I am taking lessons in Khmer. Twice a week I go for my classes in a classroom that is literally in the shadow of the Toul Sleng genocide museum, also known as S-21, the school turned into a notorious prison where thousands were tortured before being executed in Choeung Ek, the Killing Fields of the Democratic Kampuchea regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.
We have recently had a spate of comments in our Polls section which contain lists of URLs to gambling sites, offers for herbal viagra, dodgy diet pills and the rest of the rubbish people keep finding in their inboxes. We would like to apologise for this. When this started happening to our Weblogs, we were able to buy software that meant that any comment had to be approved, which guaranteed that such posts were deleted before they appeared onsite.
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.