Our evening English classes for the older teenagers and adults in the area continue to be both popular and successful. Our teacher Sokheang (also the centers assistant manager) enjoys finding new ways to challenge his students and keep them interested in their studies. He has them singing karaoke and using the internet to engage in listening exercises. Most recently he has invited me along to give the students a chance to speak and listen to a native English speaker (photos are courtesy of him).
As anyone that has tried to learn a language knows, it is entirely different practicing it with someone with your own native accent than to the one you are learning. The students did really well and understood a lot. We were discussing ideas for letters which we will be sending to one school in the UK and one in Australia in a new pen pall initiative. We talked about the differences and similarities in growing up in the different countries, what it might be interesting for children in the UK and Oz to learn about Cambodia, and what we at the center would like to know about them. I also got them to do some translations from questions and ideas put forward by our younger students in their Khmer lessons.
The students really enjoyed the sessions and we have come up with some great letters (I will write a blog update on the progress of our pen pall friendships once they are underway – with the slow post here in Cambodia it is not going to be a hugely fast passed interchange). We will definitely continue with our speaking practice!