How to Teach English to Thai Children

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Repetition and visualization are common techniques used by teachers to teach children a new language. These techniques do not work if the child cannot relate the vocabulary to familiar objects and concepts. Teachers should focus on teaching the child a new language within his or her cultural context. Students are more likely to learn words if they understand how to use the word in a sentence fairly quickly. Effective instruction includes teaching the use of words that are frequently used within the context of a commonly used sentence phrase. These strategies can be used to teach Thai children English.

  • Teach basic conversation skills by providing students with commonly used phrases such as "my name is" and "hello, how are you" and their Thai equivalent. Use role-playing and ask children to introduce themselves to each other first in typical Thai fashion and then in English. Have them repeat the English phrases until they can enunciate the words in each phrase correctly.

  • Use picture flash cards with visuals of common Thai flowers, vegetables, animals and vehicles to teach basic vocabulary. Say the English word for the picture and then show the children the picture. Ask the children to repeat the English word as they view the corresponding picture. Repeat the process with the same flash cards until the students can clearly identify the English word that corresponds to each flash card.

  • Give students the definitions for connecting phrases such as "I eat ," "I ride in ," and "I wear " and ask them to fill in the blank with an English vocabulary word. As an example, once they have learned the English words for a variety of fruits and vegetables, ask them to use any of these words to fill in the blank in "I eat ."

  • Provide students with multimedia learning resources for home use. Give them PowerPoint presentations that provide students with pictures and corresponding English words so students can learn at home. Embed the presentations with simple videos of people speaking conversational English. Use Thai subtitles for the videos so the children can easily comprehend the conversation. Ask students to practice repeating the conversation at home.

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