Transforming lives: Arunny’s story

Meet Arunny! She is the eldest of four children and the first member of her family to attend high school. Her parents, after dropping out to support their families, never received an education beyond primary school—her mother works in a garment factory and her father drives a taxi for a living.

With the big hopes of one day becoming a doctor, Arunny realised early on that learning English was an important step in her journey towards this goal. But despite trying hard to learn, the accustomed methods did not quite work for her. Her teacher, trained in Khmer, had not taught in English before. And with Arunny being a visual learner, she was not being supported through the standard reading of her textbook.

“When I study with the teacher, I have to follow the teacher’s process of teaching. Sometimes it is too fast, and sometimes it is too slow,” Arunny said. On top of this, she had no one to practice speaking with, as none of her friends or family speak English well enough—Khmer is the language of choice for the community.

Arunny had begun to lose her confidence and was thinking of dropping out of school, when in 2018, her school in Kampong Cham introduced Plus English lessons and transformed the way she was able to learn. She was 15 years old and in the seventh grade at the time.

“With the tablet, I can learn for as long as I want, and as fast as I want,” she said. “If I need to clarify something, I can go back to the lesson on the tablet.

I also have the chance to discuss it with my friend who sits next to me. The lessons on the tablet are designed with sound that allows me to hear everything in the voice of a native speaker. The practice and tests are exciting and give me instant feedback.”

Today Arunny continues to attend school, saying that she spends as much time as she can on the tablet because it motivates her to want to learn more.

Arunny’s story is one of many that has been positively transformed by the PLUS English program. Through its interactive platform and teachings, PLUS English hopes to continue supporting dreams and bringing opportunity to children like Arunny across Cambodia.

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Plus Education is the group operating name of registered Australian charity, The 40K Foundation Australia Ltd, and its subsidiary organisations, 40K Plus Education in India and Cambodia.

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