Working in Thailand. Language school

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maccavelli
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Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by maccavelli » April 8, 2010, 4:54 am

Hello, my name is Stephen from here in the UK, I'm in England at the moment saving for my next trip to Thailand.
I've been there 12 times now, I go twice a year for 6 weeks at a time. I've finally decided I want to move out there,
there's little for me here in the UK now. It's more depressing than words turning on the TV to watch the news.
Same old box like perspective each and every day.

I want to become a teacher of English in Thailand. I want to know how to go about it and what are my chances of
getting a teaching job out there. I am intelligent and I know some Thai. I'm a regular traveller to Udon and it's
currently my favourite place in Thailand, I go around the north usually, choosing not to go south. I'm not over keen
on the tourists. Or the tourist prices that the south has, accommodation especially.

If you have any answers or advice for me I would greatly appreciate it. Or if you know of anyone English that has
gone down a similar route then, by all means, please advice me.

regards Steve



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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Treeg » April 8, 2010, 6:41 am

maccavelli wrote: I want to become a teacher of English in Thailand. I want to know how to go about it and what are my chances of
getting a teaching job out there. I am intelligent and I know some Thai.
I recently heard a story that there is a course for foreigners at the university of Chang Mai which offers a Thai English teaching certificate. Course takes one month, costs about 500 usd, you don't need to speak Thai for it.
Once you have an official teaching certificate, it seems to be reasonably easy to find a job.

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by nkstan » April 8, 2010, 11:05 am

Assuming you have at least a Bachelors degree from a University,which is a requirement!

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Khun Paul » April 9, 2010, 6:33 am

One shold take any stories about a thai teaching cert with a large pinch of salt. You ned a BA and if the BA is not in English an unternationally recognised TEFL as opposed to a TESOL. Teacher licences can be obtained by the place of working in the form of dispensation from the Ministry of Education in Bangkok.
The information I get is that to get a teachers licence you need to be Thai, however there are some ( dare I say it ) scams which are attracting foreigners to spend their money and then they are given a peice of [a[er and they go away rejoicing only to find that in fact that is all they are, pieces of paper.

Many may well argue but I assure you I have researched this and I have come to the conclusion above. I also believe that only for working in a public school ( Government ) does this need to be given.

On a more sober note Teaching in Thailand is going through a metamorphosis, so any life change you are envisaging should be carefully worked out, there are in fact a surfiet of 'English teachers ' who are now having to re-evaluate their positions as the requirements are now being tightened up. However if your aim is to come to Udon provinvce and seek employment as a teacher so be it and good luck, depending on your salary expectations it is nice place to work.

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by UdonExpat » April 9, 2010, 8:51 am

I taught in Udon a few years back. My pay was a bit over 25,000 baht a month. I don't think pay has increased since then.

A bachelor's degree in any subject is the minimum requirement at most schools. A TEFL Certificate will get you considered before those without a certificate, but is usually not a rigid requirement. Some language schools will hire illegally if you don't have the minimum requirements, but then no Non-immigrant B Visa will be possible.

For more info: http://www.ajarn.com/

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Thai_1_On » April 9, 2010, 10:20 am

I am a teacher in in deepest Issan and Paul's info is correct. I teach in a government high school and I got my little piece of paper that allows me to teach for 2 years till I.

1. Pass a test with a 98% fail rate. Cost 4,000 :mad:
2. Enroll in a year long, weekend, education course for a mere 60,000 baht in Bangkok :shock:
3. Take the test above and fail every 2 years and get my 2 year temporary "piece of paper" teachers license. :roll:

Rumor has is that the MOE is seeing what a disaster this "teacher license test" a.k.a. TCT is turning into and giving out a new round of temporary teachers licenses. This is just a rumor but I have a teacher friend is in the process now so we will see in a few weeks.

If you have hopes of working in Udon you may find the job market tight. There are plenty of foreigners looking to teach in Udon and with little to no experience it may be tough. Timing is everything though and if you catch them needing a teacher because someone did a "runner" you could slid right in.

I am starting my third year of teaching here and may and try to return Udon next year. One thing keeping at this school is I enjoy working here and I like both the students and administration here so I've signed on for another year. Finding a school you like to work at can sometimes trump the "place" you want to live.

Best of luck :D

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Laan Yaa Mo » April 9, 2010, 10:41 am

Any hints as to where deepest Isaan may be, or close to such as Nakhon Phanom, Sakhon Nakhon, That Phanom, Buriram, Khon Kaen, Ubol, Roi-Et or ....?

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by maccavelli » April 9, 2010, 5:28 pm

Thank you for the replies so far, I read all with interest. I've been told about the TEFL courses before from a friend of mine, they're the most accessible and less indepth of the training as far as I can see?

I also plan to list up some of my pictures from past visits in Udon, where is the best place to show them here?
I can upload on this site??

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by BobHelm » April 9, 2010, 5:43 pm

There is a section called
Udon Thani Photos
Just start a new thread there..

