The Education of Bilingual Teachers: Preparation of Thai Pre-service Teachers of English to Teach in Thai-English Bilingual Schools
Date: 25 April 2016
University of Exeter
EdD in TESOL
In preparation for Thailand to join AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) in 2015, the Thai Government has made efforts to prepare its citizens for this competitive market by improving their English competence. This has driven the Education Ministry of Thailand to establish bilingual Thai-English education, namely through the English Programme ...
In preparation for Thailand to join AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) in 2015, the Thai Government has made efforts to prepare its citizens for this competitive market by improving their English competence. This has driven the Education Ministry of Thailand to establish bilingual Thai-English education, namely through the English Programme (EP) and Mini English Programme (MEP) in both public and private schools. While in-service teachers are trained in teaching in EP and MEP through the cooperation between the Educational Ministry and four institutes: ELI (English Language Institution), ERIC (English Resource and Institutional Centre), British Council and Chulalongkorn University (Ministry of Education, 2003; Punthumasen, 2007), it is found that pre-service teacher training for bilingual education is relatively new and there has been little/no research in terms of its effectiveness in Thailand. This study examined Thai pre-service teachers’ perceptions of an English teacher education programme at a university in Bangkok, regarding the programme potential of preparing them to work in bilingual schools, especially for teaching in EP and MEP in the future. A mixed-methods methodology underpinned the study by providing method and data triangulation. This methodology involved the adoption of self-report questionnaires (n=37) and follow-up Facebook-chats (n=17) as method triangulation, and from Thai pre-service teachers in different year groups as data triangulation. Descriptive analysis i.e. frequencies and percentages was used to analyse closed questions of the questionnaires and content analysis was employed for analysing data from open questions of the questionnaire and the Facebook-chats. A good understanding of the English bilingual education system and teacher requirements respective for work in bilingual schools in Thailand was displayed and in line with the Ministry guidelines as expressed in the Ministry’s order number Wor Gor 65/2544 as of 9 October 2001.The findings revealed that they felt they needed English knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge and Experiences in preparing them for work in bilingual schools also involved. It was also found that native-English speaker norm regarding communication and pronunciation skill resulted in less confidence in English proficiency. They desired to learn more about English especially relating to oracy skills, followed by a topic relating to teaching through English. The findings of the study contribute to the development of teacher training programme for bilingual education. Practical suggestions and future research are firstly related to the shift from native English speaking norms to bilingual or multilingual speaking norms to eliminate the feeling of failure to the linguistic competence. Secondly, CLIL and Content-based instruction are suggested to respond to the participants’ need in learning a topic relating to teach through English.
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