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Thailand’s English proficiency plummets: Survey


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On 11/26/2021 at 9:49 PM, Sir Dude said:

They weren't doing very well 10 years ago and since then, they have done their level best to get rid of as many foreigners as possible... including teachers.

Correct!  It is all Smoke and Mirrors talk to improve their position with Asean but you actually got to put in some effort and money. Pure 100% government schools, after 10 years they are still learning ABC and Hello how are you I'm fine!😂  Sad!

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20 hours ago, Blumpie said:

English is an extremely difficult language to master.  It takes great effort to learn it.  It also takes great courage to speak another language and attempt it.

When the pandemic started and foreigners were banned, I wrote that english proficiency would certainly go down.  If you don't practice it you lose it.  

Instead of teasing Thais about their lack of english, wouldn't it be nicer to compliment them on their english, even if it isn't that great?  Do it today and make someone feel good.  

Careful where you're going with that, whitey praising non-whitey on their good English is now considered a micro-aggression by certain people in sensitive, easily-offended circles.

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20 hours ago, Blumpie said:

English is an extremely difficult language to master.  It takes great effort to learn it.  It also takes great courage to speak another language and attempt it.

When the pandemic started and foreigners were banned, I wrote that english proficiency would certainly go down.  If you don't practice it you lose it.  

Instead of teasing Thais about their lack of english, wouldn't it be nicer to compliment them on their english, even if it isn't that great?  Do it today and make someone feel good.  

I always do, even poor English but understandable - certainly better than my Thai

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12 hours ago, RichardColeman said:

Considering the wise boss PM said Thai could be the number one spoken language one day, it probably matters very little to him anyway

But - would he really know or understand what he actually said 😊

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1 hour ago, Stupooey said:

Not simply grammar or I suspect they would have done somewhat better. When teaching here I was initially surprised that students who could hardly string two words of English together were able to tell me the past participle of every irregular verb. I later realised that this was how English was being taught, by rote just like everything else.

 

I've gone through my entire life, including 40 years as a journalist writing for newspapers at the very highest level of the market, without having any knowledge of 'past participles of every irregular verb'. I would guess that many English speakers are the same. I just learned what was right and what was wrong, without remembering what the terms were to get there. I just 'did it'.

As I've stated elsewhere in this thread, my wife studied at uni to teach English, and most of what she studied was way, way over my head. Far too technical. Make it simple, don't confuse and tie people up with terms that don't actually help them read and write. 'This is right, that is wrong. Remember that' is all I needed.

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7 hours ago, mikeymike100 said:

Your totally missing the point, on purpose. Thai is only spoken in Thailand, whereas English is the most widely spoken language in the world. Meaning if you want to work or travel out of Thailand, it would benefit you to speak English!

Widely spoken but not most spoken. 

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7 hours ago, pops1 said:

Worst then Thais. You need to go back to school.🤣🤣🤣

I read that as a typo, one advantage of being a native speaker and being able to comprehend what was intended. 

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6 hours ago, dallen52 said:

My partner has an 18 year old girl.

I have tried many times to get her speaking English a little bit.

Not in the least interested...

Would rather sit with her smart phone.

Tell her there are lots of hot English speaking guys out there looking for nice Thai girls, that might bring about a change of thinking😉

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On 11/27/2021 at 1:47 PM, webfact said:

Thailand’s English proficiency is among the worst in ASEAN, according to a new study.

 

The annual English Proficiency Index released earlier this month by international language education company, EF Education First, ranked Thailand in just 100th place, out of 112 countries included in the index.

Was it due to mixing too much with the farang expats ... ha

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28 minutes ago, Artisi said:

Tell her there are lots of hot English speaking guys out there looking for nice Thai girls, that might bring about a change of thinking😉

.....or cringe.😏

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28 minutes ago, StayinThailand2much said:

That's how we think in the West, but that isn't how they think in places like Thailand, etc.

I think, that it has to get much worse for many Thais, forcing them to seek work abroad AND returning with a different conscience, so that things, incl. education, can be improved for the benefit of the majority. This will, if at all, not happen for another two or more generations...

