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University teaching shows why Thais' command of English is so abysmal!


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University teaching shows why Thais' command of English is so abysmal!

 

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Picture: Thairath

 

BANGKOK: -- If you have ever wondered why the Thais' level of English is so poor you need look no further than the so called top teachers!

 

An online drama about a study program on television shows a course full of the most basic schoolboy errors.

 

And these were supposed to have come from university level professors, reports Thairath.

 

Now the professor who taught the course has blamed the printers rather than taking responsibility!

 

The course, via cable TV and satellite on the DLTV 15 channel, has been panned by Facebook critics.

 

Among the howlers is one section that refers to the translation of the Thai "khun pen khon angrit reu?" . It says the "frequent" mistake is "Are you an England?" but the correct version should be "Are you and England?".

 

Of course, this should be 'Are you English?'

 

In another "frequently made mistakes section" the teacher tells the students the translation for "dichan chorp len kilaa tennis" (I like to play tennis (a woman speaking)) is not "I like to play penis".

 

That, the teacher says is because "penis" means "urination" (transliterated as "piss" in the Thai letters.

 

The politer Thai word for urination is "patsawa".

 

For the translation of "kheun rot" (get in/on a vehicle) the frequent mistake is given as "go down the car" while the correct version is said to be "get on the car".

 

Of course neither is strictly correct though you could get on a bus!

 

Getting on a car would indicate climbing on its roof.

 

A Thai Facebook poster who put a sample of the appalling errors online said: "Want to know why Thai kids are so poor in English? Look no further than the teaching. I nearly fainted when I saw this!"

 

Thai Rath online caught up with the "ajarn" (professor) who delivered the course, who was not named. The ajarn said that the slides had been in use for years and had been checked by a top university for accuracy.

 

Instead of blaming the university, however, or admitting to making a mistake themselves, the ajarn did the best they could.....and blamed the printers.

 

Tragically, even the Thai word "khoi" as in "may khoi dee" (not very) was misspelled.

 

Source: Thairath

 
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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2016-12-06
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There are so many versions of English (Spanish also) that it is hard to know where to set the standard, but there is no doubt that most Thai "English Teachers" are hard pressed to have a conversation in English with a native UK English speaker.

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Here we go again... if I had ฿ 1 for every time people pointed out the absymal level of English here, I'd be a millionaire by now! 

If the teachers haven't mastered the language, then how are they expected to teach their students?!?!

 

Teachers and professors who have their positions partially thanks to family connections and are never observed by neutral peers with the aim of improving standards. They have no motivation to improve themselves as teachers nor to help their students improve their (students) lot in life. The language center I work at observes all teachers once and sometimes twice a year and conducts regular student feedback surveys. All with the aim of 1) keeping teaching standards up and 2) to check student i.e. customer satisfaction with the teaching staff. 

This could easily be done at the public schools and universities. 

 

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The 3 Thai English teachers (all three of them have Masters degrees in teaching English) working here in the college are struggling with the easiest of conversations and basically they use Thai when they speak with me... on the other hand we have teachers in the animal science (I teach animal science and animal feed in English) and plant science departments that use or at least try to use as much English as possible when they speak with me!

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Should the 'native speakers' all be vetted for a common accent - what should it be?

The difference between a Thai Glaswegian and a Thai Brummagem, for example, should render the whole thing even more imcomprehensible

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6 minutes ago, Charlie1 said:

I noticed that many Thais try to speak a not understandable "American English". They should be taught only by UK native speakers - the teachers, I mean.

All from Liverpool, right?

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7 minutes ago, Saraphee said:

Should the 'native speakers' all be vetted for a common accent - what should it be?

The difference between a Thai Glaswegian and a Thai Brummagem, for example, should render the whole thing even more imcomprehensible

Their accents are the least of their problems.... ?

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The printer may very well have made mistakes -- sometimes deliberate, as in several examples I can give of printers and others, in their supreme arrogance, changing my copy because they thought they were right and I was wrong (despite strict instructions to alter nothing). But it doesn't excuse the fact that the professor (or whoever) had a responsibility to check the final version of the study program before it was printed/published. After all, it's their reputation on the line (not that they seem to care, sadly).

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12 minutes ago, Johnniey said:

Actually, it should be, "Are you an Englander?"

 

Can't really criticize, as Americans(a couple with PhD's) that I've known for years call me English even thought they know I'm from Scotland.

 

Thairat seem to like posting troll topics these days. A shame as I used to read it often.

 

 

 Ah; so you are a Scotlander ?

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2 minutes ago, trainman34014 said:

 

 Ah; so you are a Scotlander ?

No, I'm a Scot.

 

There are a few that call me Scotch but I don't want to insult their lack of worldly awareness any more.

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1 hour ago, Kasset Tak said:

The 3 Thai English teachers (all three of them have Masters degrees in teaching English) working here in the college are struggling with the easiest of conversations and basically they use Thai when they speak with me... on the other hand we have teachers in the animal science (I teach animal science and animal feed in English) and plant science departments that use or at least try to use as much English as possible when they speak with me!

