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Appalling English Teaching


Bluesofa
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My wife's four-year-old niece is learning  at home at present, obviously due to Covid. If this wasn't happening I would never have known the appalling level of English being taught.

The niece is colouring in, learning to recognise shapes, etc. She's also doing some very basic writing (in Thai and English) by filling in the dotted letters. That seems fair enough.

The school appear to be using adapted American worksheets which are emailed to parents and then printed out. I'm saying that because part of getting them to recognise names, they had to draw a line linking the person's 'picture' to their written English name (even though they know only half-a-dozen letters of English)
Pictured were: Tom Holland, Dwayne Johnson, Mickey Mouse, Snow White.
The only picture my wife's niece recognised was Mickey Mouse. She'd never heard of Snow White. As for the two males, I had to google to see who they were and find a picture of them, as I'm not American.

This is 'English Kindergarten 1' Perhaps it's subjective whether you spell it kindergarden /kindergarten? Being British I only know it as nursery school.

Someone at the school, or in Thailand anyway, has printed on most of the worksheets in a large faint grey coloured font, imitating a watermark, "Make a wit" and immediately below it in Thai "ผลิตปัญญา". Using google translate it offers: 'produce intelligence'

I was trying trying to work out what the Engrish meant. I noticed that one of the google options from Thai>Engrish was 'intelligence' or 'wit'.
"Make a wit" makes me think of Oscar Wilde.

The point of my rant is that (to avoid defamation) this school is in a city between Khon Kaen and Nong Khai and and has the name of our lord's mother. It's not cheap either. At least someone else in the family is paying the 15,000 Baht a term for the nursery school.

Oh, and before my wife's niece was accepted we took her to be interviewed at the school. I saw they had drawings of various animals along the wall, with the English name written by an alleged teacher. 'Ploar Bear' was one.

Yes, it's easy for me as a native English speaker to criticise. Having the cheek to charge what they do, they deserve it, and have no defence.

 


 

 

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If I can be so bold as to recommend this teacher, she might not be the best teacher in Thailand but I have been reliably informed that her rates are very reasonable.

 

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5 minutes ago, Marble-eye said:

If I can be so bold as to recommend this teacher, she might not be the best teacher in Thailand but I have been reliably informed that her rates are very reasonable.

Ha ha ha! Thanks. Yes, I've seen that before.

The school where my niece goes, they have a different sort of 'habit' to teach Engrish. The way it's going, there could be 'nun' left.

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12 minutes ago, Rain said:

Welcome to the reality of a Thai-inspired English language curriculum and practices. 

Thank you teacher, I'm fine.

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Posted (edited)

Thailand is notorious for paying teachers less than most other countries. I taught for the largest private school system in Southeast Asia for six years and if I hadn't already been receiving a pension, it would have been difficult to live on the pay, let alone make a career of it. I also taught private lessons at two international schools. The teachers were top drawer but tuition was very expensive. You pay for what you get.

Edited by HappyExpat
gramar [sic]
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1 hour ago, Bluesofa said:

My wife's four-year-old niece is learning  at home at present, obviously due to Covid. If this wasn't happening I would never have known the appalling level of English being taught.

A child that age should be playing in the mud and having fun, not learning a second language IMO.

Education is very important of course, hopefully things will improve in the next year or 2.  

Best of luck

 

 

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3 minutes ago, ExpatPattaya said:

A child that age should be playing in the mud and having fun, not learning a second language IMO.

Education is very important of course, hopefully things will improve in the next year or 2.  

Best of luck

Actually, that is the best age to introduce a new language. There's plenty of time to learn and make mud pies, too.

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5 minutes ago, ExpatPattaya said:

A child that age should be playing in the mud and having fun, not learning a second language IMO.

Education is very important of course, hopefully things will improve in the next year or 2.  

Best of luck

Generally speaking, there seems to be an institutional and societal obsession with the pushing of English-language knowledge, when in reality 99% of everyday people will never have any such reason to use it or having any sort life/lifestyle pursuits that requires language proficiency. Wasted effort. 

Most certainly, for those who have a great desire to excel in the language - for whatever reasons and life paths that they chase - should be encouraged to follow the light. 

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These worksheets used by "tuition" teachers almost always leave something to be desired.

I've taught in ten different countries around the world, and when I saw the worksheets my step-kids were using here, in their after-school classes, I was really pissed off.

They were produced by some outfit in Bangkok, rife with errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation.