You mean like the Philippines exports millions of uneducated manual workers into overseas slave labor - even if it is much better paid than if the government was forced to gainfully employ its own people? Their level of English competence is also falling since the american influence has dwindled......

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29 minutes ago, bangon04 said:

You mean like the Philippines exports millions of uneducated manual workers into overseas slave labor - even if it is much better paid than if the government was forced to gainfully employ its own people? Their level of English competence is also falling since the american influence has dwindled......

What I meant, was that most Thais have a very limited point of view of their economic standing in Thailand and of the world around them, no doubt thanks to the outdated educational system. And if they can't 'escape' that limited horizon for a while, then I'm not optimistic that much will change in regards to the educational system or otherwise. - Just think, how travelling extensively broadened your horizon - of course, most Thais would not venture to, and experience other shores for recreation, but only for economic reasons...

 

I'm often surprised, how much easier it is to have a conversation with a Thai who has been, or even lived for a while abroad, and I don't mean the acquired language skills, but a  certain 'change' in that person's personality.

 

Edited by StayinThailand2much
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luckily our son went to school in england until he was 12 so speaks English fluently , when he applied for a job running a company 3 years ago ,the Boss who is Asian said that he did not realize our son was "British" ,he got the job.

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49 minutes ago, StayinThailand2much said:

What I meant, was that most Thais have a very limited point of view of their economic standing in Thailand and of the world around them, no doubt thanks to the outdated educational system. And if they can't 'escape' that limited horizon for a while, then I'm not optimistic that much will change in regards to the educational system or otherwise. - Just think, how travelling extensively broadened your horizon - of course, most Thais would not venture to, and experience other shores for recreation, but only for economic reasons...

 

I'm often surprised, how much easier it is to have a conversation with a Thai who has been, or even lived for a while abroad, and I don't mean the acquired language skills, but a  certain 'change' in that person's personality.

 

Experience and exposure accounts for everything.

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2 hours ago, peetje said:

If you are talking about worldwide, I would beg to differ on the word "only", as the Netherlands has its own Dutch language standards (NEN) for pressure vessels and pipelines (the English Translations are UN official). Germany also has its own language set of standards (DIN).

Yes. But I didn't see the point of listing all the specs in the world.

The point is 'there wasn't a Thai one' that I'm aware of.

One of the pipelines I worked on in Thailand was built by a Dutch company and the QC spec used was API.

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4 minutes ago, ivor bigun said:

luckily our son went to school in england until he was 12 so speaks English fluently , when he applied for a job running a company 3 years ago ,the Boss who is Asian said that he did not realize our son was "British" ,he got the job.

and a lot of the HiSo Thais send their kids overseas for school, or at least to "Inter" inside Thailand, this helps them to escape the system if they want to.

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It is not just English.  And the Thai people are smart in a different way than farang.  But I feel the schools are not so strict.  And communication is not direct.  Like tonight, I observed a local Thai election - 500 voters.  And they still will not say who really won.  So in my opinion it is best for the Thai people to learn both English and Chinese.  And then they really could bring something to the table.

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a friend of mine used to be an english teacher and won teacher of the year many times then when they sacked him for being too old he threw himself in the river as he was depressed about it

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On 11/27/2021 at 8:20 AM, Mango Bob said:

Maybe we English speaking countries who live in Thailand should try speaking some Thai.  I bet we are worst then the Thais.

And if we don’t like it we should go back home right?

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4 hours ago, Tony125 said:

A short TEFL course taken by a native English speaker should give them the knowlege of how to teach

By your own admittance your never took a TEFL and were asked to teach by someone at the school - hardly the way to select a teacher.

Whereas like a driving test, a TEFL can be useful in starting to teach English, it in no way guarantees someone will be a good teacher. Unfortunately I've met TEFL qualified teachers who even after several years teaching still don't have what it takes to make a teacher  of anything.

s I said before it isn't just schools that teach English, the real acquisition starts in tertiary education or in the workplace.

Teaching with TEFL is a methodology but time and again I meet teachers who don't even understand this - including those employing teachers for schools. quite often the schools have no real idea about what they are teaching or even what is appropriate for the government tests.

