Thailand Education System Problems
One of the important things PM Yingluck Shinawatra has frequently become criticized for since she had taken office is her command of the English language. A great deal of hassle was made regarding how she spoke the English language in her 1st meeting with Hillary Clinton in Nov 2011 that the substance of that conference got misplaced in the battle among her critics and defenders concerning the level of her English.
Numerous Thais had been swift to indicate that she stated “overcome” instead of “welcome” to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her welcome presentation of their combined press conference. Verbal struggles concerning the importance of the PM’s accent in addition to lack of ability to read an English-language speech soon warmed up Thailand’s social networking for days.
Put next to the former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva’s Eton schooled and Oxford graduate, polished English, PM Yingluck’s often stuttering along with grammatically flawed English failed to inspire admiration among certain educated urban crowds. To her critics PM Yingluck’s lack of English fluency is taken as a national embarrassment and even liability.
Given such a commotion, someone who doesn’t know much about Thailand could be forgiven for thinking that Thais must have high standards of English. Those familiar with Thais would be excused for chuckling at such a notion.
It really is obvious that Thais’ proficiency in the English language simply leaves quite a great deal to be desired. And also the condition of Thailand’s English-language schooling is such that it would cause anybody who appreciates the value of the English language really feel rightfully overwhelmed indeed.
The poor performance of Thailand in the TOEFL score
The last published report of the test conducted by TOEFL for English as a foreign language displayed graphically the shortcomings in Thailands English skills. Thailand was ranked 116th out of a total of 163 countries, trailing behind countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore and only a couple of points above the likes of Cambodia or Laos!
Naturally , TOEFL ratings are generally not representative of the English language skills of the general Thai population, as it is generally undertaken by determined college students aiming to carry on studies abroad and young graduates looking for a good white-collar job, not shop assistants, taxi drivers, waiters and waitresses who utilize differing degrees of the English language within their job. However in reality, countless Thai university students could be effortlessly put to shame by the the English language capability of many bar girls and cab drivers.
The english language is the very least preferred subject amongst Thai students. And thats very evident. The average English examination results are in between 20-30% in the national standardised O-NET. During the last 3 years mark the English language as the worst conducted subject matter among primary and secondary Thai school students. The rating distributions display even more deplorable efficiency with significant groups of students obtaining only 10-20% in the national O-NET which is also deplorable in its own right.
Keeping the gloomy track record consistent, Thai university candidates scored an average 28.34% in the English language in the latest university entrance examinations. It really is small wonder that Thailand creates a “workforce with some of the world’s weakest English-language abilities.” In the latest IMD World Competitiveness Report Thailand was rated 54th out of 56 nations internationally with regard to the English language skills, the second-lowest in Asia.
English: The fearsome foreign language
I suppose it may be not so easy to do very well and learn something that you are scared about. But precisely why do Thais really feel this kind of repulsion to the English language to start with? Do Thais genuinely loathe the English language? Could it be anxiety about the language itself, concern with the learning procedure, or even nervous about the embarrassment because of not having the ability to talk it?
Those who have spent a while in Thailand may have witnessed the fear of talking the English language among the general population in daily life. Store assistants, support staff, even university-educated company workers can be frequently noticed rushing to discover another person besides themselves to speak English to a foreigner requiring assistance. Phone calls coming from English-speaking clients tend to be placed on hold or perhaps given one transfer after another. It appears to be as if Thais possess a pathological anxiety about talking the English language.
Of course, not all Thais are like this. you will find random Thai students who would like to practice the English language and try their utmost to be able to communicate in the language. A few lucky enough ones experience very good English training at (often costly and extremely competitive, elite) public or private Thai schools can carry out an acceptable discussion in the English language. A small minority whose families are able to afford educational costs at good quality international schools learn how to speak the English language similar to native speakers from childhood.
Thai teachers and the English language.
Recently numerous schools in Thailand have begun to employ native English speakers and English-speaking people from other countries to teach the English language. However overseas teachers numbering in the thousands are merely a tiny amount. Most schools continue to depend on Thai teachers, the majority of whom are unqualified, to do the job. The majority do not speak the language sufficiently, or have adequate English skills and education abilities to steer students with their studying.
A study carried out in February 2006 in relationship with the University of Cambridge in order to measure the degree of some four hundred Thai teachers of the English language exposed shocking problems. In excess of 60 per cent of the teachers possessed inadequate knowledge of the English language and educating techniques and whatever they did posses was below the syllabus level they were teaching.
From the forty percent that possessed passing knowledge and educating capabilities, only 3% had an acceptable fluency in the English language whereas 80% weren’t teaching the correct level of students for the purpose there were competent or qualified. Many had been teaching the degree of English incompatible for the students’ age ranges. For instance , they were attempting to teach English for 15-17 year olds to 11 year olds.
There was massive disparities in English skills amongst teachers and pupils throughout schools. For instance , within a group of more than forty schools representing almost 80, 000 pupils in primary and secondary education and learning, some primary school students in certain schools obtained higher in certain random assessments compared to teachers in some other schools!
Not surprisingly it was difficult for the teachers to just accept theses test outcomes. There was an effort to setup rigorous upgrading courses for the teachers however the schools opposed the effort. Rather the schools stated their teachers had “qualified” by means of numerous Thai colleges and universities, therefore this kind of remedy was unneeded.
But several teachers were truthful. Numerous primary teachers within the government educational facilities openly confessed that they had been pushed to teach the English language even though they had little if any familiarity with the language in any way.
Undoubtedly a lot more younger Thais can now speak English much better than ten years or maybe more ago. We have observed more young employees within the service industry, self confident and proficient in speaking English. Nevertheless, just a small percentage of Thai secondary school and in many cases university graduates can effectively carry out a discussion with a foreigner in the English language.
There are lots of aspects why Thais’ English can be so hopeless and principal among them is a poor-quality and wrong-headed English-language instruction within the Thai school system, that is part of the Thai education and learning problems in general.
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