Teach English in SiziwangqiwulanhuA Zhen - Wulanchabu Shi — Ulanqab

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Every action has a reaction and therefore in order to understand the problems learners face in Thailand we need to take a step back and look at the education system first. There are nearly 20 million students that are enrolled in Thailand from early years to higher education encompassing both formal and non-formal education. – https://www.bic.moe.go.th>book - Thailand has a basic education system that covers 12 years and includes some of the following subjects: Thai (L1), Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Religion and Culture, Health and Physical Education, Art, Technology/ Computer and finally English (L2). Traditionally schools in Thailand focus on memorization and classrooms are not interactive. Students subsequently learn to listen, memorize and repeat information verbatim onto a test. This produces a student population lacking innovation, creativity and critical thinking skills. – https://www.sataban.com- College degrees are in part an issue of social class, not education. – Dean of Public Administration at NIDA University- As a Native English Speaking (NES) Teacher in Thailand it has become clear that there are mostly 2 types of English “Projects” run in Thailand state schools. See below definition as well as benefits and disadvantages per project type. Project 1: Project 1 seems to be more prominent in your smaller less “touristy” areas for example Borabue, Maha Sarakham. In this project you will find NES Teachers that will teach only English to each class/ level within a grade, all grades from kindergarten through to Prathom 6 with up to 45 students in a class and you will only see each class once a week and if really lucky a maximum of twice. The only advantage of this is that you become part of the community as you become familiar with all students and teachers of the school. There are many disadvantages in this project but the main ones are that due to your students being L2 and not speaking English outside of your classroom, by the time they see you a week later all information is forgotten and you find yourself doing the same lesson over and over and over again with minimal results resulting in students being stagnant and unruly. A second problem your learners face is that they did not ask to learn English so there is no self-motivation to learn purely because the government has made a push for English in the country and in this aspect students are embarrassed and feel uncomfortable. Another problem faced is “rural” schools have limited resources so learners who do want to learn do not always have the resources available as English is not a priority but more of a forced option. Project 2: Project 2 seems to be more prominent in your bigger more “touristy” areas for example Kanchanaburi. In this project you will find NES Teachers that will teach English, Maths, Science and Health to a selected number of grades that form part of the MEP – Mini English Program- Parents pay a lot more to have their children in this programme as in more cases than none it is about social class and not about education. The main advantage with this setup is that classes are smaller therefore classroom management is much easier and you get to see your students at least 4 times a week. Disadvantages with this project is that you have a NES teacher teaching students 4 subjects while there is a Thai teacher teaching the exact same classes covering the exact same content in Thai which results in students being confused between language as a whole, methods and understanding which only disadvantages the students in the end. Another major problem students face is that English in not taught in the correct way across the board as 1 English class is by a native speaker and another English class is taught by a non-native speaker, English has to be taught the correct way from the foundation up and cannot afford to have any cracks because students will then never get a grasp for the language which is already a tough task to start with. Problems that have become prominent in the classroom in Thailand are below: • Students have no self confidence in speaking the language as they are not comfortable with the language. Self-confidence plays a major role in child development. • Students tease each other when mistakes are made as you will always have students that are stronger than others in English this results in restricted speaking in the classroom. • There is a no fail concept in Thailand, so students do not learn to take responsibility or accountability for their actions in the classroom. • School days and periods are long resulting in students being exhausted and losing focus resulting in no understanding making them question their abilities in the classroom. Every student needs to feel some form of self-worth in and out of the classroom. • Students learn to hate certain subjects/ classes as they do not want to learn English but parents have enrolled them for the sake of social standing. For a student to thrive they need to work in a conducive environment. Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system. – Sidney Hook- In conclusion students need to be allowed to be themselves, dream big, develop and become the best versions of themselves, but this can only happen when teachers, parents, students and the education system understands that it is vital to assess knowledge and skills, place students in the right learning environment, all be on the same page as to what the final goal is that we are trying to achieve and finally accept a student with their weaknesses and strengths.