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University teaching shows why Thais' command of English is so abysmal!

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It says the "frequent" mistake is "Are you an England?" but the correct version should be "Are you and England?".

 

I take it that English is not the native language of the person who wrote this sentence.  A'ight. ?

 

I'm trying to think of a context where "Are you and England" would be correct, 555

 

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15 minutes ago, pookiki said:

Sign out 'in levis' which I heard to be 'and leave ass'.  

Your mind was focused on one thing, obviously. ?

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8 hours ago, pookiki said:

All from Liverpool, right?

I'd vote Cockney or Oz.  At least you'd get some pretty colo(u)rful phrases and metaphors while simultaneously laughing at the bad grammar! :smile:

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In the past I taught English to a varied range of students, from the beginner level (as young as 3 all the way up to adults), the grade level I was most familiar with was grade 2 and all of the Mathyom levels.   My primary responsibility in the past several years has been administrative and included supervising foreign teachers.   

 

It was not uncommon for a Thai English teacher to argue a grammar point on one of the Native Speaker's exams.   The exams written by Native speakers was then proof read by the Thai side who changed things.   It then went to the Director and she would make further changes.   Because of the face situation, no one dared to explain to the Director that such things as 'was die' is not correct.   If she said it was correct, it was correct. 

 

I advised teachers not to sign the exam until it was correct (they had to be signed and approved by the teacher before being copied).  

 

The structure of Thai society makes what should be simple, difficult to deal with.  

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5 hours ago, au82tiger said:

Charlie1 is obviously not educated well enough to understand an educated American speaking.  Not all Brits are like that thank goodness.  I would compare my language skills and in fact my educational background to his at any time.  I'm sure he'd be embarrassed by that comparison.  As President Elect Donald Trump would say: "Charlie1... you're fired!

I think anybody who wants to learn English should learn with me - 1514 baht per hour.

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19 minutes ago, Scott said:

In the past I taught English to a varied range of students, from the beginner level (as young as 3 all the way up to adults), the grade level I was most familiar with was grade 2 and all of the Mathyom levels.   My primary responsibility in the past several years has been administrative and included supervising foreign teachers.   

 

It was not uncommon for a Thai English teacher to argue a grammar point on one of the Native Speaker's exams.   The exams written by Native speakers was then proof read by the Thai side who changed things.   It then went to the Director and she would make further changes.   Because of the face situation, no one dared to explain to the Director that such things as 'was die' is not correct.   If she said it was correct, it was correct. 

 

I advised teachers not to sign the exam until it was correct (they had to be signed and approved by the teacher before being copied).  

 

The structure of Thai society makes what should be simple, difficult to deal with.  

One of the basic rules in all language instruction is to always defer to the native speaker.  I can't understand what that concept is so difficult. Go figure!

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Just now, pookiki said:

One of the basic rules in all language instruction is to always defer to the native speaker.  I can't understand what that concept is so difficult. Go figure!

Those with some status here, defer to no one.   I sometimes had to try to delicately explain that a particular construct was not how it was used.   I avoided telling those further up the food chain that it was wrong, even though it was.  

 

The Director had some correspondence that went out in English, which I would write and she would then 'correct'.   I would explain that she could send it her way, if she wanted to (it was her signature on it), but that it was not the best way to say it.   One example was where I had written that someone 'was dead', she insisted that it should be 'was die'.  

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My niece is studying English in the university.  She says she cannot understand the teacher from the UK but can understand better the one from Texas in the USA.  She says, the one from the UK always sounds like he is mumbling.

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1 minute ago, kowpot said:

My niece is studying English in the university.  She says she cannot understand the teacher from the UK but can understand better the one from Texas in the USA.  She says, the one from the UK always sounds like he is mumbling.

 

Perhaps he is, whats the relevance?

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3 hours ago, Johnniey said:

Also penis pizza sizes, car tyres and nails  to name a few.

I knew a Thai woman years ago who pronounced 'peanuts' as 'penis'......

In addition to not having a lot of luck with r's the Thais have a problem with L's........... If it is in the middle of the word it seems to be omitted, if it is at the end of a word it is usually converted to an N sound..... a good example is 'central', pronounced by Thai's as 'centran'...............

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6 minutes ago, Scott said:

Those with some status here, defer to no one.   I sometimes had to try to delicately explain that a particular construct was not how it was used.   I avoided telling those further up the food chain that it was wrong, even though it was.  

 

The Director had some correspondence that went out in English, which I would write and she would then 'correct'.   I would explain that she could send it her way, if she wanted to (it was her signature on it), but that it was not the best way to say it.   One example was where I had written that someone 'was dead', she insisted that it should be 'was die'.  

 

That's half way to the street English we are hearing now in the UK, as in someone "was dieded", errors can come right with time.

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5 minutes ago, Scott said:

Those with some status here, defer to no one.   I sometimes had to try to delicately explain that a particular construct was not how it was used.   I avoided telling those further up the food chain that it was wrong, even though it was.  

 

The Director had some correspondence that went out in English, which I would write and she would then 'correct'.   I would explain that she could send it her way, if she wanted to (it was her signature on it), but that it was not the best way to say it.   One example was where I had written that someone 'was dead', she insisted that it should be 'was die'.  

