Why English is important for Thais.


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Why English is important for Thais.

  1. 1. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) (3,558 words) Why English is important for Thais. Introduction English is important for Thais because English is the international language. Most of people in many countries speak English for communicating with other people who are foreigners. I chose this topic for my academic paper because I wanted to write about the history of English, the different types of teaching, examples of English schools (International School, Bilingual School, English Program, and Mini English Program), why English is used in many countries, and how to improve English skills. Every country, every area, every community has a different language that they have own language. But many countries use English as a second language (ESL), which is a language that is learned after the first language or mother tongue. EFL is a foreign language which is not spoken in daily life by the people of a certain place. For example: English is a foreign language in Thailand. A foreign language is also a language not spoken in the native country of the person referred to, i.e. an English speaker living in Thailand can say that Thai is a foreign language to him or her. Learning a foreign language is easier for some people than others. Whether learning another language is comparatively easy or difficult for you,
  2. 2. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) your goals and attitude about improving your English have a strong effect. If you are determined to use your experience to improve your English skills, and you make a conscious effort to do so, improvement is likely. ESL (English as a second-language) classes are available at many colleges and universities to help speakers improve their command of English. These programs provide a variety of courses (such as grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, writing, and conversation) at a variety of levels (beginning, intermediate, and advanced). Some also offer “English for special purposes” classes, which focus on English as used in specific subject-matter areas such as business, science, or engineering. In general, ESL courses aim to prepare students for real-life experience in American classrooms, laboratories, workplaces, and communities. ESL programs might also be useful for prospective teaching assistants and for graduate students at work on theses or dissertations. These programs may also organize events and activities such as conversation partners and trips, and may be able to provide tutors for individualized instruction. The two types of English teaching are TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language and TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language). TEFL refers to teaching English to students whose first language is not English or/in natural English language immersion situations. The teachers may be native or non-native speakers of English. TESL like TEFL, teaches English to students whose first language is not
  3. 3. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) English. But, unlike TEFL, it is usually taught in a region where English is the dominant language and in natural English language immersion situations. These two teaching situations are different and so the teaching profession has different names for them. Thais study English as a foreign language, which is easier than as a second language. Many countries are different formal communication. A manager sitting in one part of the world should be able to correctly interpret communication coming in a different format from another part of the world. When you search information from the internet or read magazines or read newspapers, sometimes they are written in English. So you should know English. In many schools or universities or in the government, people who study or work must know basic or advanced English for communicating with foreigners and/or for studying. English equals increased career opportunities. International schools are schools that cater mainly to children who are not nationals of the host country, often the children of the staff of international businesses, international organizations, embassies, missions, or missionary programs. They are also popular with local students who wish to improve their language skills. International schools are usually private, but public international schools do exist. International schools typically use curriculum based on countries such as the United Kingdom or the United States. Usually, international schools use English as the main language of instruction and teach the main subjects that schools in the USA or the United Kingdom
  4. 4. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) do, i.e. English, mathematics, science, humanities, foreign languages, drama, art, music, physical education, information technology and design technology. Most International schools also offer private tutoring and other extracurricular activities such as school plays, athletics, and other after school programs. Thailand has many international school, such as International School Bangkok, Ruamrudee International School, The International School of Amsterdam, etc. Bilingual schools use two languages for each subject. The purpose for the program is to provide an English - Thai related education by immersing students in an English study environment which follows the Thai national curriculum. The content and curriculum structure of the school is in accordance with the curriculum issued by the Ministry of Education, and also incorporates successful curriculum from abroad. The goal is for students to communicate effectively in English in addition to speaking the Thai language fluently and behaving according to Thai culture. There are 10 subject groups taught at primary section; Thai, English, Mathematics, Science, Social-Religion and Culture, Vocational Education and Technology, Art- Music-Dance, Physical Education and Health Education, Supplementary Mathematics, Supplementary Science. English, Mathematics, Science and Health Education subjects are taught in English by native English speaking teachers. Thai teachers teach Social-Religion and Culture, Vocational Education and Technology, Art- Music-Dance, Physical Education, Supplementary
