There are many teaching problems arising from the discrepancies of the two languages: sound, word, grammar, text and cultural notions.( Tipa Thep-Ackrapon,2005)
will notice immediately some boundaries when teaching english
to a class of thai
students: firstly, students will have difficulties in communicating as their listening and speaking skills have not been adequately developed, and secondly, students will be resistant when it comes to express their feelings and opinions and they have pronunciation and grammar difficulties.
Although grammar is studied in depth, thai
generally use thai
as the medium for teaching and this can lead to having only five minutes of speaking in english
during a lesson. As a consequence, students are not able to fully develop their speaking and listening skills.
students are not encouraged to question or criticise teachers
, and as a result, lesson content generally goes unquestioned and unchallenged.
students are also very worried about making mistakes in front of the class as mistakes are culturally considered a loss of face. tefl teachers
need to work hard to break down this barrier and make students more comfortable with the idea of error correction as a learning process and not something to be ashamed of.
Pronunciation is another problem for thai
learner as english
has some sounds which do not exist in their native language. “thai
final stop sounds are all unvoiced”. (Tipa Thep-Ackrapon, 2005) whilst in english
many words finish with consonant which consequently thai
students have difficulties to pronounce.
language also does not have many consonant that follow each other, so it becomes problematic to pronounce words comprising two or more consonants. Even more obvious will be the struggle students have with particular sounds, such as r and l, sh and ch; if the difference between these sounds cannot be perceived, the listener will have difficulty understanding what has been said.
there are affixes and suffixes which can change the meaning of a word and create and new word, but in “In thai
, polysyllabic words are usually borrowed from Sanskrit, Pali or cambodian
because most thai
words are monosyllabic. Some new words are derived from compound nouns or compound verbs” (Tipa Thep-Ackrapon, 2005). This further language difference creates more impediments for thai
Students, but an even bigger obstacle is the grammar.
Like most of South Asian languages, “thai
grammar are very different in a number of areas such as subject use, tense and aspect, inflections and word order”(Baker,2003). An example is that thai
hardly changes the tenses of the verbs, and they generally understand the tense by the context of the sentence as well as thai
do not need to specify the subject so they easily forget to mention it when speaking in english
Furthermore, students who live away from the big and tourist cities are not motivated to learn english
because they do not have possibilities to practice it and they cannot see the benefit of learning a new language.
Nevertheless, in the past decade the thai
government has recognised the importance of learning english
and some steps forward have been made. The curriculum has been revised, international programs have been introduced, and more native speakers are enrolled but the effects are still to be realised. For example it has been noted that “thai
graduates who are in the tourism industry have a poor command of english
.”( Arunee Wiriyachitr).
Although there are many difficulties for students and western teachers
, this is offset by the enthusiasm and respectfulness of thai
students. As a consequence, teaching english
is very challenging but extremely rewarding.
Tipa Thep-Ackrapon (2548-2005)”Teaching english
: an Huphill battle “ http://ejournals.swu.ac.th/index.php/hm/article/viewFile/632/632
Will Baker (2003) “Should culture be an overt component of efl
instruction outside of english
speaking countries? The thai
Arunee Wiriyachitr, english
Language Teaching and Learning in thailand
in this Decade