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  1. #1
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    Cool Learning to tell the time: it's 'half to eighteen'


    two local kids, 11, often bring their English homework to me to check, often just little spelling mistakes and it's out with the 'white paint' to fix.

    Last night they had been given a series of clock faces, with the first ones completed to serve as examples, and am and pm were noted on the clock..

    Started simple, 3 o'clock, 8 o'clock.

    Then . . . . something too complex for 11 year olds - the concept of 'quarter past' and 'quarter to' when I think teaching eg three-fifteen and three-forty-five would be more sensible.

    But . . . .there's more. When it came to 'big hand on the six' it was not 'three-thirty', or 'half-past-three' but "half-to-four' (am) or 'half-to-sixteen' (pm). 7.30pm is "half to twenty'. These from the examples the children had to follow. So they did.

    Not my children, not my problem . . . I corrected the spelling. If I correct their answers they will be 'wrong'. I will lose face as the only farang in the area - "ha, he doesn't even know how to tell the time!".

    I am aware this rural school does not have an English teacher - has not had one for over a year so this is another teacher working from handouts she has been given (but from where?).

    Suggestions? When I went to bed last night, at about half to twenty-three, I had ideas of approaching the school. Or none of my business?

  2. #2
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    It depends on how you go about it. If you just go in there and tell them flat-out that they're wrong/stupid/retarded then nothing will happen, but if you volunteer your services and gradually help all the kids, then I'm sure the school would be very grateful.

  3. #3
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    Half eight.

    What's wrong with that ? Perfectly acceptable in many countries in Europe.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson
    What's wrong with that ?
    It's written English, not spoken.

  5. #5
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson View Post
    Half eight.

    What's wrong with that ? Perfectly acceptable in many countries in Europe.
    Half eight, ok with me I'd understand you to mean eight-thirty, 8.30, whether am or pm.

    Half eight in my example, as these children are being taught (half-to-eight) would be seven-thirty am, 7.30am, or if in the evening hours, 7.30pm, half-to-twenty.

    Very confusing for children. And for me too. It's a weird hybrid of language and a 24-hour clock.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by genghis61
    Half eight in my example, as these children are being taught (half-to-eight) would be seven-thirty am, 7.30am, .
    And they would be correct.

  7. #7
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Yes, the half-xxxx is silly, as is using quarter-to or quarter-past, half past, for those learning the language. I man, we say twenty past instead of one-third past, don't we?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by genghis61
    Half eight in my example, as these children are being taught (half-to-eight) would be seven-thirty am, 7.30am, .
    And they would be correct.
    But would the teacher say it's correct? I think that's the point that is being made here.

  9. #9
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    If you just go in there and tell them flat-out that they're wrong/stupid/retarded then nothing will happen
    I agree.
    The reason being that the English teacher can't speak English so won't understand you.

  10. #10
    The cold, wet one
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    Difficult. How much do you really care about it? Serious question. I mean, you say it's a rural school, so is there any real likelihood of these kids ever using the misinformation they're being given? Or is it more likely that they'll probably stay in the village, virtually never see a farang, never mind speak English? If that's the case, then in all likelihood, they won't even remember the lessons in 5 years. If you do care enough to pursue it, then I'd do as Marmers said & offer your help or services.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Rain
    they won't even remember the lessons in 5 years.
    Five minutes, NR. Five minutes.
    The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

  12. #12
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    Half til XXX and 1/3 past XXX would both be technically right, but who would understand it in the western world?

    The purpose of language is communicate, not necessarily be technically right.

    So MtD was correct. If someone wants to truly help the kids, they should kindly try to assist without belittling the system or the teachers.

    NR, I do not agree that the situation should be ignored. To me, that is just the perpetuation of ignorance.

    Good question, Ghengis .....

  13. #13
    The cold, wet one
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    Quote Originally Posted by khang
    NR, I do not agree that the situation should be ignored. To me, that is just the perpetuation of ignorance.
    I didn't say it should be ignored. I asked how much genghis cared about the situation & stated the fact that it was possible that these kids would never interact in English. That is a fact, whether you like it or not.
    My closing sentence was, however


    Quote Originally Posted by November Rain
    If you do care enough to pursue it, then I'd do as Marmers said & offer your help or services.

