Teaching and Learning English in Cambodian High Schools: Challenges and Prospects
English was introduced to high schools in Cambodia as a foreign language component of the high school curriculum in 1992. Despite some significant progress since its inception, the teaching of English has, however, faced considerable challenges in terms of class size, methodology, syllabuses, enthusiasm, students・proficiency level, and learning environment. Many high school teachers seem complacent about the way they teach English, for they believe that as long as they stick to the syllabuses which were adopted by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports for all high schools, they have achieved their course goals. Also, many students take a carefree attitude towards English learning. As a result, they end up having enormous difficulty with English communication despite six years of English study, from grade seven to grade twelve. This paper will identify the challenges that impede the progress of English teaching and learning in Cambodian high schools and look at the chances of its success in an attempt to revitalize the ELT field in high schools in particular and in Cambodia as a whole.
Om Soryong is currently the deputy head of the English Department of the Institute of Foreign Languages, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He holds a Master’s Degree of Science in Instructional Design from Southern Illinois University, USA and a Graduate Diploma in TESOL from the University of Canberra, Australia. He has been involved in curriculum/syllabus design and development and teaching English as a foreign language in the Bachelor of Education in TEFL and Bachelor of Arts in English courses at the Institute of Foreign Languages for more than 10 years. His areas of expertise include teaching methodology, translation, curriculum development, and instructional design. He has a special interest in learner motivation and the use of humour in the classroom. He is also a member of the CamTESOL steering committee.
Mini-immersion: Content, instruction, and young ELLs
Mini-immersion, the inclusion of short content-focused segments within the framework of typical conversation classes, gives teachers and students a chance to step completely out side of the box. The importance of teaching both BICS and CALP has been thoroughly demonstrated and this teaching technique facilitates a balance between the two in a common EFL setting: extracurricular English lessons for young ELLs. In this workshop, attendees will be presented with arguments for using Mini-immersion. There will also be chances for the audience to discuss and apply the technique. Finally the presenter will discuss the effects of Mini-immersion and show samples of language produced by students of Mini-immersion. For teachers of young language learners this workshop will provide an engaging avenue for instruction as well as new paths to assessment of student performance and the effectiveness of instruction. For students, Mini-immersion is an excellent way of developing autonomy in young learners.
Brad Semans has taught in Japan for more than 9 years now. He is the Head ALT Instructor for Saitama City and also runs a successful private tutoring service catering to elementary aged students with advanced language abilities. Brad is also the assistant editor of the Saitama Journal of Language teaching and has authored a host of articles and papers that no one in their right mind would publish, so they didn’t.