Three-Day Teacher Training in Tanahu and Siraha

-Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Background
This training course was especially designed to the primary level English language teachers of public schools who possessed very low level of English language proficiency. Based on the teachers’ needs, the course consisted of some basic understanding of English language teaching methodology as well as some teaching techniques viz. classroom language, English sounds, four language skills/grammar/vocabulary and reflection. Classroom language sessions were based on the book titled Classroom English and sessions on four language skills/grammar and vocabulary were focused. These sessions were believed to provide guidelines to the teachers to deliver their class in communicative approach. These sessions were also implemented by Action Plan; a reflective session which helped teachers to reflect over the techniques they had experienced/learned. Sessions on classroom language/four language skills/grammar/vocabulary was basically designed and practiced considering the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) techniques (pair work, group work, role play, dramatization, gestures, facial expressions, games, rhymes, etc.) so that the training would be the blend of teaching pedagogy and language input in order to improve the teachers’ proficiency of English language and their classroom practice simultaneously.

This training was conducted in two different NELTA branches viz. Tanahu and Siraha which were selected based on the exposure of teachers. The life members have been rarely getting chance to involve in such trainings. The sponsor of the training was Ms. Kate Miller who is from the UK and she has been proved herself as a true NELTA family member who did not only sponsor the training but also accompanied with the trainers to Tanahu. She minutely observed the training sessions, guided them and delivered one/two sessions in Tanahu, too. Her guidance, mentoring and suggestion to the trainers, to NELTA center, NELTA branches are really praiseworthy. She sponsored for the training and came to Nepal from UK to observe and see the training personally on her own eyes. In short, this training was a joint venture of the sponsor Ms. Kate Miller, NELTA, trainers and the teachers of Tanahu and Siraha.
Trainers
NELTA selected four teacher trainers who have spent a long time in training the school teachers. These trainers were in different NELTA branches many times through NELTA. They have been actively contributing to NELTA in other such programmes, too. The selected four teacher trainers were Mr. Janak Raj Pant, Ms. Sarita Dewan, Mr. Uddab Bhattarai and Mr. Shyam Bahadur Pandey.
1. Janak Raj Pant: Mr. Pant has done M.ED. in English Education from Tribhuwan University and he is a teacher trainer cum training coordinator of Global Action Nepal (GAN), as well as NELTA teacher trainer. He has been to different parts of Nepal with short and long term training packages. Recently, he has been doing the TESOL Diploma from Kathmandu, Nepal.
2. Ms. Sarita Dewan: Ms. Dewan, is working as the head of department in Little Angels’ School, she has done PGDE from Kathmandu University, Masters in Sociology from TU, has devoted more than 10 years to NELTA, has visited different NELTA branches with short term teacher training packages. She is a master trainer of Student Quality Circle (SQC) Nepal. She has done the TEFL International TESOL Course from Kathmandu, Nepal. She is a member of creative writing. She is the Scholarship Winner of the 46th IATEFL Conference too who participated the conference held in Gloasgow, Scotland, UK in March, 2012.
3. Mr. Uddab Bhattarai: Mr. Bhattarai has done M.ED in ELT (English Language Teaching) from Kathmandu University and he is a professional teacher trainer who has conducted more than 10 long-term school level teacher trainings in different parts of Nepal through different INGOs and NGOs (Good Neighbors Nepal, COSAN, RRN, WVIN, GAN, NELTA and so on). He is also a roster trainer at Training Institute of Technical Information (TITI). Recently, he has been doing TESOL Diploma Course from Kathmandu, Nepal.
4. Mr. Shyam Bahadur Pandey: Mr. Pandey has done M.ED in ELT (English Language Teaching) from Kathmandu University, Nepal and he has been actively serving to NELTA since last 5 years and has been to different NELTA branches to conduct school level teacher trainings. He is a lecturer at Brilliant Multiple Campus, Chabahil, Kathmandu who teaches English literature and grammar to the students of tertiary and Bachelor of Arts. He is a Program Coordinator of NELTA as well as English Access Microscholarship Program (The U.S. State Department sponsored program implemented by NELTA into the different parts of Nepal). He has done TESOL Core Certificate and Young Learners Course from Wisconsin University, USA and Teaching English to Teenagers (TET) Course from University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA. He is also a TEFL International TESOL graduate and recently he has been doing TESOL Diploma Course from Kathmandu, Nepal. He is the Scholarship Winner of 46th IATEFL Conference who presented a paper in the Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
Selection of Location
NELTA centre selected two NELTA branches; Tanahu and Siraha, which are newly established branches. These branches have not got any such chances of conducting trainings yet. People in Tahanu and Siraha do not know much more about NELTA. Based on the especial request of the branches: Tanahua and Siraha, NELTA centre selected these two branches for the three day training.
