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.
Sometimes just be thankful that's as good as it gets
I'm now in my third year as an English teacher at a secondary school in Thailand. I guess you could say I'm a veteran now, though this is a job which 'veteran' doesn't mean much
An approach to teaching special needs students
Because I am teaching primarily in an English program where students' parents are paying for them to be there, I do not encounter many special education students. That said, I do have two students in one of my mathayom 2 (grade 8) classes who definitely have learning disabilities.
The 34th Thai TESOL Conference was recently held in Chiang Mai
Thai TESOL is a non-profit organisation that works committedly towards raising the standards of English in schools and universities across Thailand. They do this by cooperating with like-minded organizations, providing professional development, conducting research and organizing conferences.
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.
I thought this might be of benefit to new ajarn readers in particular
I was asked to fill in a questionnaire by my old university on the topic of teaching English in Thailand. Although it was intended to encourage applicants to take a Thai study program in Germany, the information might be useful for those teachers thinking of coming to work here 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,
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.
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.
What are the disadvantages of being an English program teacher
Since I've been teaching in Thailand. I've by chance and not necessarily choice - always been placed in English Programs. English Programs are immersion-based ‘special' educative programs placed within government schools.