Pronunciation issues of Thai learners

Pronunciation issues of Thai learners

Hello All. Having been living and teaching primary aged learners in Thailand for 7 years now, I still wonder after many, many, hours of classroom instruction, “why the pronunciation of many English words spoken by Thai learners is still so poor?”.

To give some background information relating to myself and reasoning behind this question, I’m a Native speaker from the UK, and I’m currently in my final year of a Masters in education (M. Ed) which requires research and a written dissertation relating to a current / relevant issue within my own personal environment (in my case a primary school teaching primary aged learners). Thus I’m hoping for some valid opinions, responses, information from other primary level teachers within Thailand as to the issues they face, have faced, overcome in dealing with mispronunciation of English words.

I’m predominantly focusing on the non pronunciation of “s” when it’s in the final position (ending of the word), I’m fully aware this is an issue at all levels of learners & speakers, however, I’m only concerned with primary age learners.

I have been teaching primary ages learners for 7 years now, and this issue confronts me on a daily basis, some examples; 1 cat, 2 cat(s), french frie(s) = non pronunciation of the plural, Starbuck(s), Philippine(s), six = sick, fox = fok non pronunciation of the final “x/s” sound, ice = i, nice = ni, non pronunciation of the final ce (s) sound.

So, the questions are;

a) Do other primary teachers in Thailand face the same issue(s)? b) What words do your students have problems with? c) Is the problem when speaking? reading? OR both? d) Do you believe your students are aware of their mispronunciation or not? e) How do you overcome this, or tried to overcome this? f) Any personal beliefs / academic beliefs / reasons why or though on why these mispronouncing exist in Thai learners?

Please state the following in you reply, the province your teaching in (so I get evidence if this is widespread or localised),the level primary 1, 2, 3, etc, the class environment (English / normal program). I would also be very appreciative for any individual that is willing to assist further by completing a questionnaire with related information contact me privately at

Any input, regardless of amount would be greatly appreciated, Thanks in advance.

Regards Wag

PS. Pls no Thai bashing as none of us are perfect, and my Thai pronunciation is far from perfect!


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