As one of the most used languages globally, English has become an essential part of academic assignments almost everywhere.
Thai students learn it for twelve years in primary and secondary schools. But the results are not impressive and relatively low. Based on the English Proficiency Index, Thailand takes 74th place out of 100, which shows very low competence. The research was taking into account about 2.3 million students who have passed English language tests by EF education.
The results show that English skills are improving among teens. Despite the overall stagnation level in Asia, Indian and Vietnamese students have improved their English skills. Regarding Thailand, there was a 10 points drop comparing to 2018.
Even though the economy of the country is mostly based on tourism, the English level of Thai is questionable. What factors exactly influence such bad statistics, and why? Let’s discover!
Outdated Learning Approaches
Even though English language learning takes years in Thai schools, the level of efficiency is relatively low. If you wonder why, here are a few most significant reasons.
Formal Teaching Resources
Thai students are more likely to follow the book than stray from it. When it comes to grammar learning, it would be rather a list of general rules.
Teachers don’t tend to include modern approaches, such as brainstorming, games, or digital resources. As a result, teens learn more for acceptable grades than for real life.
Minimal Writing Practice
Even though Thai student gets academic writing assignments, they have lack of practice to complete then at a good level. In order to prepare a well-written essay, teens should have formatting, editing, and drafting abilities. They should also have developed creativity and analytical skills.
While all of that is easy to get from a professional education service like EssayPro, completing sophisticated assignments in English on their own is hard for many learners.
De facto, Thai students follow given instructions and don’t review papers once they are done. Not surprisingly, they don’t gain appropriate writing skills after graduation.
No Editing Skills
Many Thai teachers don’t stress the importance of editing in the writing process. And this matters a lot.
It allows avoiding the most common grammar, learning, or punctuation mistakes, so you don’t lose the possibility to get a good mark.
Fear of Speaking English
In most cases, during the learning process, students rely on their teachers. They rarely show independence, so when it comes to real life, they have no one to ask for help and lose confidence in speaking English at all.
So it becomes hard to build and manage relationships with English speaking people.
The country spends around 20-30% of the annual budget on education, but Thai adults continue having less English skills than other Asians. Why?
The low gross national income per person means that only a small percentage of parents can afford English schools and tutors for their children. The government set up new goals for the next year, including the B1 level for all high school graduates.
However, few Asian countries, including Thailand, still keep debating whether English learning should be essential. We’ll see if the government efforts can bring any results this year.
One of the most common problems of education is that teens learn for grades, not for actual knowledge. Many pass exams, write essays and take care of other academic assignments to get an acceptable mark and don’t even remember what they’ve learned after all.
The value of skills and experience students obtain is underestimated. Thus learning English becomes one of the academic challenges, but not the matter of real life.
Lack of Practice
90% of the English learning process in Thailand is based on following the book. Doing exercises and home assignments is a good practice, but this is not enough for a particular English level.
As a result of Thai students barely speak the language after the school graduating and don’t keep practicing at all.
Some schools have no possibility to provide employees with professional training to advance skills. And in many cases, teachers have no financial opportunity to keep abreast of the latest learning methods.
Along with that, teens lose enthusiasm in learning language as it becomes boring and outdated.
Thai government schools use a non-traditional grading system. When putting points for an academic assignment, teachers use passing and no passing grades. This problem of knowledge measurement showcases that students fail to demonstrate, and teachers fail to grade the real level of English skills.
This demonstrates a total lack of motivation in all parties of the learning process.
A lot of languages have common features and rules with English, so it becomes easier for foreigners to learn it. But this is not the case with the Thai language.
The last consonant in English for some Thai students is the most complicated issue to learn the language. Moreover, they may also have intonation problems as the Thai language does not use intonation in question or statements in some cases.
These and a lot of other factors affect the low English level of Thai students and high school students. However, everyday practice and a bit of motivation can bring about magic results.
Both teachers and students may put more effort and impress anyone with perfect English.