Author Topic: you don't need to go abroad to be fluent  (Read 1059 times)

Offline thaiga

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you don't need to go abroad to be fluent
« on: August 20, 2012, 12:07:08 PM »
Home can be the best place to learn English

Many Thais believe that to be proficient in English, they must live abroad for a period of time in an environment that forces them to speak English to survive - like when they have to find places to go to and food to eat. But this is not always true. Two students have proved they can be proficient in English despite being born here and spending their lives studying in Thailand.

But, an English-speaking en-vironment is crucial. And the

parents of Nantanick Tantiva-sadakarn, 15, from Suan Kularb Wittayalai School, and Onrampha Souvannavong, 9, from Sriwit-tayapaknam School, created a valuable surrounding in which their children could flourist.

The pair were among four winners of the National Speech Contest 2012 held recently in Bangkok by the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec).

So, how did the young students' parents create such an environment?

"My parents talked to me continuously in English since I was born," said Nantanick, answering this question from The Nation.

Onrampha's answer was the same.

But, it was not just English conversations spoken with their families that helped improve their skills. The media also contributed a lot to their development.

So, Thai parents who cannot speak English should not feel helpless; the English language media can help your children.

But to encourage this learning parents must choose English-language media based on their children's preferences and what they enjoy most, Nantanick's mother Patchara, and Onrampha's mother, Jantana urged.

Nantanick and Onramphasaid they both developed native English accents and learned vocabularies from the media.

Nantanick prefers watching movies and documentaries in English and Onrampha likes cartoons, songs, a TV programme that teaches English and books, picture dictionaries and everyday life conversation books.

Onrampha said: "Learning English is all about practice, practice and practice. So, for any of you who use English and sound like a native speaker, it's all about how you set the environment."

Nantanick said: "For myself, my parents have been speaking English with me so I'm able to practise it everyday. And also, sometimes, I go to watch movies or documentaries in English, and from doing that I start to get the accent so I sounded more like a native-speaker rather than a local.

"The most important thing is determination. We have to be determined when we practise English. Sometimes, we do it incorrectly, so be patient and keeping adjusting your practise. I myself have taken years to practise," he added.

Onrampha suggested other pupils try to learn more about English and do their homework.

One of the winners, Tevin Thiplueporn from Phuket Wit-tayalai School recommended: "Among tips of effective learning

for English, you have to focusless on memorising and more on listening, reading and getting yourself familiar with words. I have two ways. The first is listening to music, and second is to read some novels, maybe Harry Potter or Narnia."

Onrampha was the winner of Prathom 1-3 (Grade 1-3) category, while Maisy Vanmook from Saint Joseph Kalasin School was the winner of Prathom 4-6 (Grade 4-6). Nantanick won the Matthayom 1-3 (Grade 7-9) level and Tevin won the Matthayom 4-6 (Grade 10-12) category.

Each of the national winners had a speech to present. Onrampha delivered her talk on the topic "Mother's Day", Maisy on "My School", Nantanick on "How to Get Benefit from Social Media" and Tevin on "How to Encourage People to Enhance English Ability."

Being able to speak English naturally and fluently with pronunciation similar to English natives was important in the contest, but all also had to present well-organised speeches.

Many contestants, however, spoke from what they had memorised from their scripts, not from what was in their thinking, the contest's judges commented. They urged teachers to train students to think by themselves and express their opinions rather than have them memorise prepared scripts with topics that teachers thought could be good for impromptu speeches.

Watanaporn Ra-ngubtook, director of the English Language Institute at Obec, said 228 winners from 26 contest groups competed in the contest. Its theme was impromptu speech in which contestants have an opportunity to practise and develop their ability in English proficiency, thinking skills, public speaking and problem solving.

The standard of most Thai students' English communication is not very high. Thai students' ability in English communication has been ranked sixth among Asean countries, research has found, behind Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam. Also, a survey by the Education First Company has ranked Thai youths 42nd out of a total 44 countries surveyed in terms of English ability.

Obec's secretary-general Chinnapat Bhumirat urged teachers to play the role of facilitators and give students moral support and encourage them to speak. Nobody was wrong andno one should be made fun of when saying foreign words
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


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Re: you don't need to go abroad to be fluent
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2012, 04:46:45 PM »
"And today's sentence is, 'I'm all right, Jack"'

I may be wrong but I don't think that all Thai parents speak fluent English.

Offline thaiga

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Re: you don't need to go abroad to be fluent
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 05:41:27 PM »
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.