Ministry aims to cut foreign English tutors


The Education Ministry plans to recruit its first batch of 500 Thai teachers who teach English in state-run schools nationwide to undergo a “train-the-trainer” programme in a bid to reduce the cost of hiring foreign English teachers. Read more, Bangkok Post …

According to the Bangkok Post report, Deputy Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin said that we could not rely on foreign English teachers to improve our English learning forever.

The situation is that even cash-strapped schools that could not afford to hire native English speakers were hiring Pakistanis and Filipinos.

According to Mr Teerakiat, the country needed to stand on its own and use foreign English teachers only when necessary, the report said.


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  1. At least the Ministry is trying out a new idea to solve the low level of English communication skills here.

    It will be a daunting task though.

    In the Bangkok Post article it was mentioned that the Ministry recently surveyed 43,000 Thai English language teachers in public schools, but only six of them were found to have the ability to achieve native-like fluency in English.

    I doubt that more qualified English speaking Thais currently not working as teachers could be persuaded to apply as teachers considering the salaries of teachers are not that attractive.

    The first batch of 500 teachers will undergo a six-week intensive program from the British Council’s English specialists who have experience in English-language teaching management on a global scale.

    SIX WEEKS training, in my opinion, is too ambitious an expectation to produce ‘native-like fluency in English’ if they didn’t have it already before the training.

  2. There are only five major native-English speaking countries in the world — the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and a few other native-English countries with very distinct accents, which many nationals of the five-mentioned countries could barely understand.

    There are 1.5 billion people in the world that speak English either as their first, second or third language, according to David Crystal, author of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language.

    We can say the five countries mentioned earlier should account for the 500 million, and the remaining over one billion speakers come from India, Sweden, the Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, etc.

    Had the Philippines overly emphasized to copy the accent of native English speakers, only the sons and daughters of the very rich will be speaking English today — because they are the only ones who can hire native English speaking nannies.

    The fact is, and this fact is well known to educators even in Thailand, if a person still speaks with an accent at around the age of 12, their English will forever carry the accent of their native language, except for some miraculous exceptions.

    The English language has been owned by the world and not by a few countries for decades now.

    Native English speakers had better learn to comprehend Chinese English, Malay English, Thai English, Philippine English, etc if they want to continue doing business with the world.

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