  5. 5. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) Mathematics, Supplementary Science and Learner Development Activities (Boy Scout and Clubs). There are many bilingual school in Thailand, such as Lertlah School, Kasintorn School, Siriwat Wittaya School, etc. Bilingual school can divided into 2 programs ; English Program and Mini English Program. 1. English Program (EP) which teaches in English in all of subjects, but Thai subject, Social-Religion and Culture teach in Thai. All the homeroom teachers in the English Program are Thai. The native English speakers in the English Program nursery – kindergarten 3 teach Math, Science and English using an integrated approach. The curriculum is based on themes developed in cooperation with the English teachers and their Thai colleagues. Teacher developed materials supplement the curriculum throughout all levels and subject areas. The English program also uses native English speakers for Physical Education and Computers. The curricula for these subjects, is based on themes developed in cooperation with English teachers and their Thai colleagues. 2. Mini English Programs (MEP) are special education for public schools that the Thai Government established for Thai students who want to improve and develop their English skills. There are many schools in Thailand that have Mini English Program, such as Benjamamaharaj School, Singsamut School, etc. This topic of this paper is ‘why English is important for Thais’, so I will explain the original of English and the reasons why English is a global language. The following is from
  6. 6. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language : English is a West Germanic language originating mainly in England, and is the first language for most people in Australia, Canada, the Commonwealth Caribbean, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (sometimes referred to as the Anglosphere). It is used extensively as a second language and as an official language throughout the world, especially in Commonwealth countries and in many international organizations. The influence of the British Empire is the primary reason for the initial spread of the language far beyond the British Isles. Since World War II, the growing economic and cultural influence of the United States has significantly accelerated the adoption of English. Approximately 375 million people speak English as their first language, as of 2006. English today is probably the third largest language by number of native speakers, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. However, when combining native and non- native speakers it is probably the most commonly spoken language in the world. Estimates that include second language speakers vary greatly from 470 million to over a billion depending on how literacy or
  7. 7. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) mastery is defined. There are some who claim that non-native speakers now outnumber native speakers by a ratio of 3 to 1. The country with the highest populations of native English speakers are, in descending order: United States (215 million), United Kingdom (58 million), Canada (17.7 million), Australia (15 million), Ireland (3.8 million), South Africa (3.7 million), and New Zealand (3.0-3.7 million). It is used extensively as a second language and as an official language throughout the world, especially in Commonwealth countries and in many international organizations. In many other countries, where English is not the most spoken language, it is an official language; these countries include Botswana, Cameroon, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Ghana, Gambia, India, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Namibia, Nigeria, Northern Mariana Islands, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. English as a global language because English is so widely spoken, it has often been referred to as a "global language", the
  8. 8. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) lingua franca of the modern era. Modern English is sometimes described as the first global lingua franca. English is a dominant international language in communications, science, business, aviation, entertainment, radio and diplomacy. English is not the official language in most countries, but it is currently the language most often taught as a second or foreign language. While English is not the most widely spoken language in the world when you look at it in terms of the number of native speakers, it is the world's most prominent language. Although a larger number of people speak Chinese, that language is largely confined to China. On the other hand, English is spoken around the world. It has been estimated that out of the roughly 6 billion people that are alive today about 350 million speak English. When you look at the importance of English, you must look at more than just the number of people who speak it. You must also look at what the language is used for. English is the ideal language for many governments around the world, and it is also prominent in business, education, world news, and communication. The following is from http://english-tutor- newton.bostoncatalog.com/why-learn- english.php : About 1,500,000,000 people in the world speak English. Another 1,000,000,000 are learning it. About 75% of the world's letters and postcards are written in English. Almost all international
  9. 9. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) conferences and competitions are conducted in English. For example, the Olympics and the Miss World contest. Diplomats and politicians from different countries use English to communicate with each other. English is the main language of organizations like the United Nations, NATO, and the European Free Trade Association. When I studied in primary school, my parents wanted me to learn English, so they sent me to a private school (Yaowares Suksa School) that was Christian. I studied English for the first time when I was in P.5. I got a B, and I was so glad. Later, in M.1-6 at the public school (Narinukul School), I studied English twice a week but that was not enough to improve my English skills. I think the Thai Government should develop and improve the English curriculum in schools. Books, magazines, newspapers and essays are written in English, and are available in many countries around the world. English is also the most commonly used language in the sciences. In 1997, the Science Citation Index reported that 95% of its articles were written in English, even though only half of them came from authors in English-speaking countries. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language) The expanding of the British Empire and since WWII, the primacy of the United States, have spread English throughout the globe. English has developed a host of dialects and English-based Creole languages and pidgins.
