Thailand so far behind

I have very recently moved to Vietnam after four years spent teaching in Thailand. The level of English here in Vietnam as their second language is way ahead of Thailand. Thailand hasn't left first base yet. I'm not saying the Vietnamese have mastered the English language, but their basic knowledge and understanding is like a breath of fresh air. The first thing you notice is that you are not addressed as a farang every few minutes of the day. The Vietnamese address you as 'sir' or 'madam' or by your name, which they pronounce correctly. And the Vietnamese are generally a lot more pleasant and approachable compared to Thais.

At my last school in Thailand, which I found bearable by Thai standards, the students were the main feature of the school. They were the best students I had ever taught in Thailand and the teachers were pleasant enough. But after the usual honeymoon period was over, the school started demanding the farang teachers work the same as the Thai teachers in every respect, which for me didn't go down to well, considering they would only pay my salary for nine months of the year.

The phrase 'fast track' was being flung around as if you were working in a postal office. I don't know about you but, fast track and education for me should never be used in the same sentence where Thailand and its education are concerned. "Slowly slowly catch the monkey". We all know these initiatives come from Bangkok, as they have only just realized how far behind they really are on the education front - especially compared to other countries that will be joining them in the Asean in three years time.

I'm not saying I will never return to Thailand but trust me -. don't spend too long there in one period. You definitely need a break from the Thais. Anyway good luck to all my fellow TEFLers and remember one thing in Thailand - he who dares, always loses.

Mr. Russell

Read more letters

Send your letter to

Featured Jobs

English Conversation Teachers

฿35,000+ / month


Filipina Teacher for Long-term Position

฿25,000+ / month

Nakhon Si Thammarat

Primary Homeroom Teacher

฿0+ / month

Samut Prakan

Early Years Teacher

฿45,000+ / month

Chiang Mai

Qualified Filipino Teachers (Many Positions)

฿20,000+ / month


English, Science and Maths Teachers

฿34,000+ / month

Nakhon Si Thammarat

Featured Teachers

  • Peter

    British, 64 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Aries

    Filipino, 31 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Lloyd

    American, 62 years old. Currently living in Panama

  • Anecito

    Filipino, 41 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Ryan

    Filipino, 34 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Michael

    Australian, 39 years old. Currently living in Australia

The Hot Spot

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?

Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.