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Teaching English in Siem Reap

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Brisbane, Australia
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Teaching English in Siem Reap

Hi, I am currently studying a Diploma in TESOL and have my heart set on teaching English in Siem Reap next year. I have googled schools in SR, but there doesn't appear to be a comprehensive list of schools (not surprising) apart from International schools. I would prefer to work in general/public schools for minimal wage. Can anyone suggest, from experience, schools you have enjoyed teaching in.

Cheers, Lyn

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1. Re: Teaching English in Siem Reap

contact the Pohneary Ly foundation. they do amazing work! highly recommended. check them out at www.theplf.org and then google Pohneary Ly as a CNN Hero - they did a piece on her last year. she is one amazing woman!

I visited one of the 'international schools last year with a child we sponsor & her father and was apalled at the methodology I saw. I am a high school teacher in Aussie, but originally trained as a primary teacher. PM me if you need more info. (click on the 'blue' link on my profile name and then down the left you'll see 'send a message') - as a newbie you may not have got round to finding all the features of this site.

good luck



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2. Re: Teaching English in Siem Reap

i am not a teacher but some of my friends work here in siem reap as teachers.they all work hard for what i consider minimum wage but i am guessing they prefer working in cambodia than there own countries for many diffferent reasons,there is a khmer website that is located in phnom penh called khmer440,full of teachers on that site.sure they can fill in any questions you may have.

London, United...
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3. Re: Teaching English in Siem Reap

Hi Lyn

I can suggest a couple of school for volunteering but I dont know about paid work. I just finished volunteering for a month at Chres Village School and Orphanage with is just outside Siem Reap. I also volunteered at Khmer Help Khmer English School which is a not for profit language school set up by a local man in Siem Reap. I just set up a website for them www.khmerhelpkhmerenglishschool.com - it was the most wonderful experience teaching here!

Phume Phnom...
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4. Re: Teaching English in Siem Reap

Have you made a Google search using entry words ...Cambodia Language Schools ...and ...Language Schools Cambodia..?

I just did and 119 entries popped out and that was in the Yellow Pages only.

Rgds. Ian.

Edited: 30 July 2011, 21:54
London, United...
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5. Re: Teaching English in Siem Reap

Hi Lyn,

I volunteered to teach at Chhan's School in Siem Reap a few weeks ago and had an amazing time.

They are looking for English speaking volunteers to help out at the school which is located very close to Bakong temple in Siem Reap. It's a fantastic experience and a wonderful thing to do with your time in Siem Reap. It

s a Cambodian school for teaching english to orphaned and under privileged childen in the local village area of Bakong Temple, Siem Reap.

The school is organised and run by Bhuddhist Monk Song Somart and is under the patronage of Mr. Chhan, a spiritual meditation teacher.

The children are bright and vibrant, willing to learn and keen to practice their english with you at every opportunity! It is very rewarding to be part of their lives.

If you would like to volunteer, please send an email with the following information to: somarth2011@yahoo.com

1. Your name, email and contact number

2. Proposed dates you wish to attend Chhan’s School for teaching

3. If you will stay onsite or in town

You can also contact Song on Facebook, his user name is Song Samart.

When In Cambodia, give him a call on 0978695484

For more info check the blog:


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6. Re: Teaching English in Siem Reap


I can really recommend the FKC school in Seam Reap.


They have 2 classroomes and are always looking for volunteers. There is a kind of fee you per week, but they need every dollar and the for the kids the lessons are for free, so there is no other way to earn money beside donations...

Good luck!


Sre Siam
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7. Re: Teaching English in Siem Reap


None of the options offered you pay "minimal wage." In fact the most outrageous one is the one #1 suggested where you are obliged to stay at the guesthouse "her family"owns (seven candles). Here, according to her website is what it will cost you

"Costs Involved:

Keep a budget of $40 per day that includes:

Lodging in Siem Reap at Seven Candles Guesthouse ($20 a night, two can share a room if you want to split costs)

Transportation to and from school each day in a tuktuk ($15 a day when you’re teaching, two can share if you want to split costs)

A PLF t-shirt to wear to class ($5 each)

Teaching materials (we will supply a lot of resources, but you might want to make copies for exercises, buy some art supplies, snacks, whatever"

The next option is much better (#5) is much better, but still you have to pay out of your own pocket.

