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RULEENA/ResearchReport

IsITCmanagingitsEnglishDepartmentefficiently?

I. Introduction Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC) is one of the higher state education institutions in Cambodia which was founded under an agreement between Cambodia and former Soviet Union on June 24, 1961. Its goals are to provide students with a high quality education in the fields of engineering sciences and technologies. Students are provided with technical knowhow and skills of analysis which allow integration and evolution in the labor market. In 1993, Cambodian and French governments cooperated to renovate ITC with a view to improve performance of the administration and financial services along with the educational system of the institution and the human resources; and because of the French help, the medium language of instruction at ITC is in French. Nowadays, ITC is at the crossroads in South Eastern Asia region where several partners meet: French Cooperation, Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), La communaut Franaise de Belgique (CUD), ASEAN University Network/SEED-net, GMSARN, School of Internet network, etc. ITC enjoys numerous cooperative agreements with European, Regional, and local Universities. These agreements help improve the quality of the educational program, create new degrees, and enable collaboration in new research projects and mobility of teachers and students. Engineers follow a 5-year training program selection of students is based on the results of a written examination (hereinafter called I class). An international entrance examination has been designed for South-Eastern Asian French-speaking applicants in order to be admitted into engineering studies. Currently, several Vietnamese and Laos applicants have been admitted to ITC. Moreover, a 3-year training program must be completed to obtain the degree of High Level Technician (hereinafter called T class). The selection process is by written application and based

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RULEENA/ResearchReport

IsITCmanagingitsEnglishDepartmentefficiently?

on school records. Students with the highest score achievement may continue their study for the engineering programs (I Class). II. Challenges 1. Is an ASEAN University Network member, despite the fact that the medium instruction of ITC is in French while others ASEAN Universities use English. ITC graduates will be hard to compete with other students when the Skilled Labor of ASEAN Economic Community 2015 is finally approached. 2. There is no English language in the entrance exam of year 1 which make teaching inefficient. Some weak students find the level of their study too high, while students whose English proficiency is high find it boring same old lesson. 3. In year one, students are introduced to ITC with French languages and foundation courses in Khmer. For some technical subjects, professors write all of the lessons and instructions in French, but explain in Khmer. 4. Requirement of English teacher recruitment is low. English teachers who were first recruited to ITC were mostly bachelor holders. 5. Salary remains low if comparing to other public universities. Moreover, the university does not pay and allocate time for lecturers to do research. Also, ITC lacks a well-defined system of professional ranks and career tracks in which promotions and salary increases are mapped out for academic staff. Moreover, since lecturers could earn little income, they tend to take more jobs such as translation and teaching at other English school.

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RULEENA/ResearchReport

IsITCmanagingitsEnglishDepartmentefficiently?

III. Personal Involvement English teacher teaches various levels of students per class as each class is composed of students coming from different departments of the same year. The content taught in the English class is General English ranging from Intermediate level to Advance Level (theoretically speaking) which is mainly for daily communication and for students to be able to work when they graduate. The course books used for students of year 1 to 4 are New Interchange Level 1, 2, 3, and Passage 1, written by Jack C. Richard (2003). Students of year 5 are trained particularly for workplace with a compiled course book including report writing, formal and informal letters, writing resume and cover letter, etc. Teacher has to teach in accordance with the Course Outline provided by English Section and assess students through following method of assessment: Attendance 10%, Classroom Participation 10%, Homework 10%, two Writing Tasks 10%, one Written Test 30%, one Oral Test 30%. Furthermore, teacher needs to attend weekly staff meeting which is held on Wednesday at 11:20 AM to get the update of ITC progress, to design test for mid-term and final, to assess students performance. Also, students are required to attend summer program to create new syllabus and curriculum for the upcoming academic year. IV. Methodology a. Subject The questions in this research are answered using data collected from students, lecturers of English, and alumni of ITC. The total number of participants as students will not be exceeded

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RULEENA/ResearchReport

IsITCmanagingitsEnglishDepartmentefficiently?

