Clock, peanut and frog

The problematic pronunciation of many Thais

I try to have as much empathy for my students as I possibly can and I am becoming rather good at understanding the unintelligible. However, there are limits to everything and I am not a mind-reader. If a person says for example /sa-pye/, I know he or she means “Spy” (the wine-cooler or James Bond, doesn’t matter). But if someone says “kye”, I don’t automatically think of cry.


Why can't Thais speak English?

Some of these students have had over 2,000 hours of English.

Considering that English has been the international language of tourism and commerce for I don't know how many decades now, and there are I don't know how many thousands of English teachers all over the country, why is the general level of English so poor?


Are Thai teachers actually helpful?

Or is the foreign teacher better off without them in the classroom?

Before beginning my experience as a TESOL teacher in Thailand, way back when I was a newbie farang taking my TESOL course on Phuket, I was repeatedly assured by indifferent agencies and instructors not to worry because you will always share classrooms with Thai teachers that are there to help you.


My wishes

Reflecting on what I could have done better for my students

What had I achieved as a teacher, as a class?" "What had I given them? What had my students taught me during the past year?" So many moments of ups and downs, sheer joy and triumphs, but there were things I wish I could have done better.


How to motivate your students

From using humor and surprise to employing reward structures

Boredom grows from predictability. An occasional taste of the unexpected will make everyone's learning experience more enjoyable.


Interviewing Foreigners

Being interviewed in the street by English students

Taking to the streets and talking to complete strangers is something no Thai student would do out of their own volition. It is clear that most – if not all of them – do it because their English teacher imposed it as a mandatory assignment.


Adventures in rural Thailand

My first six months at a Thai government school

Over a typical week I see four hundred or more students, across Mathayom levels one to six, aged twelve to eighteen. Class sizes range from twenty to thirty students.


On teaching classroom language

Getting students to use simple English all the time

Whenever confronted with students who speak Thai in class, I considered it an opportune moment to teach them the right structures.


Who gets the call when their arms are raised?

Which student gets the teacher's questions and why?

Here are the different groups of students within a typical class. They are quite distinctive and there's not really much of a gray area between them.


Halloween celebrations

Schools all over Thailand are spooking it up today

Schools even have a legitimate excuse for celebrating Halloween, because it is covered in the Thai MoE's foreign language curriculum - ‘students should be aware of foreign cultures and festivals.'

Page 1 of 15 (showing 10 blogs out of 145 total)

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