Researching the unknown

Postbox letter from James

In my opinion, many of the text books used in Asia in general are far in advance of the student's capabilities. They assume a level of competency that few attain, given the ‘happy happy’ method of teaching and the no-fail emphasis.


Who is really qualified to teach?

Postbox letter from Jonathan French

A friend of mine works at a school and is head of English, he doesn't have a degree and neither have a lot of the teachers there. The school is quite happy even though a tad illegal but at the end of the day, the students are getting a good education from teachers who know their subject.


Aiming high for o-net

Changes that should be made in preparing students for the o-net

February 2, 2013 is the date for the O-net examination in Thailand (Ordinary National Education Test). This is the day that level 6 and 9 students' are assessed in their proficiency in all subjects. That's why nowadays all Thai schools prepare intensively to improve their students' performance.


Look before you leap

Postbox letter from Darren

I have learned this lesson the hard way and walk out scarred, bitter and slightly twisted. Please take heed - even before you send your CV or resume, check your employer out. You might find this a revelation.


A view from the student’s side of the classroom

Perspectives on becoming a student again

For the most part, I was teaching (in a variety of different capacities) during the years I was also pursuing my graduate studies. Now once again I am alternating between the front and rear of the classroom, and this can be an effective method to help one to keep the student's perspective in mind when the time of the day comes for one to assume the role of teacher.


Government or private school?

Which one comes out on top for a teacher?

I have to remember that I can't just do things for anyone who asks, else I'll bleed dry in a hurry. I'm bad about always agreeing to do things, even if they cost me time and money to do so. There's a point where you must say no, like it or not.


A teacher's pet peeve

The unenviable task of having to plan lessons

Lesson planning is a routine task that has now got into my system, yet if I had my choice, I would get rid of it. But how? So several times I tried teaching without a lesson plan? Do you want to know how it turned out? I think they were better than my planned lessons.


Thrown to the wolves

Teaching kindergarten for the very first time

Today's class was my very first 2-hour stint with a group of kindergarteners. I've never been the world's largest fan of little kids, not because I don't like them, but because I have no earthly idea what to do with them. Well, all things considered, I'd say my class went quite well!


Book review

The essential guide to teaching English and living in Thailand

As they neared the end of their first year in Thailand, Michael and Sarah suddenly realized that while chatting with new arrivals, they were answering the same questions over and over again. So they began to compile a guide to help others who might want to give TEFL in Thailand a try.


There are always terrible teachers out there

Postbox letter from Lucie

I have to say that there are loads of native speakers out there who have no idea how to grade their language to an appropriate level for their students. There are even plenty of qualified teachers who may have been great at teaching, say, biology, in their home country, but cannot accept that to teach it to non native speakers, they have to change their methods and the way they introduce both concepts and vocabulary.


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