Teach English in Wuliyasitai Zhen - Xilinguole Meng — Xilin Gol

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Having lived in Thailand now for nearly two years as a Managing Director of a hotel, I have firsthand experience with pronunciation problems with English experienced by native Thai speakers. The reason I chose this topic is the economic impact tourism has in Thailand. In 2018, contribution of travel and tourism to GDP (gross domestic product) for Thailand was 21.6% per Knoema.com. (1) With the number of native and non-native English speakers coming to Thailand, the ability to communicate with these travelers becomes even more important with the increase in competition for the travel and tourist dollars. Numerous times I have had guests speak to me regarding their frustration of not being able to communicate with the Thai people, even for something that seems simple like directions. On a daily bases communicating with the staff, I have had to deal with the pronunciation problems Thai English speakers have. The difficulty pronouncing certain letters and sounds makes understanding what is being said very difficult. As noted in a paper by Careemah Choong (12th August, 2014): Although /r/ exists in Thai (Sausattayowong 2006) mentioned /r/ is pronounced differently in Thai. This is supported by Swan and Smith (2001) as it’s due to the substitution of the L1 pronunciation of the L2. Most Thai students misplace the position of their tongue and mouth during the pronunciation of /r/. Therefore, creates a problem as they speak making it sound like /l/. (2) This is just one example of pronunciation that causes Thai speakers of English difficulty. The tongue twister exercise of saying “red lorry, yellow lorry” would be a prime example of the difficulty in pronouncing the /r/ and /l/ for Thai students. I would hope to use it as a warmer to get Thai students speaking and motivated to use the English language. All areas of teaching English as a second language are important, and of course depending on the class level, course books and the institutions goals for my teaching of English, pronunciation is only one area. However, for me the importance in begin able to pronounce correctly words and phrases while speaking English is an area I want to teach to Thai students. By being able to teach Thai students’ proper pronunciation, I hope I can build their confidence in speaking English. As some of these students then go out and find employment, especially in areas such as Phuket, their ability to speak and be understood by the tourist will I hope bond the tourist to Thailand. The positive impact English speaking can make on the travel and tourist industry for Thailand is potentially enormous. As more and more countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, and The Philippines continue to educate their people in speaking English the competition is ever increasing for these dollars. If Thailand lags behind, then that impact could be devastating for the Thai people that depend so much on the tourism industry for their livelihood. As I look to make this career change, my hope is more Thai people will want to learn and speak English. I hope I can have a positive role in the teaching English and specifically the correct pronunciation of English to them. The Thai are beautiful and friendly people, I hope that many more people from around the world will have the opportunity to know that. 1. https://knoema.com/atlas/Thailand/topics/Tourism/Travel-and-Tourism-Total-Contribution-to-GDP/Contribution-of-travel-and-tourism-to-GDP-percent-of-GDP 2. https://www.academia.edu/10001171/Describing_Pronunciation_Problems_by_Thai_Students