TEFL is exactly what it says Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Different skills are required to teaching something to students in their mother tongue. My understanding of the places that offer TEFL certifications is that the best are very good & so produce a skilled teacher and the worst are little better than 'pay the fee & here is the certificate'. Where people decide to go for certification says as much about them as the place they attend, I think!!

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Khun Paul » April 9, 2010, 6:07 pm

I agree 100 per cent with Bob, a Tefl supplied by many of the schools here in Thailand is yet another piece of useless paper, oh yes it may well say you pass, yes it m,ay well say you can tyeach ....really, some I have seen I do wonder.

As for taking the TCT, well this is NEW one on me, never heard of it, sounds like a scam raised by some to acquire money, as the Teachers licence is in Thai and I know a man who would be part of the instructing or even testing and he ain't heard of it .

Private schools to my knowledge require no quals at all, but they would be silly to employ an idiot, ( but soem do)I do actually know one who employs a geordie, now i know he is Englsih and can speak English, but I have p[roblem understanding him what chance do Thai's have. so something is better than nothing.
As a infoormation..Tesol is required to teach them to speak aka conversation english
Tefl is required to teach Englsih all aspects.

So be careful before you part with any money regarding a teachers Licence, as far as I understand all schools will apply for a temp licence some may well get you your own depending on the school,which will then be transferrable from school to school.

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Astana » April 9, 2010, 8:27 pm

maccavelli wrote:Hello, my name is Stephen from here in the UK, I'm in England at the moment saving for my next trip to Thailand.
I've been there 12 times now, I go twice a year for 6 weeks at a time. I've finally decided I want to move out there,
there's little for me here in the UK now. It's more depressing than words turning on the TV to watch the news.
Same old box like perspective each and every day.

I want to become a teacher of English in Thailand. I want to know how to go about it and what are my chances of
getting a teaching job out there. I am intelligent and I know some Thai. I'm a regular traveller to Udon and it's
currently my favourite place in Thailand, I go around the north usually, choosing not to go south. I'm not over keen
on the tourists. Or the tourist prices that the south has, accommodation especially.

If you have any answers or advice for me I would greatly appreciate it. Or if you know of anyone English that has
gone down a similar route then, by all means, please advice me.

regards Steve
Hi Steve,

You may find this link informative http://www.oxfordtefl.com/index.htm in terms of qualifications that you might need.

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Thai_1_On » April 9, 2010, 9:08 pm

Deepest Issan...25 clicks out of Mahsarakham into the middle of the rice patties and fields of mun. Great school but it is very "banok".

Paul, the TCT is for "all" teachers who work in the government schools. The MOE has tied this into renewing your your visa. So, in theory no teachers license, no visa. As I have read on another Thailand teachers forum immigration in Bangkok and several other offices south of here have been very strict on this. As for Issan I believe they tend to over look this "requirement" but this is only a rumor.

I fully believe this is just another money scam cooked up down in Bangkok. Problem is it looks as though it's failing miserably and we can only hope it will be just another plan that well just go away on its own, I hope! [-o< Here is a quote from a person representing the MOE on this new test at a teachers seminar last year. They were asked how do they feel about a test with a 98% failure rate and questions that were opinion based but had to be answered with multiple choice. Also questions worded so badly, misspelled, and grammar so bad that they made no since to the reader? The answer was "if you fail you will receive a new temporary teachers license for 2 years and you can try again". When is was pointed out that most everyone failed the test and it was wasting money to keep doing it (4000 baht). The answer was simple and spoke volumes of what has gone into the thinking of the test. Quote " You foreign teachers make so much money that you can afford it!" :shock: Needless to say it wasn't a pretty sight after that. [-(

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Frankie 1 » April 10, 2010, 4:24 am

maccavelli wrote:Thank you for the replies so far, I read all with interest. I've been told about the TEFL courses before from a friend of mine, they're the most accessible and less indepth of the training as far as I can see?
The TEFL courses in Thailand are worthless. While attending a 120 hour TEFL course in Bangkok two years ago, I was amazed at the low level of the course and my (native speaker) classmates. In fact, it was basically just a grammar course for my British classmates. One Irish guy was even kicked out of the course because even the native English speaking guys couldn't understand what he said.

Anyway, how can you learn how to teach in a 4 weeks' course? Can a simple survival course for dummies replace a university B.Ed. degree? I don't think so.

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Laan Yaa Mo » April 10, 2010, 10:11 am

Thanks for the information about the school.

Well, it is clear why the guy you quoted failed. His English language skills are abysmal.
Thai_1_On wrote:Deepest Issan...25 clicks out of Mahsarakham into the middle of the rice patties and fields of mun. Great school but it is very "banok".