I worked in several situations with other English speakers writing official memos, legal documents, reports, etc.  In the situation where reports were written, there was a 'style guide'. For the legal matters, we relied upon the book "Elements of Style" - an excellent resource. Nonetheless, we would still have very heated arguments on style, syntax, and correct grammar usage - punctuation in particular. I cannot fathom, in my wildest dreams, deferring to a non-native speaker on such matters.  Guess I wouldn't last long in the Thai system.

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4 hours ago, Bule gila said:

A dialect is not a language - it is a variety of a language and consists of a localised group [regional, social and/or ethnicity] using an evolved version which is mutually intelligible to them. All languages have dialects and they all have a standard version. Understand?

A language is a dialect with a bigger army and navy. Yes absolutely true.

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I do not wish to add fuel to the fire, but why aren't all of the posters that are absolutely shocked at the dreadful state of English teaching not absolutely shocked at the dreadful state of the English spelling system? Could this explain that, to loosely quote Hugo?

 

Consider:

 

english complex.png

 

(At the top of the circle you have letters that are represented below by their phonemes or sounds (using / /) . For instance, the /i:/ or sound /i:/ can have different spellings (“eo” as in “people” for instance).
 
/ə/: (13)  about, children, pencil, renovate, supply, syringe, luscious, mission, blood, does, cousin, thorough, and especially. (Even “one” or o_e could be included as it is pronounced “wun”. but, I like the numerical pattern. LOL That's the only think that is easy to remember. LOL)
/ei/: (12) great, raid, grey, gray, ballet, mate, table, caffe, matine, reggae, vein, vain
/ɛ/: (11) bear, care, aerial, their, there, questionnaire, mayor, bury, any, friend, leopard
/i:/: (10) be, been, bean, key, mere, elite, people, ski, debris, quay
 
While it is true that not all words are spelled irregularly, research from Masha Bell on 7000 common words reveals that about 1/3 causes reading or pronunciation difficulties and 1/2 causes spelling issues. There are 1 million words in the lexicon at last count. Given that almost every word in the lexicon has at least one of those unmarked schwas (since it has 13 or so spellings making it impossible to detect) and given that |English is a word stress language (it is irregular),  is it ANY surprise that people can't learn to read, spell, and pronounce English? And this is not just about foreigners, it is also native-speakers who must use spell checkers and pay for tutoring lessons to help with decoding and reading.
 
reading grade 1.png
 
Are all of those English-native children dumb? Are all of those English-speaking teachers incompetent? Or is it that the system is dumb and incompetent as a teaching tool because, make no mistake about it, reading is what underpins most learning. Make the system so chaotic and very few can really move up the ladder. But, this is not so much about being able to read and write/spell, as much as how quickly can one learn to do so. It takes 3 more years for students to learn to decode just a few thousands of words whereas Spanish and Finnish kids can do that with their spelling system in 6 months (with all of the lexicon). If you want to mitigate the issue, pack extra literacy teachers in schools, buy tablets for every child,... and ask taxpayers to foot the bill OR don't and let the poorer ones fall through the cracks, selling drugs and mugging you OR going to jail all costs borne by you the taxpayers. Let's not talk about the kids who are labeled disabled. How is his or her self-esteem during choral reading. What is weirder is that most kids can write and read after they have learned the alphabet. With 26 letters and the lack of regularity in the system, most will have to learn English like some learn Chinese. Sad, but true! 
 
Illiteracy rates are at all time highs as they have been for quite a while. Consider this study https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-e328bc737513324b2e33b2b66cfecb10?convert_to_webp=true and another (http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/35562310.pdf) and another (https://www.ualberta.ca/science/science-news/2016/august/sorry-chomsky-english-spelling-is-hardly-close-to-optimal) and another (http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED360613.pdf), etc. There are more, but one should be able to connect the dots. Should, but for 250 years nothing has been done. Why should Thais listen to English-speakers telling them to clean up their act?
 
But, there are solutions. There is a Spelling society that would like to improve things (http://spellingsociety.org/international-english-spelling-congress). Don't think this is one of those empty webs. There are too many people with PhDs to list. 
 
In fairness, there are many excuses that can be used to "laissez faire", as it were. Too many different dialects some wil raise. This is not about a phonemic reform as much as it is a reform that would remove ambiguity and irregularity. It will cost a lot. Actually, it will save a lot. Finnish kids who are at the top of PISA tests start going to school at age 7. Will I and you have to learn the new code? NO. It should be done starting at the Grade 1 level in schools. Who will decide what new code we will use? See ESS. But, what about English 1.0 texts? Have you heard of Google digital books, and the Gutenberg project? Did you know that any countries have had spellng reforms. They cannot be all stupid. Free trancoding progams could do the rest. No need to change road signs btw. The first generation will be bicodal.
 
For more info and ALL POSSIBLE rebutals: http://reforming-english.blogspot.com/
 
We could always wait for the Chinese to decide? Or would you prefer Esperanto to be taught in all schools of the Commonwealth as a second-language?
 
When did you upgrade your computer system? 250 years ago.
 
Isn't it time to fess up?
 
English is a ;lingua franca. With status comes responsibility. 

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9 hours ago, Charlie1 said:

I noticed that many Thais try to speak a not understandable "American English". They should be taught only by UK native speakers - the teachers, I mean.

 

This is astounding on so many levels. Where, pray tell, do you hail from sailor? Have you even been to the UK?

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