Participants
This training was totally focused on the teachers who have been teaching in the primary level because comparatively primary level teachers get less chance to get involved in training. Generally, they enter in teaching right after their SLC or intermediate. Therefore, they mostly are not familiar with the newly practiced teaching techniques. Since primary level is the base of other levels of education, it is a very crucial phase in the foundation of education. Until and unless the primary level teaching gets improved, one can/should not expect the progress in education. Considering this fact, the participants were selected from primary level only. Although some participants’ level of English was not up to the desired level and some of them were higher than others, most of them were similar in their level of English which added plus point to make the training more effective.
Objectives
This training was grand to achieve the specified objectives. Similarly, it was able to give a kind of impression to the teachers about the language teaching techniques. Though the training is was not long, it is expected that the teachers got maximum benefit through the training because the modality of the training was not ‘top down’ rather ‘bottom up’ as it was based on the needs of the teachers. Prior to the training program, it aimed to achieve certain objectives which were as follows:
a) This training will make aware about the different language skills of language teaching in the participants’ class e.g. four language skills, grammar, and pronunciation.
b) This training will enable the participants to use communicative language teaching techniques such as pair work, group work, role play, dramatization, gestures, facial expressions, songs, games etc. in their classroom.
c) The participants will be able to use classroom English confidently with their students.
Tanahu
17—19 November, 2011: Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA) organized a three day teacher training programme for the primary English teachers in Tanahu. The training was inaugurated by Ms. Kate Miller, the sponsor and Mr. Chakra Adhikari, the NELTA Tanahu Branch Chair. There were two NELTA trainers; Ms. Sarita Dewan and Mr Janak Raj Pant who facilitated the training simultaneously turn by turn. On the middle of the training sessions, Ms. Miller took one session on pronunciation. The training basically focused on modeling the teaching skills along with the content that the primary English language teachers need to deliver in their classroom so as to make them familiar with the different teaching techniques and activities that are more fruitful for their classroom practice. The content of the training basically focused on was the two major areas; English language improvement and English language teaching techniques. For example: the basic concept of grammar along with the language teaching tips, reading, writing, listening and speaking/ vocabulary along with some useful techniques, pronunciation, classroom dynamics and classroom English.
Based upon the aforementioned major areas, the training was guided by the participatory approach. In other words, this training was designed to highlight some teaching tips for the primary teachers; no matter they might have heard some of the techniques previously. The reflection at the end of each day gave some insight to the trainees and trainers both about the adoptability of the techniques in the local context. The training modality adopted was very close to loop input method in which content as well as process was focused using the same session. The trainers tried to make the sessions maximally participatory and reflected over those activities immediately after the activities so that they can relate it to their training context. Regarding the delivered sessions of the trainers, refer to the appendix I please.
Siraha
24—26 November, 2011: NELTA organized three-day teacher training for the primary level English language teachers in Lahan, Siraha. The training was inaugurated by Dr. Anil Kumar Yadav, Chair NELTA Siraha. Dr. Yadav briefly highlighted the importance of training in teaching English. There were two NELTA trainers; Mr. Uddab Bhattarai and Mr. Shyam Bahadur Pandey. Mr. Pandey shortly talked about the generosity of Ms. Kate Miller, the sponsor of the programme. Ms. Miller has been to Nepal many times with different teacher training programs into the different NELTA branches. She is a life member of NELTA as well as a true friend of NELTA.
The content and nature of the training was quite similar to the training of Tanahu in terms of the objectives. This training was focused to use everyday English, to use different language teaching techniques in the classroom such as pair work, group work, role play, gestures, facial expressions, songs, games, matchstick figure, etc., to teach students using the phonic method to improve pronunciation and to make them able to help themselves to develop their professional development in teaching. The training basically focused on modeling the teaching skills along with the content which teachers’ need to deliver in their classroom so as to make them familiar the techniques and activities that would be fruitful for their classroom practice. The major two aspects of the training were English language improvement and English language teaching techniques. For example: the basic concept of grammar along with some useful language teaching tips, reading, writing, listening and speaking/vocabulary along with some useful techniques, pronunciation, classroom dynamics, and classroom English.

