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Course Information and Advice

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Certificate in TESOL TESOL certificate course plus Khmer

Important Information

Please Note: Once accepted on to the course, you are required to pay Cactus a deposit of $350. The remaining balance is then paid directly to the school and will be due 30 days before the start of your course!

The school believes in contributing to the host country, while preparing teachers to live and work in their new environment. To accomplish this, the course includes 30 hours of Khmer language and cultural orientation, 20 to 30 hours of supervised teaching practice in a local community program, and an optional (but highly recommended) Cambodia excursion program (see optional excursions below). In addition to being fun, these trips provide an understanding of the people and their culture, a chance to practice your newly acquired language skills, and an opportunity to see more parts of the country.

Please note that the start dates below are 2 days before the course starts. There will be a welcome meal and free city tour on these days.

Free Trip to Angkor Wat!
The centre believe that all trainees should have the opportunity to visit the temples of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The centre will organise a free trip for all trainees at no additional cost, between the first and second week of the training course. The trip includes transportation, hotel, admission fees, guides, etc. The only thing you will have to pay for is your food.

Course Details

Course ref: 2942

Course Type: Certificate in TESOL

Min Age: 20

Maximum Class Size: 16

Class Times: First week classes run from 9 AM to 5:30 PM Second through Fourth week classes run from 9AM to 4PM with two hour Teaching Practice in the late afternoon or evening.

School Details - Phnom Penh

Good Friends Hidden Temple Traditional Cooking
River Front stripReady for Studies Beautiful Landscape

This programme opened in July 2007 as the first and only TESOL Certificate programme available in Cambodia. There is a huge need for English teachers to help in the ongoing process of developing Cambodia after the tremendous devastation of the culture brought on by the Khmer Rouge (Killing Fields) after the Vietnam war. The school is working with a local university to try to offer graduate level credit for this certificate program.

Course Description

One of the most memorable portions of the course for the students is working within one of the local community orphanages the school partners with. They work with Cambodian Children's Fund, New Day in Cambodia, two orphanages and others. During your teacher training you have the opportunity to directly benefit the people of Cambodia! By using tried and proven teaching methods that help our language students to quickly gain communicative confidence. The teaching practice gives you opportunities to practice your techniques with all ages - from kindergarten to adults.

The Khmer Language and Cultural Awareness program is designed to accomplish four goals.
* to give you the local language skills necessary for daily life
* to put you back in the learners' seat, and re-acquaint you with the struggle your students will be having with acquiring English.
* to let you be part of the learning process. We use the same techniques and styles to teach your class that we will be teaching you to teach English. This allows you a first hand experience with the techniques and tools that you will be learning in class.
* to give you a major cultural overview and orientation to customs in Cambodia. Learning what's polite and acceptable in a new culture goes a long way to help you fit in, and just making the effort is generally very much appreciated.

Week one: Your time will be divided between Khmer language training and academics. The day starts at 9AM with Khmer class for two hours. The remaining six hours focus on academics, consisting of three two hour class sessions. Classes initially focus on the skills needed to begin teaching your own class. Actual teaching practice begins week two.

In Week two, the schedule changes to accommodate Teaching Practice. Days start with Khmer class but academics drop to four hours a day, to make time for Teaching. Staff trainers will come to observe your teaching style and advise you on ways to improve.

During Weeks three and four, the schedule remains the same, the day starting with Khmer class, followed by four hours of academic inputs and two hours of Teaching Practice. By the conclusion of the program, your will have had thirty hours of Khmer classes, at least twenty hours of Teaching Practice, and ninety hours of Academic training, for a total of 140 hours of TESOL training in addition to community language practice and your Cambodia expeditions.

Classroom subject areas include:
* Language Acquisition - Principles & History
* Classroom Preparation and Introduction
* Presenting New Language
* the Organization of Language Practice
* Increasing Vocabulary
* Listening Skills
* Active Communication
* Lesson Planning
* Classroom Management
* Student Centered Teaching
* Grammar
* Job Development & School Relations
* Phonetics
* Teaching Reading & Writing
* Early Childhood Development
* Techniques for Teaching Young Learners
* Teaching 0ne to One
* Overview of Business English
* Textbook Selection & Use, and
* Language Assessment & Evaluation.

Teaching Practice allows you to develop your skills while making a meaningful contribution to the local community. Our number of practice teaching hours is high and the students you will be teaching are the same group of students during your entire Practice Teaching. The value of this (in addition to helping the community) is that it is a real teaching situation, and allows you to plan from class to class, based on student progress and need, just like in any other real teaching position. During your teaching practice, training staff will be coming by at least once a week to observe and give feedback.

