In Cambodia, the official school year runs from October 1st until the end of July. Additionally, during August and September, PLF runs “Summer School”.
There are no full-day classes at Cambodian primary schools, instead students attend either; a full morning or a full afternoon session throughout the school year. During this time you could hold your classes between 11am and 1pm, ie the period in between the morning and afternoon sessions, or you could hold your classes during the early evening sessions; 5-7pm. During “Summer School” you can run your classes any time of the day. The month of April is always best avoided. It is one of the hottest months plus it is when one of the most highly celebrated holidays in the Cambodian calendar takes place. Students will attend school during most of the other holidays throughout the year, but not this one.
In the English Enrichment Program you will be creating activities and exercises that support the teacher’s curriculum. You are not responsible for teaching the curriculum but are there to help solidify what the teacher has already taught.
For your first day, a PLF staff member will accompany you and assist with getting you orientated to the school grounds, introude you to the local teacher you will be working with and answer any questions you might have. On this first day, please take the time to talk to the teacher to understand where the students are at which will help you in preparing your exercises and activities for your upcoming classes.
Inside the classroom you can expect an atmosphere of excitement, as the students love to learn and they love the novelty of having a foreign teacher with them. The local teacher will be there to help translate if it is absolutely required but in the main only English should be used. The local teacher will always be available for support, similar to a Teachers Assistant but it is your job as the volunteer to lead the class. You need to come into this setting with direction, plans and goals that will help enrich the students’ English potential.
Participation, by the students in activities, exercises that involve coming up to the front of the class, demonstrating and answering questions is very typical and encouraged in this setting. Please also note that any resources you might need for your classes will need to be sourced and paid for by you.
There will be a range of ages for the students you will be working with but they are placed in English classes according to their English ability. Student attendance can be flaky at times so be prepared to expect as few as 5 students, or up to 20 students in the class on any given day. Regardless, you will be teaching whoever is there and the teacher will be there to support you.
You will travel from the Seven Candles Guesthouse to the school each day via one of the organization’s tuk tuks. Apart from drivers these guys will become great resources to you in other ways; translators, as they speak English well and they also enjoy helping you out by being interactive in your classes. They can also take you anywhere you may need to go after the volunteering session.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.