Discussion in 'Staffroom' started by Tonyja, 17 Jan 2017.
What about Scottish? It's sex o' clock//
Why shot? What about Bungee jumping without a rope? It's pretty much common here.
An interesting debate.
But DG surely the books should be designed for the students, not the convenience of the foreign teachers? If you are fazed by the simple Thai in those Prathom books, imagine how the students feel when they are confronted by an Oxford book with no Thai (and I assume your more interested students might want to use the books at home for self-study.)
The old days of banning L1 seem to be over, or at least very significantly challenged by current trends in TESOL research.
I agree that a limited use of Thai is helpful and relaxes students too, but it's not necessary overall in my opinion. As for studying those books at home: I can't see many Thais going home to "lead the book" as they say , they barely make it to school in the first place.
Sure, a dedicated language learner may get some good use out of those books, but that still does not excuse the terrible design of those books, or at least the one I looked at. Pages and pages of text with no images, color, or anything aesthetically pleasing. It's the analogue equivalent of looking at a webpage in the 1990s... a veritable yawnfest. A boring layout minus any visual stimulation certainly doesn't fit in with the 'sanuk maak' requirements of the local intelligentsia... Think about the diverse streams of media that hit a child's mind throughout the waking day, now place a bland page of plain text in that and watch the eyes glaze over. We want to encourage them to learn, not render them comatose!
As for using the local language to aid in teaching English:
Think about the int schools / language institutions in major cities around the world that cater for language learners. They have a very diverse culture in terms of student nationalities, and it would be impossible for the language instructor to gather all the necessary vocab and material in the student native tongue. They get by just fine tho
The context of this thread is mono-linguistic mono-cultural classes in Thai primary schools, not multi-linguistic multi-cultural adult classes in another country.
I am not attempting to defend the poor design of many locally produced books.
At the same time a lot of the cultural references in Oxford and similar books is truly cringeworthy when applied in the Thai classroom. I know, as I use them as well as local books.
And thanks for the link TT, there's a series there that I've been trying to get hold of to evaluate for quite a while.
That is where EAL teachers come in handy. There is usually an EAL teacher per grade level that pulls small groups of students out based on their level of English ability. I create a lot of my own materials and do not use any student books. I have to vary my lessons based on the students' abilities. There is also a lot of differentiation going on even in the same level because some are higher in speaking English and low in writing and vice versa. We use a Canadian curriculum as well as the IB. The EAL teacher aids what the homeroom teacher is doing, but breaks it down so that they can understand the vocabulary.
I'm talking about the masses in high school. My Thai is pretty fluent and the time saved, effectiveness of my lessons and student participation are 10 fold better than before. I'm seriously thinking of making a series of video lessons on youtube in Thai with taught vocab etc in English.
TT, did you say you come from Glasgow? What do your students think about your accent - for English and Thai?
No I'm from Stratford-upon-Avon, I don't have an accent. And my students don't think anyway, they just listen and repeat and do worksheets.
Some of the classes are quite hardcore where pretty much 80% don't understand English
The 80 % is quite shocking but so true.
It's a real dilemma and even schools with a very good reputation have a similar problem.
Grade 12 students don't speak any English but have good grades, depending on who their daddy is.
An Immersion English camp on one weekend then gave them the needed knowledge after some dumb foreigners gave them the wrong grades.
I gotta stop writing now because I don't want to lose any face.
The EP kids here are the only ones who get any quality teaching. The majority are seemingly not important. My M3 have got their finals on the 22nd of feb and I havn't seen 3 of the classes this term. "Just make sure you've got the marks"
That's all that matters.
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