How to motivate your students

An extract from a new book on teaching English to Thai students

Many studies have been undertaken to determine the reasons why South East Asian students have problems learning English. I would add to the list: weakness of the curriculum design, limited school resources, class sizes, poor course design, and course-books not always being relevant to the student's own environment.


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.


My first year as a teacher in Thailand

The highs and the lows and what I've learned.

Now that this academic year is winding down, I reflect on my first year with a lot of mixed feelings. There have been a lot of awesome moments where I really felt like a teacher. I really felt like I was getting through to the students and I was the getting the job done.


Teachers playing games in class

Is it a case of too much monkeying around?

Games can reinforce what has been taught earlier in a lesson and can be used as a filler or as a reward for good work. But to expect foreign English teachers to spend the majority of their time entertaining students, especially adults, is, to me, just not right.


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.


Unending speaking day

Ideas to get your students speaking English

I had the rare privilege of attending an English seminar facilitated by one of the most sought-after language speakers in Thailand, Mr Andrew Biggs. I was able to get many ideas on how to make Thai students like English. One of these ideas is through auto-suggestion.


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.


English speaking day

Some different ways to get your students speaking English

I heard from a number of Filipino instructors in Thai universities that they had something called ‘English Speaking Day'. They said that students had not as yet made any significant progress but the instructors were optimistic that the ESD idea would work if implemented for a longer period of time and Thai students would surely improve.


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Air your views

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