on Vicky Dyer (Cambodia), 07/Oct/2012 13:45, 34 days ago
Although it's not part of my job, since I came to Cambodia I've been teaching English to trainees. It's part of their curriculum and I've been training trainers at the same time. For me it's the only way I can model effective teaching methods properly as all other lessons are in khmer.Up to now, English has not been a subject in Primary Schools but with increased pressure from ASEAN to improve the level of English spoken in Cambodia, the Ministry have decided to introduce it. About 5 years ago, a VSO volunteer wrote a scheme for teaching English. She was invited back to update it and we now have the job of supporting its introduction in the schools.This is a pilot project and will begin initially in Grade 4. In August I went to Phnom Penh with 3 trainers from PTTC to participate in training them how to use the new books. Phonics are used and many interactive teaching methods, games and songs. In September we ran a 3 day workshop for 50 teachers from the pilot schools plus Directors of Education from the districts in our province. Organisation was frought with difficulties as schools were closed, the official letter only arrived 2 days before the training, the materials also just arrived in time for us to sort them out the day before. Despite all this, the teachers turned up and were immediately enthusiastic. Some came from rural areas so had to stay in town, others were from the schools used by the college for Teaching Practice. Some teachers spoke good English, most only a little and a few hardly any.What is this?On Day 1, teachers were a bit nervous, especially of the phonic pronunciation of c, a, t. The activities helped put them at ease.Concerns were voiced about the amount to learn. Once it was pointed out that each day of the workshop covers a months lessons in school, teachers relaxed a bit!! We split into 2 groups as there were so many participants. I worked with one trainer in one group whilst the other 2 trainers worked with another volunteer in the other group. Considering this was new to the trainers they did really well and this was a great motivation to the teachers.Is this a bat?Teachers were given copies of the flash cards and practised using them. Small chalk boards also play a big role in the teaching methods used.He has a bag.Write pen. Say n,e, t, net.Word ShapesBingo!! By the end of the three days, teachers were mostly feeling quite confident to teach. School started on 1st October. Unfortunately the books have not yet arrived so the introduction is delayed. Some schools are not yet open due to floods. I took this photo at one school. The two little girls have their new uniforms and new bags but cannot start school yet ...Hopefully teaching will start in a couple of weeks and I'll be able to report on the progress. I'm looking forward to supporting the teachers and assisting them with some of the activities and songs.