Helping all students learn

An approach to teaching special needs students

3rd April 2014

Because I am teaching primarily in an English program where students' parents are paying for them to be there, I do not encounter many special education students. That said, I do have two students in one of my mathayom 2 (grade 8) classes who definitely have learning disabilities.

My first year as a teacher in Thailand

The highs and the lows and what I've learned.

13th February 2014

Now that this academic year is winding down, I reflect on my first year with a lot of mixed feelings. There have been a lot of awesome moments where I really felt like a teacher. I really felt like I was getting through to the students and I was the getting the job done.

An overview of teaching in Thailand

I thought this might be of benefit to new ajarn readers in particular

16th December 2013

I was asked to fill in a questionnaire by my old university on the topic of teaching English in Thailand. Although it was intended to encourage applicants to take a Thai study program in Germany, the information might be useful for those teachers thinking of coming to work here in Thailand.

Teachers playing games in class

Is it a case of too much monkeying around?

27th November 2013

Games can reinforce what has been taught earlier in a lesson and can be used as a filler or as a reward for good work. But to expect foreign English teachers to spend the majority of their time entertaining students, especially adults, is, to me, just not right.

Learn all your students’ names?

Surely you can't be serious.

22nd November 2013

It's never been my intention to become best friends with any of my students but I truly believe that a good relationship and strong rapport with students is absolutely vital in order to begin being an effective teacher. If I ever expect to receive the respect of my students (which is all the time) then the obvious thing for me to do is give respect to them as early as possible.

English program pitfalls

What are the disadvantages of being an English program teacher

19th November 2013

Since I've been teaching in Thailand. I've by chance and not necessarily choice - always been placed in English Programs. English Programs are immersion-based ‘special' educative programs placed within government schools.

To use Thai or not to use Thai?

Why learning Thai has helped me so much in the classroom

14th November 2013

My philosophy on spoken communication has always been that perfect grammar, extensive vocabulary and intimate knowledge of tenses are all totally worthless if the listener cannot understand the words that are coming out of your mouth.

The teacher fashion guide

Dress for success!

29th April 2013

If you're thinking of coming to teach in Thailand then don't leave home without reading our indispensable guide to cutting a dash in the classroom. How many neckties do I need? Will the pony-tail have to go? From the moment you walk in the room, you'll be turning heads and not stomachs. On no, not all five Spice Girls please!!!!

Failures in sarcasm

When a lesson plan can all go horribly wrong

20th April 2013

Even when I try to tone down my sarcasm, those rascally comments still slip from my lips! I know that my students are vaguely aware of sarcasm but they don't quite understand it and they certainly would never use it on their own.

How’s the project doing?

A progress report on the Nonthaburi Project

3rd March 2013

The Nonthaburi English Teachers Project (NETP) in Thailand began in 2005. It has existed for nearly 9 years now but I haven't read a personal account yet from someone who is a part of it.

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About Ajarn.com

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.