Learn Khmer the Natural Way

Advice for beginners

If you’re in the Beginner Level, this page is for you. Here you can gain insights and offer comments to other students.

Description This is the most basic entry point. It is designed for those with little or no understanding of Khmer. It is not for those who have studied previously or have practised Khmer. Each class has two teachers, and they interact together and with the student through games, simple stories, and activities of all kinds.

Feelings You may feel a strange combination of hope and doubt at the same time. You will sense rather than really know that you are improving and you should feel good from the vast amount of language you are being exposed to.

Pitfalls Following your peers’ advice may lead you down a wrong path. The fact is, unless they’re already fluent, they probably don’t know how to advise you.

Recommendations At this level, adjust from a focus on listening to a focus on watching. Guess about what’s going on and don’t try to hold on to words, especially when you begin to recognise them. Don’t waste time writing, looking up in dictionaries, and don’t practise outside of class. Gain understanding and don’t worry about speaking. You’ll do better communicating in your own language, just as teachers are doing with you anyway. If you absolutely need to say a few phrases or words, limit it to as few as possible, and memorise them. In class at Beginner level however, as a respect to other students, we ask people to refrain from speaking Khmer, as it disrupts the other students, who want to hear the teachers speak in Khmer. This also goes for repeating words that the teachers say. We advise students to not take notes either, as students who do so lose the thread of the class and the words that they wrote down are sometimes quite arbitrary.

Note Our measurement of your progress includes things you do outside of our programme. We will ask, or you can inform us about input you receive outside of LINK. For example, you may live in a Khmer household, surrounded by Khmers all day, or you may work in an office where most of what’s going on around you is Khmer. Treat every experience as if it were a class and you will be surprised at how fast you begin to understand what’s happening around you.