Search Results for: repost

Mirror, Mirror — [Republica Repost]

[Negative Self Image]

In a basic writing course I teach here in New York, I assign an essay that requires students to describe and compare two different education systems or cultures. For some reason, most international students compare the worst aspects of education back home with the best features here. Chinese students describe theirs as outdated, based on rote learning, and unable to prepare global citizens for today’s world. Indian students write about how much they hated lectures, exams, and the pressure that their parents put on them. Smart students from over the world somehow pick rotten oranges from one side and compare them with fresh apples from another! They somehow interpret “compare” in my essay prompt as “show one side as superior.”

I am often reminded of the faulty arguments made by those otherwise talented students when I read opinion pieces in national newspapers, social media conversations, and discussions in professional forums in and about Nepal. In the attempt to be modern, globalized, educated, and ahead of the curve, many among us assume that our local institutions and value systems are automatically inferior to those of more “advanced” societies (which we seem to also assume are “universal”). Whether it is gender role or social justice, educational practices or popular culture, good governance or science and technology, we tend to describe or assume that our society, institutions, and traditions are entirely backward.  Continue reading

Authority and Professionalism — [Republica Repost]

[United, we win] —Higher education reform

It was early 2006 when members of the Maoist party in the city had just started coming out—though it also seemed that many were simply claiming association with the party because incentives were high and risks small. I was a lecturer at the Central Department of English in Kirtipur, and I had been happily doing what I was supposed to do: teach students, help them with their research and writing, and have conversations about teaching and learning with colleagues. One day, out of the blue, two of my students started using loud voices and harsh words, accusing me of being “against students”. They had heard that I had objected to an institutional practice of increasing students’ final marks rather than maintain the grading policy. These two gentlemen had not only been highly respectful toward me, they had also been particularly friendly. So I was shocked that they would go to the extent of warning me not to go to the university, or else. Nothing bad happened, and a few months later, I left for further studies in the US. Continue reading

Ditch the SLC Exam — [Republica Repost]

First article of my column/series published in the Republica on June 21, 2014. (reposted here because link to the original publication is broken).

I now teach at a prestigious university within the largest and one of the best American public university systems, the State University of New York.

But twenty-four years ago, when I first appeared the SLC, I failed.

Now, I am not about to tell you a wonderful story. Sorry, there are more stories of suicide than of success in this regard. I am instead telling my story, for the first time beyond my family, in order to make a very broad point about the SLC exam and our society.

The precise reason I failed the exam was that I went to a public school in ninth and tenth grades. I passed the exam after I went to a private school for a year and retook it. Again, before any advocates of private schools start licking their lips, let me make something very clear. In the big picture of education system where I failed—even though it was in the Indian state of Manipur where there was a similar testing system as in Nepal—the private school that helped me pass the exam was NOT a solution of a problem. The emerging phenomenon of private schools was, or it was becoming as it also is in Nepal, a manifestation of an insidious social crisis. Let me explain. Continue reading

There’s No Public — [Republica Repost]

Published on July 2, 2016 [Logic of Writing]

It is not necessary to “dumb down” specialized ideas when writing for “general” public, which, by the way, doesn’t exist.

Previous generations arguably had two rather distinct groups of people when it came to reading and writing specialized bodies of knowledge: there were the few educated people mainly at the center of political and economic hierarchy, and there was the “general” public. The spread of literacy and higher education have now radically blurred that boundary. However, myths about communicating complex ideas still prevail. Like the myth about “good writers” that I wrote about here previously, the idea that there is a general public who can only handle simplified language is a misconception that any writer should avoid.

Read the full article on Republica.

Continue reading

Choutari Repost–Sounds and Images… Thinking about Teaching

To the diversity of ELT khuraks of this month, let me add a different kind of material, a few inspiring web videos, with some reflections and questions on the issue of education in our time.

As a teacher, I believe that we must not just go to class with a lesson plan but we must have a broader understanding of the goals of education, a sense of how our education relates to the challenges of the larger society as well as our students’ futures, and the willingness to engage our students in thinking about larger issues than the textbooks provide–whenever and wherever possible or appropriate.

