ACE Expat Teachers Learn Khmer

By Dalin Sun

Living in a country without speaking its language is a struggle. Considering this, ACE is running a Khmer class program to assist our expat teachers in their daily communication.

We, as ACE teachers, are very excited to share with you about our Khmer Class Program. At ACE, we are committed to help each other; thus, we decided to run a Khmer class to teach expat  teachers,who are interested in learning, some basic Khmer to ease their lifestyle in Cambodia.

ACE teachers taking their final Khmer class exam

Our class was on Tuesday and Thursday for 45 minutes. It covered various useful topics ranging from self-introduction to praising students in Khmer to direction and transportation to numbers and currency to shopping and bargaining. Most importantly, our students did not only get sit in class and learn the language points but they also got a chance to practice speaking Khmer in real-life situation, through outdoor activities. For instance, we arranged a short field trip to the market and asked the students to put everything they had learnt into practice. It was an assignment which they had to compete with one another to see who can get the most fruits and vegetables by spending only five dollars, using the words they had learnt to buy and bargain.

Moreover, students in Khmer Class were required to take a final exam. We are absolutely pleased that all of our students passed their final test with the highest score of 48 out of 50. The two top scorers in the class were rewarded with some gifts for their hard work.

Student Testimonials

The teachers were very friendly and patient during the Khmer lessons and I learnt a great deal from them, especially in terms of improving my pronunciation. I use Khmer now when I buy food at restaurants, go to the market and also when chatting with other Khmer teachers and staff.

- Luke Arnold (ACE expat teacher)

The Khmer class has been lots of fun, Leak and Reaksa are very patient teachers. I love learning languages and am very keen to learn Khmer to be able to communicate with locals. I arrived at the perfect time to learn vocabulary for buying and bargaining for fruits and vegetables at the market. This is perfect for me as I love shopping at markets and cooking with ingredients I've never tried before ..AND we got to enjoy the fruits of our learning with a trip to the markets to practice -a great piece of task-based learning.

- Alanna Thorley (ACE expat teacher)

When I heard there was going to be a Khmer class the first thing I wanted to know was how much it would cost, as I had to pay for lessons at my school in China, and also in Oman, where they offered us a course in Arabic- for a price! When I heard it was free I was overjoyed and a little nervous. I had already been in Cambodia for over two years but didn't know much of the language except for some basic greetings and nouns. The first class was difficult, as I had trouble hearing the teachers, but I found them to be organized and professional. I had to stay after class one day for extra help, and my confidence went right down, but I stayed with it, and managed to attend all of the classes except one.

I found it really valuable to use as I take tuk-tuks everywhere, well, Passaps now, and just being able to say "'Turn right, or left" in Khmer and have the driver understand was exciting, even empowering! The lessons on fruit and vegetables were good too, and I can now order my favourite, "'m/noa (pineapple) with ease.

I would highly recommend this course and putting in some time and effort to learn the Khmer language. It has motivated me and helped me to empathize with the students and their English study. I now know what they are going through! Thanks to Reaksa and Leak!

- Monica Murphy (ACE expat teacher)

I am grateful for these teachers who took time out of their busy days to teach us Khmer. I feel comfortable using and practising some phrases and I do, especially for things I like such as “ma nois” and “sway, so sdei,” “sok sabay te?” and a few other phrases in the passapp taxi. I am less comfortable using many of the other words but feel sure that this will come with time. Thank you!

- Jaki Armstrong (ACE expat teacher)


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