ESPIS Webinar: Protecting World Heritage: ESP Training for Angkor Park Rangers

When:  Jan 30, 2023 from 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM (ET)


In Cambodia, a unique English for Specific Purposes pilot project was designed for training temple rangers in the Angkor World Heritage Site. Needs analyses identified the rangers’ English needs when communicating with visitors about The Visitor Code of Conduct and other issues. The needs are addressed by authentic and relevant materials and tasks and adapted during the pilot.


Kitty Johnson is a teacher and teacher trainer with more than 30 years of overseas and US experience. She has developed curricula for language learners and language teachers, designed and facilitated training and trainer-of-trainer courses, and written materials for a variety of ESP courses. She has been a RELO, an English Language Fellow, a Soros Teaching Fellow, and a Peace Corps Response Volunteer, Her most recent short-term projects have been in Uzbekistan and Albania. She received her MA TESOL from California State University, Los Angeles. Kitty currently lives in Washington, DC.

Margaret van Naerssen, Ph.D. Applied Linguistics (University of Southern California). Third Chair TESOL ESP IS. Co-director (with Chinese colleague) UCLA --Chinese Academy of Sciences, Graduate English Language Center in Beijing. Some assignments include the Department of State, Fulbright Commission, USAID, Asia Foundation, and independent opportunities. Co-author SciTech with Moya Brennan


Online Instructions:


12 days ago

Margaret and Kitty,
I don't know if you will be addressing this element, but as I have been thinking about your wonderful project, it has occurred to me that one important factor in supporting and funding this project relates to ROI (Return on Investment). Because the temple rangers are trained in the English needed to explain / enforce the Visitor Code of Conduct, at least two financial benefits will accrue:
(Perhaps you can think of more.)

1) The temple construction materials and original architecture will endure longer than if tourists did not comply with the code; this will save repair/reconstruction costs and mean generations into the future can appreciate this world heritage site more intact and that much longer (an almost immeasurable length of time, but certainly into the centuries)

2) This latter point is somewhat intangible monetarily, except purely from a budget / finance perspective, the greater the number of tourists who pay entrance fees; buy souvenirs; pay for meals at restaurants; stay in hotels; pay airfare, bus, or other transportation costs; etc., the greater the total revenue that comes in.

Thus, the relatively minor costs of this ESP teacher training course and the temple ranger training course about communicating the Visitor Code of Conduct will yield a substantial and compelling return on investment.

Some kind of calculation could be done if we could get figures from the following sources:
1. Ministry of Tourism (and whatever other relevant Cambodian bureaucracies) on annual income from visitor / tourist fees and all ancillary costs paid to visit this site
2. Ministry of Antiquities (or similar entity) for annual expenses for repair/reconstruction of this site, preferably before and after the temple rangers began explaining and enforcing the Visitor Code with visitors / tourists on site
3. US State Department costs to develop and run this ESP training program for temple rangers, plus any costs contributed by the Cambodian Ministry of Education or other entities involved

I would love to help come up with even some ballpark figures, if you two ever wanted to pursue this. See also the article Bill Martin and I wrote on calculating ROI in EOP projects -- TESOL Quarterly, 2002, Autumn Issue, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 399-429. See especially the calculations we did for a case study on pp. 421-422 where we show an ROI of 531%. Such a high amount is almost unheard of in the field of ROI. (See any article or book by Jack J. Phillips, the guru of ROI in the training field. We quote him a lot in our article. He publishes many of his titles through ATD, the Association for Talent Development [formerly ASTD, the American Society for Training and Development].)

Even EOP specialists frequently don't realize what high monetary value our projects bring to our clients. Such quantitative research is an important agenda for development in our specialty of EOP! (Bill and I wrote our article not only to provide ROI documentation in different industry sectors, but also to provide training for EOP folks in how to gather relevant data and calculate ROI.)

The point is such data are very influential in convincing funding sources about the value of EOP projects. Our typically very high ROI figures offer "no-brainer" arguments for securing and continuing funding for our EOP projects. We just need to compile such data for every industry sector we can and use them in our marketing and evaluation activities. 

These data also inform us that we should be charging a helluva lot more for our projects and our services than we do. We need to see -- and market -- ourselves as a sophisticated and savvy part of the solution for our clients. Hear! Hear!
Anne Lomperis, 1-19-2023
(EOP Specialist since 1982)


Jennifer Roberts