Encouraging learners to be more responsible for their own progress
There are various ways to speed up the learning of a language. First of all, students should try to develop the habit of using the language they’ve learnt in the classroom outside the classroom.
Death by worksheet
How worksheets can spice up any lesson
My favourite kinds of worksheets are conversation worksheets, pair and group work, creative writing worksheets, vocabulary worksheets, and ESL board games. The right mix of these makes communication possible, keeps students' attention going and puts some fun into learning.
When parents of students are simply too demanding
The demands and expectations that some parents burden their children with are alas often too great. At the moment I’m teaching a kid who hasn’t even turned six, yet his life revolves solely around learning.
Ways to improve Thai education
This should be the first government priority
So how can Thailand improve its education? In a nutshell: train the trainers, put fewer students together, motivate them better, hire the right foreign educators to help this bring about, and involve parents more.
The tools of technology
Using the internet to improve your English
For students looking for more educational content and online courses instead of authentic materials, a myriad of websites provide free English lessons for all levels, ranging from beginner to advanced, from IELTS preparation to business English, from Pidgin English to skid row slang.
My friend he sick
Frequent Thai student mistakes (part two)
Communicating well in any language just takes some motivation, dedication and a lot of practice. Is this too much too ask to become a proficient speaker?
How to improve your English
Tips for students
Communication is all about using a language to transfer a message and to make yourself understood. If the students can’t say it, if they can’t get their message across, if nobody understands them or doesn’t even bother listening to them anymore, their knowledge of English is virtually useless and all the hours of studying it have been a complete waste of time.
Rote learning and Thai schooling
Improving student language skills
To improve Thai-language skills amongst youngsters, Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng plans to cut rote learning and introduce more reading and writing. Mr. Chaturon said Thai-language teaching needed to undergo a radical change since children were not good at their mother tongue.
Never mind fluency
Here comes the grammar teacher
I think it is quite absurd to reward students who are good at cramming grammar rules – and may not be fluent at all – and punish students who can speak English fairly well but aren’t very accurate. English is a language. The main purpose of a language is communication.
Sit fetch and roll over
Basic Thai commands for teaching children
Let me get a few things straight first. First of all, it doesn’t really matter if the kids understand everything you say. Even if they do, they still won’t listen to you. Second, even if you know the commands in Thai, you’ll probably get the tones wrong and no one will understand you.
Clock, peanut and frog
The problematic pronunciation of many Thais
I try to have as much empathy for my students as I possibly can and I am becoming rather good at understanding the unintelligible. However, there are limits to everything and I am not a mind-reader. If a person says for example /sa-pye/, I know he or she means “Spy” (the wine-cooler or James Bond, doesn’t matter). But if someone says “kye”, I don’t automatically think of cry.
Heaven and Hell
Tips for teaching kids
Don’t think teaching kids is easy, it’s not. Tie everything down that’s yours. Keep it in your pocket, your bag, briefcase, socks, travel pouch, wherever. Learn to enjoy singing.
American (male, 30 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Burmese (male, 32 years old, native Burmese speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Filipino (male, 27 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Diploma (1), BA (1), Certificate (1)
South African (female, 34 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (3), BSc (1)
British (female, 28 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (2), BA (1)
British (female, 27 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
American (female, 24 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Filipino (female, 46 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Indian (male, 42 years old, native Punjabi speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
BA (1), MA (1)
Filipino (female, 38 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Ajarn.com was started as a small hobby website in 1999 by Ian McNamara. It was a simple way for one Bangkok teacher to share his Thailand experiences and pass on advice. The website developed a loyal and enthusiastic following. In 2004, Ian handed over the reins to Phil Williams and 'Bangkok Phil' has run the ajarn website ever since.
Ajarn.com has grown enormously and is now the most popular TEFL site in Thailand - possibly even South East Asia. Although best-known for its vibrant jobs page, Ajarn has a wealth of articles, blogs, features and help and advice. But one principle has always remained at Ajarn's core - to tell things like they are and to do it with a sense of humor. Thailand can be Heaven or Hell for an English teacher. It's always been Ajarn.com's duty to present both sides of the equation. Thanks for stopping by.
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How easy is it to cut out the middlemen and rake in the cash teach students at their own homes?
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The Region Guides
Fancy working in Thailand but not in Bangkok? Our region guides are written by teachers who actually live and work in the provinces.
Renting an apartment?
Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.
Find out how employable you are in Thailand as an English teacher. Is it a case of 'welcome aboard' or "Mom, I need you to send some money again"
E-mailing for jobs
E-mailing potential employers in Thailand can be a very frustrating experience. Teacher Chris is on hand to give you some top tips.
The cost of living
How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.