My struggles with the Thai language part 1

For 15 years, my spoken Thai didn't get any better at all.

For the first five years here, I would say my Thai improved steadily. Both my vocabulary range and my speaking confidence increased and my listening comprehension improved a lot. I never felt the need to take any formal Thai lessons. The Bangkok streets were my classroom

Happy hour at the ESL bar and grill

Amusing the students to death

Students are being scammed out of their money by an industry that is content to amuse the students to death by turning English language education into a perverted version of happy hour at Joe's Bar. Teachers and students deserve better than that.

Farang ajarn cover letter


I wasted my time and my life of quiet TEFL desperation at an all-girl’s government school off the Hua Lamphong BTS station sweating direly in dreary and dilapidated non-air-conditioned classrooms beneath depressing rows of old, broken-down fans babysitting on average 40 bored, clueless, and mediocre mathayom students

A time of change

How does teaching in Thailand now compare to twenty years ago?

For those of you pissing and moaning about visa runs, the immigration department, the work permit process, the unpredictability of the consulates in neighboring countries - let me tell you this - it was no better in the early 90s. In fact I'd say marginally worse.

Doing it yourself

What it takes to start your very own language school

For the first two years we actually lived in our school. This was tiring and annoying, but saved us a lot of money, obviously. Our monthly mortgage was only 6,600 baht, for which we got a house AND a school! The drawbacks to this sort of arrangement are that we had to pull out our bedrolls after the school was closed down

Views from Laos

Stephen Thomas in Laos

There should be no surprise to foreign nationals that the Thai Ministry of Education from an educational perspective is trying to improve matters in relation to hiring foreign personnel. I read a recent Yahoo survey which claimed that 40% of foreign teachers in Taipei, Taiwan, hold some false documentation, notably fake degree certificates that they bought in Bangkok.

A very bad day indeed

Today was one of the most unpleasant in my four years plus of teaching

My problem was discipline. You see, I've been teaching for over four years and until today I had only received two complaints.

Tips for the Thai classroom

How to survive it

After graduating from college in the States, I surmised the job market and beat a hasty path to Thailand. Using an all-inclusive, value-added program called LanguageCorps, I had TEFL training in the well-known Ban Phe school, followed by a guarantee of my choice of jobs.

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The Hot Spot

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

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Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!

Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.