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Bilingual schooling planned to boost English proficiency


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17 hours ago, Slip said:

In fairness it is only in the last 5-10 years that the the native speakers have been squeezed out.  I'm not sure it was working that well back then either.  Those were the days that any Tom, Dick or Harry could work as a teacher just because they were white.  SSDD.

All native English speaking teachers should be required to have teaching degrees and licences in their home countries, and, yes, they would have to be paid at least 50-60,000 a month.  At 60,000 baht a month, the money spent on those submarines would have paid for 13,888 teachers for one year -- or 1,389 teachers for ten years!

 

Backpacker teachers were rarely anything more than a bad influence.

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Where will they get the teachers?

"...a bilingual curriculum – in Thai and English – would be in place from kindergarten up at more than 2,000 district schools starting in academic year 2020."   If this prediction is as accu

Hope they do better than some of these private schools I've got grand kids that go to a school that advertises English in all classes and there's a sign when you drive in that says English only . They

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6 hours ago, kingstonkid said:

Before they change the program they should change the law or the way that it is administered.  The problem is not so much with the education classes most NES teachers are quirte good.  It is with the automatic pass that semi private schools have.

If they mandated national tests after pratom 3, with the marks promulgated in a Thai newspaper, on line that each school averaged it would make a great deal of difference on the education that is provided to schools.

 

Imagine if a school that rates itself as one of the best had to actually prove it and show it.

Also have a carrot and stick if your school is top 10 or has the highest improvement in marking then you get more money from the government BUT if you are in the bottom 10 you lose all government funding.

yeah your right .. im a teacher its basically all down to the automatic passing of the students. start failing them and in two generations after all the super entitled parents who are paying for these pass rates (and who all head of depts are scared off), stop complaining then you will see an improvement in English. atm it doesnt matter whether your good or bad minumum pass score is 50% and more in private schools.

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4 years ago a retired highschool teacher said to me that everybody who wants to do business with Thailand has to learn Thai because they are No.1 in Asia.
Did this change somehow ?  🤔

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1 hour ago, lensta said:

. I think that they are ok up to 4th year in Pratom (Primary School), but their English Skills are just not good enough to teach year 5 and above. This is a generalization and I have  met a few that are very good but most that I have met and worked with are not.

 

Pray tell what does 4th year students learn that is so difficult.

 

Do you have a link to the sample materials so that I can peruse the difficulty level.

 

I think they are qualified up to at least 6th year primary.

 

 

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17 hours ago, EricTh said:

 

Not true. My classmates competed with native English teachers who had years of experience teaching English in Thailand.

 

One position had many applications. There is an oversupply of native English speakers, most of them doing those short TEFL courses.

IME:

There are a lot of native English speakers who've never taught and think a TEFL is the way to an easy income here. They think anyone can teach!

 

There are a lot of native English speakers who are qualified to teach but are here for their pursuit of cheap booze and easy ladies and/or because they wouldn't get a job back home with the behavioral issues they have and get away with here.

 

Then there are some genuinely really good ones.

 

For Thai teachers, most I've met, and that's a lot as Missus BB is one, are dedicated. The % of tossers who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a classroom is actually quite low. However, the % who can speak even reasonable English is also quite low.

 

The Minister is taking on a big challenge! Good luck sir.

 

 

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4 hours ago, CM Dad said:

As long as Thai schools and educators insist on using a grammar-focused approach to teaching English, they will never succeed.  Languages are learned by listening and speaking followed by reading and writing.  Only basic grammar is needed for the development of the first two skills.  The latter two skills are where grammar should be refined.

That's it exactly, grammar, grammar, grammar is counter productive. After the basics like past present and future they need to concentrate on vocabulary and SPEAKING. Endless grammar bores and confuses kids, so they switch off and just do the minimum box ticking to pass. There again they are pretty well stuffed if the teachers can't speak the language to start with.

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21 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

The English Proficiency Index puts Thailand 74th in the world following declines for three consecutive years. It’s marked as having “very low proficiency”.

