Work with the tools you have

Postbox letter from Khru Mark

On the topic of Thai classroom assistants and are they useful to a foreign teacher? I have six teachers with me. (One for each level that I teach.) They are all different and they all need to be treated differently.


Notebook concerns

How to get your students to use their notebooks effectively

Friends of mind say that they give importance to student notebooks by grading them, giving stickers to those who have a complete set of notes , stamping them with positive comments - and giving points as part of their grade to those students who have complete, neat, and beautiful notebooks.


Perceptive young learners

Postbox letter from Carl Slaughter

Here's a story about some very young but very sharp Thai and Chinese students.


On having an English room

The advantage of having your own classroom space

I consider my classroom to be an extension of my house. After lunch, I can lock the door and take a little nap. Or I can watch my favorite movies and news broadcasts from The Philippiness. It's so different from the days of old when I didn't have a room and I had to bear the heat and noise of the library or the clinic or other 'makeshift classrooms'.


Thai students and the fine art of copying

I couldn't believe what was going on in the classroom

I come from a society and a culture where the copying of anything in or out of a classroom is simply looked on as cheating. Not only cheating the whole idea of education but cheating oneself out of any possibility of learning, not to mention a total disrespect of the student who goes to the trouble of learning the correct answers in the first place. So I was appalled beyond measure when I saw my first example of copying in my classroom at my first school in Phuket.


Failures in sarcasm

When a lesson plan can all go horribly wrong

Even when I try to tone down my sarcasm, those rascally comments still slip from my lips! I know that my students are vaguely aware of sarcasm but they don't quite understand it and they certainly would never use it on their own.


The harsh reality

Postbox letter from Ralph Sasser

When a student inevitably fails the semester final exam and/or has poor grades, the foreign teacher is instructed to dumb down the exam and let the student retake it so he/she will get a passing grade or retake it several times if necessary. If the teacher refuses to give the exam until the student passes, the foreigner teacher is deemed incompetent and terminated.


Handling a 'sanook' class

How to handle a classroom full of badly-behaved children

Success in handling naughty students calls for common sense, creativity and resourcefulness on the part of teachers. Furthermore, a lot of reasons that trigger students’ behavior have to be addressed too, for if they are not, problems will surface


The Mismeasure of Thais

Teachers rarely take the blame for students constantly failing exams.

It is not the students’ fault that they are failing tests and exams. All students want to pass. They simply don’t know how since most teachers have never taught their students how to study effectively and to recognize the pitfalls of taking tests and examinations.


Playing to the gallery

Successful class-management and learner success is dependant on having fun

We are all familiar with the fact that every class has its own special chemistry. For obscure reasons some classes are friendly, others not; some bright and perky, others lackluster and heavy going.


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