Humble pie

I have been in dispute with a good friend of mine for a long time about the ability of english teachers. My side is that if you know your grammar and have experience that you are more capable of teaching than someone with a B.A who has no experience. I told him in Thailand that it is just a question of legality. Even though I have a B.A in Civil Engineering I feel this does not give me an advantage unless I am teaching it or it is the favored subject of the student. My friend disagrees and told me that knowing grammar is neither here nor there when it comes to teaching English.

I left him to his own devices and let him learn the hard way. When the job he had been waiting for finally arrived, the one with the big pay and prestige that would allow him to walk the corridors of the elite, he fell flat on his face because when the Director of Studies questioned his abilities, he was tongue-tied and his background let him down (and stubbornness). This was a prime example of degree holders being snobbish and insecure about there abilities. A lot of teachers here aren't insecure about their abilities but only the legality of not having a real degree. If you have a degree in English language then I think you have a great advantage over the ones who don't and could quite easily fill a position of an English teacher even without experience. I think in time the Thai MOE will become the laughing stock of South East Asia for being both ignorant and incompetent.

In the next ten years Thailand will pay the price with India emerging as a superpower and Vietnam who will inevitably take over as the Economic superpower in this region. Gun, bullet foot syndrome. I begin to hear more horror stories than good ones as time goes by, reports that the islands down south are empty are another indication that people are now saying no to Thailand and the teachers are looking elsewhere for a better way of life, more money, more security and a simple bit of hospitality with a genuine smile.

Willem Ward

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