I spent 10 years teaching outside of Thailand during my kids formative years so didn't have a hand in their instruction.  They took English classes, outside of school for longer than that, but their English level is still abysmal.

It breaks my heart.

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7 minutes ago, MrStretch said:

These worksheets used by "tuition" teachers almost always leave something to be desired.

I've taught in ten different countries around the world, and when I saw the worksheets my step-kids were using here, in their after-school classes, I was really pissed off.

They were produced by some outfit in Bangkok, rife with errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation.

I spent 10 years teaching outside of Thailand during my kids formative years so didn't have a hand in their instruction.  They took English classes, outside of school for longer than that, but their English level is still abysmal.

It breaks my heart.

All too common. The consistency of incompetence and unworthy quality, per subject matter, of the systems appears to be quite pathetic. And hasn't been modified for decades. From primary through tertiary. 

The general/specific curricula and practices are less than technically sound. 

The teacher's training and education is still mired in the cycle of unqualified instructors teaching the prospective English teachers. 

The systematic resistance to the wide integration of native English speakers/educators remains a crux.

...and so it goes.

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Thais desperately need to learn English, hopefully expand their thinking and international education to the rights and wrongs in their society and learning that life should be better here in Thailand for the poor people not just the HISO and their protectors.  Many Thais that have lived OS know that the people are short changed here, but they say "what can I do alone".  

East European English teachers are not the answer either, native English speakers cannot understand some of them.

The younger the child is, the better, they have the ability to learn quickly and speak English clearly without a Thai accent.  At what age does any child learn to speak.

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^ You're suggesting that a firm grasp of the English language might enlighten Thais as to what's going on in their world and life? 

Really? 

Oh dear.

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3 hours ago, Bluesofa said:

My wife's four-year-old niece is learning  at home at present, obviously due to Covid. If this wasn't happening I would never have known the appalling level of English being taught.

The niece is colouring in, learning to recognise shapes, etc. She's also doing some very basic writing (in Thai and English) by filling in the dotted letters. That seems fair enough.

The school appear to be using adapted American worksheets which are emailed to parents and then printed out. I'm saying that because part of getting them to recognise names, they had to draw a line linking the person's 'picture' to their written English name (even though they know only half-a-dozen letters of English)
Pictured were: Tom Holland, Dwayne Johnson, Mickey Mouse, Snow White.
The only picture my wife's niece recognised was Mickey Mouse. She'd never heard of Snow White. As for the two males, I had to google to see who they were and find a picture of them, as I'm not American.

This is 'English Kindergarten 1' Perhaps it's subjective whether you spell it kindergarden /kindergarten? Being British I only know it as nursery school.

Someone at the school, or in Thailand anyway, has printed on most of the worksheets in a large faint grey coloured font, imitating a watermark, "Make a wit" and immediately below it in Thai "ผลิตปัญญา". Using google translate it offers: 'produce intelligence'

I was trying trying to work out what the Engrish meant. I noticed that one of the google options from Thai>Engrish was 'intelligence' or 'wit'.
"Make a wit" makes me think of Oscar Wilde.

The point of my rant is that (to avoid defamation) this school is in a city between Khon Kaen and Nong Khai and and has the name of our lord's mother. It's not cheap either. At least someone else in the family is paying the 15,000 Baht a term for the nursery school.

Oh, and before my wife's niece was accepted we took her to be interviewed at the school. I saw they had drawings of various animals along the wall, with the English name written by an alleged teacher. 'Ploar Bear' was one.

Yes, it's easy for me as a native English speaker to criticise. Having the cheek to charge what they do, they deserve it, and have no defence.


 

What School, Sarasas?

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16 hours ago, ExpatPattaya said:

A child that age should be playing in the mud and having fun, not learning a second language IMO.

Education is very important of course, hopefully things will improve in the next year or 2.  

Best of luck

Thanks.

The girl's father (my wife's brother, lives in the same village as the family) also has an older son eight years-old as well. His wife buggered and left him, only interested in making money. He looks after his son, his daughter is shared between my wife's parents and us. Therefore at her grandparent's farm, she spends plenty of time in the mud, chasing the cows and chickens they keep.

The niece is very bright (don't 'parents' always say that!), brighter than her older brother who hates school. She spends some time on a blasted smartphone - kids videos on youtube (where she learnt to sing Ba Ba Black Sheep off by heart on her own)
She also watches some short video clips of quite a few things, sometimes in Thai or Chinese or English. It makes her able to mimic English very well. At least I can get her to put the 'T' on the end of white in Snow White, and the 'S' on the end of Mickey Mouse.

