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Seven Reasons why Thailand’s English Speaking Skills are the lowest in South East Asia


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Source: TastyThailand Thailand has the lowest standard of English skills in southeast 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 the last few years, as […]

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Its a bit odd considering tourism is a major earner for the country, plenty of students will no doubt end up working in the tourism industry to some degree.

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One reason is because most English speaking films on TV, are dubbed into Thai language,

if movies had original sound with Thai subtitles, kids would have much easier to learn how to speak, understand and pronounce English!

Plahgat

When no money... she no give honey! 

 

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One year ago i travelled to Cambodia and the difference was huge. Cambodians used to speak english much better than Thais do. 

 

:Dance1:

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This is the most telling paragraph from that linked story and it is very true:

Lack of Importance placed on learning English-In personal and professional lives in most occupations, including the tourist industry, there is lack of importance placed on learning English and used it. In fact, in many cases the Thai level of thinking is why don’t the tourists learn our language, why should we use it?

I know a woman from BKK who is a very close friend. Her English is decent, but not great. Her daughter, on the other hand, knows very little English and couldn't give a shit about developing better English skills. This is a middle class Thai family. Not rich, but definitely not hurting in the money department.

I watched as this kid entered St. John's University and sailed through to graduation with very impressive grades. Over those years I told her repeatedly that she needed to become proficient in English to reach her goals in the business world. She never took me seriously.

Now, two years after graduation, she makes a living trying to sell used clothes on Facebook. The education? Well, at this point it looks like it was almost a total waste of money.
 

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1 hour ago, Pattaya_Brian said:

This is the most telling paragraph from that linked story and it is very true:

Lack of Importance placed on learning English-In personal and professional lives in most occupations, including the tourist industry, there is lack of importance placed on learning English and used it. In fact, in many cases the Thai level of thinking is why don’t the tourists learn our language, why should we use it?

I know a woman from BKK who is a very close friend. Her English is decent, but not great. Her daughter, on the other hand, knows very little English and couldn't give a shit about developing better English skills. This is a middle class Thai family. Not rich, but definitely not hurting in the money department.

I watched as this kid entered St. John's University and sailed through to graduation with very impressive grades. Over those years I told her repeatedly that she needed to become proficient in English to reach her goals in the business world. She never took me seriously.

Now, two years after graduation, she makes a living trying to sell used clothes on Facebook. The education? Well, at this point it looks like it was almost a total waste of money.
 

I have the opposite experience. A past LLT of mine, whom I met 8 years ago when she was a gogo dancer in Nana Plaza, has a son who is now 13. Her english is pretty basic. It has always been somewhat of a struggle to communicate with her. But her son's english is very good. She often has him talk with me on the phone or by LINE. The reason? He goes to a fairly good school in Bangkok, and she is helped with the expense by her current boyfriend, a Swiss guy. His English teacher is Filipino.

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dopey falangs who think it's a good idea talking pigeon english to them does not help either

 

the other extreme is those who esp after a beer talk too fast to them. i've heard guys on a baht bus and i can barely understand what they are saying. the TG at this point wll be smiling and nodding without the faintest idea WTF he is going on about

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9 minutes ago, striderman said:

dopey falangs who think it's a good idea talking pigeon english to them does not help either

 

the other extreme is those who esp after a beer talk too fast to them. i've heard guys on a baht bus and i can barely understand what they are saying. the TG at this point wll be smiling and nodding without the faintest idea WTF he is going on about

lol sometimes I try to talk how I talk at home. They never ever understand until I switch to their thaiglish. Think now I have given up.

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Just now, Tarl said:

lol sometimes I try to talk how I talk at home. They never ever understand until I switch to their thaiglish. Think now I have given up.

Speak in perfect complete sentences. Wait for blank stare. Then say it in Thai-English. Now they understand.  I tend to give up towards the end of the trip because I get tired of saying everything twice.

One thing i have noticed is when TGs are speaking to me in Thai and I don't understand, I will tell them in Thai "I don't understand, please speak slower".   When I am speaking in English and they don't understand, very few have asked me to repeat what I have said.

a word of advice: Do not use idioms when speaking.

 "Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."

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13 minutes ago, rayzor said:

Speak in perfect complete sentences. Wait for blank stare. Then say it in Thai-English. Now they understand.  I tend to give up towards the end of the trip because I get tired of saying everything twice.

One thing i have noticed is when TGs are speaking to me in Thai and I don't understand, I will tell them in Thai "I don't understand, please speak slower".   When I am speaking in English and they don't understand, very few have asked me to repeat what I have said.

a word of advice: Do not use idioms when speaking.

Will give that a go :)

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Three is a complete failure of public policy to improve English language skills. When I decided to relocate to Thailand I opted to live in Hua Hin. I have a wide range of academic qualifications from Universities in England, Ireland, Germany and Australia. As well as a practicing lawyer I have experience of lecturing in a number of universities in Australia and overseas. I was very  interested in getting involved as a volunteer Lecturer in a local University programme to be delivered in English. Given my experience and professional qualifications the university was very keen to get me involved. However, it became impossible. I could work on my retirement visa, I was too old for a volunteer visa and I was above the age for the university to offer me employment. So - we had to give up on it.  What a waste of missed opportunities for both students and farangs.   

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Ooops  Correction - "I could not work on my  retirement visa - - " apologies 

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22 hours ago, Jarrod2518 said:

... the university was very keen to get me involved. However, it became impossible. I could[n't] work on my retirement visa, I was too old for a volunteer visa and I was above the age for the university to offer me employment. So - we had to give up on it.  What a waste of missed opportunities for both students and farangs.   

Yup. Pretty much what I learned when I was researching teaching English in LOS. I even have several years of college Latin. It's said that if one wants to thoroughly understand English, they need to have studied Latin.

Oh well. :unsure:

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Thais,  in general,  value supine obeisance to authority, ahistory and superstition to real education. 

"Life teaches you how to live it, if you live long enough." - Tony Bennett

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Malaysia, Myanmar, & Singapore (Britain),  Indonesia (Dutch)  Philippines, (USA)  Vietnam (French & US), Cambodia (French), Laos (French), 

Thailand - no one (officially according to them)

In the above is where this really stems from and I'm surprised the article didn't point this out but there again.. it's tastyThailand hat ever the hell that is. 

 

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Why study to learn a difficult language when you will get a pass at the end of the year with no effort. A past GF had a son in his second to last year in HS, then Uni. He had 'learnt' English for years but could barely hold a simple conversation.

 I looked at his grammar books, and I, a native English speaker, would have gotten some of the questions wrong.....he had every one right going back for the whole year. When you can buy your way into anything why even try. 

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