English Access Microscholarship Program in Nepal

Shyam Pandey

‘English Access Microscholarship Program in Nepal’ is a new program under the direct supervision of NELTA and U.S. Embassy to develop English language proficiency and cultural understanding for the needy children in Nepal. The purpose of the English Access Microscholarship Program is to make the study of English more accessible to adolescents from economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are between 14 and 16 year old. In addition, while developing the participants’ language skills, they will learn American culture and democratic values increase their ability to participate successfully in the socio-economic development of their countries, and gain ability to compete for and participate in future US exchange and study program. A greater sensitivity to cultural differences, coupled with the language skills they acquire, will enable the participants to take advantage of opportunities that had previously been unavailable to them. In the initial phase of the project, the Access will be implemented in Kathmandu, Bhairahawa and Gorkha.

Objectives

1. General Objectives

This program addresses three main areas

a. English Language Acquisition

Students will develop the four traditional skills with a special emphasis placed on listening comprehension and oral production which are normally ignored in their regular English classes in schools due to the paper pencil test system. In this program students will learn how to speak proper English and develop appropriate reading and writing skills by being exposed to a variety of texts and writing tasks. In addition to this, the students will also be exposed to the English language culture which will further enhance their language skills.

b. Culture

One key element of the program is to familiarize students with some important features of U.S. culture. Students are encouraged to develop respect for and interest in other cultures, customs and beliefs.

c. Personal Development

Various elements of the program seek to foster students’ personal development, with a special focus on community service. The aim is to work towards a balanced intellectual and emotional development so that students will be better prepared to assume an active role in their communities.

Semester Course Components

The semester program will be structured on a weekly basis:

a. Face-to-face classes (1.5 hours twice a week after school)

Total: 3 hours

b. Culture in Context / Enhancement Activities / Multimedia classes (Saturdays)                    Total: 2 hours  * Each year students would attend classes five hours per week for 36             weeks.

Total Weekly: 5 hours

Minimum Entry Requirements

The program is designed for public high school students, between 14 to 16 years of age, who have a minimal knowledge of English. This program is exclusively directed at economically disadvantaged youth.  An equal gender balance (half girls, half boys) will be achieved at all sites. There will be exactly 120 numbers of students in the different four sites. The following is a list of minimum requirements:

Educational Establishment Public high school
Age 14 – 16 years old
Entry Requirement Minimal knowledge of English (High / middle beginner)
Socio-Economic status Disadvantaged
Academic Performance Final GPA for  previous year at least 50 (on 100 scale)

The Access Teachers

The six access teachers in Kathmandu, two access teachers in Gorkha and four access teachers in Bhairahawa get two day intensive training in their respective venue from the NELTA teacher trainers according to the curriculum of access program in the beginning of each semester. The teachers work for access are highly experienced and well trained. They have minimum of Bachelors degree in English.

Class Locations

  1. Nepal Japan Children’s Library – Lainchaur, Kathmandu
  2. Madrasa Islamiya School – Ratna Park, Kathmandu
  3. Public Secondary School – Gorkha Bazaar, Gorkha
  4. American Corner of Bhairahawa – Chamber of Commerce Building, Bhairahawa

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