Khmer learner English

a teacher's guide to Khmer L1 interference

Suksiri Bounchan, Stephen H. Moore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Language learners who share a mother tongue (L1) typically face many similar challenges in learning the target language. Khmer speakers learning English are a case in point. Swan and Smith's (1987, 2001) classic work on "learner English" documents approximately 20 language case studies, each describing a different language and how it contrasts with English. For English teachers unfamiliar with the particular language showcased, this resource is enormously helpful. Unfortunately, Khmer is not covered in Swan and Smith's volume. The only publication directly approaching the topic of Khmer learner English is Huffman and Proum's(1983) which, though a comprehensive guide to Khmer speakers learning English, is pedagogically dated and too voluminous for a "quick guide". The present paper aims to fill the gap in the literature with an accurate, accessible overview of features of English that typically present difficulties for Khmer language speakers. It focuses on phonology, grammar, and orthography.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch and practice in English language teaching in Asia
EditorsRichmond Stroupe, Kelly Kimura
Place of PublicationPhnom Penh
PublisherIDP Education (Cambodia)
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9789996358418
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Previously published in Language education in Asia, Vol. 1, (2010), p.112-123

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