The Thai Ministry for Education plan on rolling out a train the trainer style scheme set on improving the English teaching skills of Government school teachers in a bid to cut back on the costs of hiring foreign teachers, according to the Bangkok Post this morning.
Don’t panic though, my ever hopeful one-day TEFL dreamers… the scheme has to a) happen and b) actually work.
A stand out quote from the article for me was;
…. the ministry recently conducted a survey of the capability of Thai English-language teachers across the country and found more than 43,000 Thai English language teachers in public schools, but only six of them have been found to have the ability to achieve native-like fluency in English.
… and a six week training scheme is going to sort out the other 42,994 people?
The Thai teaching style is worlds apart from more progressive, Western countries and it does not lend itself well to the EFL classroom. Not only will the English language abilities of the teachers need to be brought up to near-native fluency, but their whole teaching philosophy will also need to be updated and transformed. In six short weeks.
I think it’s great that the Ministry for Education want to make improvements to their home grown teachers, and I do agree that relying on importing foreign teachers at a higher cost is not a long term goal. I just don’t know if this scheme is going to be the magic solution that they claim it is.