This is in reply to Methaya Sirichit's great letter (26th January)
I have been attempting to introduce the Western culture, the similarities and differences between Thai culture and Western forms of thinking. I had good results that came very quickly when I was learning the IELTS system. I would use The Bangkok Posts learning section and the articles available.
I stopped learning Thai when I started to understand just how nasty Thais are to each other. I did not want to listen. I left my own country (Australia) because I could see people becoming nastier and nastier to each other. The human race is a horrible thing.
I have recently read and listened to a radio interview about the next step in phonics. Understanding how the word was created. Knee is actually a word that was pronounced using the k to start the word. It is time that has made the K silent.
I have visited Sukhothai many times and been through the museum as well. It gives a good starting point into the Thai language, the history and its origins. I would like to know if corruption and as telling of untruths was so ingrained in Thai culture back then as it is today because there does seem to be a case for those in powerful positions in Thailand have made their own rules in today's society and many very clever and worthwhile people are not able to voice an opinion.
I have lived in Phitsunalok myself and found many of the farmers problem solving skills to far more remarkable than Bangkok's problem solving skills that are based on more money to buy things overs have designed. We currently hear about many horrible workplace problems and extortion of minorities. As an Australian I am horrified at what my country is doing in The Middle East. I grew up believing Australia was a passive country. No we are the aggressors.
You are correct that most farang coming to Thailand to teach do not have the skills. I suspect they are further infuriated by the fact that the students are not the centre of the schools here in Thailand but the amount of money required to give a perceived education that allows students to understand the world they live in is.
The international schools now have lowered the grade levels by allowing extra testing so those students who do not have the knowledge they should have learnt in normal class time to move up the education ladder.
I suspect it is the human race at the moment that is creating its own problems. The difference between Thais and others is really a small thing.
The few Thai friends I have will speak English with me as they trust me not to judge them. I suspect those who are scared of speaking and showing aptitude know that it will killed of by those controlling for more money. Which in turn is just our belief in pieces of paper with numbers written on them.