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  1. #1
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    Does speaking the local language whilst teaching english make you a better teacher ?

    Hi, i have just started my final year of my BA Hons in education and my plan is to move to Thailand after i graduate to potentially teach there one day, but everyone i talk to asks me the same question “How Can You Teach Someone English If You Don’t Speak Their Language?”, so i thought i would use this as a basis for my research project to hopefully gain an insight into teaching in Thailand before i even get there. I have previously completed my cert ed and a level 4 tesol qualification. Any responses would be gratefully accepted and they may give me guidance as to where i intend to go with my research, i.e benefits, etc well thanks in advance for anyone who could shed some light on this or if there are any threads on this subject already

  2. #2
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerryuk View Post
    Hi, i have just started my final year of my BA Hons in education and my plan is to move to Thailand after i graduate to potentially teach there
    What a waste of a BA Hons in Education.

    You only need a shirt, a pair of trousers, shoes and a white face to be a tecaher in Thailand.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Pat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jerryuk View Post
    Hi, i have just started my final year of my BA Hons in education and my plan is to move to Thailand after i graduate to potentially teach there
    What a waste of a BA Hons in Education.

    You only need a shirt, a pair of trousers, shoes and a white face to be a tecaher in Thailand.
    Can you attempt to answer the question for the guy or must you imitate your Uncle Smeg? negative, negative, negative, negative.......

    He might get a high paying job in an international school. I have one friend from the UK that makes 120,000 baht for teaching PE at a great school.

  4. #4
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    A B.Ed and you should be working at an International school, so you'll be teaching the UK curriculum (more than likely) in English. As you are qualified to.

    You won't be teaching English.

  5. #5
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    Chitown is right. Thanks!

    I have seen teachers scolded for trying to speak Thai in the bigger international schools.

  6. #6
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    Ok then.

    No you don't need to be able to speak Thai as you'll only get laughed at as you mis-pronounce the kids names time and time again.

  7. #7
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    I was told that the basis/logic behind it is that if a student has ever heard you speak one word of Thai, when they approach you their thought process will be running in Thai, if they think you don't understand a word of it they'll be forced to 'think' in and 'produce' English, no matter how bad it is...

    or of course just not approach you.


    Everyone is free to pick all the holes in that.

  8. #8
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    Chairman Mao has a good point, you will have options to teach in local schools or international schools.

    But this bit,

    Quote Originally Posted by jerryuk
    Any responses would be gratefully accepted and they may give me guidance as to where i intend to go with my research, i.e benefits, etc well thanks in advance for anyone who could shed some light on this or if there are any threads on this subject already
    essentially says can we all do your research and assignment for you!

    tut tut.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    I'm not a teacher, but I would think any classroom strategies you can incorporate, to include multiple intelligences, could only be to your benefit. A variety of arrows in the quiver is always better than too few.

    It will not help not only in landing a good job, but on the job as well.

  10. #10
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    I'm not a teacher either but I would say it would be of benifit understanding the local lingo but not speaking it as I agree with chairman mao. At least you'd be able to understand what the little buggers are saying about you, then you'd be able to send out/beat the apropriate offender.

    But as it was said earlier, with your qualifications you'd be working in in International school earning a propper salery.

  11. #11
    I am in Jail Camel Toe's Avatar
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    I'm surprized someone with your level of education would have to ask a forum about the effects of native language in class. I couldn't get through a day at the job if I couldn't speak Thai. They wouldn't have hired me if I didn't speak Thai. Mine are 6 and 7 yo, 1150 of them, 21 hours per week, no Thai assistant.

  12. #12
    Sprayed On Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camel Toe
    1150
    In how many classes?

  13. #13
    I am in Jail Camel Toe's Avatar
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    21 weekly hours, 21 different classes --- aka The Trenches!

  14. #14
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    That sounds shit. I was demoted to that position when I worked at a school when I first came here. The boss hated me and this was a way of trying to get me to quit I think. The kids were the kids that were doing this because it was part of thier curriculum and not because they wanted to learn anything. It was total chaos. It worked anyway, I quit and it put me off the teaching game (I know I wasn't a real teacher before anyone says it, and I didn't have a TEFEL just a degree).

  15. #15
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    That's an interesting angle Chairman.

    As for having to speak the local lingo in the classroom that should have been covered on your TESOL course. The answer is No you don't have to speak the language but in my opinion it is more than helpful especially when you are teaching the lower levels. For example teaching vocabulary can be done in many ways; you could have students draw pictures of the words, mime it, check in the dictionary, organise words by category, just explain it yourself, but sometimes it's just easier and faster to run through translation and get on with the lesson. Also some students will be shy if they don't understand something they won't tell you, but they will tell their friends. If you overhear a "Mai kao jai" you'll know where your message is not getting across.

  16. #16
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camel Toe View Post
    I'm surprized someone with your level of education.
    BA Hons my arse.... he's taking a TEFL course at text and talk more like.

  17. #17
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    If you understand Thai well you will form a better understanding of typical mistakes based on Thai patterns, and if you understand how they occur, it will be easier to think up strategies of how to deal with them.

    But getting to that point will take a while. Learning Thai properly typically takes a few years, unless you're that rare breed of person that will get drafted very quickly by foreign ministries and intelligence agencies. Still, little snippets won't be useless either. If you can catch common phrases you'll have a better grasp on what the students are chatting about.
    Freedom does not chew bubblegum

  18. #18
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    Most English teachers are nowhere near fluent in Thai- thats why you have classroom assistants, or in the International schools the medium of teaching is English.

    I reckon it would be a good environment to pick up some local lingo though.

  19. #19
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    Learning Thai would have its advantages, twice so if you can keep a secret under your hat.

  20. #20
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    You're paid to speak English not to learn the Thai language and practice it on your students.

  21. #21
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    He didn't say anything about speaking Thai in class.

  22. #22
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    Speaking thai in class is very naff

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Pat View Post
    Ok then.

    No you don't need to be able to speak Thai as you'll only get laughed at as you mis-pronounce the kids names time and time again.
    This confuses me. If I said 'Somsak aawk pai' or 'Somsak get out', isn't Somsak pronounced the same?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerryuk View Post
    ...but everyone i talk to asks me the same question “How Can You Teach Someone English If You Don’t Speak Their Language?”
    In Thailand, bilingual Thai teachers are supposed to be present for the duration of the English lesson.
    If one chooses to teach English in Thai, the result will be what is seen today...a shitload of Thais who have had years of English lessons (conducted in Thai) & almost none of them can speak English.

    Speaking a small amount of Thai can be helpful to speed things up but when I say "a small amount", I mean using simple words...not complete phrases. Of course, as the students get to know your style, you can slowly reduce these words & then use only English.

    If a Thai teacher is present & if they are any good, they will not translate everything that you say. They will attempt to give a general idea of what you are saying with the hope that the students will "catch on".

    With about 5 of my 26 classes per week, I do not speak Thai at all & the Thai teacher only explains difficult things or exceptions (too time consuming for me to get them to understand me in this case).
    Oh for fucks sake! Get a life & stop trying to fuck mine up!

  25. #25
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    I think in a lot of cases speaking thai would speed things up a hell of a lot, lets take something real basic like telling the time, we do it in 12 hour increments, Thais do it in 6, this difference needs to be explained before you can even begin to teach them the time.

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