Thailand’s Education Ministry has decided to introduce more English language classes in state schools across the country. The ministry announced after a meeting on Monday.
The special English classes will help Thai students achieve at least B2 Level under The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), Amnat Wichayanuwat, secretary-general of Office of the Basic Education Commission told the media afterwards.
The CEFR standard is popular among European countries and internationally accepted. It one of the most widely accepted metrics for assessing foreign language learners.
In addition, the ministry is in talks with foreign embassies to find more English teachers.
“What we found is that despite Thai students passing the B2 Level, they do not always communicate efficiently with native speakers. So we need English speaking teachers to boost their English language skills,” he said. Adding that the ministry will ask the Philippine embassy for help with procuring teachers.
The extra English classes will be gradually introduced in state schools nationwide starting next year semester, he said.
Thailand’s English-Language Skills The Lowest in South East Asia
Thailand has the lowest standard of English skills in south east Asia and, in years, little improvement has been seen. Even after 12-15 years of learning English, few Thais can hold a conversation in English. On anything more than a basic level and some can’t even do that.
In Thai schools, students are taught to copy what the teacher writes on the board and memorize it. When learning English, grammar and vocabulary is written on the board. Students copy and memorize. There’s no discussion, no questioning the teacher and no thinking for themselves. It’s no wonder Thailand’s English skills are the lowest in south east Asia.