[News] Rediscovering Cham Heritage in Cambodia: Language, Script, and Community

Cham Language Written in Notebook by StudentProfessor Jorge López CortinaDepartment of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, will discuss the Cham Heritage Extension Program, a literacy project that ran between 2011 and 2017 and saw the first formal attempts to produce literacy materials for the Western Cham language and train instructors as advocates of Cham literacy to the wider community. The event will take place on Monday, March 19, at 6 p.m. in the University Libraries Common Area, second floor.

Initially envisioned as a small literacy project for a few villages, the Cham Heritage Extension Program produced six textbooks and language guides, trained more than 30 Cham teachers, and served over 2,400 students. Most importantly, the program has expanded the scope of use of the written Cham language, producing not only textbooks, but children’s books, books of poetry, and a monthly general interest publication, Mukva, the first ever Cham language periodical. The program also established the Cham Language Advisory Committee, a body that watches over all these initiatives in order to ensure that the process of normalization of the Cham language is steered by the Cham community.


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Cham Language, Literature and Literacy

EMC and Breogan Consulting are currently on the 4th iteration of our Cambodian – Cham language literacy program. This blog is a brief summary of the work and achievements.

The Cham Heritage Expansion (CHE) program  involves the standardization of the written form, production of variety of Cham language training materials and text books, other literature, design and implementation of teacher and student training. The teaching program takes place outside state school hours in parallel to the state school system, and thus is supplementary / complementary program.

CHE is currently in its fourth iteration scheduled to complete approximately end 2017. EMC has been the prime contractor for each iteration since 2012, in partnership with Breogan Consulting (and its progenitors), who are experts in anthropology, linguistics and language education and specialize in Cham language. Continue reading