I can’t believe I’ve been teaching in Thailand for almost 4 years now. And I’m rather pleased that I have had the experience of teaching in three different cities here: Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. I’m not sure if I can count Bangkok since that is where I got my TESOL training, but I did student teach and watched all of my colleagues do the same. I got to experience a lot of observations, so, yeah, it counts 😉 And even though they were all at the same language school, the students, in general, varied in age and sophistication.
Bangkok students were older with more Thai Muslims. Chiang Mai had a good mix of ages leaning more towards teenagers with the occasional international student. I had Korean, Chinese, and European students there. Chiang Rai, on the other hand, so far, seems to have more teenagers, and fewer adults. But what has been really striking me is CR students have far better pronunciation than CM students.
And I have no idea why. If they are better speakers, they must be better listeners, right? My guesses are because they are closer to neighboring countries and hill tribes, they are used to different dialects and languages – maybe the Christian influence up here has something to do with it as well??? Of course, they could have better English programs at their primary schools. I saw one of my stronger students with a blue Interchange book and I know the Interchange series to be a good one.
Their writing is also better, but I don’t want to get too excited about that one yet. I need to see if those students are a true representation or not. It’s just crazy because I want to know why they are better speakers! You just don’t get as much of that “Tinglish” pronunciation. Fascinating. I know a fair amount of older students here have studied abroad, too. I wonder if there is something in that as well.
Nevertheless, I wanted to share some links that I have collected. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from my previous teaching tips posts, and I’m afraid I’ve been remiss. I’ve been heavily drafted in the lesson planning world since we have new textbooks. And I asked for different levels so I can see how the curriculum flows. So, without further ado! Teaching resources (hope you find something useful):
1) Check out the “sample games to be played in the classroom” on the right side bar. I like how the Indiana University of Pennsylvania took popular American game shows and crafted them for teaching and learning!
2) I got this link from my MOOC course on Principals of Written English. The instructor recommended it for expanding vocabulary. They have a lot of word lists under teacher resources.
3) Related is this link from ESL Trail, sight words, or words that need to memorized by EFL students. Heidi actually has a great deal of resources for honing in on your teaching and lesson planning.
4) Ah, yes, this Randall guy is crazy – as in, WOW, he has all these recorded themed read-alongs with different ideas for building upon them. It’s nice to have a more advanced resource out there because I feel like there is a lot of elementary materials already out there.
5) Innovate my school found me via Twitter, so they must be cool, right? They seem geared into using tech in the classroom which I don’t have much experience in because my old school didn’t have the resources. But the school I am at now does, so I’m looking forward to experimenting.
6) And lastly, I’d like to leave you with an inspirational post on 25 things successful educators do differently, which is really quite standard, but a nice reminder, nonetheless. The site has other solid articles as well.