Experiential English Classes (2014-2017)



Marpha Foundation

The Context

Following national trends, many government schools in lower Mustang have adopted school-wide English medium instruction, even though few teachers speak English fluently. As a result, teachers continue to teach in Nepali, which remains the most effective method for communicating content to students. Yet, all textbooks and exams are in English, which makes understanding content outside of class and passing assessments a daunting task that exclusively rewards memorization.

Our Approach

Since 2014, Marpha Foundation’s Rosehips Center has offered experiential English classes at Shree Janakalyan Lower Secondary School in Syang village. While English language acquisition was the initial objective, the Rosehips team quickly realized that the students also needed opportunities for expression, creative problem solving, and self-guided inquiry, which the emphasis on rote learning effectively cuts from the classroom.

Our teaching approach evolved to foster an emergent curriculum that responds to students’ interests and builds off of their existing knowledge by relating English words to what they experience in their daily lives, both real and imaginary! This yields active sessions where English language learning takes place through storytelling, live-action role-play, making things, playing games, and singing and dancing.