What is ASK?
  Goals
  Instruction
  Immersion
  Involvement
  Course Activities
 
 

What is Advanced Study of Khmer Program?

The Advanced Study of Khmer (ASK) program is administered by the College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature at the University of Hawaii. ASK gives participants an opportunity to undergo intensive immersion language and cultural training in Cambodia. The Advanced Study of Khmer (ASK) Program is an intensive six-week advanced Khmer language-training program held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It aims to fill in a void in the academic community by providing 3rd year level students a one-of-a-kind opportunity to acquire the linguistic foundation necessary to engage in academic research, professional discourse, and cultural interaction with all segments of Cambodian society.

This immersion program focuses on advanced-level language acquisition and consists of a structured academic program of four hours of task-based language instruction every morning and to two to three hours of field trip activities in the afternoons and weekends as a group or as individual work. This ASK course is equivalent to two semesters of study. Instruction is given in small-individualized groups taught by in-country Khmer linguists in Phnom Penh. They have extensive experience in teaching Khmer as a foreign language.

The six-week program will be capped by a written and oral presentation of each participant's mini research project. Participants are encouraged to select their own topic at the beginning of the program. This experience not only adds immeasurably to their language competence, it develops greater awareness and sensitivity about another culture, and possibly of their own. In language study, immersion is fluency's best guarantee. The language immersion provided by this program is only possible in an in-country setting.

Goals

This program has six primary goals:

  • To provide intensive and specialized instruction in Khmer (Cambodian) for advanced students and learners of Khmer within its natural, cultural, and social context.

  • To enable participants from a variety of American institutions and disciplines to supplement their previous training in Khmer and to attain a high level of language competence within a relatively short six-week period of time.

  • To promote cooperation between the United States and Cambodia and stimulate discussions among individuals from these countries.

  • To provide living in-country experience and preparation, which will enable the participants to deal with cross-cultural differences and to develop the social skills necessary for life in Cambodian society before, they go into the field.

  • To allow potential researchers an opportunity to see their chosen area first hand, and to select appropriate research sites and make introductory contacts.

  • To provide and test a body of pedagogical materials for intensive language study abroad programs and field-test proficiency examinations in Khmer.

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Instruction

ASK focuses on advanced-level Khmer language acquisition training designed for non-native speakers. ASK participants are trained by local Khmer instructors and linguists with extensive experience teaching Khmer as a foreign language. The ASK curriculum is intensive, with class size limited to six-eight students, and implements six instructional modules based on ACTFL proficiency guidelines, equal to one academic semester of study.

Immersion

ASK is a structured academic program consisting of four hours of formal classroom instruction each morning, followed by pre-arranged afternoon site visits and related task-based learning activities which provide students with opportunities to observe, analyze, and experience issues introduced in the morning sessions, as well as to practice their language skills. These activities include meetings with governmental offices, local non- governmental organizations, businesses, community agencies, and cultural associations, and encourage student interaction with all segments of Cambodia society. In addition, the curriculum includes day-long weekend field trips to outlying areas of Phnom Penh. In language study, immersion is fluency’s best guarantee.

Involvement

At the beginning of the ASK program, each participant selects a topic for an individual mini-research project he or she will conduct during the course of the summer. Each participant will complete a written report as well as an oral presentation on his or her project during the final week of the ASK program. This project adds immeasurably to the ASK experience, as it combines students’ professional and educational interests with practical interaction and involvement with Khmer individuals and communities.

One week of the program is reserved for a week-long visit to provincial areas in Cambodia: Siem Reap, Ratanak Kiri or Mondul Kiri.

The ASK program offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to engage in academic research and cultural interaction with Khmer society. Through the ASK program, participants will develop not only their language competence, but also greater awareness and sensitivity about Khmer culture.

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ASK Brochure

Click here to download the ASK Brochure (PDF)

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Copyright © ADVANCED STUDY OF KHMER (ASK), All Right Reserved
This website is produced by Dr. Chhany Sak-Humphry (sak@hawaii.edu)
:: University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. U.S.A.
::