English Class: Vatanak’s Story

To give our students an early start in developing crucial English skills, ISF offers English classes to both our catch-up and state school students. In Cambodia’s rapidly developing job market, high value is placed on English language skills, and many employers require their staff to have a basic level of spoken and written English. English is also a prerequisite for getting into a Cambodian university or further education programme.

Leng Vatanak* joined ISF’s Education Programme four years ago when his family relocated from Batambang Province to Phnom Penh. Up until that point Vatanak had received very little education and entered ISF in grade 2 at ten years of age. Now, Vatanak is studying in grade 7 in state school and wishes not only to complete his high school education but to also pursue a university education.

Vatanak’s favourite subjects include English and ICT and he attends extra classes in both at ISF. Vatanak describes his English classes as interactive and fun and he appreciates his teacher’s methods of introducing games and questions to provoke discussions and critical thinking rather than relying on rote learning to deliver lessons.

Learning English is very important to Vatanak as he believes it will give him more choices when it comes to landing a job in the future. In addition to improving his career options, Vatanak also enjoys learning English because it allows him to have meaningful conversations with foreigners.

In his ICT classes, Vatanak has learned how to type in Khmer and English, how to use Microsoft Office and how to set-up an email account. Delighted with all of the skills he’s developing, Vatanak aspires to be a manager or leader of a company when he’s finished his education.


* Names of children under 18 years old have been changed.