Standing upon the aforesaid major parts, the training was guided by the participatory approach. In other words, the training was designed to highlight some teaching tips for the primary teachers. The training modality adopted was very close to circle participation method of training teachers in which content as well as process was focused using the same sessions. The trainers tried to make the sessions maximally participatory and reflected over those activities immediately after the activities so that the trainees could relate it to their teaching context. It was completely workshop based. The participants were active throughout the day. They listened less, involved themselves more in different activities. The reflection at the end of each activity gave some insight to the trainee and trainers both about the adoptability of the techniques in the local context. English was the medium of training. Please refer appendix II for sessions’ details.

There were 27 participants who were the primary level English language teachers. They have been working in the local public schools of Lahan, Siraha. Although they were good enough to understand the instruction in English, they were hesitant to speak in English. Since the training was based on participatory approach, they were expected to actively take part in the training which went in accordance to the objectives. The participants were really active and worked hard during the training. They made an action plan and assured to implement the ideas in their classroom. They were impressed very much by the nature of the training. Almost all the branch executive committee members actively took part in the training even though some of them were veteran ELT experts for example Dr. Anil Kumar Jha, Mr. Pawan Kumar Shah and others. These people are University teachers but they used to ask to the trainers if the trainers could allow them to stay in the training session. They were allowed to stay in the training but they were not counted as participants because the training was not focused to them. The logistic support was very nice. It proved that the local people understood the spirit of the training which was for them to utilize the ideas in their local context. All the participants were provided the necessary stationery with free of cost, transportation and accommodation cost to the trainers were covered by the fund sponsored by Ms. Kate Miller.
The three-day programme was aired by the different local F.M. Radio stations. They did not forget to announce the name of the programme sponsor; Ms. Kate Miller.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Conclusion: Therefore, the trainings were able to achieve the specified objectives. It again proved by the remarks expressed by the teachers in their reflection sessions, too. Most of the participants were assuring and informing us that they first time in their life attended such trainings where they got many handy tips to teach English as well as they got some ideas to develop their level of English and professionalism together. Previously, they were hesitant to speak in English but at the end of the training, there were excited to speak in English. They had a kind of perception that training is meant to get some abstract philosophical and theoretical ideas but this training added training is/should be focused on the needs of the teachers. This training was able to give to the participants some useful teaching techniques which might be useful to their daily classroom. Before starting to the training, the participants were elicited different speaking tests but could not speak. Later, they were asked how they would engage their students in speaking activity and they were excited to share and promise to the trainers that they are going to engage their students into the different activities which they learnt in course of the training.

Recommendation:
• Although almost all the participants were from the primary level, some of them were high and low in their level of English language. This factor should be considered in the future. There should be need analysis before going into the training either it was short term training or long term.
• No matter for what level the training was focused on, if any teacher trainer minutely observes and takes interest into the sessions, he/she might learn something new and use those ideas in the future. Even though the training was especially designed to the primary level English language teachers in Tanahu and Siraha, there should be some local NELTA branch representatives so observe the effectiveness of the training as well as they can cash cede the ideas to the other local teachers. It was not found in Tanahu.
• In spite of the good coordination between NELTA Center and the NELTA branch there were some lapses regarding the logistic matters e.g. program banners, logistic support to the participants and signatories of the completion certificates, etc. which shouldn’t be repeated in the future.