Originally published on ELTChoutari. Continue reading

Making Learning Happen: Book Post

I am delighted to share with you a new book, with thanks to STAR Scholars Network whose publication wing is making works of public scholarship like this accessible to teachers and scholars around the world.
Titled “Making Learning Happen: Five Shifts Toward Student-Focused Education,” this book evolved from a brief training guide for teachers at my alma mater in Nepal, capturing what a network of professors were practicing in 2016-18, to what is now an expanded, transdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and up-to-date form. I am grateful to my colleague Surendra Subedi who helped to draft that early version, as well as early leaders of TU Grassroots Community, for their contribution to it.
This work captures the collaborations of communities of teachers in Nepal and South Asia and around the world, inspiration of thousands of students in the past 29 years, extensive research and reading in the past few, and experiences as a faculty trainer and curriculum developer/reviewer. I am grateful to teachers in Nepal, India, and the United States whose good teaching strategies I have emulated as a teacher, to colleagues in a very teaching-rich discipline (Writing Studies), and to the many scholars whose teaching ideas I have adopted as a teacher.
नेपालमा खास गरी त्रिभुवन विश्वविद्यालयका शिक्षक साथीहरुको सहकार्य र प्रेरणा प्रति म आभारी छु । हामीले नेपालमा गरेको काम विश्व भर साझा गर्न आवश्यक छ भन्ने लागेर यो पुस्तकलाई २-३ गुणा चौडा, प्रशिक्षण नभएर शिक्षण-केन्द्रित, नेपाल मात्र नभएर विश्व दक्षीणका अरु सन्दर्भहरुमा पनि लागू हुने गरी, विविध विधाहरुलाई र कोभिड महामारी पछिको माहोलमा प्रविधिको प्रयोगलाई समेटेर, अनि सबै परिच्छेदहरुलाई व्यवहारिक शिक्षा र न्यायिक समाजको अवधारणा अनुसार अद्यावधिक गरेको छु ।
Please download a copy for yourself and share it with your network. STAR Scholars Network has kindly made the digital copy free for a while. Hard copy is available for order via Amazon (where it delivers). For colleagues in Nepal, Sunlight Publication, Kathmandu is reprinting it in collaboration with SSN (hopefully within a month) – please wait before you print the .pdf until that low-cost copy arrives.
I am planning to facilitate a few virtual workshops to promote the book. Please let me know if you’d like to organize one. I also have plans to visit a few universities, here in the US and abroad. Please let me know if you’re interested (I have the funds to travel). The e-book is free and I intend to not receive royalty from print. I passionately believe in the need to promote teaching practices that go far beyond lectures and exams, an education that prepares students for successful lives and careers (and not just get degrees and then start learning skills or figure out what to do with their education).
Please share/repost, download, forward, and help to promote. Please remember to skim through and pick what you like best and include that in your post.


देश बाहिर बसेर अध्ययन गर्ने वा बिभिन्न पेशामा कार्यरत नेपालीहरुलाई खासगरी सामाजिक संजालका सम्बादहरुमा “विदेशमा बसेर बाठा कुरा गर्ने” भन्ने आरोप लागेको देखिन्छ ।बाहिरै बसेर पनि योगदान दिन चाहने/सक्नेहरुको संख्या बढ्न थालेको धेरै समय नभई सकेकोले पनि त्यो तर्क देख्न सुन्न पाइएको होला । तर आफ्नो ज्ञान र शीपको क्षेत्रमा धेरथोर योगदान दिनेले त्यसबारे हल्ला गर्न पनि अप्ठारो, थाहै नदिँन पनि अनुचितको बिलखबन्द हुन्छ । त्यहि अप्ठारो बीच मैले तलको सुची बनाएर आफुले नेपाली शिक्षा जगतमा योगदान दिएका प्रोजेक्टहरु बारे आफ्नो “नेपाल रेजुमे”को शुरुवात गरेको हुँ । यो अपुरो र यसको लेखाई अधुरो छ, समय निकालेर सुधार्नु पर्ने छ । तै पनि अरु साथीहरुलाई यसले प्रेरित गर्ला भन्ने आशाले तयार पारेको हुँ । सन् १९९२ मा भारतमा विद्यालय शिक्षा हासिल गरेर स्वदेश फर्केपछि सन् १९९४ देखि २००६ सालसम्म बुटवल र काठमाडौँमा विद्यालय र विश्वविद्यालयमा शिक्षण र प्राज्ञिक सेवा गर्ने अवसर पाएको हुँ । नेपालमा सार्वजनिक विश्वविद्यालयको सौभाग्य/अवसर नपाएको भए उच्च शिक्षा र त्यसमा आधारित रोजगारको अवसर उपलब्ध हुने थिएन, न त २००६ सालपछि संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिकामा थप अध्ययन गर्न आए पछिका दिनमा नै । त्यस अवसरकालागि र आफ्नो मातृभूमिप्रतिको कृतज्ञता जाहेर गर्न पनि मैले तलका योगदान गर्ने र तिनलाई यहाँ प्रतुत गर्ने जमर्को गरेको हुँ। यसलाई हेरिदिनुभएकोमा मेरो हार्दिक धन्यवाद! 


