ELL Assessment for Linguistic Differences vs. Learning Disabilities
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Khmer Spelling

Spelling inconsistencies continue to exist within the Khmer language, despite attempts to standardize it. The authoritative dictionary for Khmer lexicography is one that has been completed under the supervision of the Venerable Chuon Nath of the Buddhist Institute of Phnom Penh (U.S. Library of Congress, 2004).

Most of the Cambodian students in the Lowell Public Schools have not had formal instruction in the Khmer language; they learn to encode language through English their second language. Their level of English proficiency varies and many words used in the spelling programs are totally or partially unknown to them in terms of meaning in understanding and speaking. Therefore, the point of influence in English encompasses several factors:

  1. The studentsí pronunciation of the sounds and words in English, given the Khmer influences
  2. The second language stage already reached by the student
  3. The knowledge and understanding of the words being used for spelling and the stage of spelling development attained.
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