English for new millennium

Producing English textbooks for general B Ed students by Nepali scholars of English education stream has a very short history initiated only a couple of decades ago.

A Course in General English was a maiden attempt made in 1994 for two-year B Ed by a team of four experienced English teachers.

Claimed to be a step towards meeting the needs of the English learners of Nepal, the book was undoubtedly a great success.

In 2009 this compulsory reader was replaced with New Generation English by an experienced team of ten to meet the same end of three-year B Ed students.

In not more than six years, a third textbook entitled English for the New Millennium has been brought out with the introduction of the four-year B Ed programme, apparently to meet and raise their level of the English language.

But then, despite the book being a collective enterprise of the same renowned, long-time English teachers at TU it cannot by any means be hailed as a well- written course book.

It is certainly not their dearth of knowledge but their fleeting time in Kathmandu that could not prevent very many errors and omissions from finding their way into the book.

An instance of negligence surfaces when we read line eleven in the story of “The Martyr” that reads: “Sunil heaved a sigh of relief and lied on the back”. ‘Lied’ is incorrect, yet no correction has been made in six years whereas the same story with the same mistake in New Generation English was lifted for the present text.

We can come upon other instances of carelessness: for example, the dashes are used as hyphens at many places; the glossary does not include some difficult glosses and at the same time some of those included do not give their contextual meanings.

The story “Grief” can be a real stumbling block not only for the students but also for the new teachers embarking upon a career of teaching: the introduction and the story proper are not demarcated by italics and general writing.

The story has been extracted from Essays, Short Stories and One-Act Plays that has a three-paragraph introduction from which the last one is lifted as it is for English for the New Millennium.

What the editors and contributors have asserted and professed in the introduction to the present book cannot be accepted: the definition to an essay and poetry are misleading.

It is more than three months English for the New Millennium has been used in the classes across the country.