*70+ op eds mainly on higher education for a column in Republica (reposted on this site as original links seem to break after a while)

78. “Policy Communication: Communicating Specialized Knowledge with General/Mixed Audience,” a 2-hour workshop organized by Dr. Purna Nepali, Kathmandu University School of Management (KUSOM), April 2022. 

77. Writing for Social Justice, a 3-month workshop series/course to support Dalit and other activitists/scholars with writing op-eds that are more research- and analysis- based toward making more significant impact on public discourse and policy related to social justice for Dalit community and broader social change, supporting Subhash Nepali to develop the course and co-facilitating with him and other colleagues (Lina Gurung, Gauri Nepali, Shiva Hari Gyawali, and Leena Dahal), April-June 2022.

76. Scholars’ Accountability Group, a weekly peer-feedback meeting series, led by Chandra Upadhyay and other scholars of Tribhuvan University, for scholars of TU and beyond from across the country, March-April 2022, supported development of the program

75. Global Perspectives on Journalism in Nepal: Nepalese New Media in the 21st Century, a book including 18 chapters by journalism and media from across Nepal and a few abroad, edited with Bhanu Bhakta Acharya. Routledge, 2022.

74. Adaptive Design: Engaging Students in Disrupted Distance Learning, a workshop for 50+ faculty members of Kathmandu Model College Network, February 2022. 

73. Tribhuvan University Professional Development Workshop series (2021): Served as a resource person and coordinator for a faculty development initiative, including workshops on development of research agenda and social-impact objectives, mobilization of diverse languages and genres for public engagement, teaching excellence through research integration, and pursuit of new professional development objectives. 

72. Tribhuvan University webinar, Research & Writing Support Group, 3-month long modular weekly milestones (Sept.20, Dec 20 –  Feb 21). 

71. Little Angels’, “Learner Engagement During Disrupted Distance Learning,” Sept. 29, 2020 (facilitated with Dr. Smrittee K. Panta)

70. Open University of Nepal, “Research and Writing as Knowledge Production, a workshop for English Studies students, Sept. 19, 2020 (organized with Tara P. Adhikari)

69. Opening Doors with Social Science Education, Golden Gate College, a panel and Q&A for college students pursuing higher education in the social sciences (with Prof. Shiva Bhusal and Ms. Moon Gurung).

68. Brain Gain Center webinar (May 2020)– helped develop, facilitate, and participated in the panel for the first session of a webinar discussion series —

67. Tribhuvan University Webinar (April-May2020): presented “critical perspectives on online education” for a panel discussion and discussion with TU leaders (including address by Education Minister)

66. Tribhuvan University Teacher Training (April 2020): trained a group of 24 TU professors and organized training for 500+ TU professors from across Nepal (स्वयंसेवी समुहले संचालन गरेको यो वृहत कार्यक्रममा शिक्षामन्त्रीले दिनुभएको मन्तव्य बारे कान्तिपुर दैनिकको समाचार)

65. King’s College Conference session (April 2020), Keynote — “Embracing Chaos: Virtual Conference on Online Teaching” (King’s College, Kathmandu)

64. KMC Orientation session (April 2020) for unit/institutional leaders of Kathmandu Model College (and network)

63. Martin Choutari Discussion — co-facilitated (with Subhash Nepal) workshop on writing for social justice, Martin Choutari (June 2019)  

62. Trihuvan University (2016-17): Webinar Series (monthly teacher training workshops): Tribhuvan University (October 2016-July 2017)

61. ^^Ditto @KMC: webinar series Kathmandu Model College and Network

60. Writing for Social Justice, Op-Ed writing “course,” supported Subhash Nepali to develop and implement, organized with similar support from Dr. Tom Robertson at the Fulbright Center, Kathmandu.

