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I see the problem..

Discussion in 'Staffroom' started by Tonyja, 17 Jan 2017.

  1. Tonyja

    Tonyja Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    This term started on the 4th but already they want my final exam draft by the 20th. That's a month before exams. So exams last week in February and I haven't seen my Monday classes yet... and i wont next week cos its scout 'camp'.
    4 periods this term then. Oh and there's listening and speaking tests.. and a worksheet.
    Not much planning for me then apart from finding 40 conversation questions relevant to the 3 units I won't be teaching this term.
    The majority of kids in government schools don't seem to learn much here. Even if they get 2 of of 40 in the exam they do a half exam and if they fail that they still get 50% anyway.
    And they know it.
     
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  2. DigitalGypsy

    DigitalGypsy Well-Known Member

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    lol - the land of illusions strikes again.

    My last school (a government school) just handed us grade books with all the headings in Thai and told us to fill them in. They offered no advice, help, direction or sympathy. Some of the classes I hadn't seen in months due to an incessant flow of nonsense 'activities' that took them elsewhere for weeks at a time. When it was explained to the authorities that no tests had occurred because we hadn't actually met the students yet, they just laughed and told us to make them up... true story.

    Also, whenever a student got a low score they would all line-up and then shuffle into the teachers office on their knees and grovel for an 'upgrade'....?! This would then be given a nod of approval and an upgrade ensued. You could buy your grade higher via a feigned apology and flattery....

    Even if English tests are given to students it's pointless anyway, without national standardization of tests how can there be a spectrum of ability to place one's self into? One school's test results are not measurable against the next. My current school receives an English test from the local education board about 5-6 times a year, but the score is then diluted with tests the individual teacher creates to get an average, again not an overall standardized measurement of ability. We are prompted to 'teach to the test' also, actually 'teach the test' verbatim in advance of test day

    In my opinion, without standardization of English assessment, curriculum/syllabus etc nationwide then Thailand is going nowhere as far as English language is concerned. Standardization would allow schools to assess where they actually stand, how teachers are actually performing, what approaches are working, and also allows a platform for collaboration among institutions. School rankings (at least in English) would then represent something meaningful, ideas could be shared, teachers could move around more easily due to the shared course and curriculum. A shared national conversation and collective effort could be a unifying project via English, Social Media could be harnessed where schools communicate or display their efforts in the cyber domain, web-based projects across multiple institutions could be possible and so on. Plenty of potential for such a pursuit, but no, the same old rigmarole and empty promises will continue...

    Replace English with another subject to get some clarity on how ridiculous the scenario is. Imagine hiring an engineering lecturer and telling them to make up the syllabus off the top of his head as they go along, and oblivious to any national or international standards too, while offering no standardized assessments to work from, and tell them to create tests as they see fit but not to fail students either, and if performance is not up to scratch then said lecturer will face consequences and be 'let go'. An utter disaster. Talk about a racket to nurture swindling and grade massaging.... the whole thing is a house of cards!
     
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2017
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  3. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    A really great post. Not sure if it's the Land of illusion or Confusion.......:agreed

    Cheers.-
     
  4. Tonyja

    Tonyja Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    They do have the national curriculum to work by. But that's just rubbish. "will be able to analyze and discuss..."
    alai-wa
     
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  5. DigitalGypsy

    DigitalGypsy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but the national curriculum is just a load of vague and nonsensical indicators that can be interpreted any which way one might please. Highfalutin fluff, essentially.

    What I was getting at was a prescribed syllabus for all, whereby every level was guided by set material, and each school would be at the same point as the next and completing the same examinations on the same dates. Synchronized English language learning, if you will. A measured and measurable approach to learning in place of the chaotic 'Brownian motion' approach that exists

    DG
     
  6. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    Phuath Kee, Khrap. :hilarious


    I urgently need a curriculum from P.1 - P.6. -EP. The promised one hasn't yet arrived.

    Does anybody have a curriculum for primary school including science and math?

    Would be more than fantastic. Never trust a friend that isn't a friend.
     
