Lynken is from America, lives in Bangkok and has taught in Thailand for 3 years.
Q1. How long have you been teaching in Thailand?
Three years, but a long time ago, from 2006-2009
Q2. What age group do you prefer teaching and why?
High school or university. I was a university professor in the US and Canada, so I'm best suited to high school or university, because I have a clear idea what academic writing etc. standard students need to achieve in order to enter universities and be successful in their undergraduate career and beyond.
Q3. What is the best thing about living and working in Thailand in your opinion?
People are generally laid back and the food scene is very good, particularly in Bangkok. Also, I like the international atmosphere of Bangkok.
Q4. If you had to move to teach English somewhere else, which country would be next on your list and why?
Russia or Mexico. I'm interested in Russian and Spanish, as well as Russian and Latin cultures.
Q5. Of all the places you have travelled to in Thailand, which is your favourite and why?
Bangkok and Hua Hin. I like Bangkok for its food scene and international atmosphere. Plus you can get high quality goods and services in Bangkok. I like Hua Hin because it's a peaceful, beautiful getaway, not far from Bangkok. I also like Phuket, except for Patong Beach.
Q6. How do you see Thailand's TEFL landscape changing in the next five or ten years?
I'm not really sure about this, but I think Thailand should try to follow in China's footsteps and start to train more Thai students to study in Western universities and high schools. All of the directors I've met within Thai High School English Programs have told me that most Thai students merely apply within the country.
Q7. Why do you think Thailand is still a big draw for many TEFLers?
Well, the atmosphere is generally laid back, and big cities, like Bangkok, are quite international. Also, there are many beautiful beaches and getaway spots. However, Thai managers put too much stock in things like 120-hour TEFL certificates, and credentials from a US state or Canadian province etc. These are not the only relevant qualifications.
Q8. Have you taught in any other countries? How do they compare to Thailand?
I've taught in China, the US and Canada. China has less freedom of speech than Thailand, but its schools seem a bit better organized than those in Thailand, and many of the Chinese administrators seem to have higher goals and a broader vision than the Thai Directors that I've met. American and Canadian universities are definitely much better organized than Thai universities, and there is more attention paid to higher Academic standards. For example, plagiarism is completely disallowed in N. America. However, I have not taught in a Thai university since 2009, so things could have changed.
Q9. What advice would you give to a new teacher thinking of embarking on a teaching career in Thailand?
If you're interested in high school teaching, get a state, provincial etc. credential first. If you're interested in a serious university teaching, publish articles or books. I'm not saying I agree with these priorities, but having these things will help a teacher succeed here.
Q10. You are looking for a new teaching job at the moment. How can potential employers contact you?