An excellent post by Ralph Sasser. He's hit the nail on the head with those M6 notebook excerpts.
I would like to add this for what it is worth....In my apartment block are many university students. In the common room, where they are found hard at work revising and completing their homework, I happened to come across two students struggling with an English lesson. I offered to assist. It was my first peek at a university created English test paper and quite frankly it was a disgrace. I wrote down the questions word for word - letter for letter)
Two of the many questions posed (as written up by the university "experts" aka as Thai university lecturers with degrees in English) and I quote.....
"Learnning writing experieences"
1. Write on Wen what intresting action you can hav with wen explloring hill regions.
2. Desciibe under 200 sentences how we can wengo flat altter wheel on carr....(unquote)
Incidentally one of the students advised me that his parents were paying 40k a term for his attendance at the university...along with paying for his apartment and living expenses in Bangkok. Of course he will pass with top marks in English.......money talks.
I recently returned from Yala in Southern Thailand. Whilst there I had the pleasure of spending a day at a local primary/intermediate school which caters for students up to 12 years of age. I asked whether they had an English teaching programme in place as part of their curriculum. I received an enthusiastic reply...yes we have. I was then invited to sit in on a lesson or two. Both the Filipino and Thai "English" teachers who conducted the English programme were obviously very nervous at my presence although I had no intention of taking part nor interfering in the lesson - and didn't.
The English lesson was nothing short of a farce (and I am not and did not take the holier than thou attitude in my general appraisal) For a start the very simple worksheets handed to the 12 year old students were saturated with grammatical and spelling errors...along with this were picture sheets compiled by the teachers showing ten different animals written with the Thai and English description for each of them. From the picture sheets - illiphant (elephant) - kanroo (kangaroo) A picture of a turtle had the description 'frog' underneath it. I asked why the school did not employ an English native speaker and was told "we get our two English teachers (the Filipino and the Thai) for the same price as one farang teacher so this way is better for school"
Better for the school....but certainly not better for the student......money issues again. This was not a government school. The pupils pay 8000 baht per annum each in school fees. In the near future the lack of correct and proper learning of the English language throughout Thailand is going to hit the economy, business, and many walks of Thai life like an out of control steam train.