  14. #14
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    First you should drop this silly am pm thing. Telling the time in a 24 hour system makes much more sense.

  15. #15
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    I mean, you say it's a rural school, so is there any real likelihood of these kids ever using the misinformation they're being given? Or is it more likely that they'll probably stay in the village, virtually never see a farang, never mind speak English?
    attempting to give them decent english skills, and telling the time correctly is a start in that direction might, just might, be the start of one of the kids going on to further education later on.

  16. #16
    The cold, wet one
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    ^ And people used to think I was the sentimental fool with her head in the clouds. Doesn't further education take money? If their families had money for a decent education, the kids wouldn't be in a school where they are taught badly, would they?

    Thailand is not the West. There seems to be no incentive for giving poor kids a decent education. Rather the opposite, in fact. The Thai elite seem to like the status quo. Keep the workforce ignorant.

    Is it fair? Hell, no. Of course it's not. Is it reality? Yes.

  17. #17
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Rain
    There seems to be no incentive for giving poor kids a decent education.
    That surely is the fault of the parents

    Quote Originally Posted by November Rain
    The Thai elite seem to like the status quo. Keep the workforce ignorant.
    Yea, sorry . . . too easy to blame the 'elite' . . . of course it is in their interest not to have too much competition from an educated workforce, but the flipside is that they need competent workers, not just always drones, to keep their position . . . and they are smart enough (usually) not to rely on family all the time.

    Thailand is not an across-the-board feudal society anymore, and most everyone should know that education is important . . . but it is the individual's choice in the end to foster it or not.

    There is a real middle class, and not just in Bangkok

  18. #18
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    They do it in French too. 10 to 7 is 7 minus 10.

  19. #19
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    German is full of these things aside form the usual quarters past and to, half past . . .

    five before half . . . = 25 minutes past
    five after half . . . = 25 minutes to
    three-quarters . . . quarter to, another version

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat
    Thailand is not an across-the-board feudal society anymore, and most everyone should know that education is important . . . but it is the individual's choice in the end to foster it or not.
    Agreed, but their eduction system is truly horrendous.

  21. #21
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    If their families had money for a decent education, the kids wouldn't be in a school where they are taught badly, would they?
    contrary to what many people think, regarding "the elite" and their never ending struggle to keep the poor in their place, there are people from poorer less priveledged backgrounds that do manage to get an education in thailand, do make it to university, and do succeed in the workplace, (there are even some in your old stomping ground, hua hin) and there are dedicated teachers working up country who do have the best interests of their pupils at heart, just as there is no shortage of poor teachers at some of the expensive schools, its not as black and white a picture as you seem to paint.

    you never know, one day some straw chewing yokel might just have occasion to give the time in english to someone who picks up on his correct terminology and pronunciation and gives him an opportunity. chance and luck play a big part in determining the directions we take or the doors that open for us in life.

    i say teach the lad to tell the time properly.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    If their families had money for a decent education, the kids wouldn't be in a school where they are taught badly, would they?
    contrary to what many people think, regarding "the elite" and their never ending struggle to keep the poor in their place, there are people from poorer less priveledged backgrounds that do manage to get an education in thailand, do make it to university, and do succeed in the workplace
    Indeed. Society and the evil elite is such an easy excuse.

  23. #23
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    In Scandinavia halv sex = half six =1730hrs maybe their teacher is Nordic.

  24. #24
    The cold, wet one
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabian View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    If their families had money for a decent education, the kids wouldn't be in a school where they are taught badly, would they?
    contrary to what many people think, regarding "the elite" and their never ending struggle to keep the poor in their place, there are people from poorer less priveledged backgrounds that do manage to get an education in thailand, do make it to university, and do succeed in the workplace
    Indeed. Society and the evil elite is such an easy excuse.
    I've never gone for easy excuses & both of you know it. I've always done it the hard way & done what I thought right. But we're talking about someone else. Someone who for whatever reason (no spare time due to teaching kids?) has not replied to this thread for a while.

    My view? Do it yourself, but don't expect anyone else to do it. The Govt won't, the elite won't. Maybe genghis will. Or not. Easy? Yeah, right.

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