Well, after your four-week program, you will know significantly more about techniques of teaching English, as well as having had a good review of English grammar and usage. Additionally you will have completed 30 hours of Khmer, which should be sufficient to get you started to give you the basic structure to grow your own language development from there. Additionally you will have your TESOL Certificate, verifying in writing the contents of your 140 TESOL course AND you will have the experience of 20 to 30 full teaching class hours and a letter of recommendation from your volunteer location.

The program encourages trainees to participate in as many of the travel options as possible. All excursions take place during the four week course and include:

1) Day trips around Phnom Penh and city temples and museums.

2) Three day trip to the beach at Sihanoukville. Great beaches and good food at low prices. Lots of aquatic sports, or just doing nothing on the beach.

3) Three day trip to Battembang. Ride a boat on the lake on the way to Battembang. Explore the rural Cambodian countryside. Visit old temples and learn about the customs of the people .

4) Angkor Wat: Angkor Wat is famous not only for providing great movie settings but for being one of the most significant spiritual locations in the world. Temples that date back over a thousand years provide a great setting for exploration.

Minimum age: 20
Education: Bachelors degree or prior work experience highly recommended.

Accommodation Options

The school provides an accommodation package for $590 that includes 28 nights of accommodation, airport pick-up, a tour of Phnom Penh, and transportation between the accommodation locations and school and teaching practice sites.

In Phnom Penh, the school operates a hotel with 50 private rooms. Rooms have air-con, cable TV, flatscreen TVs, Wi-Fi and cable internet, mini fridge, and western-style bathrooms with hot water. There is also laundry service and a full-service restaurant with 24-hour room service.

NEW: The Accommodation now includes a brand new swimming pool, new exercise room, 20 free breakfasts (Mon-Fri), 4 free massages and free laundry.

Please let us know if you are interested in accommodation. Accommodation fees are generally paid for locally on arrival.


First week classes run from 9 AM to 5:30 PM Second through Fourth week classes run from 9AM to 4PM with two hour Teaching Practice in the late afternoon or evening.

Customer Feedback

I was rather impressed with the quality of the trainers - they were friendly and knowledgeable, and helped with all questions and queries I had. The course was far more informative than I had thought it would be. Though heavy emphasis was placed on only one method of teaching (the dialogue method), we got a broad introduction into the background thinking behind teaching methods, and learnt a lot about controlling students by both carrot and stick. I think that the course could possibly have benefited from study of other teaching methods outside the dialogue method, but the extensive time in the classroom gave us a good idea of what to expect.

- Alex Templeman -

I thought the quality of the trainers was good. They were very approachable and would answer any questions directed to them. The local language trainer was very good too and patient with us. I felt all the teachers were fun and light hearted in their approach yet got across all the important points.

- Jan Cooper -

Help for Jobs

Job placement activities begin on day one with a class that helps you with resume development and preparation so that the search for the best job for you is underway by the second week of class. Additional classes on the employment and legal system, how the education system works and what you need to do to get the job you want are also part of the course. In Southeast Asia, there is a shortage of trained and qualified teachers in every country, so the focus isn't just on getting a job (which is virtually guaranteed) but on getting the job you want in the part of the country that you want to work in with a salary that guarantees you a comfortable life style.

How to Apply

1. Choose the start date which interests you. If you’re still unsure of your dates, please choose an approximate date for now – you will be able to specify later.
2. Register your details with Cactus TEFL (1 minute) to help us track your application.
3. Download the application form and save it on your computer.
4. Complete it offline in your own time
5. Go back to www.cactustefl.com, sign in and submit your completed form.

You can also submit an application by email. We will explain how to do this on the application form. Please contact us if you have any problems with the application procedure.

Prices and Dates

Please choose your preferred start date

4 weeks course starting 18/04/2015 for £1,199
4 weeks course starting 16/05/2015 for £1,199
4 weeks course starting 13/06/2015 for £1,199
4 weeks course starting 11/07/2015 for £1,199
4 weeks course starting 25/07/2015 for £1,199
4 weeks course starting 08/08/2015 for £1,199
4 weeks course starting 22/08/2015 for £1,199
4 weeks course starting 05/09/2015 for £1,199
4 weeks course starting 26/09/2015 for £1,199
4 weeks course starting 10/10/2015 for £1,199
4 weeks course starting 31/10/2015 for £1,199
4 weeks course starting 21/11/2015 for £1,199
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