Tag Archives: ESL

“We don’t allow students to cheat here, but…”

education for profit

Tim LaRocco examines the for-profit private education sector in Cambodia and finds a system not fit for purpose: “We don’t allow the students to cheat here,” the head teacher of a well-known language school in Phnom Penh explained to me…

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Am I Wrong to Secretly Wish For A Chair Fight?


I teach two grades – grade six and kindergarten one. Whilst the kindergarten class keep me on my toes with their brilliantly un-developed sense of acceptable behaviour, my sixth grade class sometimes leaves me feeling a little flat. It is…

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No Arrival or Waiting for Moto


“There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.” Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot I was sprawled out, wrinkled, rumpled, unbuckled, slouched out all over the carriage of a tuk-tuk. Informal pose, semi-formal wear….

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A Note to All Educators….

teacher cartoon

First day of school. Introductory lecture. A note to all educators. Sales pitch from the Rector. Teaching is the topic for today, class. Open your books and kiss my ass. Give a man a fish and he’ll resent you for…

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Forty Four Months in Cambodia


It’s been forty four months since I landed in Phnom Penh. I remember those first few weeks clearly – spending the days at the TEFL training centre on the corner of smelly river and 360 followed by 4pm walks along…

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Conkers, Minnows and Elastic – Childhood Revisited in Cambodia


Last Friday I sat on the edge of a desk, surrounded by the stench of half-eaten pizzas and sticky pools of splashed Fanta. It was the day of end-of-year parties. The bossiest girls from each class had collected a few…

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Happy Hour at the ESL Bar and Grill: Amusing the Students to Death


One of the things I like to do during the first week of a new course is have the students write a letter to me. I say to them that you are not just students, you are people; and as…

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InterNed in Cambodia: Part 1 ‘Sudden Departures’


Prior to February of this year, it had never, ever, not even remotely ever, even slightly, never – at all – occurred to me, at any point over the course of my entire life, from birth up until some fateful…

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Memoirs of a Grizzled Expat 6: Visa Travels, Getting Hired and Bars


As my first month in Cambodia came to a close I had finally lined up some English-teaching hours at one university spread across three campuses along with a weekend Masters’ course at another university. Just before I started, however, I…

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Memoirs of a Grizzled Expat 5 – Teaching

cambodia-angry-birds (1)

So, the job front. I’d got off to a bit of a frustrating start since every educational establishment puts a dolly-bird on their front desk who has no idea what they’re holding when I deliver my CV. I knew damn…

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