What to Consider Before Teaching in Thailand

Teaching English in Thailand is a great opportunity that most people fall in love with. However, it’s not for everyone. Which is why you must consider carefully before committing yourself to the experience. Certainly, it will be difficult to know for sure unless you try it, however, there’s no harm in a doing a little research beforehand, just in case.

So, what should you be aware of before committing to teaching in Thailand? Let’s find out.

Teaching is effortless for some and a nightmare for others

You have to make certain that teaching is indeed the right path for you. You can’t just decide to start teaching simply because it will enable you to live in Thailand comfortably (although it is a very attractive prospect).

If you arrive and realise that you hate it, then you’re going to be stuck in a job that you loathe in an unfamiliar country. Don’t worry, most people who have never taught before in their lives love it and adapt well. However, you must give it some serious thought.

Does your personality suit teaching? Are you able to not take yourself too seriously? Are you a patient person? Are you able to be energetic and social even on days when you’re not feeling 100%? If you think you’re up to it, then you may just have what it takes.

It can get lonely at times

If you have been living at home or feeling especially dependent on others, then the desire to ‘fly the nest’ and move to the otherwise of the world is a powerful force. You will learn much about yourself and most people come out the other side a stronger, happier, and more stable person. However, it is important to recognise the fact that it can be incredibly lonely at times.

Yes, there is a strong expat community in Thailand, but you must make sure that you are putting yourself out there and trying to make new friends. You will make some friends for life, but you will invariably miss people from home. People who know where you are coming from and understand you best.

Fortunately, you can Skype of Facetime your family and friends whenever you want. But be prepared to feel terribly home sick from time to time. That said, the rest of the time you’ll be having far too much fun to care.

You must be respectful of the Thai monarchy and their culture

Thailand is a very proud nation with a beautiful cultural tapestry. And whilst they are some of the friendliest and most accommodating people on the earth, they do not take kindly to disrespect. So, you must be exceptionally careful when it comes to their culture and traditions, especially when it involves the Royal Family.

Thailand practices Lèse-majesté, which means to offend or speak ill of the Royal Family is a punishable offence. Now, that might sound rather frightening and unsettling for someone who comes from the west where you can pretty much say whatever you like and get away with it. However, there really is no need to worry. It is simple: show respect, learn the appropriate social etiquettes, and never say a bad word about the Royal Family. It’s none of your business.

Conclusion

Those are the three big things to be aware of. Everything else about teaching English in Thailand is awesome. So, if you’re still keen, then find yourself a reputable TEFL course and let’s get this party started!

Benefits of travelling abroad

Going abroad, whether for an extended period of for a short holiday, is a great way to gain a new perspective on life. It can help you learn to appreciate the very different ways of life across the globe and maybe gain some personal insight into what’s important to you. It can also be great fun to meet new people, experience new cultures, taste new foods, and expose yourself to new art.

Travelling Improves Communication Ability

In your home country, you likely take for granted the quick and easy communication enjoyed between you and other native speakers of your language. When going abroad to a nation where the people speak a different language or even a different dialect of your own, you learn new ways to express yourself. You become more creative in getting ideas across. Your mind becomes more flexible in terms of how difficult concepts can be transmitted without using the vocabulary you’re comfortable with.

Facing the Challenges of Travel Strengthens You Mentally

Anti-fragility is a trending lifestyle practice that involves the use of limited, short-term stress which, in time, strengthens the body or mind. Exercise is a good physical example – when you lift weights, your muscles may struggle with under the weight initially, but after they recover they grow back stronger.

Likewise, you may live in relative comfort in your home country. You are familiar with the landscape, culture, and language. When you travel abroad, though, you must learn to adapt. Even something as simple as ordering food or travelling short distances using a taxi can be challenging. Eventually, though, you may realize you are more capable than you thought of thriving in unfamiliar environments – and this realization may likely benefit you in all sorts of contexts.