Most English teachers go through the motions, simply covering. syllabus, until they can go on holiday.

Teaching like any other profession is a skilled job that requires both motivation and a set of skills. It also requires a knowledge of the English Language - no matter how you teach English, you need to know what you are teaching - again both employers and teachers seem to fall short on this time and time again.

PS - the reason you are required to have a degree in Thailand before you teach, is to show a level of intellect but also a degree of literacy; just because you can speak English doesn't mean you can teach it. Just ask a Thai person to explain some Thai language to you and see how they cope.

 

 

 

Edited by Thunglom
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Thailand needs us dirty people there to be teaching English, because the Thais sure as Hell can't.

My neighbour, a student in her teens, had befriended me years ago hoping to get some English practice.

I agreed to help and met the parents. We would meet at a quiet market in the village for lunch and tuition. She presented me with something she had struggled with, to which I first replied: "Have you asked your teacher at school?"

Her reply, frowning, shoulders dropped in dismay: "My teacher only said >> Go and look for it on Youtube. << "

Three 'English teachers' I have met in my province could not hold even the most basic conversation in English. I always need to use Google Translate to communicate with them. 

(I have been teaching English in Norway and Australia, and then a small Buddhist temple school in Thailand. Now tutoring English while stranded in the Philippines.)

I don't often resort to crude speech, but in this case, hhmm ..maybe it is appropriate. The standard of primary and secondary education in Thailand .... sucks. 🤣

By the way, my student is now studying psychology at a university in Bangkok and is keen to further her studies abroad. We continue our contact via Skype and Messenger. (I don't charge for my tuition anywhere.)

Edited by TechnikaIII
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3 hours ago, robsamui said:

"one student said in disbelief "What? they don't understand Thai?" - it had never crossed his mind before. I got the impression that he had watched loads of American movies - and didn't realise they had been dubbed - he just thought the actors spoke Thai as a second language."

Thais are quite literally brainwashed from birth to believe they are the best and most important nation on earth - via their schooling and parental and social attitudes. They're taught nothing about the geography or history of the world and other countries - only Thai history and legends. The vast majority of young people believe all this.

It's what happens when you stifle creativity and intelligence and allow technology to replace them. Not so long ago the Thai PM seriously announced that Thai would soon be a universal world language. All of Thailand is now plugged into a smartphone, and if needed can translate the odd word or two of English. Therefore they can see no reason to learn the English language.

 

It's tragic - a real pity. But, then, if you never leave the farm, perhaps it's enough for the 66% of Thais who are farmers.



 

Whereas that generalisation would work in a pub, if you were to bring that to any school I was employing for, I would have serious doubts about your ability to deliver a good course. There is a definite tendency among teachers to be condescending doubt their pupils, based largely of a presumption thatchy don't know what the teachers know - this self centred attitude doesn't lead to very enlightened teaching.

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THE OECD does a comprehensive analysis called the PISA test (Program for International Student Assessment) to determine English proficiency (plus Math and Science) among some 75 countries for 15 year old students.  The most recent ones were 2015 and 2018, with a major one planned for 2025 to evaluate digital literacy.  
Thailand comes out as significantly below the mean country score (mean about 485, and Thailand 393, and top score of 555 from 4 regions of China and the country of Singapore).  Thailand was in the same group as Saudi Arabia, Peru, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and North Macedonia.  Only 8 countries were below Thailand.  This has been the situation going back some 30 years.  

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On 11/27/2021 at 1:34 AM, overherebc said:

Not many of the expats here speak latin either.

English, whether you like it or not, is useful all over the world. Thai is useful in one country only, 

Yes true, but if you're doing to retire in Thailand why not at least try to learn ภาษาไทยนิดหน่อย

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On 11/27/2021 at 2:20 PM, Mango Bob said:

Maybe we English speaking countries who live in Thailand should try speaking some Thai.  I bet we are worst then the Thais.

Guess wewould be these days since we don't even rank in the top 10 in the world. I know, we wouldn't be on the list, but it won't be long before we need to be with the current rate of immigration, both legal and illegal into the UK. There are already areas in the UK where English is the second, or sometimes third, most commonly used language.

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