other branches are in the process of getting recognition. NELTA organizes an international conference each year in February where almost 1000 participants convene from all over the country and from more than 25 countries. NELTA is planning to start its seven regional / federal centers across the country and to organize regional conferences and teacher training. NELTA, with other important institutions, is working with the Nepalese government to develop (English) language policy for the academic institutions. The NELTA Office is located at the Access Center. More information about NELTA is available on their site at http://www.nelta.org.np/
- The Fellow will teach regular classes to pre-service teachers at the university campus. Possible course topics include: Second Language Acquisition, Applied Linguistics, Research Methodology, Teacher Development, Pedagogical Grammar, Exploring ELT and Classroom Survey, Critical Discourse Analysis, Poetry and Drama, Fiction, Language Testing, TEYL, and Academic Writing.
- The Fellow will conduct professional development classes for the university’s in-service teachers.
The Fellow may be asked to:
- Conduct in-service teacher training at regional NELTA Branches around the primary host institution.
- Support the Access program by visiting classes and activities.
- Present at the NELTA International Conference.