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
Cambodia. The Advanced Study of Khmer (ASK) Program
an intensive six-week advanced Khmer language-training
program held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It aims to fill
a void in the academic community by providing 3rd
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
the program. This experience not only adds immeasurably
to their language competence, it develops greater
awareness and sensitivity about another culture,
possibly of their own. In language study, immersion
fluency's best guarantee. The language immersion
provided by this program is only possible in an
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
and to attain a high level of language competence within a relatively
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.
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.
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
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.
Click here to download the ASK Brochure (PDF)