On the heels of the 13th Annual CamTESOL Conference, 22 current and new Cambodian English Access Microscholarship Program teachers from seven provinces gathered for a two-day professional development training at La Rose Suites in Phnom Penh. English Language Fellows Aileen Fermin and David Cupchak, with their colleague Ida Abu Bakar, facilitated workshops on a variety of topics: adapting textbook materials, increasing awareness of immigrant influence on American culture, improving teachers’ pronunciation of spoken English, integrating more English language communication in community service projects, and planning an intensive, four-day English camp from start to finish. The Access teachers were able to expand their teaching toolbox while working collaboratively with their peers.
The professional development training also embraced the belief that fellow educators are valuable professional resources and enabled participants to facilitate sessions and energizers. Kimteang Thai, an Access teacher from the American Education Center (AEC) presented a session comparing U.S. and Cambodian educational systems. Access Coordinator Molika Heng and Access teacher Povpolka Soeung facilitated a ‘Best Practices’ workshop in which their colleagues shared and discussed teaching practices that impact their language instruction. Taking ownership for their learning was a hit with the participants and was highly requested for future Access teacher training.