Pictures from Paradise TEFL Koh Phangan Island in Thailand

TEFL course Thailand 4 Skills when Thai children learn English.

Learn English Koh Phangan Thailand, Listening.

Listening is the language skill which learners usually find the most difficult. It's often because they feel under unnecessary pressure to understand every word. To achieve the aims related to this skill, the teacher plays an important role.

1. It's important to help learners to prepare for the listening task well before they hear the text itself. First of all the teacher must ensure that the pupils understand the language they need to complete the task. Students should be fully aware of what you expect from them. Reassure them that they do not need to understand every word they hear.

2. The next important step is to encourage learners to anticipate what they're going to hear. In everyday life, the situation, the speaker, and visual clues all help us to decode oral messages. A way to make things a bit easier for the learners is to present the listening activity within the context of the topic of a teaching unit.

This in itself will help language students to predict what the answers might be. The teacher can help them further by asking questions and using the illustrations. Thus, prompt them to guess the answers from the pictures you use.

3. When we listen and learn English, learners should be able to concentrate on understanding the message. So make sure they are not trying to read, draw, and write at the same time. Always give a second chance to listen to the English text to provide those who were not able to grasp the meaning first time around.

4. Finally, when they have completed the activity, invite answers from the whole class. Don't put individual's under pressure. Confirm whether an answer is correct. Play the CD or video again and allow them to listen again, for confirmation.

You may have a variety of answers, in which case list them all on the board and play the text again, so that the class can listen and choose the correct one. Even if they all appear to have completed the task successfully, always encourage them to listen once more and check their answers for themselves.

Learn English Koh Phangan Thailand Speaking.

We have many speaking activities we use in primary school to learn English in Thailand.

In the classroom two main types of speaking activities occur. The first type, songs, rhymes and poems. These encourage pupils to mimic what they hear. This helps pupils to learn the sounds, rhythms, and intonation of the English language, through simple reproduction.

The games and pair work activities on the other hand, although always based on a given model, encourage the pupils to begin to manipulate the language by presenting them with a certain amount of choice, albeit within a fairly controlled situation.

In Thailand schools, children are encouraged to express themselves in a more personal way. Feelings and action words are introduced.

Kids in Thailand need to learn that there is a real reason for asking a question or giving a piece of information. Therefore, make sure the activities you present to learners, provide a reason for speaking. Whether you play a game or to find out real information about friends in the class.

Once the activity begins, make sure that the children are speaking as much as possible without interfering to correct the mistakes that they will probably make.

Try to treat errors casually by simply repeating it correctly, without highlighting the errors. The language in Thailand is rather different, they do not use plurals, and adjectives follow the noun. Car red, sky blue, bus big!

Finally, always offer praise for effort, regardless of the accuracy of the English they learn and produce.
Learn English Koh Phangan Thailand, Reading.

In order to make reading an interesting challenge as opposed to a tedious chore, it's important that pupils don't labor over every word. Whether they're skimming what they read for general meaning or scanning to pick out specific words. Other things to keep in mind are as follows.

1. When choosing texts, consider not only their difficulty level, but also their interest or their humor. Thus, the children in Thailand will want to read for the same reasons they read in their own language. Entertainment and fun or to find out something they do not already know.

2. As with listening activities, it is important to spend time preparing for the lesson, by using picture flash cards. A useful tool in reading activities for kids. In Koh Phangan, Thailand, we personally use Janet and Jane books which have many pictures when we learn to read English.

Pupils' own knowledge about the subject matter, helps students to predict the general content of what they read. Discuss the subject and ask questions to elicit language and to stimulate their interest, before they begin reading. Make sure that they understand the key words. They will need these to complete the task before they begin to read.

3. While the children are reading the text, move around the class providing support if pupils need it. Where possible, encourage learners to work out the meaning of vocabulary as they come across it, using the context and supporting illustrations.

4. Encourage students to read texts aloud as a group. It's good to say 1,2,3, to gain their attention before reading each sentence. Children who learn English reading aloud, can often concentrate on what they are saying as opposed to what they're reading. The meaning is very often lost. Try to use drawings and actions to explain the meaning of any difficult words

Learn English Koh Phangan, Thailand, Writing.

In schools in Thailand, language students progress from writing isolated words and phrases, to short paragraphs about themselves or about very familiar topics. Family, home, hobbies, friends, food, etc.

Many kids at Primary school are not yet capable of creating a piece of written text from scratch. it's important that time is spent building up the language vocabulary they will need. Thus, providing a model on which they can then base their own efforts.

The writing activities should have plenty of pictures to guide them, using simple cues. These writing activities generally appear towards the end of a unit or lesson. Indeed, pupils will have had plenty of exposure to the subject you are teaching.

At this stage, their work will invariably contain mistakes. Again, the teacher should try to be sensitive in his/her correction. You do not need to pick up on every error. 

As a teacher try to avoid a piece of written work covered in red pen. This can be  counter-productive.

Encourage the children to put their little finger in between words when they learn to write. The Thai language does not have spaces in between words. The only time you get a space is at the end of a sentence. So the Thai children in Koh Phangan generally do not use spaces when writing English. So it's best to introduce this technique early. 

Where possible, prompt students to correct their own mistakes as they work. If there is time, encourage pupils to decorate their written work. It's good to show and display their efforts in the classroom, pin on the classroom walls.

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