CamEd Open Access Repository

The Intelligibility of Intelligibility

Kathryn O. Ogden
CamEd Business School

Faculty Publications
2016, pp. 49 – 66

One student, who had been educated at a Turkish Islamic school in Phnom Penh, stated that communicating in English with others within Cambodia was very difficult for him during his primary and high school years because he was taught English by only Turkish teachers who were non-native English speakers. He had problems communicating not only with the expat and tourist populations, but with other Cambodian English language learners because his accent was much different than everyone else’s and he laughingly said that he never had the chance to speak nor meet any Turkish people outside of his school environment. Although he showed amusement by his predicament, he immediately stated afterwards that it was actually not that funny. He was often judged by his peer Cambodians for his accent. He was a victim of perceived intelligibility.