Belated April fool's jokes

Humorous Thai news stories

You'll find it hard to believe but these stories - taken from Thai newspapers - are genuinely true. You just couldn't write the script!


Nothing but disrespect

Postbox letter from

For those foreigners willing to devote their time and energies to quality teaching, it can be a bitterly disillusioning experience. With the salaries going lower and the benefits (medical and other insurance, housing, etc.) fewer, and the cost of living increasing, teachers who have been here for years are now leaving the country.


Teachers and textbooks

A love-hate relationship

There are a lot of excellent books on the market; most of them are produced by major publishers such as Oxford, Cambridge, Longman and Macmillan. The problem a teacher can encounter during an English lesson in Asia is that these books are not always culturally suitable for the learners.


My life as a farang teacher

Postbox letter from Larry Gellar

I probably should have seen the writing on the wall when I was asked to sign a contract in a foreign language, without a translation. I should have just slowly backed away.


Cheats and copycats

Text messages and talking dics

It is a problem when students are more technologically advanced than you. They can figure out ways to outsmart teachers on tests. In one particular incident, one of the smarter students text messaged the answers to another student from the hallway. However, I often switch the order of questions on my exams so, unfortunately for them, the answers didn’t match.


Moral education

The Bangkok case

So what are the problems faced by Thai youth? Well, many of the same problems are faced by Thai youth as are faced by their North American counterparts, though in different degree and proportion. Unfortunately, statistics are few and far between and often unreliable.


Skeletons splitting the sky

Alternative tours around Ayutthaya

I was given my present class on tour planning and management. It was a good opportunity to try something different. There are some decent day excursion that can be done from Ayutthaya, however hotels and travel agencies are reluctant to offer anything new. Therefore, I assigned my students several unique tours to see if they could be made affordable.


My teacher is a computer

The role of the computer in the EFL world

If someone is really eager to learn a language (any foreign language, it doesn’t necessarily have to be English), a computer is the ideal tool for self-study. Actually, a computer is nothing more than a modern combination of a notebook, a pen, a dictionary, a phone and a fax machine. Without the communicative infrastructure called the Internet or the software to make everything happen, a computer is basically worthless.


Teaching the kiddies

Do they learn anything at all?

Although weekend courses have to be fun for everyone involved, meaning both children and teacher, I think that fun and learning should be balanced. If the parents pay good money to get their kids on a course, the least a teacher should do is make sure that they learn some English. This can be done using fun and games, but not exclusively.


How to improve your English

Tips for students

Communication is all about using a language to transfer a message and to make yourself understood. If the students can’t say it, if they can’t get their message across, if nobody understands them or doesn’t even bother listening to them anymore, their knowledge of English is virtually useless and all the hours of studying it have been a complete waste of time.


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