59. Tribhuvan University Webinar Series (2017-18, monthly teacher training workshops): Tribhuvan University (September 2017-May 2018)

58. ^^Ditto @KMC: Kathmandu Model College and Network

56. Tribhuvan University two-day teacher training retreat/summit (Bhaktapur, May 2018): Tribhuvan University — trained trainers, helped organize and facilitate program, presented a keynote 

57. ^^Ditto @KMC: Kathmandu Model College and Network

56. Tribhuvan University two-day teacher training retreat/summit (Nagarkot, May 2019): Tribhuvan University — trained trainers, helped organize and facilitate program, co-presented a talk on research advancement and integration (with Dr. Binil Aryal and Dr. Krishna Bista)

55. ^^Ditto @KMC: Kathmandu Model College and Network

54. News 24 interviews — 2 interviews about higher education and contribution of diaspora scholars 

53. NELTA talk, 2016 — on the potentials for advancing Writing Studies and Writing Education within the framework of ELT in Nepal 

52. Applied linguistics conference, TU CDEE, 2018 (?) — on the role of teachers as micro-level policy makers and practical translators of curricular policy 

51. Two-day writing for social justice workshop (Butwal, June 2019) — a series of workshops for integrating autoethnography and research for writing to influence social policy and public engagement

50. Little Angels’s, faculty development framework workshop (June 2019) — with Krishna Bista — a workshop engaging faculty and administrators for adapting/developing a framework for rewarding faculty teaching, research, and academic/community service 

49. Toronto Conference, Role of Diaspora in Higher Education in Nepal, Presented a paper on BGC (concept and promotion) 

48. New York, BGC Concept and Recommendations (during visit by DPM Ishwor Pokharel) 

47. BGC presentation in Kathmandu — at launching (May 31, 2019) 

46. Online workshop series on publishing research-based article for 24 scholars from across Nepal plus India and Bangladesh and across the disciplines (in collaboration with Surendra Subedi), Feb 2-020 – Apr 2020. “Publishing Your Research/Scholarship: Taking Ambitious & Purposeful Approaches to Product, Process, and Politics”

45. Online workshop series on publishing research-based article for 12 scholars from across Nepal and across the disciplines (in collaboration with Dr. Prem Phyak), Nov 2019 – Jan 2020.

44. Online workshop series on publishing research-based article for 12 scholars from King’s College (in collaboration with Anuj Tiwari), Aug 2019 – Dec 2019. “Publication Based on Empirical Research”

43. Webinar series and on-the-ground training, Tribhuvan University, Nepal (assisting implementation of semester-based teaching/learning through monthly online sessions, leading up to summer programs), Nov. 2016 – 2017.  

42. Kathmandu Model College, similar to or overlapping with TU, Nov. 2016 – 2017. 

41.  Monthly online teacher training webinars, leading to a 3-day onsite training in August 2016, Midwestern U., Nepal, Oct. 2015 – June 2016.


40. Sixty plus op-ed articles (as of February 2019) for Republica, for a column on higher education and society, July 2014-Present.

39. Book: Co-edited with Bista, K. & Raby, C: Higher Education in Nepal: Practice, Policy and Perspectives. (Expected publication: Fall 2019).

38. “Realigning Higher Education.” In Bista, Sharma, Raby eds. Higher Education in Nepal: Policies and Perspectives, Routledge, 2019

37. Co-authored with Krishna Bista and Rosalind L. Raby: “Introduction: Telling stories, generating perspectives: Local–global dynamics in Nepalese higher education.” In Bista, Sharma, Raby eds. Higher Education in Nepal: Policies and Perspectives, Routledge, 2019.  

