First week of teaching

 Posted by Joseph Allen at 10:52 am  Cambodia
Jun 142008

Well all the uncertainty has come to an end. My first day of classes and the week, I would say went fairly well considering I’ve never taught before.

We have course books to use for teaching, however these books are geared more toward acclimating foreigners to US living and are not very applicable to local Khmer culture. Despite the curriculum the students are eager to learn and are open to learning anything and everything you teach them. Other resources are available, and though rudimentary serve their purposes. Major skills that the students need to work on are vocabulary development, improving coherent speech, and pronunciation.

While teaching some students are somewhat reticent, while others are almost too eager. For myself, not having much teaching experience has not been a problem, and any native English speaker should feel confident teaching the prepared lessons. For those interested in preparing for such an experience, unless you can design a curriculum specific to the needs of the students here, my advice would be to identify and practice different teaching strategies. The lessons are based on topics dealing with everyday life, everything from food to problems in your house. There is much flexibility allowed in teaching strategies and even choice of topics, however, I have not deviated from the lessons much.

I can tell you that the students indicated their main reasons for studying English were to aid in finding a job, to communicate with foreigners, and to educate themselves further. Very few if any have traveled outside of the country, and only slightly more seem to have traveled within Cambodia itself.

At the end of the week, we had a volunteer house meeting to discuss any issues in accommodations or teaching.


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