Results tagged “literacy”
I have recently started trying to learn how to read and write in Khmer. I don't have much free time for studying and it is slow going. Fortunately, I have a very patient teacher, who doesn't seem to mind when I forget things.
Two years ago, the British government dropped compulsory foreign language lessons for GCSE students, an act of philistinism that should have never have gone through. In a globalised society and as a member of the EU, this decision defied logic, so it is good to hear that the current minister is prepared to reconsider it.
The Research Discovery Network have just launched a tutorial for ESOL students on using the internet that can be accessed freely by anyone interested. It's meant to give an overview of what the net is, how they can access it, how it can benefit them, etc.
Unable to sleep, I spent some time reading through British teachers' blogs last night and was reminded of just what dire straits some areas of education in the UK are in. Two in particular stood out, for different reasons. One, a blog dedicated to exposing the worse side of the ESL profession in the UK, gave details of the worst job it had seen advertised this year, while the other documented the travails of a highly dedicated teacher who has finally resigned and decided to quit the profession.
I have been in Japan for a few days. While I was in Cambodia, I remained completely illiterate, but in Japan I have managed to read a word. In Cambodia, there was a lot more English used in signs, so I managed to get by without bothering about the script. Here, there is quite a lot of English used, but to a lesser extent.
In an excellent article about English teaching in Nepal, Yakity-Yak, Chris Sowton states that 'English is being turned into the weapon of the elite'. His picture of language learning in a resource scarce setting is bleak, but much of what he says matches what I see around me in Cambodia.
I am currently enjoying an extended stay in Cambodia; long enough to try to learn some of the language, but not long enough to get to grips with the writing. Because I will be leaving for Japan in a while, where another language and a highly complex writing system awaits me, I have decided to remain illiterate in Khmer and focus only on the spoken language.