Teaching English at CWF
Our volunteers teach conversational English courses designed to create an informal learning environment, with small groups (approximately 14 students per class) and fun, relevant topics. Although students often ask for advice on correct usage of grammar, it is not the primary focus of our courses. We do not focus on grammar, reading or writing, but rather on putting English to work in real life contexts through role-play, activities and discussion.
You will teach up to five hours per day from Monday to Friday. We encourage our volunteers to spend time preparing for their classes so the students get the most benefit from classes.
Depending on student demand and the number of volunteers we have in a given semester, we sometimes offer one-to-one conversation classes. Our one-to-one students pay more, but benefit from their teacher’s undivided attention during their class.[separator /]
Conversations with Foreigners is open Monday to Friday, 6.30am to 8.00pm. We teach classes all day, with busiest periods in the early morning and evening.
Our students often study at high school, or work and study at university 6 days per week, and have various family commitments on top of their CWF classes, so our schedule reflects the best times for our students to study English.
Our volunteers teach up to 4.5 hours per day, with a reserved class for back up and new student testing at the end of the semester. Our Academic Coordinator assigns your classes, and you will most likely teach from 6:30am to 8:00am, then have a break during the day before teaching two hours between 4:00pm and 8:00pm.
Should a volunteer fall ill or be otherwise unable to teach their class on a particular day, each volunteer is assigned a back up hour, and is asked to cover that class.
If we have a high number of volunteers, teaching hours may be reduced, but the back up hours increased. For example, if we have enough volunteers to schedule only 3 hours teaching per day, then everyone will be scheduled 2 back up hours.[separator /]
CWF’s teaching approach is designed to address the challenge of teaching English in a development context. We aim to make English a real –life communication tool and our students confident users of English. In the context of regional integration, where English is the sole language of ASEAN, and set to become the region’s language of the workplace by 2015, this is vital.
CWF’s curriculum draws on our student’s desire to share their traditions and uphold their cultural identity. So the course reflects the realities of Cambodian life by incorporating Khmer food, celebrities, travel destinations and ceremonies.
We teach only conversational English in a fun and informal setting. This results in a cross-cultural dialogue between our students and their teachers, who come from across the world. This is effective not only in motivating students to speak and practice English, but also to promote a balanced exchange of ideas. Students are empowered to express their pride in Cambodia.[separator /]
Our students pay US$110 per semester – that’s for 11 weeks (700 contact hours) of classes and costs about one-third the cost of similar courses in Phnom Penh with foreign teachers. Every semester, we offer scholarships to 5% of our enrollment, ranging from 100% of fees to 20%, based on financial hardship, disability, access to education, and family situation.
Students who study at our school are aware that they are directly funding development projects in rural areas and volunteers not only contribute directly to students in Phnom Penh, but also indirectly to the long-term sustainability of NGOs’ work. As rural communities make up 80% of Cambodia’s population, this model of fundraising will hopefully prove more sustainable for rural communities and for Cambodia as a whole. As part of the experience, volunteers will visit and learn from NGO’s projects in the provinces to gain an insight into rural life.[separator /]
Our students come from all walks of life. We have high school students, university students, police officers, doctors, tuk tuk drivers, government employees, stay at home mums… Students range from 13 to about 55 years of age, but the majority are typically secondary school and university students. All students have at least a basic understanding of English, but all lack practice in speaking and listening with foreigners.
The students here can at least afford to pay fees to study, so are more fortunate than many. It is worth noting that in many other volunteer programs, volunteers are working directly with Cambodia’s poorest, most vulnerable people. By teaching at CWF, this is not the case. Some of the problems faced by Cambodia today need very specialised knowledge, skills, and resources. Our program offers a tangible way for anyone to help contribute to the continued improvement of Cambodia’s future, and experience Khmer culture first hand.[separator /]
Our staff do not work on Cambodian public holidays, so the school closes and the volunteer house staff do not work.
All semesters have 7 to 9 holidays, with some marking long Buddhist festivals where the school closes for an entire week. Most volunteers use these holidays to relax on the beach and islands around Kep, Kampot and Sihanoukville on Cambodia’s southern coast, venture inland to enjoy sunset on the Mekong at Kampong Cham, or explore ancient glory of the Angkor Wat complex.
For more information about each semester’s holidays, please visit Upcoming Groups.
Please be aware that each program’s start dates, end dates, and public holiday dates may change without prior notice.[separator /]