[-o< Here is a quote from a person representing the MOE on this new test at a teachers seminar last year. They were asked how do they feel about a test with a 98% failure rate and questions that were opinion based but had to be answered with multiple choice. Also questions worded so badly, misspelled, and grammar so bad that they made no since to the reader? The answer was "if you fail you will receive a new temporary teachers license for 2 years and you can try again".
When is was pointed out
[/b]that most everyone failed the test and it was wasting money to keep doing it (4000 baht). The answer was simple and spoke volumes of what has gone into the thinking of the test. Quote " You foreign teachers make so much money that you can afford it!" :shock: Needless to say it wasn't a pretty sight after that. [-(

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Nick@AUA » April 10, 2010, 11:14 am

Frankie 1 wrote:The TEFL courses in Thailand are worthless. While attending a 120 hour TEFL course in Bangkok two years ago, I was amazed at the low level of the course and my (native speaker) classmates. In fact, it was basically just a grammar course for my British classmates. One Irish guy was even kicked out of the course because even the native English speaking guys couldn't understand what he said.
So you did one course and that means that ALL Tefl courses in Thailand are worthless. That doesn't make sense. All it says is that the one you did is worthless. There are actually a number of excellent TEFL courses here. (and many many more bad ones).
Frankie 1 wrote: Anyway, how can you learn how to teach in a 4 weeks' course? Can a simple survival course for dummies replace a university B.Ed. degree? I don't think so.
A good 4 week TEFL course with good instructors will prepare you for teaching and give you some very useful teaching tools. Obviously you have to be of the right calibre to begin with. Not everyone can do it.

I have seen hundreds...yes hundreds...of teachers over the years. Watched them teach, mentored, observed and even trained some. Some have degrees, and TEFL's some don't. A lot of it is down to the individual and his or her personality.

Also, just to put a few things right.

1. The TCT is the Teachers Council of Thailand. It is a government institution. They run the courses.
2. A foreigner can get an official teachers license. I have seen several.
3. The TCT tests that everyone is talking about must be taken and passed in order to get a teachers license. Temporary waivers have been issued by schools in the meantime.

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by maccavelli » April 10, 2010, 4:43 pm

Thanks for that reply Nick@AUA, clear and succinct. Much appreciated.

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Khun Paul » April 10, 2010, 5:11 pm

As I understand the temporary waivers are NOT issued by the schools rather they are applied for from Bangkok, they may well be a TCT test but with the current low pass rate less than 1% one wonders why they bother.

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Frankie 1 » April 10, 2010, 5:58 pm

Nick@AUA wrote:So you did one course and that means that ALL Tefl courses in Thailand are worthless. That doesn't make sense. All it says is that the one you did is worthless. There are actually a number of excellent TEFL courses here. (and many many more bad ones).
It was not so much the course or the school that was the problem. My classmates (all native English) were not up to it. So the school adapted the level to them. Otherwise the school wouldn't have enough students to start the course. And of course every student had to pass. Yes, it's only one of the many TEFL courses, but how good can a course like that be anyway if it lasts only 4 weeks.

I often hear farang teachers in Thailand complain about the schools where they teach, about the Thai school system or about their pupils, but while I hear them talk I think that the real problem is their lack of skills as a teacher.
Nick@AUA wrote:A good 4 week TEFL course with good instructors will prepare you for teaching and give you some very useful teaching tools. Obviously you have to be of the right calibre to begin with. Not everyone can do it.

I have seen hundreds...yes hundreds...of teachers over the years. Watched them teach, mentored, observed and even trained some. Some have degrees, and TEFL's some don't. A lot of it is down to the individual and his or her personality.
Even if there are a couple of exceptional bright students, IMO you still can't replace a university degree (B.Ed. or M.Ed.) with a course of a couple of weeks. You run a language school yourself, so of course you can't agree with me, otherwise it would be bad for business. ;)

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by rufus » April 10, 2010, 6:51 pm

I have a degree, post grad qualifications in IT and also in English and a TEFL. I have seen some excellent teachers who do not have academic qualifications, however they are the exception rather than the rule. Having said this, I also know of some TEFL courses that are excellent, (and even if I do say so myself, I have taught some of them), and I have seen some that are nonsense. In the ones I taught, I certainly did not lower the standards to match the students' abilities.

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Re: Working in Thailand. Language school

Post by Frankie 1 » April 10, 2010, 7:17 pm

rufus wrote:I have a degree, post grad qualifications in IT and also in English and a TEFL. I have seen some excellent teachers who do not have academic qualifications, however they are the exception rather than the rule. Having said this, I also know of some TEFL courses that are excellent, (and even if I do say so myself, I have taught some of them), and I have seen some that are nonsense. In the ones I taught, I certainly did not lower the standards to match the students' abilities.
Yes, I believe that there are excellent language courses and excellent teacher trainers, but a TEFL course is still only a one month course. Even as an excellent teacher trainer, you are not a magician.

It would be strange to believe that a course of a couple of weeks (even an excellent one) is at the same level as a university degree in education. It isn't, it's merely a certificate, and nowhere near a degree.

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