My Experiences Teaching English Abroad in Thailand
My Experiences Teaching in Thailand, 2014
By Ricky Reece,
our TEXT-AND-TALK Academy TEFL Course graduate,
experienced Thailand English teacher,
and currently VFW Commander
at Bangkok Post 9951
My Experiences Teaching in Thailand
When I decided finally to move to Thailand, I started researching the job market. In doing this, I realized that there are actually not very many jobs available for foreigners here unless you have specific skill sets. This led me to decide to teach English. In doing this, I realized that although I held a degree already, I would still need to earn a TEFL or TESOL certificate qualification, as while passing that course is likewise required in order to gain employment, it is also exceedingly necessary to do if one is to achieve good results in teaching the delightful,but non-English speaking, Thais.
Even before, but not long before, completing my TEFL training at TEXT-AND-TALK Academy, I was lucky enough to have a job already lined up at a very famous school here in Bangkok, namely Assumption Commercial College. My instructor at TEXT-AND-TALK also guided me through the proper steps I needed to take in order to secure this position.
In the three years of teaching at ACC I have been able to teach a whole range of students from beginners to upper intermediate levels. This can present problems when trying to set up lesson plans, as you have to be careful not to bore the more advanced students, and yet not confuse the less advanced ones. Not every class is the same, of course, so you will need to access each class to find what works for both you and them, in order to get the best results from all of your students.
Thais are also shy when speaking English, especially in front of the class. You must, therefore, do warm-up activities to get the entire class involved. This helps ‘break the ice’, so to speak, and helps to loosen up the students. Games also can be incorporated into the lesson using the target language to lighten the mood. Thais love games!
As all students are different, so is each school. So you need to make sure to do your research on the school you are applying for, to make sure it’s what you want and need, as not all schools provide visas and work permits and the pay is also quite different from school to school and area to area. Do your research!
Teaching in Thailand has its ups and downs. It can be very rewarding when the students who apply themselves show progress and seek you out to clarify their studies or ask your advice.
Some of the downsides are limited freedom on what you can teach, Thai grading curves, and a lack of discipline by some students.
Nonetheless, never in a million years would I have thought I would find myself teaching in a Thai high school, but all in all it has been a wonderful experience that I would not trade for anything.