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  1. #1
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    Parents queue up for English classes

    Parents queue up for English classes
    The Nation February 8, 2013 1:00 am

    Parents of students at Chulalongkorn University Demonstration Elementary School queued up overnight yesterday to enrol their children in the British Council's English Language Programme, which is hosted by the school's parents and teachers association.

    The queue started forming at 1pm on Wednesday afternoon. The parents insisted that the queue method, which meant waiting overnight, was appropriate and better than a lottery-type drawing.

    Only 120 students are admitted to the English course.

    A first grader's grandmother who asked not to be named said she had waited since 2.30pm and it was worth it because she was 22nd in line. She said the programme is good because it is taught by native speakers and is less expensive than outside courses, which can cost up to Bt80,000 for three years. Under the Chula school programme, the cost is Bt15,000, with the children studying until the sixth grade.

    The grandmother also praised the school's method of checking the queue every 45 minutes. Those who were absent were cut from the queue. Last year, the grandmother said, some parents hired others to queue up on their behalf and some sold their queue numbers.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Parents queue up for English classes

    It looks good, but are there not enough teachers for every child to learn? Just curious.

  4. #3
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    Re: Parents queue up for English classes

    Thailand is full of English teachers but seriously lacking in the qualified variety. Parents know they'll be getting fully trained and qualified teachers from the British Council. Obviously they can't supply enough teachers to cover all students.

    My university department would like to have more native speakers but we require at least a master's degree in Linguistics, Literature, TESOL or other English language field. There are not that many qualified native speakers around here.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Parents queue up for English classes

    I'm told British Council pays more than 60,000 a month for full-time jobs, and I know for sure that they don't insist on ESL qualifications, experience is more relevant.

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    Re: Parents queue up for English classes

    I know that British Council recruitment policy varies by country but I'm pretty sure full-time positions in Thailand require at least a CELTA, and they prefer DELTA-qualified teachers. Experience counts but the right kind of experience.

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    Re: Parents queue up for English classes

    It seems that should be enticing for qualified teachers with a sense of adventure who would like to live and work in Thailand. Maybe there is no shortage of positions for them in the UK. Or maybe the younger teachers are paying off student loans and retirees are not considered eligible? Just running little scenarios in my mind.

  9. #7
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    Re: Parents queue up for English classes

    KhaoNiaw, maybe it was a couple of years ago then that this person I know worked in Thailand.
    Many westerners have a sneering reaction to a salary of 60,000 even though it is plenty enough to live comfortably and support a family. In Bangkok, schools seem to hire anyone and everyone for any English teaching job who can pretend to be speaking English, there is such high demand (of course, those jobs are more like 30000 a month.)

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