Some of my Matiome Two students…
I thought I would do something different today. I received some amazing comments from my last post (The Solution to the Stick) and I thought I would take some time to answer a question left by Lise. Her question was as follows:
“Hi Jarrett, I am in the process of reading your book now. It was recommended to me by a friend on Goodreads. Hopefully you will get quite a few reviews there too so even more people will get to know your work. I am a teacher who specializes in Norwegian as a second language and multicultural pedagogic. I look forward to reading more about you teaching English as a foreign language in an all Thai school. Was there an awful lot of red tape to actually be let to teach In Thailand? Do you make your teaching material yourself? Does The school have enough recources to provide the children with decent teaching materials/ books for their English classes? Do you still have to do monthly visa runs?”
- Was there an awful lot of red tape to actually let you teach in Thailand?: No, I received a phone call, showed up, and there you go.
- Do you make your teaching material yourself? Yes. 75% of the children have textbooks. My Prathome 1-6 (elementary/middle school) children have curriculum entitled Express English and my Matiome students use the Cambridge English curriculum called Messages. While most students have these textbooks, there are several issues that make them fairly useless, especially for the Matiome students: mainly none of my kids speak English, regardless of grade level. The Cambridge text books are exclusively in English and concern themselves on reading and verb tense. None of my kids, regardless of age level are prepared for that. My students can say “my name is” and “how are you”, and “I’m fine”: nothing more, and sometimes less. Even when they are speaking, it’s not genuine interaction, it’s more pattern recognition from something that has been drilled into them. My first week at school I realized that the curriculum was woefully inept at helping these students as they 1)don’t possess the vocabulary necessary for basic interaction 2)donn’t have a concept of a basic sentence with a subject, verb, and object and are unable to communicate 3)don’t have a clue what they were saying when they were speaking in English. I am making my own curriculum that essentially starts at the basics for everyone across the board.
- Does the school have enough resources to provide the children? That would most likely depend on what you mean by enough resources. There is a building with classrooms. There is very little multimedia interaction only one tv and an archaic computer room. All of the students have notebooks, pens, and pencils, and some of text books. I have access to the internet at the school and can print anything I want off of the internet for the students. I often use www.englishforeveryone.org and www.englishbanana.com for resources. They have a Xerox machine that I use to make copy for the kids. They guard the paper as if it made of gold, but so far everyone likes me, and they let me have whatever I want.
- Do you still have to do monthly visa runs? No. Rajabhat University provided me with a Non-Immigrant B visa. I’m told they are hard to get, but it will allow me to stay in Thailand for a year. I will still have to go on visa runs with my family every three months, but not for myself.
Lise, thanks for your questions. I hope that answers some of it.
PS: I had to google pedagogic
What every morning starts off like for me and the kids
Until next time,