New to Thailand

The short amount of time I have lived in Thailand and taught at the English Programme has been a wonderful journey. This sense of adventure (along with the language’s utility) has motivated me to learn the little Thai language I so far have. Unfortunately, that enthusiasm about language can get lost in the classroom too easily. My grade seven students, however, attacked this unit’s content with the vigor of jungle warriors—and that’s just what they were.

 In fact, the task of learning new animal, survival, and environmental vocabulary; imperative sentence structure; and the grammar of prepositions of place, looks easy in comparison to navigating a dangerous forest. Students worked together to use all of the language-tools mentioned above to direct adventurers through an obstacle-course filled with dangerous animals and weather (not real ones, of course)! When confronted with a river guarded by a crocodile (or a picture of one) the adventurer’s teammates gave him or her a self-created instruction like “Swim behind the crocodile”, which was then carried out (in mime). In this way, students (and their teacher) had a lot of fun mastering the jungle-like complexities of English in a meaningful way.

— T. William H.