36. Co-authored with Sudha Tripathi and Surendra Subedi: “Making the shifts to change the system: Implementing the semester system through pedagogical training in Tribhuvan University.” In Bista, Sharma, Raby eds. Higher Education in Nepal: Policies and Perspectives, Routledge, 2019.

35. Co-authored with Krishna Bista and Rosalind L. Raby: “Conclusion: Complexities of higher education in Nepal” (with Rosalind L. Raby & Krishna Bista). In Bista, Sharma, Raby eds. Higher Education in Nepal: Policies and Perspectives, Routledge, 2019. 

34. Chapter: Co-authored with Surendra Subedi: “Semester System in Nepal: Taking a Collaborative, Constructivist Approach to Teacher Training.” Tribhuvan University Journal, 2018.

33. Article: “Translanguaging in Hiding: Effects of English-Only Instruction on Education in Nepal.” In Transnational Writing Education: Theory and Practice. Ed. Xiaoye You. Routledge, 2018.

32. Chapter: “Third Eye: An Exhibit of Literacy Narratives from Nepal.” In Stories that Speak to Us: Exhibits from the Digital Archives of Literacy Narratives. Eds. Cynthia Selfe et al. Utah: The University of Utah Press imprint, 2012

31. Chapter: Co-authored with Bal K. Sharma. “Global Popular Culture and Literacy Practices of Nepalese Youth Online.”  In ScreeningLiteracy Across Cultures. Eds. Bronwyn Williams & Amy Zenger. London: Routledge, 2012.


30. Dukhirahane Desh(a collection of poems in Nepali), Kathmandu: Sunlight Publication, 2006. 


29. Book project: “Writing Education in South Asia: Obstacles and Uptakes.” (2018-20)


28. “On Their Own Terms” (2016-18),a study of writing pedagogies and engagement of global perspectives in Romania, Colombia, India, Nepal (grant: National Council of Teachers of English, US). 


27. Lecturer, Tribhuvan University, Central Department of English, Nepal, 2000-2006.

26. Lecturer, TU Colleges: Padma Kanya College, Ratna Rajya Laxmi College, Nepal, 2001-2006

25. Lecturer, TU-Affiliated Colleges: Kathmandu Model College, Campion College, Kathmandu Don Bosco College, Nobel College, Nepal, 2000-2006

24. Teacher, Schools: GEMS (high school), 1998-2000; Universal Academy, 1997-98, Kathmandu; New Pinewood School (elementary & middle school), Butwal, Nepal, 1994-97.



27. Keynote (with Cynthia Davidson & MaryAnn Duffy): “Using Research for Leveraging Education” part of joint keynote titled “Leveraging Agency: Using Writing, Technology, and Research to Drive Educational Transformation,” Kathmandu Model College

26. Talk (with Binil Aryal & Krishna Bista): “…” 

25. Workshop: KMC, 2018 …

24.  Workshop: TU, 2018 … 

23.  Paper: “Teachers as Curriculum Designers and Micro-Level Policy Makers.” (virtually presented) Annual ELT and Applied Linguistics Conference, School of Education, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, Feb. 10, 2018.

22. Workshop: “Working with Sources: Strategies for Developing & Sustaining Your Research Agenda,” with Drs. Gene Hammond & Santosh Khadka, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, Aug. 9, 2016.

21. Talk: “Get Inspired.” United States Education Foundation, Kathmandu, Nepal, Aug. 2, 2016 +++ add 2018 & 2019 talks.

20. Keynote: “Making Transformations: Growing by Giving.” Transformations: An Educational Summit. Midwestern University, Surkhet, Nepal, Jul. 25, 2016.

19. Lecture: “The Place of Writing Education in ELT: A Case for Nepal.” Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association, Kathmandu, Nepal, Aug. 13, 2016. 

18. Talk: “Writing Studies and Writing-Intensive Pedagogy Across the Curriculum.” Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, July 17, 2016.

17. Roundtable (led discussion with provost and eight deans of Tribhuvan University): “Implementing and Improving the System in Nepal.” Kathmandu, Nepal, Aug. 15, 2016.

