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News for SAJHA Community
News Date     13-Aug-02 10:08 AM
Subject: INLS announces Worldwide Nepali Language Education Program

Worldwide Nepali Language Education Program

International Nepali Literary Society(INLS), Washington D.C. is initiating a program to promote and preserve Nepali language through out the world. It has started Nepali Language Education Project in Washington D.C. metro area and will be running Nepali language class in this area in the near future. INLS plans to establish a good education project in DC and transfer the model to establish similar projects in other Nepali communities in the US and other countries via INLS representatives and chapters.

A DC metro community meeting was called by INLS on August 3rd, 2002 to discuss this program and establish a committee to carry forward this task.

Currently, DC Nepali Education Committee is conducting a Nepali language class survey. If you live in the DC metro area, we would like to request you to fill out the survey form available at end of the DC Nepali Education Project below. If you live in other states, we would like to request you to become INLS representative so that we can transfer our experiences and resoruces of this project to your community through you as well as work on other INLS projects. For details about the “call for representatives”, please visit http://www.inls.org/representatives.html

INLS DC Nepali Education Project

Overview

Do you feel that your children (child) are losing touch with the Nepali language, and does this bother you? Are you one of those great many parent(s) who tries hard to speak Nepali with their kids only to receive replies in English? Are you among those parents who, in frustration, have switched from speaking mainly Nepali with your kids to speaking mainly English? Or are you an adoptive parent with a Nepali adoptee who you would like to offer a chance to learn the language of his/her ancestry. Or are you a recent immigrant parent who wants to see that your children’s Nepali language abilities do not get overwhelmed in an English-speaking country?

You are not alone. Maintaining literacy in Nepali in an English-speaking country is not an easy or simple task. Many immigrant groups have already lost their language (Germans, Italians, East Europeans etc..). We Nepalis may be traveling on a similar path unless we stand up and do something about it.

One thing is certain, nearly all Nepali parents want their children to speak and understand Nepali. But with so many things to attend to, the typical parents are not able to allocate the time and resources to a serious effort to help their children become literate in Nepali. Teaching Nepali becomes a low priority job for most of us as we try and stay afloat in the sea of daily responsibilities. Thus, even with the best of intentions, most of us are simply not able to create a home environment conducive to Nepali literacy.

As a result, our children will grow up unable to become a part of an ancient, rich, expressive and versatile linguistic tradition -- i.e. unable to use the Nepali language, and therefore, unable to access the complex and unique civilization that lies just beneath the veneer of language.

The good news is that International Nepali Literary Society (INLS), a DC based organization devoted to Nepali language and literature, in collaboration with local DC organizations and a group of concerned Washington Nepali parents, is taking the first steps to institute a Nepali language class for school-age children of the metro DC area.

Goals

The goals of this initiative are:

1) to organize a year-round Nepali language class for school-age children as a viable and self-sustaining endeavor
2) to develop an appropriate and innovative curriculum for the specific needs and interests of children of Nepali parents living in the Greater metro DC area
3) to maximize participation of parents and children
4) to teach not only Nepali, but to use Nepali to teach about Nepal as a whole
5) if successfully implemented, to assemble the DC experience as a model for other Nepali communities to start and run their own Nepali language classes

Plan

The project will be executed in two phases. On the first phase, a family based Nepali language class will be established and on the second phase, a self-sustaining model will be established with professional instructors, curriculum and educational materials.

DC Nepali Education Committee

Dr. Anup Pahari (Chair), Ambika Gurung, D.B. Tamang, Dr. Guna Raj Subedi, Kathie Stein, Prem Sangraula, Prem Thapa, Puru Subedi

Current Activities:

Survey

The committee is currently conducting a brief survey of Nepali parents in the DC area to help us determine some fundamental questions such as: general interest level, frequency of class, Nepali proficiency and speaking habits at home. All serious projects begin with information gathering and thus we urge you to kindly take the time to fill out the survey questionnaire at http://www.inls.org/inls/survey/dcnep_survey.asp The committee will keep your interests and concerns fully in mind as we develop this program further.

 
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