No, not 74th in the world, 74th of 100 countries that took the test.
In the world, Thailand is far worse off!
I have the "pleasure" of living near a school, the English lesson is held in the playground where all the students (hundreds) are present, the teachers speak very poor English I would say!
My wife who was in the same school introduced me to her English teacher a few years ago, she barely knew, good morning and good evening!
Important is that MAYBE you have recognized how important the English language is!

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I know many teachers are hung up on allowing students to pass and even graduate despite failing. This is not unique to Thailand. Failing students won't accomplish anything at the lower levels. If the enter system got serious about grades it could scare-motivate the middle and upper middle classes. The wealthy will get what they want.

 

Thai government system, schools with all their activities can never look a failing student in the eye and say - did our best. Lots of mediocre teachers, very old very tired teachers with limited subject and pedagogical knowledge.

 

I believe grades are irrelevant and waste of time. Big picture they demonstrate little. Quite arbitrary. Focus should be on learning.

 

All Thai don't need English. University tracked students it's good enough. Add MOOC and free classes at rajabhats and govt can have training centers for English related to tourism. People will learn when they have a need.

 

Kids don't appreciate it and few see a long term value which is understandable.

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19 hours ago, Slip said:

This is entirely contrary to everything I have come to understand.  For example 15 years ago my school had 13 or 14 foreign teachers- 12 were NES.  Now they have 21- 6 are NES.  Is it not more a lack of 'qualified' native English speakers?

We've gone from all native speakers to about 7 over the space of 15 years. Nearly all are non-native speakers now (over 70 teachers). It's have been going this way for many years and has mainly been due to changes in rules related to teaching licences and stagnations of salaries. In my school, I don't think this has necessarily been a negative, as the school requires at least a 900 toeic score from prospective  non-native speakers. Long term qualified native speakers are very thin on the ground these days. Those that are still here are, by and large, on good salaries. Some schools will still use native speakers who are on a gap year. We have found this does usually not work out very well. 

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Having a supply of good, English speaking Teachers is only  a small part  of the solution.

Those Teachers need to be given the resources and backing to Teach the subject correctly.

Thai children as a whole, usually do not speak any English outside of School, as their Peers do not, or are unwilling to speak the language.

Therefore in order to attain some kind of proficiency, the Students should be under a high intensity " English " Schooling system.

The Schooling system should mirror that of the UK, where the Phonetic Alphabet is taught to kids as young as 2, so they are able to hear the correct sounds of the letters, and therefore be able to also speak those sounds.

 Once this  is attained, conversational English becomes easy for the Students

 

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9 hours ago, Cadbury said:

These little kindi tadpoles are going to be busy. Not only will they have a new curriculum for learning computer language and to write computer programmes but they will now have a Thai and English bilingual language curriculum to study up on as well. Good luck kids, the excellence of your teachers will see you through.

https://www.thaipbsworld.com/education-ministry-to-push-for-coding-as-third-language-for-thai-students/

Pretty funny you post this because I actually started learning English by writing programs when I was a kid. 

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I taught in a pretty good bilingual school in Bangkok some years ago. With my limited Thai language I  worked with the Thai teachers in the school to try and teach on this program. It was hard work and only partially successful. In a provincial school where local teachers and their students have rather limited English, it is hard to see how this courageous initiative can succeed.

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40 minutes ago, Harveyg said:

What is the difference between bilingual programs, the existing EP programs, and existing IP programs?

Thanks. 

Impossible to say- too many variables.

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23 hours ago, cmarshall said:

Where will they get the teachers?

Heck I'll teach barely passed English can't spell for s**t can't remember a noun from a pronoun verb from an adverb but I can teach them some good Ga. Redneck lol 😂

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12 hours ago, CosmicSurfer said:

As an x-English teacher in Bangkok, I can assure you that MOST Thai English Teachers can NOT speak English very well... But They do know their Grammar rules... They bring in the native speakers to handle Conversation!!