16. Talk: “Beyond Binaries: Teaching as Lifelong Learning.” Kings College, Kathmandu, Nepal, Aug. 11, 2016.

15. Talk: “Developing Your Research Agenda.” Kathmandu University, Kathmandu, Nepal, Aug. 15, 2016.

14.  Paper: “Establishing a Writing Center” (a concurrent session training tutors and director). Transformations: An Education Summit. Midwestern University, Surkhet, Nepal, July 24, 2016.

13. Paper: “Global Popular Culture & Literacy Practices of Nepalese Youth Online.” CCCC, Atlanta, GA, Apr. 8, 2011.

12. Paper: “Navigating Epistemological Worldviews: Nepalese Graduate Students in Rhetoric and Composition Programs in the US.” CCCC, Louisville, KY, Mar. 18, 2010.

11. Paper: “Perceptions and Perspectives: The Journey of Knowledge in Abhi Subedi’s Fire in the Monastery.” Conference of the Literary Association of Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal, Mar. 2, 2005.

10. Paper: ELT Conferences, NELTA, Nepal, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006.


9. Certificate/Appreciationfrom Rector Prof. Dr. Sudha Tripathi, for facilitating faculty training programs, May 2019, Nagarkot. 

8. Nepal Vidya Bhusan (then “Mahendra Vidya Bhusan”), Gold Medal, Royal Palace, Kathmandu, Nepal, Mar. 2000.

7. Diligence Scholarships while studying MA, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, 1997-99; while studying BA, Butwal Multiple Campus, TU, Butwal, Nepal, 1994-96.

6. Award, National Essay Writing Context, Central Bank of Nepal Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, 1994-97


5. Editor(1 of 5),Journal of NELTA (Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association), Nepal, 2009-13

4.  Editor(1 of 4), ELT Choutari, blog-based monthly magazine on English Language Teaching, read by English teachers around the world; 2009-12. (about 10 editorials).

3. Co-founder, EditorELT Choutari, blog-based monthly magazine on English Language Teaching, read by English teachers around the world; edited with 3-6 co-editors, 2009-13.


2. Life member: Literary Association of Nepal, Nepal, 2003- 

1. Life member: Nepal English Language TeachersAssociation, Nepal, 2000-  

Part I: Translingual, Transcultural, Transnational — From Buzzwords to Teaching Strategies

Reposted from Transnational Writing blog

When reading the increasingly rich scholarship on translingual, transnational, and transcultural issues in the teaching of writing, I can’t help thinking that these terms, too, will soon be replaced by newer ones—criticized as insufficient, rejected as counterproductive, avoided as too political or impractical. As scholars have started emphasizing (at conferences, calls for proposals, and publications), if our discourse aboutteaching translingual skills, promoting transcultural/cross-cultural communicative competence, and incorporating transnational/global issues into the curriculum remains too abstract for too long, I think that it will backfire. We must complement the necessary theory-building with concrete pedagogies, practical applications, and accessible language if we want to engage fellow writing teachers, members of other disciplines, and administrators in conversations about curriculum and higher education at large.

Fortunately, in the last few years, it also seems that when we return from conferences to classrooms, we have started testing, adapting, and developing more concrete strategies for teaching the above skills and knowledge. In this post, I would like to share a few activities, assignments, and teaching ideas that were inspired by professional conversations in our field. Taken from two specific courses I teach, one in the Writing Program and one in a different department, these are works in progress and I would appreciate your comments and feedback on them. Continue reading

Part II: Translingual, Transcultural, Transnational — From Buzzwords to Teaching Strategies

Reposted from Transnatioanl Writing blog

In part 1 of this post, I shared assignments and activities that I use for teaching and promoting translingual skills, incorporating transnational issues, and fostering cross-cultural communicative competence in an undergraduate special-topic seminar titled “Global Citizenship.” In part 2, I would like to share how I try to do the same in a more more conventional first-year writing course, titled “Intermediate Writing Workshop,” one that is required of all students across the university. The lack of curricular space makes it relatively harder to achieve the same goals in mainstream writing courses, but I have been inspired by how well students have responded so far. Continue reading