25 students, participants as lecturers of English will not be exceeded 5, and alumni will not be exceeded 5. b. Instrument I choose structural questions, which is written as google spreadsheet file, to do this research. I pass the link of google spreadsheet link in ITC English Section facebook group (consisting of over 500 participants) and Institut de Technologie du Cambodge facebook page (consisting of over 2000 participants) so students and alumni. In addition, I sent the link to all of the teachers emails. The following are the prepared questions used when I interviewed them: Questions for Students and Alumni 1. Was the teaching of English class at ITC at the right level for you? Why? 2. Are you taking any foreign languages outside ITC? What are the languages? Where are you taking the language class? 3. Beside English class, are there any classes conducted in English? 4. Can you provide an approximate number of a comparison between French class over English class? For example, five over one. 5. What do you think are the languages that an Engineer/Architect will use after graduating in Cambodia? 6. To your best knowledge, do you think ITC has any partners with ASEAN countries? What are they?

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RULEENA/ResearchReport

IsITCmanagingitsEnglishDepartmentefficiently?

Questions for English teacher 1. Where did you graduate your bachelor degree? When was it? 2. When you were first recruited to ITC, what was your highest degree? 3. What is your highest degree now? 4. Currently, are you pursuing any Master degrees? If yes, when will you graduate? 5. Does ITC raise your salary when you acquire a higher degree? 6. Do you possess any engineering or architect related skills? If yes, what are they? 7. Were you very well trained by the English Section to teach particularly students of engineering? 8. What are the difficulties that you have faced while teaching ITC students? 9. Do you think ITC students could use English very well after graduating from ITC? 10. Do you know anything about salary of English teacher at other state universities? If you do, please state name of the university and its salary. 11. Is it a requirement from government to hold a master degree to teach at university level? V. Analysis a. Lecturers The highest degree of the 5 English lecturers was a Bachelor Degree of Education (B.Ed) from Institute of Foreign Language (IFL). However, one of them finished a Master Degree in TESOL after being recruited to work for ITC. Two lecturers are going to graduate in 2013, and another one is taking a Master in Business Administration. ITC lecturers get 5 USD for an hour and will not be raised even if they possess a master degree or even Ph.D. All of the lecturers were recruited based on their language ability and

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IsITCmanagingitsEnglishDepartmentefficiently?

language teaching experience, and not necessarily have to have background in engineering or architect. More importantly, they were not trained to teach particularly to Engineering students. All of the five lecturers mentioned about the outdated teaching materials such as having old cassette player, outdated course book, which cause a lot of troubles to language teaching. Moreover, three out of the five lecturers mentioned that students dont share the same level of English proficiency that make teaching difficult some students are left behind while others finds the course too easy. Other problems are also about the uncomfortable environment for learning, no encouragement from management team, inadequate teaching hour to some classes. b. Students All of the 25 students came from different departments and different year of study. Five students were from Santhormok High School, while the others were from different high school in Cambodia. They didnt learn English at primary schools, and one student learned French when he/she was in high school. At high school, 12 out of 26 mentioned that they studied English for 2 hours per week, while 5 mentioned that they studied English for 4 hours per week. The rest said 1 hour per week or they are not sure. 100% of the students mentioned that the language that they are going to use at workplace is English, while approximately 35% of the students mentioned that they would use both English and French at Workplace. VI. Solution 1. Is an ASEAN University Network member, despite the fact that the medium instruction of ITC is in French while others ASEAN Universities use English. ITC graduates will be

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RULEENA/ResearchReport

IsITCmanagingitsEnglishDepartmentefficiently?

hard to compete with other students when the Skilled Labor of ASEAN Economic Community 2015 is finally approached. Place more English books in engineering or architecture textbook to the library so that the students could improve the skills by reading in English. Introduce a new curriculum which add English class from year one to year five as soon as possible. Follow RULE-ENA program which was offered by ENA, sponsored by France Embassy, taught in English. 2. There is no English language in the entrance exam of which make teaching inefficient. Some weak students find the level of their English class too high, while students whose English proficiency is high find it a boring lesson. Group students in the right level, not allowing students from the same years to study together. Those whose English level is low, even if he is a year 3 students, still ask him to study with low level students and vice versa for year one student. 3. In year one, students are introduced to ITC with French languages and foundation courses in Khmer. For some technical subjects, professors write all of the lessons and instructions in French, but explain in Khmer. 4. There are 16 credits for French language in year one, while there is no English class for I classes. After year one, students will have to study the majority of the subjects in French. However, there are lecturers who recently graduated from English speaking university; thus, some subjects are being conducted in English. Thus, what ITC should do is to

