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Effective Solutions For Barriers To Teaching English In Thailand

 7th December 2022

English is the language used globally in every field such as education, business, and government. It has become the most spoken language widely, so teaching English in every country becomes a lucrative job.

However, in a country like Thailand, where the proficiency rate of speaking English is very low, the demand for the skilled ESL teachers is high. According to the English Proficiency Index (EPI), it has been found that Thailand ranks 97th out of 111 countries. If you are planning to teach English in Thailand, then it has its own challenges but at the same time, it also opens many opportunities.

As the situation is pretty dire when we talk about the proficiency rate of English, hence, Thailand requires many proficient ESL teachers who can teach English effectively. Even if you don’t have any prior teaching English experience you can teach English in Thailand because their government wants their youth and their people to be proficient in English. They are willing to pay a good amount of salary to any TEFL certified Teachers compared to their local experienced teachers.

We would highly recommend our TEFL courses in Thailand where you would become capable to deal with the challenges you might face while teaching Thai students and how you can make them proficient in English.

Problems With Teaching English in Thailand

Let us dive into what challenges you might face as a TEFL teacher in Thailand and how you can deal with them.

Difficult to gather interest in English:

The majority of the students in Thailand found it difficult to learn English, especially in remote areas and the north-eastern part of Thailand. Teachers just state the lessons in the class and give notes and the involvement of the students is little or next to none, which makes the students lose their total interest in English.

What can you do?

While you are preparing for TEFL certification to teach in Thailand, you might have been already aware of the dire situation of the proficiency rate of speaking English in Thailand. In most schools, every class has one-way communication, only teachers are speaking and completing their lessons, and students are just counting every minute till the class end.

However, as a TEFL teacher you need to be different, you need to make classes interactive and fun. You need to find a way to make the English lessons fun and interactive so that every student is willing to participate in that class. In addition, with time, seeing your enthusiastic teaching style and the cheerful environment you create will invoke an interest in learning English in your students.

Old theoretical focused approach:

The general scenario of every class in Thailand where the teacher just makes their students focus on the theoretical part more and make them memorize all the lessons to get good grades.

Teachers even prefer to make their students memorize grammar and conversations lesson theoretically instead of making students practice in class verbally s that they can score good grades.

What can you do?

You have learned while you were pursuing TEFL courses to teach in Thailand that practical learning is more effective than theoretical learning. So, give your students practical tasks such as making two students have a conversation on any topic, give them a sentence, and ask if it’s Past tense, Present Tense, or Future Tense, etc. Make student practice English as much as possible practically, so that they can understand the language rather than memorize.

Minimal writing practice:

In other countries where the native language is English, from a very early age they get involved in learning and upgrading their writing skills by reviewing and proofreading their writing by themselves before submitting their assignment.

Thai education curriculum covers essay writing. However, most teachers make students follow bookish instructions to write essays in class, and once they are done with the exam or assignments that’s it. Because of the lack of writing practice, Thai students struggle with writing skills even after graduation.

What can you do?

Native English speakers on a daily basis utilize their writing skills almost in every day to day activities like- social media post writing, email writing, text messages, etc. which makes their writing skills more polished.

As an ESL teacher, you need to give tasks to your students, which will force them to enhance their writing skills. For example- You can give them the task of writing journals on a daily basis at the end of the day.

Instead of focusing on formal English writing, make students comfortable to express their thoughts, feelings, or their opinions on social media posts, emails, letters, or in journals.

Once they are comfortable with informal writing then make them write essays or paragraphs and tell them to proofread, draft and overall edit by themselves, which will ultimately make their writing skills much better.

No proper feedback infrastructure:

The purpose of schooling education is to make every student capable to shine in their career after graduation. But in Thailand, the focus is a bit more on grades rather than every student's personal growth. The teacher gives grades on the assignments and gives feedback on how they can score even good grades.

While this approach may help students to score good grades but they will not be able to know their weaknesses, which might affect their life once they get to graduate.

What can you do?

As an EFL teacher, you can organize several activities in your class such as Skits, Debates, Pictionary, Extempore, etc. Put one condition that it needs to be in English and after the fun-filled activities you can give feedback and make other students give feedback to each other as well.

In addition, for writing skills, you can organize an Essay writing competition with any prize you can think of. After the completion of the essay writing, every student gives each student feedback according to the essay they have written.

Final Words

As Thailand is behind when it comes to the proficiency rate in speaking English compared to other countries. However, this also opens the gate of opportunity for those who wanted to teach English in Thailand. Even if you do not have experience in teaching English, you can still stand the chance of becoming an ESL Teacher, all you need to pursue TEFL courses in Thailand.

Nevertheless, as an ESL teacher in Thailand, you will also have plenty of responsibilities as well. You need to find a way to make lessons in English fun and interactive so that students do not lose their attention from class, which will ultimately result in the betterment of the English of every student in your class.

Written By : Abhishek

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