CS

           Being an ex teacher in a BKK school , doesn't mean that your experience typifies the whole of Thailand . In some parts of Thailand ( and possibly ,some parts of BKK ) , they expect farangs to teach  all aspects of English language , including  grammar . 

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Another place they can get teachers from is Thailand. A year plus back I was at Chulalongkorn during a small jobs fair. There was an agency offering Thais 28k for BKK and 32k to work upcountry. Those are the same wages similar or same schools are offering westerners.

 

Having said that, I've worked at very good schools throughout my tenure here. Not one student had an interest in HS being a teacher.

 

But as students graduate with liberal arts degrees. Communication, balac, etc and they are from mc families and need to work or wealthy families and need to occupy time teaching could be it. Especially in the top 50 schools in Thailand.

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22 minutes ago, gimo said:

           Being an ex teacher in a BKK school , doesn't mean that your experience typifies the whole of Thailand . In some parts of Thailand ( and possibly ,some parts of BKK ) , they expect farangs to teach  all aspects of English language , including  grammar . 

I've worked at half dozen schools. If there is a role for Thai teachers in English it will be grammar. That's fine, it's what they do best and explaining in L1 is best. Let us handle the rest if they can't.

 

Despite handling grammar, many are poor writers.  Absolutely lost at speaking and activities. Listening activities.

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7 hours ago, The Preacher said:

All native English speaking teachers should be required to have teaching degrees and licences in their home countries, and, yes, they would have to be paid at least 50-60,000 a month.  At 60,000 baht a month, the money spent on those submarines would have paid for 13,888 teachers for one year -- or 1,389 teachers for ten years!

 

Backpacker teachers were rarely anything more than a bad influence.

I agree with you on the obscene military spending, however you won't get any fully qualified teachers working for 60k / month. International schools pay double that plus a lot of benefits. 

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4 hours ago, Harveyg said:

What is the difference between bilingual programs, the existing EP programs, and existing IP programs?

Thanks. 

EP

All subjects are taught in English. Obviously Thai or additional languages. Buddhism is prolly in Thai. Minimum of four hours English but all subjects are in English. Foreign teachers, often Filipino subject with westerner covering English.

 

Intensive.

2-3 hours per week. Should be taught by NES. Not always. Usually the top students, most competitive classes fall in here.

 

English standard

1-2 hours per week. Basic English.

 

More eliteish schools have custom programs. Could be bilingual could be expanded IP program. Could be expanded basic English. Broad themes (tourism, traveling). Competitions in and out of school for English. Students developing abilities to a level they can study abroad.

 

For teachers EP is considered most prestigious but imo I like working with intensive kids more. They're the top students in the school. EP is always lost. Last two schools I've taught in English standard and expanded standard. I won't teach EP ever again. Subject teachers are weak.

 

For NES first it's the prestige of the school, next the department or courses. Somewhere in that mix the grade. But prestige of grades different depending on schools.

 

For non teachers usually Jr Sr year are thought of as most prestigious. Reality is M5 is a good year. M6 is quite difficult. Not much gets done. M3 lots of mental and physical changes. M1, 2 can be tough for some. I always liked the goofiness of the grades. I know nothing of prathom.

 

For instance it's better to teach M4 at a top school. A school that students migrate to for HS. Could be best grade. On the other hand if teaching at a mediocre school you've lost the cream and that may not be a good grade to teach. In that case M3 would be best and most prestigious within the school. Some schools literally get hollowed out as M3 goes on to better schools. Often kids left feel abandoned by friends and feel dumb and depressed.

 

Being a good teacher is not easy. I know it garners little respect. It's tough and complicated as well as draining.

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On 11/8/2019 at 8:26 PM, cmarshall said:

Which has, so far, proved so successful.

you havnt kept up. 10 years ago i would have to speak thai

for the most part to get anything done,

but today i next to never come across anyone who doesnt speak english,

save my maids, even ole mom & pop at a resturant that didnt speak

english 10 years ago somehow picked up english when i came back ?!?

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