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IsITCmanagingitsEnglishDepartmentefficiently?

promote more skilled professors to pursue their study in English speaking country so that they can teach the student in English and will be ready for ASEAN integretation. 5. Requirement of English teacher recruitment is low. English teachers who were first recruited to ITC were mostly bachelor holders. English teacher shall hold at least a master degree to teach a bachelor. However, in order to achieve this, the salary shall be raised before we could achieve this. Drop the slogan The one who knows more teach the one who knows less which was adopted and effective after the Pol Pot Regime. However, in order to improve fast, we should only employ teachers with qualifications and experience. 6. Provide further training to teachers, particularly on how to teach engineering students. Salary remains low if comparing to other public universities which are a lot lesser than lecturers other universities. For example, at Institute of Foreign Languages, lecturers would get 6 USD when they are first recruited and each year they gain 1 USD increase, up to the ceiling which is 9 USD. For those who hold a master degree, their rate is between 9.5 USD to 12.5 USD. Thus, lecturers do not have motivation to pursue further study and even if they pursue their further study, they would move to somewhere that pays them higher. Moreover, the salary should be considered in accordance with inflation. Provide teachers with formal contracts covering salary scales, method and timing of payment, placement processes, benefits and allowances, including additional allowances for covering sick leave, double shifts and multi-grade teaching and so on, as well as transparent scales of salary, increments and special allowances.

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IsITCmanagingitsEnglishDepartmentefficiently?

Provide incentives in the form of clear, standardized job descriptions and promotion structures.

Strengthen the processes related to current policy regarding performance-related pay in order for this policy to be acceptable to all stakeholders. This will require the determination and implementation of: transparent award selection criteria, selection processes, standard payment amounts, and monitoring systems in order to ensure the system is fair and free from corruption and nepotism.

7. Moreover, the university does not pay and allocate time for lecturers to do research. Also, ITC lacks a well-defined system of professional ranks and career tracks in which promotions and salary increases are mapped out for academic staff. Moreover, since lecturers could earn little income, they tend to take more jobs such as translation and teaching at other English school. This is a most glaring systemic weakness which cannot be solely addressed from within a university; it has to be addressed at a national level and from a national perspective. VII. Action Plan To enable students to use English effectively after graduate 1. To compete with other ASEAN students when Skilled Labors of ASEAN Economic Community 2015 approaches 2. To raise the awareness that ASEAN Country use English as an official language and most workplace in Cambodia use English

Overall Objective Objectives

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IsITCmanagingitsEnglishDepartmentefficiently?

Activities: Allow English Department make change to the syllabus by including engineering terminology to teach students, not only General English Program Provide more English class to both T and I classes. 4 hours per week from year 1 to 3, 2 hours per week for year 4 and 5. Insert English Proficiency test as one of the subject in Entrance Exam Group the right level of students in one class Let students do diagnostic test once a semester Update the equipment and learning materials, stop using cassette player, instead adopt CD player 3. To strengthen the qualification of professors at higher education Activities: Provide further training on engineering so that professors have some input before teaching When it comes to recruitment, state in the Job Description that applicants with high engineering

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IsITCmanagingitsEnglishDepartmentefficiently?

related background or IT background would be prioritized. Financial Analysis As ITC is an autonomous institute, it can allocate its money to raise professors salary. However, further consultation with national level is needed. Ask for more sponsors from ASEAN countries or English speaking countries.

VIII. Conclusion ITC is one of the French speaking institutes which lasts several regimes. However, since Cambodia is close to enter ASEAN Economic Community and most workplaces in Cambodia require high proficiency of English language, students should be taken care very well with the language which means they would have better opportunity to find a good job in Cambodia and would be open up to ASEAN and English speaking scholarships. Moreover, professors also play an important role in this regard; thus, providing standard salary with clear promotion scheme is a must. All in all, ITC does not manage its English Department very well and is in need of a lot of improvement to both its staff and the curriculum for students.

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IsITCmanagingitsEnglishDepartmentefficiently?

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