  7. Tonyja

    Tonyja Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Just download any of the government school type books they use. That pretty much covers everything. Or take something like lets go and write lesson plans for the whole thing. The easiest thing to do is just steal someone else's (why is else's an error?)
     
  8. Internationalteacher

    Internationalteacher Well-Known Member

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    ^Sounds pretty sad in regards to student learning.

    I worked in the public schools in Korea and I thought the books that the government issued were a joke. It was a cd where most of the time the students had to listen and repeat. The only good thing is that they gave me some leeway to veer from the book and that is when I saw some of them really shine and gain some confidence.
     
  9. sirchai

    sirchai Well-Known Member

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    A "good friend" has promised to give me the curriculum of a bigger school covering P. 4 - 6 as well.

    Unfortunately, are friends not always friends and the promised curriculum never made it to my inbox or door. I'd need the science, math and English books to do the upper primary grade curriculum.

    It's like "waiting for Godot."
     
  10. DigitalGypsy

    DigitalGypsy Well-Known Member

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    Hey TT,

    Is that a thing? As in are there official books available for download on a website or something - can you post a link if you know of one? If so, I never knew this and it just proves my point about the lack of structure and organization.


    Hi IT,

    Yeah pretty grim alright. My current school prescribes an Oxford set of books that covers the range of topics they require us to teach for the academic year. It's pretty good as a resource but I use it intermittently and adapt it, often following the topic range as an actual guide and using my own additional resources and input instead.

    DG
     
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  11. muppetminder

    muppetminder Active Member

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    My school has yet to announce so consider yourself lucky that your school has its shit together enough to give you the date regardless.

    I fully expect our finals will also be due the 20th. I will not be surprised if this term we are notified after Feb 3.

    Feb 20 my guesstimate. Not surprised if actually they make Friday before tests due 20th the due date -genius not giving us one final weekend despite the tests would be sitting on someone's desk until Monday anyway. Yeah, I'm not cynical, it's happened.
     
  12. Tonyja

    Tonyja Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    Just google the book title with pdf, that's how i found our matayom series here แผนการสอน Mega Goal - Sophonnawit Teacher
     
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  13. DigitalGypsy

    DigitalGypsy Well-Known Member

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    Cheers for the link, appreciated TT

    We don't have any books prescribed other than an Oxford Uni Press series, which is completely in English, and nobody ever mentioned any other options available to us. I took a look at some of those links on that site and was astounded at how much Thai was in some of the books... I would need a teacher to school me in how to use such a resource :smiling

    The school I work for expresses a dislike for any Thai language to be used in the classroom, they want complete immersion, and also demand American English too, which baffles me.. why not teach the nuances of both British and American English, it makes more sense in a globalized world (personally I have a preference for British English - the 'real' mother tongue, some of those American anomalies are just ridiculous... :aloof )

    DG
     
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  14. Tonyja

    Tonyja Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    For the student masses it's ridiculous to think that use of their native language won't be useful, in the very least give then something they can understand.
     
  15. DigitalGypsy

    DigitalGypsy Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure I'd agree with you there, for a self-learning book OK sure, but for a syllabus that a native-English speaker has to use to guide and direct a course? - nah, I wouldn't favor it.

    I teach Prathom level and get on fine without any Thai books, I use images, actions, and videos to help with understanding, and if a word is extremely tricky then I refer to a Thai dictionary, or a Thai teacher that often frequents my classes.

    Complex grammar on the other hand might be a different story, luckily there's not to much of that at my level.

    Regardless of any pedagogical aspects however, the books that I looked at on that site were as drab and boring as a funeral wake.... they really need to rethink their design if they want to captivate students and motivate them to learn a difficult second language. We live in the era of the 'hyperlinked society, awash with apps, hundreds of TV channels, vibrant and colorful social media, swathes of digital entertainment at the touch of a screen, and so on and so forth. To consider handing a young mind something as dull as that to compete with the digital din that surrounds them on a daily basis... no contest

    Not having a go at you mind, rather the people tasked with creating this stuff for the educational betterment of society. They should be shot at dawn without any remorse :guns

    DG
     

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