English in Nepal: Phoenix or Dinosaur?

Authors: Eak Prasad Duwadi, Sindhu Rijal (Kathmandu University, Nepal)
Speakers: Eak Prasad Duwadi, Sindhu Rijal
Topic: Language Minorities and Majorities
The GLOCAL CALA 2023 General Session


In Nepal, the significant growth of English language education began, quite steeply, at the time when the first Rana Prime Minister of Nepal, the late Jung Bahadur Rana, held office. From this point on, educational bodies, schools and higher institutions, companies, larger organizations, and society at large, embraced the need to develop English competence. This craze has continuously grown, and will do so within the foreseeable future.

This study attempts to landscape the growth of multi lingual education in Nepal, by taking both a historical perspective, and an ethnographic methodology. The data includes surveys with students and educators in educational institutions throughout Nepal, as well as literature review and government statistics. The study draws data from a range of institutions, as Nepalese educational bodies comprise various types of systems, including Government-funded, Private and Missionary bodies.

The study finds that a majority of students position the English language through animal ideologies, such as the phoenix and dinosaur. Through this play with animal metaphors, the English language and its pedagogies have been repositioned by student, educational system, and government.

Keywords: Afro American, American, Australian, British, Canadian, Codeswitching, Dinosaur, English, High School, Indian, Introduction, Nepal, Phoenix