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Neeranam

Would You Send Your Kids To An EP?

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If you have kids of your own would you send your kids to an EP?

I have one teenager in a Thai program and one in a semi EP which is a total waste of cash - one hour a day, sometimes from a native speaker. She'll be moving next year.

I've worked in EPs in Bangkok and they were pretty bad 20 years ago with most schools taking on any white face.. They surely have improved a bit by now but probably not where I live in Isarn.

My kids can speak English already so I don't want them to be taught by any non - NES. or taught core subjects like Chemi, Maths, Physics by someone without a degree in that subject.

If you would why?

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I don't have kids yet, so will cross that bridge when I come to it, however I believe that I would put them into the English Program.

Primarily because it's where the rich kids go lol.

Which initially sounds like a pretty lame reason, until you remember that the kids in the normal program usually have parents who often don't care about their kids education (Because often the parents didn't have an education, and therefore think that it's that important, whereas most rich people had a good education, and believe that it's not just important, but essential). This is then usually reflected by their kids not caring about their education, and spending all of their time just clowning around in class.

Admittedly, the streamed classes are a little bit better, so if I had kids and they were going to be in a good class, then I'd probably be happy with the Thai section classes.

As although of course I'd want to instil the importance of education into my kids, and encourage them to do their homework and pay attention inclass etc, it's not just upto me. As they'll look at what their friends are doing, and that will impact on them too. If their friends think that doing homework is for losers, then my kids might not care as much about homework, likewise if their friends thing that staring out the window is more fun than paying attention in class, then chances are my kids will also do the same (at least sometimes anyway). Then when they get outside of school, if my kids friends think that it's cool to mod their motorcycles and do wheelies, or goto mor lum concerts and fight with the rivals schools, then chances are that my kids will also think that this is pretty cool.

By comparison, if their friends come from good families who care about their education, then chances are that the parents values will be reflected in their kids (Just as I hope my values will be reflected in my kids). So it's then less likely that they'll feel the inclination to do all of the stupid stuff which the kids in the Thai section do.

Also the rich kids are probably going to do extra camps and stuff which the regular kids don't get to do. They will also potentially have the means to travel or similar, so would be more likely to relate to my kids, and my kids might not feel like "The odd one out" because they're the only kid from a wealthy family in their class.

Although as I said, the good kids in the Thai section are usually streamed into the same class, so if I knew my kids were going to go into there, then I wouldn't feel the need for an English program.

That's my 2c :)

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That's indeed a very good and valid question. I'd send my kids to an EP, but only if I would know how they're being taught and by whom.

Times are changing, so do schools. One example a school in lower northeast. Before having a real good reputation, when each class had a native English speaker, teaching all subjects at primary level.

The majority of them were really good in English and all subjects were also taught in English.

But now having a new director, ALL has changed. The "ordinary" program is occupied by an agency.

12 classes in the EP, but only four native English speakers.

So they only get an hour!! per week of conversational English, one hour grammar, one hour health and one in computer, taught by an NES. That’s not an EP anymore…………….

The other subjects are taught by Asian teachers. The new science teacher could not have a simple conversation in English. So how do you teach science then?

A good example is also the son of my ex- assistant director. This guy was in M.4, after finishing Prathom one to six in an EP, as well.

Had the “good luck to tutor him for a while, he didn't understand easiest questions. Hi sister, already in M.6, but in the ordinary program, had the same problem.

And daddy had to pay really good money. Almost unbelievable.

Zero English speaking skills. Not able to understand simple questions.

I’d only send them to a “functioning EP”, but would do my homework, before paying a lot of money for stuff my kids will never use.

Edited by lostinisaan
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I’d only send them to a “functioning EP”, but would do my homework, before paying a lot of money for stuff my kids will never use.

No parent does their homework as far as I can tell. Teachers are hired and if a parent questions the qualifications the Director and English Department Head lose face. As you must have learned by now, face is more important than the actual qualifications and ability of the teacher to speak English not to mention, teach it to children who as you also indicate you know, have little to almost no English abilities and skills to begin with. The promotional material indicate "Native English Speakers" teaching etc. but the truth lies way on the other side of that parameter or measure. It's a cruel world out here in Thai schools. Face and obedience come long before and ahead of learning real native English in any subject or the English language itself. Lack of care about teaching aides such as mentioned, cables and microphones are only the beginning of a long list. All that said, I guess one could ask is it "better" than being in the Thai program? On balance, maybe yes, it is.

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I’d only send them to a “functioning EP”, but would do my homework, before paying a lot of money for stuff my kids will never use.

No parent does their homework as far as I can tell. Teachers are hired and if a parent questions the qualifications the Director and English Department Head lose face. As you must have learned by now, face is more important than the actual qualifications and ability of the teacher to speak English not to mention, teach it to children who as you also indicate you know, have little to almost no English abilities and skills to begin with. The promotional material indicate "Native English Speakers" teaching etc. but the truth lies way on the other side of that parameter or measure. It's a cruel world out here in Thai schools. Face and obedience come long before and ahead of learning real native English in any subject or the English language itself. Lack of care about teaching aides such as mentioned, cables and microphones are only the beginning of a long list. All that said, I guess one could ask is it "better" than being in the Thai program? On balance, maybe yes, it is.

Some parents seem to do their homework and all the native English speakers of a school were interviewed by the parents.

