Immigration steps up English skills

PHUKET TOWN: Thirty officers from Immigration Division 3, the division for Southern Thailand, today began a four-day English-language workshop at the Pearl Hotel with the aim of improving their English skills. The course, called the English Language Training Camp II, was organized by the Immigration Bureau in conjunction with Chulalongkorn University Language Institute to improve the quality of Immigration service to tourists. It follows hot on the heels of the success of the pilot English-language workshop held in Chonburi on April 29 – May 2. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Pol Gen Somchai Vanitsenee, Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, said, “We plan to improve service to tourists because tourism is a major income generator for the country. “The program includes improving officers’ English in dealing with visa extensions, general inquiries, national security and crime suppression. “But the first thing that needs rapid improvement is the [general] standard of English,” he said. Dr Boonsiri Anantaset, Director of Chulalongkorn University Language Institute, said, “The workshop will not be boring lectures. There will be games and activities that will provide officers the opportunity to use English and to increase their confidence in speaking English.” He then explained, “Most Thai police officers have an intermediate level of English-language skills, which can be improved by practice. The main obstacle to their progress is that they lack the confidence to speak English.”

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