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An Emergence of English Language Variety in Cambodia The 12 th ESEA Conference: Trends and Directions Presenter: Keuk Chan Narith RUPP/ IFL – English Department.

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Presentation on theme: "An Emergence of English Language Variety in Cambodia The 12 th ESEA Conference: Trends and Directions Presenter: Keuk Chan Narith RUPP/ IFL – English Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Emergence of English Language Variety in Cambodia The 12 th ESEA Conference: Trends and Directions Presenter: Keuk Chan Narith RUPP/ IFL – English Department

2 An Emergence of English language variety in Cambodia Purposes of the paper 1. to seek preliminary understanding of features of Cambodian people and learners’ language; 2. to investigate causes which encourage to such features; 3. to examine intelligibility of English language used in this country to foreigners, native or non-native speakers of English language; and 4. to discuss alternatives for improving English language training in Cambodia.

3 An Emergence of English language variety in Cambodia Background information The history of English language spread into Cambodia The history of English language spread into Cambodia - before civil war (1975): French was a dominant foreign language in Cambodia due to French colonization ( ); English was little learnt and spoken in the American colonization ( ).

4 An Emergence of English language variety in Cambodia - after Genocidal regime (1980–late 1980s): English and French were prohibited; Russian and Vietnamese were taught in schools. - UNTAC (1990s): English became a dominant foreign language. In mid 1990s, the Royal Government of Cambodia declared English and French as foreign languages in Cambodia.

5 An Emergence of English language variety in Cambodia Needs of English language: Needs of English language: - living survival - higher education - diplomatic relationship - seeking residency abroad

6 An Emergence of English language variety in Cambodia English language training: English language training: In addition to formal training of teachers of English sponsored by AUSAIDS, a huge number of private/ informal English language classes were opened. In this situation, the Khmer people who have known English better would teach the ones who don’t English language.

7 An Emergence of English language variety in Cambodia Literature review Kirkpatrick (2005)’s study for International seminar at RELC: Kirkpatrick (2005)’s study for International seminar at RELC: The added /s/ sound at the end of the words spoken by Cambodian could be seen as another expanding circle or learner features of English language.

8 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Stern (1997) Stern (1997) In order to study a language variety in one country, ones must study the language that learners produce, which he calls as interlanguage studies.

9 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Littlewood (1994): constructivist view: Littlewood (1994): constructivist view: Second [or foreign] language learners, similar to children of their first language, are actively constructing rules of the target language they are exposed to and gradually adapting these rules in order to form the target language system.

10 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Ellis (1996): Cognitive processing Ellis (1996): Cognitive processing - noticing - comparing - integrating - restructuring

11 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Framework of the study Littlewood (1997)’s suggestion: Littlewood (1997)’s suggestion: 1) Language transfer The learners use their previous native language experience as a means of organizing the second language.

12 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia 2) Overgeneralization The majority of intralingual errors are instances of the same process of overgeneralization that has been observed in first language acquisition. The majority of intralingual errors are instances of the same process of overgeneralization that has been observed in first language acquisition.  Learners use their previous knowledge of the second [or foreign] language that they use to generalize the target language systems.

13 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia 3) Non-standard errors The assumption is that the speech which learners produce is a direct reflection of the rules which they have internalized, that is, of their underlying competence in the second [or foreign] language. The assumption is that the speech which learners produce is a direct reflection of the rules which they have internalized, that is, of their underlying competence in the second [or foreign] language. Two factors for discussion: - immediate communication strategies - performance factors

14 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia 4) Errors due to the effects of teaching If a learner is taking part in formal instruction, some errors will be a direct result of misunderstanding caused by faulty teaching or materials. If a learner is taking part in formal instruction, some errors will be a direct result of misunderstanding caused by faulty teaching or materials. - Material uses - The effectiveness of teaching

15 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Method Method - Qualitative analyses of the recorded materials in forms of interviews, group discussions, learners’ presentations and other means of communication and written materials offered by his students. - Participants: year-two students at RUPP, Institute of Foreign Languages, English Dept. and 2 Australian, 1 American, 1 Swedish, and 1 Singaporean.

16 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Findings & Conclusion One major problem is phonological features. One major problem is phonological features. - Learners mistress English words. - Learners mispronounce / ð /, and /d/; / θ /, / ∫ /, and /s/; /z/ and / Ʒ /. Learners - Learners do not pronounce the ending sounds of words. sounds of words.

17 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia ‘…yes main problems for Khmer people who speak English is that there’re two problems for Khmer speakers: one is intonation. So you talk about in Khmer you say [table], this is a table [no stress]. In English we say [Table], so we stress [ta] and we go down on [ble]. Another one is that Khmer do not pronounce clearly the end of the words. …when I first came here I never knew what they said because I never heard the end of the words. I can’t understand what they said,’ said an American teacher who has been working in Cambodia for four years.

18 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia - Learners tend to pronounce /s/ at the end of words – adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, etc. Ex. In an interview 3: Yes. In fact the study always have a difficulty but –er- in –er- my study in IFL I face some of problems such as – er- er- manys document[s] I have to reads mores such –er- more such for example I have tos search for mores book[s] for develop myself but I think I don’t have enough time for me to work ands study at the same time. ([s] means the speaker dropped ending sound).

19 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia  Some of these features are caused by non-equivalence in the two languages in phonological propositions in the form of language transfer and overgeneralization of the target language.