Travelling Broadens Your Horizons

It may sound cliché, but travelling truly does open your mind to new ways of thinking. Things that just seemed “normal” in your home country are no longer so. Things as mundane as which side of the street travel flows on remind you constantly that there are always new ways of solving problems, new ways of organizing activities, and new ways of living in general.

Online English: Apps to Learn English

If you’re like most people, you spend a significant amount of time browsing the internet, either on your phone or laptop. In the 21st century, the digital connection we share has grown exponentially. As this has happened, the opportunities to learn English in creative and engaging ways have increased as well. Here are a few apps that make learning and practicing English fun.

Duolingo

This popular app devises lesson plans based on the user’s learning style and preferences. It is highly effective, having attracted the attention of many organizations and even governments for use in more formal classroom settings.

Memrise

Memrise focuses on learning and retaining new vocabulary. The app is highly reviewed on Google Play store and other sites. Users have noted the effectiveness of the vocabulary training, which utilizes repetition and associative memory skills to help the learner remember tons of new words and phrases. Best of all, Memrise is free!

Sentence Master Pro

Sentence Master Pro helps users piece together sentences in a more natural way, teaching the proper structure of phrases and other grammatical devices like dependent vs. independent clauses, etc. The app also instructs learners in colloquialisms and proverbs, providing the context for them and teaching how to properly employ them in casual conversation. As an added advantage, the level of difficulty can be adjusted to suit the proficiency of the user.

Rosetta Stone

Perhaps the best-known language software, the company behind Rosetta Stone has also developed an app. One notable feature of Rosetta Stone that makes it stand out is its voice recognition feature, which is designed to identify common pronunciations by non-native speakers, then to teach the proper pronunciation.

MindSnacks

MindSnacks has a smooth and easily accessible interface. The games are fun, making learning a new language a breeze. Like the other apps on this list, it is rated very well by users. At $4.99 USD, it’s also very affordable.

Open Language

Open Language is a thorough set of lessons to teach every level of English learner, from beginners at the very start of their English learning journey to advanced speakers seeking to understand complicated grammatical devices like the proper placement of prepositional phrases. The only drawback is that, at $30 USD per month, it is one of the pricier apps on the market.

These are just a handful of the apps that can prove useful in the pursuit of English fluency.

TEFL Courses: An Overview

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is an accreditation awarded after completion of a course, either online or in-class, where the methods, theories, and practical applications of teaching English to non-native speakers are expounded. There are a variety of institutions that grant TEFL applications, some better regarded as others.

Finding Work

Frequently, institutions providing TEFL applications will assist graduates in finding and successfully gaining employment in the English teaching profession after they graduate from the course. Native English speakers are in demand worldwide, especially ones holding a TEFL certificate. Taking a course to become qualified to teach English such as a TEFL course demonstrates to potential employers a willingness to learn and a dedication to this field of employment.

Anyone can take a TEFL course, from teenagers fresh out of high school to middle-aged individuals looking for a change of pace of a career path shift. Many opportunities become available with a TEFL certificate from the right institution, and it is a great addition to a resume.

Hands-on Experience

Many TEFL courses, in addition to the class, offer hands-on training in a classroom environment to further build the confidence of the teacher prior to taking a job in a school. In these situations, a trained TEFL teacher will supervise the lesson delivered by the TEFL candidate, then later review their work and offer constructive criticism. Because most classes are an hour long and often students only attend class once per week, maximizing the instruction time allotted is essential for getting positive results in terms of language advancement for the students.

Typically, a TEFL course will focus on teaching the four fundamentals of English: listening, speaking, reading & writing. Teaching theories, which attempt to explain how people learn languages and the best ways to ensure the information from lessons is retained long-term, are also frequently included in the curriculum of a TEFL course. Many also include cultural training, which can be specific for the region in which the TEFL candidates wish to pursue careers. For example, a TEFL course geared toward teaching English in Saudi Arabia might include lessons on cultural norms in Islamic-majority countries.

Lastly, in terms of content of the TEFL course, students will learn assessment methods – both how to administer tests and how to gauge absorption and retention of the material as English classes progress.

Completing the right TEFL course can mean a world of difference in the long-term success of English teachers.