Back in the groove again

Stepping back into a Thai training room after three years away

A two-day seminar on the topic of ‘Executive E-mail Writing' for fifteen participants at one of the world's largest auditing companies. That's what I had been asked to deliver. Despite having plenty of experience, it was still a daunting challenge given the fact I hadn't walked into a training room to conduct a workshop or seminar in almost three years. It was time to put my trainer hat on and get back into the groove.


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.


Some solutions to the challenges of teaching in Thailand

Some ideas on how to make life easier for yourself

Don’t take complaints or awkward suggestions to your local head. Go to them with easy to understand positive solutions instead. And don’t push your case or demand an immediate response.


Games for large unruly classes

Should games always have a pedagogical value? No.

Some of these appear in different versions and with different names on Dave’s ESL Café, but most of those were designed for smaller classes in countries like South Korea and Japan and don’t work very well with larger groups in Southeast Asia.


Writing your own readers

Why not design your own student reading material

Let your textbooks dictate the level and style of language to use and only introduce new vocabulary if it’s cool and/or funny. Students have a nice habit of always remembering these types of words.


Repetition

An argument about what students really need

Most of us are faced with the same challenge: large class sizes. We can’t do anything about this other than work with it.


The 3-4-3 principle and the importance of repetition

Putting students through their paces

Each lesson has four sides. I lift one side. If by the end of the lesson the students know what is under the remaining three sides, I do not repeat the lesson


Yes, it's official

Thais can be just as good at English as Khmers, Vietnamese and Laotians but

English is a compulsory subject in Thailand. But class sizes are normally large. This leaves little or no room for one-to-one dialogues.


If miniskirts were shorter

Modes of dress among Thai female students

As skirts get shorter and blouses get tighter, I find myself siding with the Thai sticks-in-the-mud on this one. What are the reasons for this sudden prudishness?


Making learners

How learners learn

Each learner and each learning experience is unique; yet educators can identify patterns in the learning process. Designing effective learning requirements requires a clear understanding of, and attention to, both commonalities and differences in the learners and the learning.


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