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Title: English in the Nepalese Education System with Special Reference to Historical Socio-Cultural and Linguistic Perspectives
Authors: Majumder, Tapasi
Keywords: Nepalese Education System;Socio-Cultural;Linguistic Perspectives
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Faculty of English
Institute Name: Faculty of Humanities & Social Science
Level: Ph.D.
Abstract: In Nepal, English education system, English language enjoys aplace of great prestige.Knowledge of theEnglish language was andempirically speaking, is still considered a mark of social status and itrepresents power and class.A blend of upper class ideology and elitistvalues forms the basic structure of the English language teaching inNepal. Indeed English has never left the domain of Education. TheNepalese learners went to learn English outside the country.They also gotopportunities to learn inside the country since the early 1940s. English hasalways enjoyed a place of importance and those who were conversant inthe language, were regarded as being educated. In fact, the functionsofthe English language and the state ideologies have been like hands inglove. Though this country was never ruled by the British, the Mootquestion is why did Nepal borrow the English education from India?Logically, the geo-culturally conditioned Indic-tradition could have madeSanskrit, not English education as the linking factor. English is the language of modernization and media and it is a factthat English has remained the language of the elite class and of theeducated calledBhadralokor babus in Bengal. This status consciousnesshas perhaps remained a reality in non-colonized Nepal where English hasalways been the part of the Nepali people’s modern cultural life, especiallysince the forties of the last century.English was never dropped out of thesyllabus in Nepal since English Education entered here via India andparticularly Kolkata. In course of time English found a strong place in thehistorical, the modern, the ideological and the functional nexus. In Nepal,rise of the English writing by Nepali intellectuals is a great achievement, especially when it is considered how within a short period of time it hasmade its import here. The chapters in this researchall address to the concepts andtheoretical practices that constitute a compendium of information on theEnglish teaching in Nepal. The purpose of this research is to maketransparent the different ideological concepts, underlying convictions anddiversepractical approaches in the handling of the literary text in thecompulsory English courses in Nepal. The focus of this study is, to identifythe way language education and culture are related subjects. We have toexplore and also critically examine the fact that the teaching of literaturehas occupied the position of centrality in the English language education.This research study has been based on document analysis and issupported by classroom observations and an interview. Its findings havebeen distributed at different sections of the study. Therefore, this studyblends history, pragmatism, social reality and vision of English languageteaching in Nepal. Although English in Nepal is not used as an official language, it isstudied as a foreign languageand is a compulsory subject throughout theschool education up to the tertiary level. Therefore, an attempt has beenmade to answer such question as: a) What role do language teachingpolicies play in the growth and development of learningEnglish as aforeign language? b) How can Literature be put to the service of thepractical task-based language teaching pedagogy? c) What is the role ofthe non-native texts for the non-native learners/teachers of English?d)What variety of English is the need for the Nepali learners, when Englishis considered, a world language.(World Englishes)?
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