Reflections on Presenting in Interactive Language Fair (ILF)
Jeevan, Dipesh and Praveen
The Interactive Language Fair (ILF) during the 19th International Conference of NELTA in February 2014 was the first of its kind coordinated by Laxman Gnawali, Associate Professor (ELT)
School of Education Kathmandu University. The coordinator of the ILF has introduced this special event to the conference, replicating the ideas of similar event of the IATEFL. The idea was that each presenter was provided with one table, which was visited by groups of delegates interested to know more about the theme of their presentation. The separate tables were arranged just like stalls in a fair. Sixteen presenters, including us (Jeevan, Dipesh and Praveen), had interactions with the audience, by providing them information, answering questions, and inviting responses. The participants walked from one table to another, learning the presenters’ efforts to different ELT issues through discussion. In this post, we have shared our reflections on presenting in the ILF.
Now, let the world see our students’ creativity’: Jeevan Karki
Unlike other sessions, the ILF was a truly participants-focused event, where presenters explained their researches and other successful ELT ventures to the visitors, based on their queries. On the contrary to other sessions, the ILF presenters had to share the aspects of the presentation that the participants opted for learning. In addition, they could discover a wide range of issues dealt by different presenters at a single slot. Similarly, they enjoyed freedom to visit the presenter’s stall as per their choices.
The title of my presentation was ‘now, let the world see our students’ creativity’. I focused on publication of creative writings of our students, which I believe is the greatest award for encouraging them. I chose the area of my presentation after I generally found very few of them focused on publishing the creative writings of students. As a whole, I shared my opinions with the audience on the significance of publication when they want the students continue with creative writings.
In order to encourage language learners and develop their competencies in creative writings, we, a group of young scholars involved in creative writing have started a webzine called http://www.merocreation.com. I introduced the webzine and shared my ideas of encouraging students in creative writings and the procedures of how we publish the students’ writing on the online venue. As similar to my last article in Choutari, I discussed on techniques to accommodate creative writings in language class. Many participants visited my stall and we had a very exciting interaction. Besides the interaction, I showed them a video clip on creative writings. I took it for a splendid opportunity to share with them my ideas and initiatives on MyCreation. One among those visitors was a young participant from Bhaktapur, who I find was looking for some ways of giving platform for his students’ creative writings. He was so excited to learn our venture that he continued the talk during our lunch time, even after the conclusion of the event.
Let’s get the ball rolling 24/7 with Critical Thinking: Dipesh Sah
As the ILF was completely new for ours, I had submitted my proposal soon after the call for presentation was solicited by the coordinator Gnawali Sir. As luck would have it, I got an opportunity to present the research paper, where I made an attempt to show the value of critical thinking strategies for better learning in the ELT classroom.
Critical thinking underlies the three layers, which are mental, critical dialogue, and control based on reliability. It is a process by which the thinker improves the quality of their thinking. It is also an energizing force in education and a powerful resource in one’s personal and civic life. In my research, I have analyzed the data in order to find out the quantitative level of critical thinking in the students. My research was based on primary data collected from one public campus and two constituent campuses of Tribhuvan University viz; Sanothimi Campus, Sanothimi, Mahendra Ratna Campus, Tahachal and Nilkantha Campus, Dhading. Finally, I have suggested some the specific techniques used for testing the learners’ thinking capacity and also the ways to develop their individual critical thinking skill.
No doubt, I have experienced a good interaction with the audience in the ILF. Unlike plenary and concurrent sessions, it was not only interactive but it was participatory too since there was an exchange of conversation between me and them.
Professional Development in Nepalese ELT through Blogging: Praveen Kumar Yadav
I was thrilled to participate in the special event during the conference of NELTA in February. Taking the case of NeltaChoutari from my M. Ed. research, I have shared with the audience how it has helped ELT practioners in Nepal build on their scholarship and enhance them professionally and also the ways they have translated their learning from the blog into practice.
Starting with a glimpse of background and rationale of the research study, followed by the methodology I have adopted, I have highlighted on the blog ‘NeltaChoutari’ has helped to develop ELT practioners in Nepal professionally and also the ways they have translated their learning from the blog into practice. For instance, the informants have used the materials from the blog to facilitate trainings, carry out activity in the classroom, reference into their theses and organize discussions on ELT issues. Based on the findings, I have concluded with some substantial suggestions to increase its readership and circulation and also pedagogical implications.
Before we attended the ILF in the conference, the event coordinator Gnawali Sir had solicited us one PowerPoint slide, which included our name, institutional affiliation and the title of our presentation. He had suggested us to include a relevant image on the slide as per our wish and also insert some text on our presentation to help us in our talk. While the slide was projected, we had our two-minute thumbnail presentation in the beginning.
As we were asked to bring slide show, video, poster, any other materials that we wanted to display/present and interact with the audience, a table was provided to us for the materials including the summaries of our presentation for distribution. However, had the presenters experienced about the language fair, they could have brought many materials as expected and display them for the purpose.
Indeed, our presentation in the ILF was rejoicing experience for us. As we learnt that this special is going to take place again in the next year, we anticipate our participation as well. But, we are confident that this will be one of the most popular events during the conference 2015.