Not a bad suggestion at all.
On the course I did at Ban Phe I felt that was the strength of the course...seeing the local conditions... and they did warn us about TIT. What the course does not give is significant grounding in educational psychology, learning styles etc...but it is only 100 hours and that is why formal courses overseas are better if a Thai TEFLer wants to move on. When looking at the value of any course one has to consider the cost and what you got for it...Ban Phe gave me that in my opinion.Originally Posted by peelieorion
From what I've seen and heard this is the norm for Thai TEFL courses - the focus is strictly towards the Thai classroom.
Some of them (well, at least one I know) is merely a production line for government school teachers in Thailand - very little content other than how to get by in a Thai school.
Well, when I did the course there was such an info and Q/A session, run by Bruce himself. Very helpful.Originally Posted by peelieorion
Also, when I was back in the area looking for jobs, I was able to stop by the office and talk to Dave about job search pointers. I thought that was pretty cool for him to take time out of his busy schedule.
There was 24 folks on the course when I did it - as I recall, over half were currently teaching in other countries besides Thailand. I don't think the course content was specific to working in Thailand.
We were teaching in Thai schools weren't we?Originally Posted by champagne charlie
Fair enough. I guess its up to people to read the pitfalls on Ajarn and other places and pick their schools carefully.Originally Posted by champagne charlie
I've never been exactly sure what they do in Ban Phe.
My impression has been though that the focus is primarily for those intending to teach in private language schools, colleges, rajabats, etc. In other words, primarily adults.
Is that generally a correct assumption on my part.
In terms of teaching in the public school system and learning how to teach the fundamentals of phonics, reading and other essential primary and elementary teaching skills, including behaviour and classroom management skills, then TEFL International (as well as other organizations) are not really going to give you a hell of a lot in those areas.
Is that a pretty close assumption or am I way off base?
To lay my cards on the table here, I happen to believe that it is the lack of knowledge in teaching the skills that I have mentioned above, that really isn't doing education at the Primary and Matayon level in Thailand a hell of a lot of good.
So please correct me if I am incorrect in my assumptions about these TEFL training courses.
Agree with you Russ. EFL lacks one major component for Thailand. It does not take into account that so many students cannot read. I don't care what the stats say. thais are appaling readers of English because they are not taught phonics and not encouraged to read books. I have tested countless students at all level including international school with my scheme of books. Thais cannot read for meaning and so many get very little from their textbooks. EFL teaches a lot of grammar and conversation to students often who have the reading and understanding level of 6 years old.Originally Posted by russellsimpson
Of course EFL teaching is effective for motivated students, adults who want to learn but it for me it fails miserably at the earliest and probably the most important level. I meet students sitting their M6 test who don't know the 10 most common verbs in English in any tense. EFL teaches people to improve and refine their English but when so many cannot write 200 words, read to a 6 year old level and speak single word answers these are the areas that need development. I am trying to write an entire scheme at the moment to fill this gap. Kids who read can absorb English on their own and learn at an incredible rate. For me if people can't use thai in the class to check their students actually understand then its virtually impossible to access how much or how little is actually being understood.
That's kinda what I thought P.Of course EFL teaching is effective for motivated students, adults who want to learn but it for me it fails miserably at the earliest and probably the most important level.
I can see where the TEFL material is going to be more effective with motovated adults. But hell, by time they get to adulthood, much of the damage in terms of learning to use English properly is lost.
So what organizations (traning centres) in Thailand prepare teachers specifically for the Pratom and Matayom levels, basically phonics, reading, basic writing skills, very basic grammar. Essentially the fundamentals. Are there any or are all the training courses geared towards adults.
And that my friend is as very BIG problem indeed.Agree with you Russ. EFL lacks one major component for Thailand. It does not take into account that so many students cannot read
BY the way, good luck with your new projects.
When I go to LOS, maybe I'll take this course.
4 weeks did you say? That's darn near a month.
but, it will be awhile, cause I need a lot of schooling.
I used to sit and drink coffee across the street and watch the newbies load in the truck to go do their teaching. It was funny how nervous some of them looked.
Miles and miles to go before I sleep...
It is designed to give a non-teacher an intoduction into the classroom and some very basic techniques on TEFL teaching,as well as grammar.Originally Posted by russellsimpson
The course is very intense and I think there are about 10 lessons that each student has to write and present him/herself with a debrief later. The sessions on grammar are useful unless you are an English major, which most of us are not.
It does what it claims to do in my opinion. Somebody claimed not to have used any of the techniques later. I have used a few grammar games they taught but have not used most of it because my classroom context is different.
Students may be hyper critical because they expect to come out qualified teachers. Superman couldn't do that in 4 weeks...teaching or learning. The lessons of educational psychology... and adolescent psychology need a long time to sink in. I question whether even the one year teaching diplomas in the UK, Aus and NZ do them justice.
A newbie with no teaching experience needs a good TEFL course. A budding secondary school teacher needs much more.
Its sounds like TEFL achieves all it sets out to do amd the style pf teaching seems to fit in with how Thailand wants to develop, The problem seems to me that there is no Thai plan for teaching Pratom. Kids inb the west have tyextbooks in high school but do not have them when they're six. It seems to me that textbooks in pratom are just used as profit making because certaibnly at P1-P4 its about fill in the blanks and if you can't copy each other. Its also about finding the one kid with a great memory and entering them in as many memorising contests as you can. Most kids here have had 4-6 years of studying a weird nonense subject they cannot use, hear or read. Its not suprising then that so many give up.
Yes, TEFL fills a niche. Not for the mainstream of private or public education, but still a niche.
Different models in Korea, Japan and Taiwan where TEFL has never taken a foothold.
I'm getting the impression that learning English ain't a really big priority here, exccept amoung the wealthy Chinese-Thais.
They may have a point.
What's the point of someone studying English for twelve years to cut rubber treees or drive a songtaew un rural Thailand. System need a good renewal. I doubt that English should be anything other than an elective here, at all levels.
Originally Posted by kiwiling
The fact that so many prathom and mattayom schools don't know what they are doing isn't really the fault of 120 hour TEFL training courses.
Dave certainly had time for endless "hilarious" anecdotes of his time teaching in Japan. But answering questions from students is beneath him? For all Dave's student centered proactive paradigm" jargon he conducted the training using Thai-like rote methods e.g copying his lesson plan out word for word for every single lesson taught. Even if the lessons had completely different structures, topics and contents; four weeks of learing Dave's "lesson in a can". A complete waste of time and money.Originally Posted by Bruce
Last edited by Nelson; 4th September 2007 at 21:34.