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English language teaching in Nepal : an investigation of issues and challenges


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Aryal, A 2018 , 'English language teaching in Nepal : an investigation of issues and challenges', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Prior to starting the PhD, my personal experience and observations as an English language teacher in Nepal suggested that several issues and challenges impeded English language teaching (ELT) in Nepal. A preliminary exploration (PE) with my lecturers and colleagues in Nepal also raised similar issues and challenges. This research project explores Nepalese ELT. The research project was guided by the following research questions.
a. What are the issues and challenges that have an impact on English language teaching in Nepal?
b. How can English language teaching in Nepal be improved?
Essentially, with a mixed-methods approach in its methodology, this research solicited the perceptions of Nepalese secondary English language teachers in order to investigate issues and challenges in ELT in Nepal. The qualitative data were drawn from sixteen semistructured interviews that were conducted in four different districts of Nepal: Kathmandu, Chitwan, Surkhet, and Dailekh. The participants shared their experiences of teaching English language and highlighted the issues and challenges. The interview data were thematically analysed to generate emergent themes. Counting frequency of the prevalence of thematic responses across participants was used to gain initial themes which assisted in developing the theme hierarchy.
For quantitative data, 200 teachers from the same districts completed a questionnaire survey to determine their self-efficacy, motivation and self-reported English language proficiency. The Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) validated by Tschannen-Moran & Hoy (2001) to determine efficacy for classroom management, student engagement, and instructional strategies was used in this research. The questionnaire to rest teachers' self-reported English language proficiency was derived from Chacon (2005) to assess four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Finally, sixteen item scales were formulated based on Guajardo (2011) framework of analysis for teacher motivation. The quantitative data were descriptively analysed to gain mean and standard deviation. Bivariate two-tailed correlations were also computed on the survey data.
Analysis of the qualitative data indicated that several issues and challenges for ELT in Nepal operate at different levels of the education system. These issues can be observed in top-down hierarchy from macro to micro level; the system level issues on the top and the actual classroom teaching issues remaining on the bottom. The qualitative data analysis developed a pyramid structured issues hierarchy, presented below, which was fundamental in discussing diverse ELT issues in the Nepalese education system. Nepalese education still follows a top-down approach and accordingly it was also found that the role of the government and the community is very crucial in enhancing ELT quality with definite policies and direction. Moreover, extensive political interference, teachers' professional identity and status, and ineffective and limited opportunities for professional development were discussed as dominant ELT issues. In the same way, these ELT issues operating at different levels of the education system were found to be interrelated. The issues that affect classroom pedagogy are difficult to separate from other issues in the top hierarchy levels.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Aryal, A
Keywords: Education policies, professional identity, professional development, motivation, self-efficacy
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Copyright 2017 the author

Additional Information:

Chapter 4 has been removed for copyright or proprietary reasons. It has been published as: Aryal, A., Short, M., Fan, S., Kember, D., 2016. Issues in English language teaching in Nepal. In, S. Fan, J. Fielding-Wells (eds.), What is next in educational research? (pp.141-155). Sense Publisher.

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