First question to the “computer literate” with his missing chin. “How old are you?” Answer: “I’m 20.”

Next parent: “Do you have a degree, then?” Answer: “No, but I’m Celta certified.”

Adding that he’d have “a few years of teaching experience didn’t seem to help him.

You’re right that the majority are too busy with not losing face, but some wealthy guys who put their kids into EP’s do know the difference between a fool and a King.

Yes, all the non-functioning computer, software, non-existing Antivirus programs on pirated software, plus the extraordinary wiring systems and not, or poorly maintenance does create a headache for all of us involved.

I was the one at my former school who kept all the machines running. The benefits of an EP usually are more English being taught by a NES, air-conditioned classrooms, less students, etc. which should “create” better students. But the truth is sometimes different.

There might be ordinary schools with better English teaching results than some Eps have.

But that’s not going to work out, if the director’s only thinking about his own wallet, might be pretty much contrary to what parents, foreign teachers and some kids want.

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My daughter's primary school has an E.P. Program and she is not in it. The E.P. program has the highest turnover of foreign staff in the province. They pay peanuts and employ anyone- drunks, criminals, and pot heads.

The head of the E.P. asked me if i wanted to put my daughter in the program @ 40k a semester. When I asked if any of the teachers held a teaching licence, she squirmed for a bit and replied " some of the Thai staff are working to get qualified"

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My daughter's primary school has an E.P. Program and she is not in it. The E.P. program has the highest turnover of foreign staff in the province. They pay peanuts and employ anyone- drunks, criminals, and pot heads.

The head of the E.P. asked me if i wanted to put my daughter in the program @ 40k a semester. When I asked if any of the teachers held a teaching licence, she squirmed for a bit and replied " some of the Thai staff are working to get qualified"

That sounds quite familiar to me. Maybe a three in one, as well? -facepalm.gif

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Absolutely not

My children went through English Programs in Trang and Chiang Mai

Spent most of their time correcting the teachers' English including so-called 'native speakers'

The whole thing is a disaster area.

Of course there are competent, qualified English, TEFL TESOL, teachers..but not so many in LOS..think salary and WPs

And there is some thread running that starts, something along the lines of "I am not qualified but I think I can teach" which is a variant of "I am a qualified Thai Teacher, but I can't teach.

I love this country, but the education is lamentable. If ASEAN actually happens, and English becomes some sort of a Lingua Franca, what are the Thais going to do?

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As someone mentioned 'checkout the EP program'. Do that carefully. I know a couple of schools that have started EP programs and they have no idea what they are doing. The staff is reasonably good and competent, but they keep changing the job description and it has a negative impact on the staff, and that affects learning. They do know how to collect the additional money, however.

I have a feeling the schools will get their act together, but it is going to take some time. The main advantage right now is that the students do get a lot of English and it has a good student to staff ratio.

The Thai admin, however, think that they can wave a magic wand and make a new program happen. It really doesn't happen quite that way.

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My niece is in the EP plus program here. She is a pretty bright kid though she is a bit weak in maths,. She is in the top room and there was no hint of tea money for her to go there. Fees are about 20000 a term and about 2000 additional cost.

For that she receives small class sizes (about 28) very individual care, extra classes on most weekends which are obviously designed to concentrate on her weaknesses, There is no extra charge for these.

Although my other niece in a mini english program at another school did not receive anywhere near this at another school she was well cared for and had little problem getting entry this year to a very good provincial university studying Geoinformatics which from the sylabus is a course I would love to do.

I am posting this not to brag about the nieces, in fact I provide them minimal assistance, but to indicate that the Thai school system is not all bad and there may be very good reasons to attend an EP program not the least of which is the more individual care.

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One of the things I have seen while teaching English is that many Thai students can speak English. If they have a foreigner parent or Thai parents that can speak English they (the students) are often afraid to speak English at home as they are afraid to make a mistake.

What many students need is an English language coach. Someone who can help you child or children to "use the language" without fear. A good coach will use situational English for practice... kind of like using the language in situations where they will really use it.

A good coach will also help the student discover ways they can learn more or even teach themselves.

There's an English language coach working in Sutthisan area that coaches conversational English... the classes are packed. I help sometimes as my schedule permits.

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If everybody shared my personal views, I would be out of a job giggle.gif

Money making trumps everything. They have a "teacher" from an African country whose TOEIC score is 540. Try engaging that "teacher" in a conversation... Enough said. as the highest valued member of our Dept., he gets free housing. And makes thousands more than yours truly.

Teach your kids at home - forget the school's offering, unless it's a good school's. (There are students in my class who cannot read in grade 9 - M3. What are they doing in this program?!? Rhetorical question - they are there so that the school's making money. Death mutes would be welcome if they are quiet and pay up).

Countless hours of English - but when they cannot handle everyday situations like shopping, telling the time etc. Something went horribly wrong. Feel guilty myself (first semester at this new school). Let's see if the school's willing to do something about illiterate students.

Yes, there have been long meetings (conducted in Thai) with grand plans being announced. Talk the talk, walk the walk! rolleyes.gif facepalm.gif

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If you are serious about them being taught properly in English, and can afford it, I'd send them to a good international school.

In my opinion its the only way to ensure some sort of consistency of teaching by native English language teachers.

I have regular face-to-face meetings with my kids teachers at the end of each term, as well as formal written reports.

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