Problems for learners in ThailandThere are many teaching problems arising from the discrepancies of the two languages: sound, word, grammar, text and cultural notions.( Tipa Thep-Ackrapon,2005)
will notice immediately some boundaries when teaching English to a class of thai students
: firstly, students
will have difficulties in communicating as their listening and speaking skills have not been adequately developed, and secondly, students
will be resistant when it comes to express their feelings and opinions and they have pronunciation and grammar difficulties.
Although grammar is studied in depth, thai
school teachers generally use thai
as the medium for teaching and this can lead to having only five minutes of speaking in English during a lesson. As a consequence, students
are not able to fully develop their speaking and listening skills.
Culturally thai students
are not encouraged to question or criticise teachers, and as a result, lesson content generally goes unquestioned and unchallenged.
are also very worried about making mistakes in front of the class as mistakes are culturally considered a loss of face. tefl teachers
need to work hard to break down this barrier and make students
more comfortable with the idea of error correction as a learning process and not something to be ashamed of.
Pronunciation is another problem for thai
learner as English has some sounds which do not exist in their native language. ?thai
final stop sounds are all unvoiced?. (Tipa Thep-Ackrapon, 2005) whilst in English many words finish with consonant which consequently thai students
have difficulties to pronounce.
language also does not have many consonant that follow each other, so it becomes problematic to pronounce words comprising two or more consonants. Even more obvious will be the struggle students
have with particular sounds, such as r and l, sh and ch; if the difference between these sounds cannot be perceived, the listener will have difficulty understanding what has been said.
In English there are affixes and suffixes which can change the meaning of a word and create and new word, but in ?In thai
, polysyllabic words are usually borrowed from Sanskrit, Pali or Cambodian because most thai
words are monosyllabic. Some new words are derived from compound nouns or compound verbs? (Tipa Thep-Ackrapon, 2005). This further language difference creates more impediments for thai students
, but an even bigger obstacle is the grammar.
Like most of South Asian languages, ?thai
and English grammar are very different in a number of areas such as subject use, tense and aspect, inflections and word order?(Baker,2003). An example is that thai
hardly changes the tenses of the verbs, and they generally understand the tense by the context of the sentence as well as thai
do not need to specify the subject so they easily forget to mention it when speaking in English.
who live away from the big and tourist cities are not motivated to learn English because they do not have possibilities to practice it and they cannot see the benefit of learning a new language.
Nevertheless, in the past decade the thai
government has recognised the importance of learning English and some steps forward have been made. The curriculum has been revised, international programs have been introduced, and more native speakers
are enrolled but the effects are still to be realised. For example it has been noted that ?thai graduates
who are in the tourism industry have a poor command of English.?( Arunee Wiriyachitr).
Although there are many difficulties for students
and western teachers, this is offset by the enthusiasm and respectfulness of thai students
. As a consequence, teaching english in thailand
is very challenging but extremely rewarding.