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Typical Challenges Faced by English Students from Cambodia

Typical Challenges Faced by English Students from Cambodia | ITTT | TEFL Blog

There are always struggles and problems with learners of English as a foreign language in different countries. Cambodia is no exception. The Cambodian educational system has undergone many changes in its history. The Pol Pot genocidal regime between 1975-1979 forced the educational system of the nation to collapse. After a long prohibition of the English language and the end of the cold war, the government and people of Cambodia chose the English language to be the second language to communicate and do business. In 1986 the ban from teaching English was lifted. Since it is such a relatively new language in the everyday educational system, learners of English can have problems understanding and learning the language.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Michael S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

No access to school education

The importance of education for a child is to build and train them as a person and for the development of the country. Many children in Cambodia have no access to school and if they do, there is a high dropout rate, and students are required to repeat the EFL class. Poverty is also a problem with people wanting to learn English. With poor parents, children can be required to work and earn money for their families and not have the opportunity to learn. Some parents also do not understand the importance of education for their children, so they aren't allowed to attend school. Even if they can afford to send their children to school they are still required to spend money on things like textbooks and stationery.

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The lack of materials

The factors of resources schools are able and not able to have is a large part of the struggles Cambodian learners may have. Lack of updated materials such as course books, tape recorders, cassettes, and computers have a large impact on the learner's interest in the language. The low income that teachers receive could also affect the experience of the learners. Teachers might not have the enthusiasm and positive attitude in the classroom required for a teaching environment. In consequence, the learners can feel bored with the lessons and lack enthusiasm in the classroom causing problems in regards to morale and rapport within the class.

Also Read: From Immigrant to ESL Teacher - A TEFL Graduate's English Teaching Journey

Regional factors can also come into play

In some regions, learners don't have adequate schools available to them. They could be very old structures, small classrooms, or have nothing at all available to them. Students may live far away from the towns with adequate schools and the roads needed can be very rough and difficult to travel on. In consequence, enrollment could decrease for such schools and opportunities for persons wanting to learn lost. Better governmental funding could help achieve higher development for physical structures, building and reconstructing roads, and in doing so increasing enrollment within these areas.

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In conclusion, there can be many factors to problems or struggles with Cambodian learners. Whether it be the history of the country, the state of their families, the lack of funds for schooling, or where the learners may live. All these factors can contribute to the hardships of teaching and learning together. Ongoing progression is required to face the difficulties and struggles of an English learner in Cambodia.

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