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24 มกราคม 2551
 
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Teaching Matayom upcountry...

Matayom is the Thai equivalent of secondary school... Teaching Matayom is challenging. Lots of hormonally challenged teenagers welcome the chance to have a foreign teacher... someone they can take the p*ss out of, someone who they don't fear or have to instantlly respect.

I taught Matayom for a month in Korat and really enjoyed it. It was hard work, trying to think of things that would appeal to the students, and trying to think of ways to get them interested in what they were supposed to be learning - I don't remember liking any of the topics I studied in Frence at school - but fun...

When I was asked to teach primary school kids in BKK, I wasn't really that keen. I hated the fact that the Thai bosses at school made the connection

GIRL = TEACH PRIMARY

and would have much prefered Matayom.

I knew nothing about young kids. I couldn't think of anything that would interest a 7 or 8 year old. But now, after a year of teaching Primary school aged kids in BKK, I much prefer primary. The kids are sweet and really want to learn. They're at an age where they really want their teacher to like them so they try hard, like to speak out in class and, as long as you have decent materials are usually interested in what you teach.

With Matayom its the opposite. Sulky teenagers who would rather text their friends than speak to them. When they talk in class, what they say to the teacher is barely audiable. What they say to their friends in Thai (I kwai... - basically translates as something along the lines of 'you f**kwit') is screeched out at full volume. The whole school, and probably the lorry drivers trundling past on the main road outside can hear.

Most of the Matayom kids at my school really don't care about learning English. The smart kids study in the town. The remainder, the slow kids, the ones with behavioural difficultlies, family problems or those too poor to make it as far as the town end up at the local school. And, (unfortunately for me...) in my class. Their English lessons are a chance to make fun of the foreigner.

The teachers at school insist that all the Matayom students learn together. I hate this. Get each class on it's own and its possible to teach them something. Lump them together and its almost like each level is in competition with the others... to see who can be the dumbest. In Matayom. loud and dumb is the new cool.

Yesterday my class went something like this.

'I love you...'

'I no love you... I love Gerrard..'

'I like Manu U'

'Teacher no beautiful.'

'Man U no like. Natalie. I love.'

'Paradorn ugly.'


Only 3 more weeks to go. :)


Create Date : 24 มกราคม 2551
Last Update : 24 มกราคม 2551 17:42:22 น. 1 comments
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