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©VSO/Thomas Roos

Helping teachers improve English language learning in Cambodia

Many teachers and teacher trainers in Cambodia struggle with poor English and teaching capacity. This threatens one of the country's national priorities: English learning to accelerate national development and create more opportunities.

VSO was approached by the country’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to help it improve the skills of teachers and their pupils.


  • developed teaching and learning materials for use in teacher training colleges and primary schools
  • trained directors and English trainers in all teacher training colleges, as well as teachers and directors of district offices of education from five provinces
  • deliver ongoing support, coaching and mentoring through volunteers.

Providing this material, training and support was made possible through the contribution of specialist education volunteers.


Over 15,000 children in Cambodia have improved their English as a result of this project - Basic English Language (BEL).

Independent research by the Royal University of Phnom Penn shows positive effects, including improved listening skills of pupils when compared with those in a control group.

The results show that the added value of the BEL resources and subsequent training is increasing the quality of state education. Children who benefited from the project made the same progress as those in the control group who were receiving private tuition on top of attending school.

Sustainable resources

VSO partnered with Cambodia's national Teacher Training Department to develop this project. This means the improvements are locally owned, and our partners can keep benefiting from the resources independent of VSO.

Resources developed included books for teachers and pupils and digital apps for smartphones. These contain innovative audio-visual material that can be easily accessed and updated even in remote areas. Four training videos have been produced so far. These have activities for use in classrooms, with more in production for the BEL YouTube channel.

Tablet computers are also being trialled to deliver real-time class observations that are often difficult and costly to provide in remote areas.

Support our work

Please consider making a donation, or joining us as a volunteer or partner to help us bring better quality education to underpriveleged children. 

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