British Council helps train Thai English-language teachers

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PeteC
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British Council helps train Thai English-language teachers

Post by PeteC » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:16 pm

British Council helps train Thai English-language teachers
Published: 28/09/2018 at 02:11 PM
Online news: https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... recent_box

(Chart at link)

British Council and the Thai Education Ministry have joined hands to modernise the teaching methods of 17,000 English-language teachers in the kingdom, moving from the “grammar-vocabulary” memorisation system to focus on communication.

The UK cultural and education international body’s Regional English Training Centres (RETC) project aims to improve the skills of teachers at primary and secondary schools across Thailand.

Some 75% of English teachers in Thailand are ranked at the A2 elementary level in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), representing an IELTS score of 3.5 to 4, according to the statement issued by British Council on Friday.

The RETC Boot Camp project was first introduced in 2015 to improve overall English teaching proficiency. After two and a half years, 15,300 English teachers, or 90%, have improved their confidence in teaching English and using it in classrooms.

Additionally, more than 30 potential teachers have been intensively trained to become Thai master trainers (TMTs). They work with the British Council’s trainers to extend mentoring and transfer knowledge to teachers and school directors, as well as creating academic networking opportunities with regional supervisors to improve follow-up sessions.

As the next step, an assessment and evaluation system is to be considered to assist in the adaptation toward the communicative approach.

Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin said the development of Thai students’ English skills is crucial and needs serious improvement.

A teacher tries a new teaching method.

Each Thai student studies English for at least 12 years at primary and secondary school, but most are unable to communicate in English which is the main obstacle to global competition, he said.

Two main challenges that need to be addressed are Thai teachers’ English skills and their teaching approach.

“By focusing on language accuracy and the memorisation method rather than the communicative approach, most Thai students cannot communicate effectively in English,” he said.

Many Thai students also have a poor attitude towards English classes.

Andrew Glass, director of British Council Thailand, said since the start of the project, 15 RETCs have been established and that 17,000 out of 40,000 of Thailand’s English teachers have been trained and mentored in the communicative approach.

Additionally, more than 30 teachers have been intensively trained to become TMTs. They work with British Council trainers to mentor and transfer knowledge to teachers and school directors, creating academic networking opportunities with regional supervisors to improve their follow-up sessions.

After completing the project, the research clearly indicates that 90% or 15,300 English teachers have more confidence in teaching English in the communicative approach and more confidence in using English in their classrooms.

Moreover, 72 of English teachers improved their lesson planning and were able to give clearer instructions, while 94 per cent improved their lesson management. In addition, 93% of English teachers have improved their English subject knowledge.

Sutthiwat Sutthiprapa, one of the Thai master trainers and a full-time English teacher at Khor Wittayakom in Nakhon Phanom Province, said all the knowledge he gained from the RETC project can be applied in his English classes.

“It significantly changes the atmosphere of the classroom and the students’ attitude towards English.

"Students are eager to attend the class and make every effort to participate in class activities. I believe that if every English teacher in Thailand exploits the RETC concept, Thai students’ English ability will increase considerably," he said.
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Re: British Council helps train Thai English-language teachers

Post by dtaai-maai » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:57 pm

Hmmm, time will tell, but I can't help feeling that there's an awful lot of 'gloss' in this article. Forgive my scepticism.
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Re: British Council helps train Thai English-language teachers

Post by HHTel » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:10 pm

The RETC Boot Camp project was first introduced in 2015 to improve overall English teaching proficiency. After two and a half years, 15,300 English teachers, or 90%, have improved their confidence in teaching English and using it in classrooms.
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Re: British Council helps train Thai English-language teachers

Post by handdrummer » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:36 pm

Something is working because several times in Bluport when I was searching for something a student would come up to me and ask if they could help. Their English was clear, idiomatic and we had a conversation.

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