20 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia A second major problem is the features caused by language transfer. It is affected by learners’ experience in the native language and knowledge of other languages they know and use. A second major problem is the features caused by language transfer. It is affected by learners’ experience in the native language and knowledge of other languages they know and use.transfer - Culturally, Khmer language and Khmer culture do affect English language learning.

21 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Ex. One obvious feature of English language which is not found in Khmer language is article (a, an, and the). Khmer learners of English language may interchangeably use a, an and the, or they may not use these articles at all. Let’s look into the extract of one university learner’s introduction of a reflection paper.

22 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia A short story, An Incident, was given me a valuable of life of human being after I read it. The story was set in China more than fifty years ago. The incident was happened at ʌ South Gate during the winter of 1917 when ʌ rickshaw man was hired for taking a rich man to ʌ South Gate. Suddenly, when ʌ old woman crossing the road, she had left the pavement without warning to cut across in front of the rickshaw. The main actor is ʌ rickshaw man who is the kindly gentleman. Another people are ʌ old woman, ʌ police man and ʌ man who is hiring the rickshaw, ʌ rich man. (9 articles were dropped)

23 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Another major problem is caused by the learners’ immediate needs to use English language to achieve some communicative purposes. Another major problem is caused by the learners’ immediate needs to use English language to achieve some communicative purposes. - Beginners, or less competent people or learners attempt to speak English language for their living survivals and communication.

24 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Ex. One student sent his message to his lecturer for his late submission of his assignment: “Thanks, lecturer for your apology. I submit my assignment late.” This learner got the wrong lexical choice of apology for forgiveness or just permission.

25 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Another major problem is caused by teaching. Another major problem is caused by teaching. - Materials available in Cambodia for English language teaching and learning. - American English-made materials - British English-made materials - Other English-made materials: writers in Singapore, Philippines, Indian.

26 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Intelligibility Intelligibility - An American teacher, who has been teaching English for 4 years in Cambodia, found it hard to understand Cambodian people, esp. his students’ English language because the dropping of ending sounds of words. American

27 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia - An Australian teacher, who has stayed in Cambodia or five months, noticed that English spoken in Cambodia is similar to English in other Southeast Asia countries. She added that Cambodian people do attempt to communicate, to speak English. She could understand it quite well.

28 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia - Another Australian teacher had problem with the sounds – it’s difficult to distinguish between thing, sing, etc. - A Singaporean teacher, working as a teacher in the Teacher Attachment Program, found a bit difficult at the beginning to understand each other in the classes. It took him one or two sessions.

29 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia - An advisor to English language learning and teaching, a Swedish professor, spent quite a long time to understand her students’ essays. She pointed out that Khmer students used ‘on the other hand’ to add more ideas, rather than to contrast their previous arguments.

30 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Discussion In terms of intelligibility, Smith (1997) suggest that people who involve in communication in the target language should try to make themselves intelligible, comprehensible, and interpretable to their interlocutors. In terms of intelligibility, Smith (1997) suggest that people who involve in communication in the target language should try to make themselves intelligible, comprehensible, and interpretable to their interlocutors.

31 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia Communicative strategies should be used to foster communication and/or refresh communication breakdown. Communicative strategies should be used to foster communication and/or refresh communication breakdown. Learners should have been exposed to such communicative strategies and English language varieties, esp. Englishes in Southeast Asian countries to reduce miscommunication in the target language. Learners should have been exposed to such communicative strategies and English language varieties, esp. Englishes in Southeast Asian countries to reduce miscommunication in the target language.

32 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia More studies should be done in Cambodia in order to explore in-depth features of English language (interlanguage) adopted by Cambodian learners and people. More studies should be done in Cambodia in order to explore in-depth features of English language (interlanguage) adopted by Cambodian learners and people. Another research should also look into how much intelligible and comprehensible Cambodian learners’ English language is, ane when communication breaks up, how Cambodian speakers refresh it to bring success in communication. Another research should also look into how much intelligible and comprehensible Cambodian learners’ English language is, ane when communication breaks up, how Cambodian speakers refresh it to bring success in communication.

33 An Emergence of English language Variety in Cambodia The observation and investigation into teachers and learners’ attitude to English language variety in Cambodia should be conducted so that any attention and measure should be developed to strengthen the quality of and redirect ways of English language teaching and learning. The observation and investigation into teachers and learners’ attitude to English language variety in Cambodia should be conducted so that any attention and measure should be developed to strengthen the quality of and redirect ways of English language teaching and learning.

34 Reference 1.Adgar, M Language and Culture. The Biculture in Bilingual. Coupland, N. and A. Jaworski, eds. Sociolinguistic. A Reader and Coursebook. London: Macmillan Press Ltd. 2.Cook, G Applied Linguistics. Oxford Introduction to Language Study. Oxford. 3.Crystal, David English as a Global Language. Cambridge: CUP 4.Gumperz, J., J Interactional Sociolinguistics Interethnic Communication. Coupland, N. and A. Jaworski, eds. Sociolinguistic. A Reader and Coursebook. London: Macmillan Press Ltd. 5. Kachru, Braj, ed The Other Tongue: English Across Cultures. Illinois: University of Illinois Press. 6.Littlewood, W., T Foreign and Second Language Learning. Language-acquisition research and its implications for the classroom. Cambridge University Press.

35 Thank you!


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