Yes, it’s official

Thais can be just as good at English as Khmers, Vietnamese and Laotians but

1st February 2009

English is a compulsory subject in Thailand. But class sizes are normally large. This leaves little or no room for one-to-one dialogues.

Teaching at my university

What does holding down a university job entail?

3rd January 2009

if you want to teach university classes like mine, in particularly regard to Thai classes, if they are school leavers they’re really as good a bunch of starters as you could ever hope to get. If you try and teach them in a systematic way, you will encounter difficulties – difficulties that might, at first, be inclined to plunge you into the deepest depths of despair.

Doing it yourself

What it takes to start your very own language school

1st January 2009

For the first two years we actually lived in our school. This was tiring and annoying, but saved us a lot of money, obviously. Our monthly mortgage was only 6,600 baht, for which we got a house AND a school! The drawbacks to this sort of arrangement are that we had to pull out our bedrolls after the school was closed down

The A to Z of teaching TEFL in Thailand

A playful look at this sometimes crazy industry

30th October 2008

Thanks to the combined efforts of the ajarn.com discussion board members, we've come up with the ultimate A to Z of teaching TEFL in Thailand.

No magic bullets

Dave Patterson would most certainly like a word

17th November 2006

Dave Patterson, who is a teacher at the Prince of Songkhla University in South Thailand, says it's about time Thai students took studying English seriously. And it's about time schools got serious about taking care of their students.

Book review

Bangkok Exit

3rd November 2006

As a refreshing change from someone writing about their ten years of hell in a Thai prison, you might want to take a look at Bangkok Exit written by Ryan Humphreys. Ryan gives readers a humorous warts 'n' all account of his first year teaching in Thailand at Sathit Wittaya School.

The madness to the methods

The often crazy world of teaching in Korea

1st August 2005

Despite being sequestered on the furthest border of the Kumi frontier, nearly fifteen miles away from the closest foreign teacher, I am still surrounded by hagwon mania. These private schools are everywhere. Due to all this severe competition, schools habitually search for new angles to draw in students. At times the teaching methods advocated are only passing fads and cheap gimmicks.

The staff room

Inside a Korean hogwan

1st January 2005

A total of seven teachers work at my school. All of them are Korean except for myself. Three of these teachers can speak English with me, but the others are too shy to do so. Staff meetings are held in the Korean language. I seldom understand what is discussed, but that is my fault for not learning to speak Korean fluently. If I want to learn about the meetings I will talk to the director afterward.

A teacher’s lot

A week in the life of an English teacher

1st December 2004

As Friday is my day off, I consider Saturday to be the start of my working week. Yes, that’s right, I work six days a week, not unusual if you work for a language school. Unlike Thai schools, the weekend is the busiest time for language schools.

The teacher’s diary

One teacher's descent into madness

18th November 2004

The diary is the sad and heartbreaking four-week journal of Mr Jim Elmdon - a teacher who came, saw, and failed miserably. Keep a box of tissues handy.

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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.