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whooliggen

50% Thai & 50% English Schooling.

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Hey all,

I'm from the UK, my wife is Thai and we have an incomparably wonderfueled little 6 year old daughter together.

Now without giving you our life stories, I am looking for what is truly a Bi-lingual school here. By that I mean a school that really does offer a 50/50 mix between thai and englsh education. Not just a place that offers Thai as "extra curricular" or as second place to english...

I'm not religious either, so I don't want her being spanked by nuns and friars if you know what I mean :o

I'm finding it very difficult finding a school that seems to show equal respect to the local language, culture and customs as it does to the european/american ones. Now I mean absolutely no offence to any of you that are teaching at International schools here (I did myself once upon a time, though not in this country), but I have just had some rather negative experiences with schools when enquiring about the level of importance given to thai...

If any of you have any advice, help or pointers I would really appreciate it...

Thanks,

W.

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I believe what you are looking for has started just this term in selected goverment schools.

A friend is teaching English and Maths at a local school.

Another falang is teaching two other subjects.

It is a special course and the fees are doubled.

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There are lots of different programs. EP means "English Program" and may teach English, math, science, history, geography in English, then all the Thai language & history and Buddhism in Thai. There is also -"MEP" or Mini-English, where typically English, math and science are the only courses taught in English (I did that last year). However, these programs are more likely offered in matayom schools rather than prathom.

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There lot of International School, I been going round visiting this school and see for myself, what they have to offer.By end of the days,we as a parent have to make the deciesion for our kid.

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It would seem that true bilingual schools should teach exactly 50% Thai and 50% English. I have yet to see a school that is set up that way despite what they all advertise. Even with a setup where they children received half their instruction in Thai and the other half in English, they are still spoken to in Thai by the Thai staff who outnumber the foreign staff plus their parents. As you would expect, the children often come out speaking little more English than they would pick up in a typical government school. A lot of their English skills or their desire to learn the language come from their own interests, their parents or both. I've had students in government school who were Thai but could speak English way better than kids from expensive private schools and vice versa.

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I would say put your kid into a Thai school with an English programme or A "Bilingual School" but make sure yourself that the kid can speak English. Although I am sure it is easier said than done I think you can ensure that your child can speak English by trying to teach them it the natural way. If you play as active a part in your childs upbringing as your wife and her family and try to make sure that you try to immerse the kid in the English language as much as possible.

I've seen a few English teachers here who have Thai children that can speak hardly any English which I think is sad. However I've seen others who really stick to the theory of Mum and Dad speaking to their child in their own language and the kid soon works out the two languages seperately.

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Like others have said you need to look for an English Program school. Some schools offer a higher English percentage then Thai because they are more focused on trying to immerse the kids in English so they can understand it. Thai language is crucial in this process because the child will fall behind in language development if this is not subsequently developed. Thats why Thai language is still an important part of the 'English Program'.

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I've seen a few English teachers here who have Thai children that can speak hardly any English which I think is sad.

Honestly mate I've tried to beat it into him :o

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Hey,

Thanks very much for all the really useful info...I reckon then what I'm looking for is one of the better Thai schools with a good EP...Any of you guys have any recommendations?

Thanks again,

W.

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Many friends of mine have done it this way. If I return to Thailand and have kids I'll probably go this route.

Send the kids to a Thai primary school for the first 3 or 4 years. Gives them a grounding in the language. From then on, day to day usage outside the school will see them naturally up to speed in it fluently for the rest of their lives. By that stage they'll have the basic writing structures taught as well.

Aftet that, in year 4 send them to an English only language school, with predominantly farang kids. Remember, you are in Thailand, and it will be easy for the child to fall behind in the usage of English, as once they walk out the school gate, no one will speak it. They will then be in immersed in an environment where English is the primary language and they will learn to use it properly.

Remember, most children of migrants never learn to speak their parents language fluently if the only exposure is on a part time basis.

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the difference between a thai primary school and an 'english only language school' (ie. international school) is vast. do you really want to put your kid in a class of 40, or worse. if language is your only concern then this might work but if you're concerned about quality of education then an EP school or international program is your only choice.

my kid is almost 3 and he's grown up in thailand. he can speak english perfectly well. its just a matter of spending time and talking to them.

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lost_in_issan, I agree completely with what you're saying regarding spending time with your kids and immersing them in English at home. As far as international schools go, there is a huge dilemma: International schools will often surround Thai, Thai/farang and farang students with Western culture and ideas which basically cuts them off from the Thai community that surrounds them. As a result, your kids may have a hard time fitting in socially and culturally with the Thais which can cause all sorts of headaches. Perhaps the best choice, which is certainly less costly than an international school, is to find one of the better bilingual schools or one with an excellent/recognized EP program. That way your kids can get exposed to both the English language/Western culture as well as Thai/Thai culture. This will make them well rounded and they'll certainly have less trouble fitting in with either community.

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Research into bilingual education has shown that although students are often better in the two languages of instruction, they generally do not perform so well in other subjects when educated in two languages, rather than one. You may wish to consider this.

Languages alone are not much use careerwise. They need to be combined with another skill or profession.

Edited by Rumpole

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Research into bilingual education has shown that although students are often better in the two languages of instruction, they generally do not perform so well in other subjects when educated in two languages, rather than one. You may wish to consider this.

Languages alone are not much use careerwise. They need to be combined with another skill or profession.

Interesting point...their performance in other subjects can certainly make a difference in their chance to get into some universities/colleges. A lot of institutions are not concerned so much with what you know initially...they want to see your grades before letting you in.

Edited by Thaiboxer

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