English Teachers needed to support English as a second language in Thailand

If you’ve always dreamed about living in Thailand, you may want to sit up and take notice of this announcement from the government reported in today’s Bangkok Post:


English to be made 2nd language in schools

* Published: 7/10/2010 at 06:50 PM
* Online news: Local News

The Education Ministry plans to declare English the second language for teaching and learning in schools with an aim to enable Thai people of the new generation to communicate with other people in Asean and world communities in English, Chinaworn Boonyakiat said on Thursday.

The education minister said he had discussed this matter with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij.

A plan to develop learning and teaching in English is being drafted by the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), he said.

Mr Chinaworn said in order to successfully carry out the plan it is necessary to have foreign teachers from countries using English as the mother language for all schools for Mathayom 4-6 level (Grades 10-12).

Schools for Mathayom 1-3 level (Grade 7-9) should at least have Thai teachers majoring in English.

Elementary schools should also have more English teachers, he said.

After having enough foreign teachers and Thai teachers majoring in English, schools will then be able to arrange an English programme,” he said.

Mr Chinaworn said the OBEC will decide how many foreign teachers are needed, the Finance Ministry will be asked to provide budgetary support, and the Foreign Ministry will be asked to help recruit foreign teachers.

“We have eyed American teachers who are retired under an early retirement programme,” he said.

Mr Chinaworn said the ministry has tentatively set Oct 22 to declare English second language in schools.

6 thoughts on “English Teachers needed to support English as a second language in Thailand”

  1. It sounded promising at the start.

    My heart sank when I reached, “We eyed retired American teachers …,” though. (Not that there’s anything wrong with retired American teachers, of course).

    Let’s hope there are people with a broader vision who can make this scheme a success.

  2. @T: Well, to be honest, on a general level British and Australian English speakers are more difficult to understand that typical American English speakers. No joke but I’ve had to translate conversations between guys from different parts of England. Many Aussies and Brits have accents so thick you don’t even think they’re speaking the same language.

    The part that grabbed me in this story was the part about “retired” teachers. I read that to mean that they don’t want to pay top dollar and are hoping to lure over people who already have a retirement income.

  3. I do agree with Billy.. as Thai student who went to school in England and worked in America .. at first i found English language it really hard accent to understand ..then i get used to the an accent and the word ( coz some word in English said things difference than an American ) then move to US and found American language it hard accent to learn as well so.. then i get used to an American accent .. i think .. if you been surround with that accent then someday you will get used too it and understand as you learn from other language .. i still do remember when i was school in Bangkok my English teacher who is Thai.. i will learn how to pronunciation like i been told. but when i went to England i found no one can understand me .. now i know why.. coz i speak with my Thai accent that why 😉

  4. “I read that to mean that they don’t want to pay top dollar and are hoping to lure over people who already have a retirement income.”

    Yes, this is precisely why my heart sank.

    (The topic of accents is a different one).

  5. well.. when it come to cost to spend on education .. i don’t know how much budget that the government will have to spend on foreigner teacher.. and how important to hire a foreigner teacher to teach basic English in Thailand… another word if we live in Thailand and speak English in Thailand .. with Thai accent .. someday foreigner who live in Thailand will get used to our accent as well.

    i do understand we learn English to be able to communication to the world.. and beside.. i do proud of my own Thai accent ( as we not part of commonwealth ) so i guess part of who we are speaking English with Thai accent.. it not so bad as long as we can read and write so we can communicate with them..

  6. “another word if we live in Thailand and speak English in Thailand” i LoLed hard picturing this.
    About 1 1/2 yrs passed by and i wonder what might have happend to those eager plans of the ministry.
    I thought it might backfire on Thailand to hire a herd of old horny men who finally “found” a way to stay in Thailand all year.
    Maybe the minister should take a trip through pattayas fun district and talk to some expats. That should help him to make up his mind hehe.

    Srsly now, if i was from an english speaking country i would consider doing it.
    Very risky, but it would be such an adventure. And if you get frustrated with not being excepted and understood in your little town you are teaching in, you still can give up on yourself and resort to booze and women…

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