  10. 10. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) English speakers have many different accents, which often signal the speaker's native dialect or language. English has borrowed words from many different languages over its history, English loanwords now appear in a great many languages around the world, indicative of the technological and cultural influence of its speakers. I think English remains very much a foreign language for most people, used only in administration, education and government and as a means of communicating between speakers of diverse languages. When I was young, I didn’t like English because it was difficult and it was not my mother language. But now I like it because it is useful in daily life. At present, many technical and internet sites are in the English language, so we should have English skills for searching information or communicating with foreigners or foreign teachers or other people. Especially, we should know English grammar and have the skills to converse. When I study, I must communicate with foreign teachers so I learn grammar and other English skills to improve my English. I’m afraid to speak with foreigners. When I speak, I think about grammar first. Therefore, when you want to communicate with foreigners, you should not worry about grammar. You should speak to foreigners if you want to improve your speaking English skill. If you can communicate in English, you can contact people from all over the world or talk about your ideas and opinions on internet discussion groups or send e-mail to interesting people or learn
  11. 11. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) about their life and culture. You can travel more easily and can communicate with people wherever you go because English is spoken in more than 100countries. You can ask directions, have a conversation, or ask for help. The following is from http://www.writersblock.ca/fall1998/feature.h tm : "I am here because I need to know English in my job," says Maria, who is a law student; she's preparing for a career in a legal firm in her home, Venezuela. "If you want to find a good job you need it," says Rubin from Spain, who is preparing for a career as a translator. "If I can speak English fluently, I can meet people and get more jobs," says Tets, who is a former machinist from Japan, and adds: "its the language of business." Jeremy, who is a South Korean computer science student says, "I need it to get a job; English has the most information, especially for my courses." "If you want to find a job, you need both languages," says Beatrice, another Venezuelan, who studies business administration. Anyone who does not go outside of the country or meet with others who come into the country does not need to learn English. However, without English skills, one does limit their possible options and so will lose
  12. 12. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) many opportunities. Some people think English is not important because it is not their mother tongue and they speak Thai in daily life. But, people who want English for communicating with foreigners or searching information from the internet, should know basic or advanced English. The most popular language is English, which is the language that everyone uses in this computer age. You can learn English from the internet, magazines, newspapers, books and essays. There are three steps to learning English. The first step is gaining fluency. Unless you have fluency in English, it will not be possible to work with computers. If you do not know English, then you will be in need of a translator to do the job. It is best to follow the method of reading first, and then writing. You can use picture books for this purpose. When you learn a new word, you should take the time to use it in a sentence and practice it when you speak to people. By using the word in your everyday speech and writing, the word will be saved in your long-term memory. Studies have shown that you will need to repeat the word. Think of a sentence in your mother language, and try to write the same sentence in English. There may be some mistakes. But you have to write the same sentence using many different words until you are satisfied with your sentence. If you follow this way, eventually soon you can create sentences of your own. In addition to learning new words, you should read everything you can get your hands on. Read fiction as well as non-fiction. Read things you
  13. 13. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) normally wouldn't read. This will allow you to learn new words that you normally wouldn't be exposed to. The second step is learning English grammar. There are certain rules and regulations, and it is easy to make mistakes. You will learn the structure about parts of speech, tenses, kinds of sentences, English patterns, active and passive voices, and more. The third step is the most important. It is the ability to communicate. Naturally, you must be confident when you are presenting what you really wish to say. Do not try to write or speak beyond your capability. Even if it is a small and simple sentence, it can reach the receiver perfectly. The basic idea is that you can improve the standard of your language by practice. If you know how to form sentences, it is more than enough to go deeply into the subject. Though this is an article about the importance of the English Language, you have to learn some of the basic points in creating sentences. There are many ways that you can improve your English skills by yourself. For example: you should watch American and British films in the original, read great books(every famous book was written in English or it was translated into English), listen to English songs(song is better if you can understand the words), enjoy learning English, the internet(most pages on the web that is over a billion pages of information and you can learning more than one language), English books(you should read books were written by British or American authors and books were translated from other languages), English reports(watch international
  14. 14. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) television networks, such as CNN International and NBC and you can watch them everywhere in the world), English novels, English newspapers, English magazines, etc. If you wish to be successful, then learning English is incredibly important. In many places such as Asia, Africa, and South America, the ability to learn English will determine who will increase their living standards and who will remain in poverty. There are a number of powerful tools that have allowed more people to learn English than ever before. One of these tools is the Internet. Before the Internet, it was hard to learn English if you didn't attend a college or university. These were the only institutions where the language was widely spoken. If you lived in a community so poor that it didn't have a college or university, your chances of ever learning English were remote. While many people still live in these circumstances today, the internet has allowed the English language to spread around the word. Because the Internet was invented in the West, English was inherently built into it. Because Internet usage has expanded throughout the world, more people are being exposed to English. The advent of online universities has now made it possible for more people to learn English, even people who live in countries where access to standard education facilities is limited. While it may have been impossible for these people to learn English in the past, the internet has opened up new career opportunities. These people are now able to learn
  15. 15. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) English, and they can use their English skills to get better paying jobs at home or to find jobs overseas. In any event, the Internet has played a powerful role in allowing English to spread across the world, and the number of people learning it is likely to increase in the future. The Thai Government should improve the English curriculum by using computers and the internet. Schools must adapt to reflect the use of text messaging and communication via new technologies. Schools should take advantage of the range of texts now available to teach the language, including what is available online. The following recommendations come from a report which examined the future of the major curriculum subjects. Why is English important for Thais? Because English is a global language. Most technical information is written in English, as well as general information, so improving your English skills can be very useful if you want : • to earn good grades while you are studying English. • to be able to speak comfortably with your foreign teachers. • to have a good relationship with your foreign teachers. • to get an internship in your field of study. • to make presentations with foreigners. • to make friends with people who foreigners. All of these worthy goals require using English. Everything will be easier for you, and you will be able
  16. 16. Miss Pitima Boonprasit (Bai-Toei) to accomplish more of what you want, if you speak English well. Much of your success in the English classroom will depend on your ability to communicate with foreign teachers. To accomplish these goals you will need English. Students constantly share ideas and information in informal conversations that they may talk about their daily life or their housework or other. If you miss out on these conversations, your chances for professional and personal success will be limited compared to your peers. In many countries where English is not the native language, you are considered highly educated if you can speak the language properly. You will be presented with a number of career opportunities, and you will have the option of staying home to work, or traveling abroad. When you learn how to speak English, the opportunities are limitless.