schools that follow the Thailand educational system,
the things can be complicated.
schools are led, each of them, by few Thai persons,
usually of the 3 rd age and with an experience of
many years in the Thai education.
the most of the private schools allocated a budget
for the foreign teachers’ salaries, these are always
in minority. Even in the bilingual schools where the
students learn half of the main English courses and
so where the number of the foreign teachers is
bigger, the foreign are still in minority.
very rigid organizational structure, when a foreign
teacher suggests a change to the school’s director,
or a new project, the chances of a positive answer
are almost 0.
foreign teacher with experience in the Thailand
educational system presented two cases from the own
experience. In the ideal
version, the students should have studied in English the 4
principal skills (meaning writing, reading, speaking and
listening) but this thing could not be done by many of the
foreign teachers from school because they had to finish the
book bought by parents, they couldn’t understand why
the teacher considered a specific chapter less
important, replacing the lesson which had to be
taught form the book with one in library where the
students were exposed to another type of lesson.
this way, the foreign teacher asked the change of
the grammar books, the request that was took into
consideration but, in the end, was not accepted.
reasons were multiples, but the most important was
the fact that the high school and college entrance
examination at English language is almost totally
made of multiple choice grammar exercises.
the school and the parents wanted the students to
leave the school with strong grammar knowledge, a
fact that happens in very many cases.
The problem is
that the students coming from this kind of schools don’t
know to use this knowledge except the situations when they
confront with a test with multiple answers.
Practically, all they have to do is to mark the
correct answer, a simply thing for them to do as
long as they know the rules of the English grammar.
the street, in front of a foreign person who asks
them where the closest postal office is, they will
not be able to babble a coherent answer.
true, is not easy for Thais to learn English but is
not impossible. It’s necessary that the directors of
the Thai bilingual schools and especially the ones
from the Thai Education Ministry to understand that,
at graduation, a student needs more than the English
grammar knowledge is not even that important like the
ability of expressing the thoughts in write, to give a
critical answer or to understand and be able to speak free
about a red text. This is the experience of a foreign
English teacher who practiced in Thailand.