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Waiting until the last minute: English Speaking Year 2012

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Glad to see that 3 years before the open economic zone in ASEAN goes through that people finally realize that English skills might be needed.

The Education Ministry will launch an "English Speaking Year 2012" programme to promote English speaking by Thai students and others in preparing for the establishment of the Asean Community in 2015, Education Minister Worawat Ua-apinyakul said.

Mr Worawat said when Thailand becomes a part of the Asean Community the English language will be very important for communication.

Therefore, the Education Ministry will launch the "English Speaking Year 2012" programme in schools under its jurisdiction.

One day of each week will be designated as the day for teachers and students to conduct activities using English for communication. The activities may include an English corner and guide training for students.

Mr Worawat said the ministry wants students to dare to speak English without worrying too much about grammar.

He said Sasithara Pichaichannarong, the permanent secretary for education, had been assigned to work with the Basic Education Commission, Vocational Education Commission, and Private Education Promotion Commission to lay down a concrete plan for implementation of the programme.

Ms Sasithara said the programme will be officially launched on Dec 26 at schools which are ready and will continue to be expanded to more schools until the majority of the Thai people can communicate in English.

The ministry will also train teachers all over the country, to improve their English skills for both teaching and communication.

Representatives of foreign embassies, foreign organisations, English teaching institutes such as the AUA and British Council, and international schools will be invited to help train the teachers, she said.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/271664/english-speaking-year-2012

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Sad thing is that students, although having English classes from M1 to M6, never ever learn how to speak English. I had the experience that "English teachers" did not dare to talk to me because they could not speak. One more brave lady came to me and asked me about the correct answers in a typical book that we used to have in the 70's and where the questions were about "kitty". Kitty is famous because... a)... B)... c) she has no mouth, d)... The picture of kitty was just close to the question and the multiple choice answers. This TEACHER asked me which would be the correct answer!

So it is mainly not the students/pupils, it is the system. Sad enough! Because despite a 52-people class is not good, there could be far better results once the teachers are trained better and would care.

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Glad to see that 3 years before the open economic zone in ASEAN goes through that people finally realize that English skills might be needed.



http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/271664/english-speaking-year-2012


Methinks that this will be another "Potjomkin" thing that will cost a lot of money but not result in any real improvement. Sad enough!

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Sad thing is that students, although having English classes from M1 to M6, never ever learn how to speak English. I had the experience that "English teachers" did not dare to talk to me because they could not speak. One more brave lady came to me and asked me about the correct answers in a typical book that we used to have in the 70's and where the questions were about "kitty". Kitty is famous because... a)... B)... c) she has no mouth, d)... The picture of kitty was just close to the question and the multiple choice answers. This TEACHER asked me which would be the correct answer!

So it is mainly not the students/pupils, it is the system. Sad enough! Because despite a 52-people class is not good, there could be far better results once the teachers are trained better and would care.

And the number of times I've been told by Thais that it's okay if the English grammar teachers don't need to speak English because you don't need to speak the language in order to understand the grammar is depressing.

What's even more concerning is that there is a method of teaching English to grade school children that works. It's worked pretty much unchanged all over the world. The Thai government refuses to adopt the method of learning English and then is surprised when they keep getting poor results.

What's the definition of insanity? :-)

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