What is it a technical/vocational college?

I worked in a Thai university for over 10 years and all the teachers in the English department spoke impeccable English as many of them had PhD's from English universities. They had all studied to a Master's degree level abroad. 

 

The only mistake I often heard was that they used "ever" as in "I ever been to Spain".

 

Who cares if the Thai word "koy" is misspelled? I know many so called Thai speakers who think this word means "have" or "used to", as in "I have been there", "I have eaten it before". 

There was even a poster here years ago called, "ajarn", who had been learning Thai for many years didn't know this Thai word meaning "not very".

 

But go ahead all you people living in Thailand, who can't communicate in Thai, and criticize the Thais ability at speaking English as after all they should, shouldn't they?

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this only happens with English as a topic in school. 

not any of the other topics? 

 

is that implied by this article?


because some other subjects also have seem to have surprising results... even with the Thai language as a study subject... for which I continue to encounter all kinds of blather that do not equate with my actual experiences in Thailand.

 

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The premise is a false syllogism.

however one can give a couple of examples one humorous and the other a bit more serious.

1! - The school text book that declares quite clearly in black and white an exercise based around the phrase "go to shopping"

 

2 - the TOEFL-style EL course "devised" by one of Thailand's top uni that basically plagiarises TOEFL itself and has some of the worst dialogue recordings I've ever heard. Further investigation revealed the course to be "devised" by a native English speaker who clearly wasn't recognise that he/she has a speak impediment......how the hell Uni students were expected to learn from that is beyond me.

 

 

it seems that the foreign "experts" that Thailand employs to teach them English are far from what they claim to be.

 

 

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2 hours ago, jpinx said:

There are so many versions of English (Spanish also) that it is hard to know where to set the standard, but there is no doubt that most Thai "English Teachers" are hard pressed to have a conversation in English with a native UK English speaker.

 

It goes even further, my Thai granddaughter goes to a higher level bilingual school, Primary 6, and she speaks close to native speaker English, to some extent coming from long-term immersion from birth from listening to me speak English to both her Thai mother and father who also speak good English.

 

She's had good qualified English teachers in P1 thru to P6 and alsi on kinder. Her current P6 English teacher is a well qualified and professional farang for English construction, spelling, real conversation, etc.

 

Plus at her school the kids have English taught by a Thai teacher. The Thai teacher can speak some English, she listens to the Farang teaching and is supposed to take notes and copy the same lesson later the same day repeating / explaining everything in Thai language.

 

Granddaughter tells tell us again and again that the Thai teacher continuously tells the class that the farang is wrong and is crazy and his salary is a waste of money. 

 

The kids have to try to remember to say things as taught by the professional farang teacher when they speak to him, and say it in a different construction (which they all know is incorrect) if they are talking in English (which is not often at all) to the Thai teacher. 

 

And they have to remember all of the above when they have mid-term and end of term Exams; one for farang taught English and a separate exam for Thai taught English.

 

A few Thai parents (who speak very good English) have complained about all of this direct to the school head, they always get told in no uncertain terms that they are wrong.

 

Truth is that some of the overall time could be used to much better advantage.

 

A long way to go. 

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31 minutes ago, Johnniey said:

Obviously not a native English speaker.

Of course not, but I also don't claim to be a teacher nor wonder why the english being taught here is terrible.

 

My GF is supposedly an english major as well as an english teacher and although I can communicate with her, she makes tons of small mistakes and seemingly never learns from them either after having corrected it oh so many times already. On the other hand when she is creating a test, painfully easy as it may be, she usually gets it right for the most part. I'd reckon she'd fail to pass an exam to be an english teacher somewhere in the west, be it as second language or not. Personally, I don't believe she has enough knowledge nor confidence to be an english teacher at her current state.

 

There is a distict difference, not even a "very fine line" whatsoever, between the usual thai-english bashing and meanwhile being able to talk jack shit thai myself and being able to objectively criticize a failed education with all the nuances that come along with it. Don't expect somebody without a proper education to give proper lectures. Nobody is claiming you need to be perfect, but there should be some kind of quality standard that needs to be achieved before you get to be a teacher and that simply isn't the case here for english.

 

Whenever I read these "news" all I can do is smile and mai pen rai it, we all know what's, eh, not going to change no matter how many times it will be brought up. Most of us can see many problems without looking, given that we are outsiders and aren't exactly blinded/normalized to some stuff here, likewise we won't be able to spot all the problems as we are not understanding the whole picture and beyond that, what will you do about it? Nothing? Exactly right.

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This whole thing is too funny. This is what happens when non fluent Thai's try to teach English. To teach the language properly the teacher must be fluent in both a native and a adaptive language to bridge transliteration problems.

Although i did have a bit of a laugh at what was supposed to be a few corrective versions

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