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
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.
Postbox letter from Mel
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
What’s the best and the worst class you’ve ever taught?
As promised, here are some of the lighter moments that I have been privy to in my time as an ajarn in Thailand; a time that, give or take one or two visits elsewhere, has lasted about twelve years. To be honest, I don’t have to think that hard to come up with memories of my good classes as they spring to mind with relative ease.
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.
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
Postbox letter from 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.
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.
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.