I've no idea when the schools in Udon might open again. There have been three postponed dates so far.

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16 hours ago, HappyExpat said:

Now THIS might be a bit much:

qfb.jpg

Nah, she read that one last year. 🤣🤣 🤣

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1 minute ago, Bluesofa said:

Thanks.

The girl's father (my wife's brother, lives in the same village as the family) also has an older son eight years-old as well. His wife buggered and left him, only interested in making money. He looks after his son, his daughter is shared between my wife's parents and us. Therefore at her grandparent's farm, she spends plenty of time in the mud, chasing the cows and chickens they keep.

The niece is very bright (don't 'parents' always say that!), brighter than her older brother who hates school. She spends some time on a blasted smartphone - kids videos on youtube (where she learnt to sing Ba Ba Black Sheep off by heart on her own)
She also watches some short video clips of quite a few things, sometimes in Thai or Chinese or English. It makes her able to mimic English very well. At least I can get her to put the 'T' on the end of white in Snow White, and the 'S' on the end of Mickey Mouse.

I've no idea when the schools in Udon might open again. There have been three postponed dates so far.

But with the schools closed here in Udon the kids next door with their friends keep coming up to me and saying a few words in English. Some pronounced ok some not. So I have a laugh with them and show them or rather tell them how to pronounce those words correctly.  At first they were rather shy, well their friends were, but now after such a long time off school they approach me with no qualms. So in my view the local village schools was just that, a local village school. They now however have mastered a few words in English correctly and overcome their shyness, built up some confidence so that's a plus. However whenever they return to school no doubt the indoctrination of the morning national anthem in all weathers will be re-started with the zealousness of the Taliban advance.

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15 hours ago, thai3 said:

What School, Sarasas?

I had to google that, as I'd never heard of it, so the answer to that is no. I see from the BKK Post there's twenty-six of those affiliated schools.
I don't want to name the school directly as I gave it a bit of a slagging off and don't want to go to court in case the Mother Superior reads this.

source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/international-school/1287/sarasas-ektra-school 

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12 minutes ago, Bluesofa said:
15 hours ago, thai3 said:

What School, Sarasas?

I had to google that, as I'd never heard of it, so the answer to that is no.

I would warn against naming actual schools. The libel laws are absolutely Draconian here.

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i have a friend in Surin who asks me to help her with her eight year old son's English homework. she sends photos of the homework to me on LINE app so i can do it. 

 

 

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Just now, NCC1701A said:

i have a friend in Surin who asks me to help her with her eight year old son's English homework. she sends photos of the homework to me on LINE app so i can do it. 

And she sends you pictures of herself too as an incentive that you can share ? 😉

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11 minutes ago, gummy said:

And she sends you pictures of herself too as an incentive that you can share ? 😉

she is actually nothing like. i guess the exception proves the rule. 😀 we have been friends for about five years. she is about 27 now and still lives with her parents. her entire house is painted pink inside and out, and she was wearing masks years before covid. and changes the color of her braces almost every month. she has been taking care of her parents and working in some sort food processing plant.   

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For competition to be fair, it is often considered that native speakers of a language will be best to learn from as their pronunciation may be better. But accents can have substantial influence.

 The school my Thai daughter elected to go to uses English teachers in all of their lessons apart from Thai and Mandarin classes. Listening into the classes, as they are all online like others, the challenge sometimes is all about how the teacher pronounce the words with their accents they have, as they come from a variety of countries.

 She chose it because she felt learning to understand and speak English better gave her a better chance at higher paying jobs. But it is quite a challenge for her and it is very noticeable that the English capabilities of the students in her class also vary greatly.

 The other problem has also been to get her to say something even if it may be mispronounced. It is the fear of being seen as an idiot! Having her understand that the teacher will help her has been a massive thing to overcome. New school, new schoolmates and mostly online learning hasn’t helped.

 

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36 minutes ago, NCC1701A said:

she is actually nothing like. i guess the exception proves the rule. 😀 we have been friends for about five years. she is about 27 now and still lives with her parents. her entire house is painted pink inside and out, and she was wearing masks years before covid. and changes the color of her braces almost every month. she has been taking care of her parents and working in some sort food processing plant.   

Sounds like a nice considerate lady

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