Teaching 'with' students, 'to' students and 'at' students

Sometimes I decide to just look on the funny side of trying to teach

I've been teaching in various capacities almost two years in Thailand now, and the differences between teaching students who want to be with you versus those who must be there are quite clear.


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.


World cup festival

How one school in Chiang Mai celebrated a feast of football

The football World Cup was a great opportunity to broaden students' horizons by encouraging them to learn about people and cultures around the world. And enjoy the football of course!


Straight from the student's mouth

Asking for end-of-term student feedback

At the end of each semester, I ask my students to write down one thing they liked about class, one thing they didn't like, and one thing that they think I should do better.


A 'one of a kind' camp

Organising the perfect English camp for students

Last term, I tried a different kind of camp. The theme was "Enhancing English proficiency in preparation for ASEAN 2015 through games and dance." I can say it was great because my students said that it was the most enjoyable camp they had ever been on


Why is English so poor in Thailand?

Students are simply just not 'taught' here

Recently I read an article that stated adults in Thailand are ranked 55th from a list of 60 countries on their English proficiency skills. From what I have seen as an English teacher working in government secondary schools over the last 10 years, I'm not surprised,


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.


Learn all your students' names?

Surely you can't be serious.

It's never been my intention to become best friends with any of my students but I truly believe that a good relationship and strong rapport with students is absolutely vital in order to begin being an effective teacher. If I ever expect to receive the respect of my students (which is all the time) then the obvious thing for me to do is give respect to them as early as possible.


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.


Science department camp

A fun school outing to Samut Sakhon

Apparently, once per year my department goes on some kind of a retreat. I felt quite honored when I was invited (more like coerced) to attend the all-Thai getaway.


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