Cambodian University Students Gain Vocational and Leadership Skills Volunteering in Basic Language Instruction

Naomi Yakawich
August 27, 2016

Since its launch in 2013, the Basic English Language Instruction (BELI) organized by GPF-Cambodia has provided valuable English language instruction to underserved schools around Phnom Penh and offered life-changing experiences to university student volunteers.

Cambodian students attend volunteer orientation and induction.

UNG Siverong, a student of the Royal University of Fine Art, described how the project is empowering Cambodian youth with both academic and leadership skills, while affirming a shared human connection. “I really admire GPF for coming up with this kind of project,” he/she said. “It gives  opportunities to youth and students who cannot afford the costs of an extra English class. It also helps university students to get experience and work in real life. They can improve both hard and soft skills in their academic life.”

Another student, PAK Sonita of the Institute of Foreign Languages, agreed, and added,. “In each class with volunteer teaching, there are many students of different races, religions, and living conditions. We try our best to teach them as much as they can receive, without any discrimination. It is my great honor to be a part of GPF and gain experience and share my knowledge with the next generation.”

GPV teaching english to Cambodian youth.

American University of Phnom Penh student BUT Seakly was moved by the students’ welcoming attitude and willingness to strive for academic success, despite a lack of English language instruction. “I feel so touched by their behavior, which allowed me to work up to my potential as a teacher to help them learn English,” Seakly said. “From my observation, students are very competitive about test scores, which makes me happy that they want to learn.”

English is quickly rising as the primary language in many Southeast Asian nations. Providing quality education through English literacy programs like BELI gives Cambodian youth a significant advantage as the country enters globalized economy and multicultural world.

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