Independent Study Project Oral Presentations

These are examples of the kind of independent study project and final oral presentation you'll do as an Intermediate or Advanced student at UC-Berkeley or UCLA. These are all exemplary presentations, too, so you can get an idea what to shoot for! Pay attention, your independent study project counts for 20% of your total grade for the course.

Intermediate Student Presentation on Khmer Pop Music from the 1950s-1970s

This presentation is by an Intermediate Khmer student at SEASSI 2014, on the development of Khmer pop music starting in the 1950s, focusing on its influences from Western pop music.

Intermediate Student Presentation on Cambodian-US History

This presentation is by an Intermediate Khmer student in my class at UCLA, who previously studied Beginning Khmer at SEASSI. Using archival research, secondary published sources, and interviews with her family, she examines the accidental bombing of the Mekong River town of Nek Loeung by a US B-52 in 1973. Follow the links below to video to see her handouts: a transcript of her interviews with her father (an eyewitness to the bombing) played as part of her presentation, and a vocabulary list of terms from her father's interviews. Note that the video was recorded from the large-screen TV by which I (and my students at UC-Berkeley) interact in real-time with the students taking the class at UCLA, over 300 miles away.

  • Transcript of Interview Audio in the Presentation
  • Vocabulary List Handout from the Presentation

    Intermediate Student Presentation on Family Letters/New Characters in a Novel

    In this highly original and creative project, a student read, analyzed and re-typed (to help in the decoding process) several family letters from Cambodia from the 1980s. To protect the writers' privacy, she got the idea to replace their names with new characters she created based on a novel (Sophat) that the students had just got done reading, complete with backstories.


    Intermediate Student Presentation on Cambodian Education

    This presentation is by 2013 Intermediate SEASSI Khmer student. It's an overview of the history of education in Cambodia, and addresses some of the problems and issues facing education there today. She uses various written sources in Khmer and English, and interviews with older Khmers in Madison, Wisconsin on their opinions and views on education and values. Below the video, you can download the student's handout for her presentation. The handout is a good example of one which defines new terms in Khmer, thus qualifying as part of the 2-page written requirement for one's independent study project.

  • Handout on Education-related vocabulary in Khmer

    Advanced Student Presentation on Kampuchea Krom

    This is a video of a presentation by SEASSI 2006 Advanced Khmer student Alberto Perez on the society, culture and political situation of the Khmer minority in southern Vietnam. If you're planning to study Intermediate or Advanced Khmer at SEASSI or UC-Berkeley, this one's a good model for you...


    Intermediate Student Presentation on Khmer Rouge Survivor Stories

    This is one of our best Intermediate presentations ever. The student speaks clearly and properly, doesn't read her presentation, and engages the audience well. She presents two Khmer Rouge survivor tales collected by Dith Pran (whose story was told in the movie The Killing Fields), plus reports on an interview she did with Dith Pran's daughter, who happens to be the student's aunt. Note also that this student began SEASSI in 2011 as a Beginning student unable to speak any Khmer, and this is what she was capable of after her second summer of study in 2012!


    Intermediate Student Presentation on the Practice and Methods of Coin-Rubbing

    This is a video of a presentation by a SEASSI Intermediate Khmer student on the traditional Khmer medical treatment of coin-rubbing, focusing on the procedure and reasons coin-rubbing is done. As noted above, if you're planning on studying at SEASSI, this is exactly the kind of presentation you'll be doing in Week Eight (early May at UC-Berkeley) , reflecting two months/two semesters of research on your independent study topic. And folks, like Alberto's above, this is a good model to follow!


    Intermediate Student Presentation on Beliefs about Coin-Rubbing

    In 2008, another student, Violetta Taing, was interested in coin-rubbing as well. However, this project followed a different path than the first; here, the student researcher was interested in various Cambodians' experiences with and beliefs about the efficacy and applications of coin-rubbing. To carry out her project, Vi videotaped interviews with local Khmers of a variety of ages and backgrounds. In this presentation she talks about her results and shows clips from the videos. And yes, as in the previous video on coin-rubbing, she did some practice on one of the other SEASSI students! Once again, this presentation is a great model for you to follow in putting together an independent study project at SEASSI.


    Intermediate Student Presentation on the Historical Development of Phnom Penh

    Here's a great presentation by a 2009 Intermediate student, an Urban and Regional Planning graduate student, on the historical development of Phnom Penh. See the link below the video link to download the handout for the presentation.

  • Development of Phnom Penh Handout

    Intermediate Student Presentation on Khmer Islam

    This is a video of a presentation by SEASSI 2004 Intermediate Khmer student Siti Galang Keo on the Chams: their history, culture and religion. And yep, this is another exemplary presentation.


    Intermediate Student Presentation on Archaeology

    This is a video of a presentation by SEASSI 2007 Intermediate Khmer student Alison Carter on archaeology in Cambodia. You can also take a look at the PDF documents linked to below, which in addition to giving you a look at the vocabulary list Alison mentions in the video, show the Khmer questionnaire Alison sent to the Archaeologists, the response from one Archaeologist in Khmer, and Alison's translation of it into English.

    Alison put a lot of hard work into this excellent project; it's a good example of how you can really get a lot out of your project as an Intermediate Khmer student. Also note that Alison only began studying Khmer as a Beginning student at SEASSI 2006, one year prior to doing this project!


  • View the Vocabulary List Handed Out at the Presentation
  • View the Questionnaire Sent to Khmer Archaeologists
  • View the Answers to the Questionnaire from One Khmer Archaeologist
  • View the Student's English Translation of the Khmer Archaeologist's Answers

    Intermediate Student Presentation on Collecting Oral Histories of the Khmer Rouge Years

    This is a video of a presentation by SEASSI 2008 Intermediate Khmer student Socheata Poeuv. In Socheata's project, she refined the written and spoken Khmer skills she needs to better carry out the work of her organization Khmer Legacies. Part of the work of Khmer Legacies is to get young Khmer-Americans to interview their parents on video about their experiences under the Khmer Rouge. You can also take a look at Socheata's version of her release form for participants in the project in Khmer, which she translated as part of her excellent and highly useful independent study project. Note that Socheata knew no written Khmer when she began the eight-week SEASSI program.

  • View the Project Participant Release Form in Khmer

    Intermediate Student Presentation on the Chinese in Cambodia

    This is a video of a presentation by SEASSI 2007 Intermediate Khmer student Cheryl Yin on the Chinese in Cambodia. This extremely well-done presentation is a great example of how you can take experiences and information from your own life and link them to larger research issues in carrying out your independent study project. Note also that when she began studying at SEASSI (two months prior to doing this presentation), Cheryl could not read or write Khmer at all (which holds true for all the Heritage students whose presentations are linked to from this page)...!


    Intermediate Student Independent Study Project Movie

    In 2004, for his SEASSI Independent Study Project, student Phally Chroy wrote, cast, directed and videotaped a short narrative movie based on the Khmer novel Sophat. Here it is, featuring other students from the 2004 class as actors.


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