Appendix I
Program Schedule
Date: 17, November, 2011
Location: Tanahu Day: First
Session Topic Remarks
First Session Introducing: interactive activities useful in language class Janak Raj Pant
Second session Teaching alphabet Sarita Dewan
Third session Classroom management: Job chart
Tea Break
Third Session Pronunciation: sounds Kate Miller
Fourth Session Janak Raj Pant
Fifth session Reflection Session Sarita Dewan

Location: Tanahu Day: Second Date: 18 November, 2011
Session Topic Remarks
First Session Grammar lesson Sarita Dewan
Second session Reading lesson [incorporating dramatization activity] [Three big fish] Janak Raj Pant
Third Session Teaching Vocabulary Sarita Dewan
Tea Break
Fourth Session Making letters Sarita Dewan
Fifth session Reflection Janak Raj Pant

Location: Tanahu Day: Third Date: 19 November, 2011
Session Topic Remarks
First Session [10:15-11:15] Listening through story telling
[Reflection
Running dictation] Janak Raj Pant
Second session [11:20-12:50] Writing Sarita Dewan
Third Session [1-2] Classroom English and manner teaching
[Starting to use classroom English: when English and when Nepali
Checking understanding
Teaching classroom English and Development
Classroom English
Practice ] Janak Raj Pant
Break
Fourth session [2:30-3:00] Action plan
Now please think about:
What new things
Kate and Janak

Appendix II
Program Schedule
Date: 24 November, 2011
Location: Siraha Day: First
Session Topic Remarks
Preparatory Session Workshop management:
Workshop Agreement
Responsibility Distribution
Appreciation Box
Expectation & Objective Sharing Uddab Bhattarai
Introductory Session Introducing myself through using five fingers
Introducing our group members
Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Uddab Bhattarai
Team Building Activity Two Truths and a Lie
Uddab Bhattarai
Tea Break
First Session Reflection our English Language Teaching Practices Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Second Session Material Development : the Dice and its usages in language teaching Uddab Bhattarai
Reflection Session Reflection on the Day’s Activities and Learning
Feedback Sharing Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Location: Siraha Day: Second Date: 25 November, 2011
Session Topic Remarks
Preparatory Session Report Presentation
Job Distribution Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Team Building Activity The Cocktail Party Uddab
First session Understanding and Eliciting Classroom English Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Tea Break
Second Session Techniques to use Classroom English Uddab Bhattarai
Third Session Material Development: Easy Learning Roll and its Usages in Language Classroom Uddab/ Shyam
Reflection Session Reflection on the Day’s Activities and Learning
Feedback Sharing Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Location: Siraha Day: Third Date: 26 November, 2011
Session Topic Remarks
Preparatory Session Report Presentation
Job Distribution Shyam Bahadur Pandey

First Session Ten Little Ducks: Using Rhymes/Songs in Language Classroom Uddab Bhattarai
Second session Life at the Age of Ten: An Speaking Activity
Uddab Bhattarai
Third session Writing our Own Story
Using Stories in Language Classroom Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Tea Break
Fourth Session Using Matchstick Figures in ELT Uddab Bhattarai
Reflection Session Reflection on the Day’s Activities and Learning
Feedback Sharing Shyam Bahadur Pandey

Closing Session Closing and Celebration NELTA Siraha, Trainers, Participants and others

