Phuket district official plans to step up English teaching

Even though Thailand’s English proficiency ranked 100th out of 112 countries last year, one district official in Phuket isn’t giving up on teaching the language. Kathu district chief in Phuket, Siwat Wangkun, says he has looked beyond the walls of schools in the district to teach English, as some school staff lack English teaching skills.

Groups Siwat has turned to for help include local government agencies, foundations, associations and contractors who are qualified and proficient in English and who can help schools. Siwat said the Mayor of Patong Municipality and the Chairman of Kamala Sub-district Administrative Organization support him.

From now on, a meeting of all the partners supporting the project is scheduled for June 2 at the Ban Mai Reap school in Kathu. Siwat said the media and all groups interested in the English Education Improvement Project are welcome.

Siwat’s move follows a recent announcement by Phuket Governor Narong. Narong said it is important for children to understand English better so that they can have more job opportunities in the future, especially in tourism.

Thailand’s poor ranking in the English language has been a subject of discussion for many years. Critics of Thailand’s education system say it is outdated because it focuses on rote learning methods, which basically means memorizing facts and figures, rather than applying them.

Focusing on language accuracy rather than just trying to converse in English has been cited as another obstacle in the country’s population to advancing their English skills. Critics of the education system claim that these 2 factors are the most important in preventing the average adult from being able to converse effectively in English.

THE SOURCE: Phuket News

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