"As a volunteer, you are welcomed to eat and sleep at the neighbouring family home for a donation fee of $4 per day; this includes a basic mat bed for each evening of your stay and three traditional Khmer meals each day, including omlette and Amok curry with rice, yummy!

What I especially like about this one is that you will be living with Cambodians and not other foreigners, something you need to do if you want to understand their problems at a visceral as well as intellectual level. In any case I do not endorse any of the options. Personally my Cambodian wife and I started a school in our village and we do not use

volunteers. My personal opinion is that these not for profit organizations would do well to borrow some techniques from "for profit" businesses so that they could indeed attract altruistic professionals on a long term contract with a "break even" salary.

The state of voluntourism in education in Cambodia is deplorable. Simply because a person can speak a language does not make them a teacher and minimal stays of 1-3 days may make volunteers feel good but they do nothing for the students. And if one volunteers, one should volunteer for the good of others, not for the self satisfaction of having done something virtuaous.

Siem Reap, Cambodia
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8. Re: Teaching English in Siem Reap

PuBarang we have our reasons for wanting our volunteers to stay at the house with us and none have to do with what you're alluding to in your inflammatory post.

1. The volunteers are all in one place, can coordinate their lesson plans and activities together.

2. They have access to all our supplies and teaching materials

3. When things change (as they often do in Cambodia) it's easy to contact them, as we (PLF) are all living here also.

4. The cost of staying here is perfectly equivalent to staying anywhere else and the guesthouse stays in the top 5 in Siem Reap for a reason, it's nice!

5. Some child protection benefits

6. The volunteers are not staying with other foreigners. Everyone in Ponheary Ly's family lives in the house. You don't need to sleep on a mat on the floor to understand about local life.

7. We are able to use the for-profit business to support ourselves so that we don't have to draw salaries

We find well screened and well equipped volunteers to be most useful in the strategic places where we put them. We don't take people just to take them, in fact we turn down about half of all who apply. Our khmer teachers have benefitted from their presence greatly over the years and would be happy to talk with you about it if you wanted to check your very broad allegations about how useless volunteers are in their classrooms every once in a while.

PM me if you'd like to come and talk about the project. Would be great if you knew what you were talking about before you actually started talking.

Lori Carlson

The Ponheary Ly Foundation

Siem Reap, Cambodia
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9. Re: Teaching English in Siem Reap

Back to your question Lyn, check Australian Center for Education, Paul Dubrule, Angkor Hospital for Children. Those places pay ESL teachers and I hear they are pretty good places to work.

Sre Siam
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10. Re: Teaching English in Siem Reap

"PM me if you'd like to come and talk about the project. Would be great if you knew what you were talking about before you actually started talking." As intimately linked as you are to the organization I understand the necessity of attacking me rather than the issues I raise. But first things first,

"You don't need to sleep on a mat on the floor to understand about local life..." Maybe you don't but sleeping on a comfy bed and only being a native speaker won't make you a teacher either. Nor will buying an obligatory T Shirt. Considering the weather one would have to buy more than one.

More importantly you categorize all village experience at the lowest level. I do know, because I live in a typical small rural Cambodian village and I know that most villagers here have a bed. Also my two children( kon kaet) attend a local school and my sister-in-law is a school teacher in a local primary school. It is obvious to me that iff volunteers live in a village they will understand many of the roots of problems in education and they will begin to understand Cambodian consciousness (culture) more readily. But of course, being a pampered bourgois(e)you just want "to save" the people but certainly not live with them. Oh, perish the thought. I've much more to say, but living rurally as I do, I have more pressing issues. When time permits I will reply to your self-serving idealism as time permits. In the meantime do not hold your breath for my PM. I've no desire to visit you and have my own English school to tend to.

Edited: 21 August 2012, 14:53