Appendix: IV
Participants’ Feedback
Participants’ feedback has been always crucial to evaluate the effectiveness of the session/training/workshop. It not only helps the trainer to explore out what efforts remained effective and what are the areas to improve but also gives an insight for further works. We as practitioner trainers also collected feedbacks from the participants at the end of the workshop using focused group discussions and feedback sharing cards. The feedback sharing cards were given to each participant in which they had to write down two areas they appreciated and an area to improve. After they wrote their feedback individually again they were asked to discuss in their respective groups and come up with their groups’ feedback. Since there were four groups, each group’s feedback after some language edit is mentioned below in their own words:
Group A says,
“The training organized by NELTA followed a participatory approach from which we learnt how to make our teaching participatory. The contents which were delivered remained very fruitful to the teachers who are trying to enhance fluency in speaking. We as primary level English language teachers would be grateful to have similar kind of trainings time to time.”
Similarly, group B states,
“First of all we would like to thank to the sponsor Ms. Kate Miller who became so generous to us and NELTA for organizing this kind of training for us. We have learnt a lot of classroom English expressions in this training which would certainly influence our teaching in the coming days. Stories, jokes, songs and dances during the training created a comfortable learning environment. We are really thankful to you both trainers.”
Group C mentions,
“We learnt many things from the training such as the new and interesting way of introducing each other, the responsibilities distribution to make all the participants feel responsible for their learning, classroom English expressions etc. We also came to know that how to use classroom English expressions in our teaching so that students could use them in their day to day communication. We thank to trainers and the NELTA and the sponsor Ms. Miller from the bottom of our heart.”
Group D says,
“In this short period we learnt a lot. We never forget the lesson that we learnt from this training. We will always try to use classroom English expressions in our classroom teaching and maintain English speaking environment in our classroom. We had really enjoyed all the activities during the training. We are very grateful to Ms. Kate Miller and NELTA trainers for giving us this opportunity.”
Finally, group E, states,
“This NELTA training is really good for the teachers. It taught us new techniques to use classroom English expressions in our classroom along with so many refreshing activities. After attending this training, we came to know that there is still a lot to learn as English teachers. We, therefore, request you and NELTA to organize this type of training time and again. Thank you very much for this wonderful training.”
Training Glimpse

Figure 1) Ms. Kate Miller, UK inaugurating the three-day teacher training programme in Damauli, Tanahu on 17 November, 2011.

Figure 2) Teachers in Siraha in a group work activity on 24 November, 2011 which was facilitated by Mr. Shyam Bahadur Pandey.

Figure 3) Participants in Siraha at the training session learning to sing and act the children song which was facilitated by Mr. Uddab Bhattarai.

Figure 4) Participants enjoying with the balloons after winning the classroom expression making competition and the two trainers enjoying with the trainees.

Figure 5) Trainers and trainees in Siraha after the group presentation.

Figure 6) Participants after the completion of the three day teacher training in a single lens.

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5 Responses to Three-Day Teacher Training in Tanahu and Siraha

  1. […] Three-day Teacher Training in Tanahu and Siraha supported by Kate Miller (a report by Shyam Pandey) […]

  2. Kate Miller says:

    Congratulations to Nelta trainers and participants of Tanahu and Siraha for the success of these trainings. I look forward to more collaborative trainings of this kind in the future.
    You are all achieving so many good things. Nelta can only go from strength to strength.
    Kate

  3. surendra kumar karn says:

    It’s the matter of great pleasure to have the latest news NELTA has played for its branches viz Tanahu and Siraha is reformatory. It has helped and updated our English Language teachers proficiency through the trainings is seen very effective and fruitful. At this moment i would like to say congratulations to all Nelta trainers,facilitators and those active participants of Tanahu and Siraha for the successful journey of it. Again, my special thanks also go to ms. Kate Miller,who sponsored the Three-day Teacher Training Programme and also wish to keep on the same kind of innovative and participatory trainings in the days to come.

  4. Shyam Pandey says:

    Dear Kate,

    Thanks a lot for the positive complement. It was possible because of your generous support. Definitely, we look forward to report similar kind of report in the days to come. There is a lot to do!
    Shyam Pandey

  5. Raju Shrestha says:

    I would like to say something to the reporter of his efforts revealed to present the happenings of training conducted in Tanahun and Siraha. Of course, the trainers and NELTA branhes did labour to educate the primary English teachers who are not familiar with the recent concepts of what English language pedagogy should be in the present era of globalization, it also be remembered that for this kind of initiation of NELTA there are other people and institutions who have revealed their supportive hands for the successful sharing. It is because of this why don’t we remmember to those contributors for the further support as well. You have talked alot about you trainers but left this aspect which could add beauty of the reporter
    Thanking you
    Raju Shrestha
    ETC, Tanahun

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