Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Community

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Bristolian
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Re: Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Communit

Post by Bristolian » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am

Name Taken wrote:whereas in Thailand most Thais are ashamed to speak English and think speaking English is a big 'loss of face'.
In my experience I haven’t come across the loss of face issue. Many Thais are embarrassed by their lack of English ability even after taking English lessons at school and do not feel confident to speak but often understand a reasonable amount of basic English.

I frequently take taxis in BKK and often the driver will ask me, in Thai, where I come from and the moment I say England they are usually pleased to practice whatever English they know and of course talk about their favourite Premeier League team (usually Man U)
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Re: Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Communit

Post by Spitfire » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:34 am

dtaai-maai wrote:Not sure about HH School, but in my experience, if Thai educational establishments put half as much effort into improving English skills as they do for events like this, they'd all be fluent by now.
I agree with this too. I get 1st year university students that look at me as if I'm from outer space when I mention the present simple/present continuous tenses in unit one of their course book and I think to myself "You lot have been supposedly learning English for 12 years in school and I've lost you already....WTF!"
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Re: Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Communit

Post by Big Boy » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:35 am

Name Taken wrote:In Cambodia most of the Cambodians are more than willing and happy to speak English whereas in Thailand most Thais are ashamed to speak English and think speaking English is a big 'loss of face'.
OK, I'll bow to your experience, but I've usually found that most Thais try really hard to communicate with me in English when they realise how bad my Thai is.

As an example, I've recently been travelling to watch Hua Hin City in other towns. My travelling companions, realising that my Thai is poor, have struggled, but have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome, and converse as best they can with me.
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Re: Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Communit

Post by Big Boy » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:36 am

Spitfire wrote:when I mention the present simple/present continuous tenses in unit one of their course book and I think to myself "You lot have been supposedly learning English for 12 years in school and I've lost you already....WTF!"
:laugh: you've just lost me as well :oops:
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Re: Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Communit

Post by Pleng » Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:12 am

Name Taken wrote:in Thailand most Thais are ashamed to speak English and think speaking English is a big 'loss of face'.
??? I have never experienced anything of the sort. Every Thai I have met wants to be able to speak English. They may not all want to put the time or effort involved into learning the language, but they all seem to wish they could.

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Re: Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Communit

Post by oakdale160 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:23 pm

One day my PA at the time, a Thai lady whose English was excellent said to me. 'Can you help me, I struggle with the 'Past conditional tense" I seized up, but in the end was able to help.
An example is ' if I had been there yesterday, I would have done----" she struggled withthe had and have. I explained, the 'had' put you in the past, but then you use the present tense, 'have' ---not easy.
English grammar, although not as tough as German, is really difficult to learn as a second language.

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Re: Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Communit

Post by dtaai-maai » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:03 pm

Pleng wrote:
Name Taken wrote:in Thailand most Thais are ashamed to speak English and think speaking English is a big 'loss of face'.
??? I have never experienced anything of the sort. Every Thai I have met wants to be able to speak English. They may not all want to put the time or effort involved into learning the language, but they all seem to wish they could.
I agree with Pleng.

I think there's a lot of dubious theories tossed around about 'face'. I'm not disputing its existence, but we tend to forget that 'face' plays a part in western culture as well. Apparently you lose face if you lose your rag and yell at people in Thailand. Well, IMO the same applies in the UK, it's just that some people in the UK don't appear to mind looking like twats. Face is really about being polite and not making others look stupid. It's just taken a step or two further here.

The face problems I encounter at uni level are in class and in staff meetings.
In class, students are either reluctant to display their ability for fear of looking like a smart alec or are reluctant to speak English at all for fear of looking stupid. Bizarrely, once the class is over, they all (well okay, some of them) suddenly want to speak to me in English!
In staff meetings, most Thai staff simply do not speak. There is an agenda, but the items aren't really up for discussion, they're actually 'faits accomplis' and the meeting is simply an opportunity to pass on the info.

I don't think Thais are in any way ashamed to speak English: most are just not given the right education, and those that are seem to believe that they'll wake up one morning speaking fluent English without doing any work...
Last edited by dtaai-maai on Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Communit

Post by oakdale160 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:51 pm

D-m, another essential difference is memory and retention of embarrassment. In the west it is regarded as petty, childish and sad to hold a grudge. Here it is standard.

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Re: Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Community

Post by oakdale160 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:34 pm

I have had frustrating morning in MV at TRUE and a Computer store. In neither place did anybody speak any English at all. I cant help but compare that with the bar girls. They have for the most part been given a very poor education and little English instruction but many have excellent English skills, while the Univ grads at MV have next to none.
I guess its a matter of personal economic gain. The bar girls income depends on the ability to communicate with farang, the shop girl is not rewarded for this skill.
I'm working on a job-swap plan!!

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Re: Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Community

Post by Pleng » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:00 pm

Do you need a university degree to work at TRUE??

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Re: Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Community

Post by oakdale160 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:24 pm

I cant be sure, but I am surprised the jobs that do ask fora degree as they are ten-a-penny

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Re: Development Of English Skills Towards The ASEAN Community

Post by StevePIraq » Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:12 pm

I was up in Roi Et last month and was amazed to see promotional signs all over trying to get people into classes to learn English, I was told it was all to do with joining ASEAN and Roi Et want to be a key city. Definitely will not happen in HH
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