คำถามเหล่านี้เป็นคำถามจากคุณพ่อคุณแม่ที่ได้เข้าร่วมงานสัมมนาของนิตยสารKids and School ค่ะ ทางนิตยสารได้ประสานงานเพื่อขอคำแนะนำจากBritish Council และนี่คือคำตอบจากผู้เชี่ยวชาญค่ะ อาจยาวหน่อยแต่หลายข้อก็ตรงใจ และมีการแนะนำเว็ปไซต์สำหรับช่วยลูกฝึกภาษาที่น่าสนใจด้วยค่ะ
1 ลูกอายุ 2 ขวบครึ่ง จะสอน 2 ภาษา ได้หรือยัง เริ่มยังไง เด็กจะสับสนหรือไม่
My child is 2.5 yrs old, can I start teaching them the second language? Are they ready for that? Will they get confused?
“2.5 years is very young but there is no reason why you can not introduce your child to English in a fun and relaxed way. You could have set times to practice English (or an English corner of the house – make sure this is bright, colourful and attractive - where you both go and play with English). Use songs see the LearnEnglish Website: http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids-songs-little-kids.htm
. Do actions, dances or activities with the children as they listen. For example, use the I can sing a rainbow song get different coloured cards and put them on the floor, children listen to the song and touch the cards. Don’t expect too much and don’t try to force the child to produce the language; he or she will do this when they are ready. Children that age also have very short attention spans. They will want to move onto something else. Rather than force them to finish the activity (this will only end up with them getting upset and disliking English), go with them or change the activity. Stories are also great for very young children. Don’t worry if they don’t understand every word. Children are experts at making sense of things that are new to them.” Phil Sweeney
“Reading easy English books with them that have lots of coloured pictures is a great way to introduce English in a non threatening way, and using the pictures in the books to help show the words you say. Children are excellent observers and can grasp meaning from facial expressions, gestures and body language as well as pictures, but it’s important to not place any reading demands on them if they are only beginning to read in their L1.” Catriona Young
2 ปัญหาก็คือ พ่อ แม่ pronounce เสียงไม่ถูกค่ะ บางครั้งพูดแล้วลูกสับสน เช่น food , foot
สื่อพวก DVD ภาษาจะช่วยไหมคะ หรือมีสื่ออย่างอื่นไหมคะ ที่จะช่วยเรื่องการออกเสียง เพราะบางครั้งลูกจะชอบร้องเพลงภาษาอังกฤษมาก แต่ให้ดูเป็น story พูดยาว เด็กดูไม่เท่าไหร่ก็เดินหนีแล้วคะ ถ้าดูเป็นเพลงบางทีร้องได้ทั้งเพลงเลยคะ
Many parents have problem with pronunciation and when they talk to their children in English, it confuses them (e.g. food vs foot), are there any materials that would help them with this problem? Children seem to prefer song rather than story which is normally longer and less motivating/interesting
“Each child is different and the key is finding out what interests them as an individual. Some children will like songs, some stories, others puzzles or games etc. There are lots of listening exercises, songs, games and stories on the LearnEnglish Kids website. Why not check out the British Council Learning Lounges at our Centres? There are lots of fun graded readers (many with listen along CD’s) available to borrow. These are very popular among our students.” Phil Sweeney
“If parents think they have problems with their own pronunciation and their child looks confused then they can assist communication by using mime, gesture or pointing e.g. ‘food’ would be associated with an action of putting food in your mouth and chewing, and ‘foot’, with pointing to your foot. This helps to reinforce the language as well. Parents can help develop their skills by listening to recorded version of books or songs and practice reading and singing in English, so they rehearse beforehand. They can even record themselves to note their strengths and weaknesses and choose areas to work on. And don’t forget to use the internet – there are many video and song clips to be found (try totlol.com for kids ‘you tube style’ clips.)” Catriona Young
3 ถ้าจะสอนลูกให้พูดภาษาอังกฤษเป็นภาษาที่สอง เราควรพูดอย่างไร เห็นบางคนบอกว่าให้พูดภาษาอังกฤษแล้วต่อด้วยภาษาไทย
Some said that it would help if parents speak English to their children and then follow by Thai translation. Is it true that this will help their children to be able to use English as a second language?
If a parent speaks English but always follows this with a Thai translation the child will learn that he or she doesn’t really need to listen to the English, they just have to wait until the parent translates to understand. It is much better to grade your language. Don’t use difficult vocabulary or complex structures. Use common, simple phrases: ‘press the button’ (in the lift), ‘open the door’, ‘sit down’, ‘pass the spoon please’ etc. Used in a context (for example at a restaurant or the dinner table) and heard enough times children will make sense of the language. Try to use translation as sparingly as possible.
“Listening is not a passive activity. Guide them when listening to English by using visual stimulus, playing simple games, singing, using rhyme or getting them to follow simple instructions. This will help children build their confidence and help them with what to concentrate on and they will hopefully be able to recall words after a few sessions. Encourage them to try to work out the meaning themselves and by using simple language and for a reason they should be using English to have fun and this should help develop their curiosity with new words.” Catriona Young
4 ฝรั่งคิดอย่างไร ถ้าคนไทยพูด / อ่าน ภาษาอังกฤษผิด
How native speakers think when Thai people speak or write wrongly?
“A lot of Thai people I have met are afraid to speak or write to English speakers, ‘in case they make a mistake’. Contrary to popular belief, English speakers are not at all concerned if a non-native speaker makes a grammar or vocabulary mistake. Most of them are extremely impressed that Thai people have gone to such efforts to learn their language. What’s more important is the Thai person’s ability to communicate. This is why English courses at the British Council aim to develop the students’ communicative ability and confidence.” Phil Sweeney
“Are they intelligible? Can they communicate what they want even if they use bad grammar? If the answer is yes then they should be happy. The act of trying is impressive. If they didn’t ‘have a go’ for fear of making a mistake then they are they are wasting opportunities given to them and the chance to learn from what they do wrong.” Catriona Young
5 น้องอายุประมาณ 7-8 ปีไม่ชอบภาษาอังกฤษเท่าไหร่ดูการ์ตูน ก็ต้องภาษาไทย อ่านหนังสือเป็นภาษาอังกฤษก็ไม่ชอบ คุณแม่ก็ไม่ค่อยเก่งภาษาอังกฤษ แบบนี้ควรเริ่มต้นอย่างไรดีคะ
I have a 7-8 yrs old child who doesn’t like English at all (not even cartoon or story) and I’m not good at English myself, what should I do?
“There could be various reasons for this. Your child may have had a negative experience of learning English or you may simply not have found a medium your child likes to learn English in. For example, it may be that your child may be more sociable and would prefer to learn with friends or with other children. Think about what your child likes to do in Thai. This will give you some indication of how you can introduce English to them.” Phil Sweeney
“Don’t force them. Start by using material that is very easy for them. Reading books that have lots of bright colourful pictures and simple language should help and then you don’t need to read it again in Thai. It is perfectly natural for children to want to understand the story. Making ‘English time’ more like a game and fun should help to remove any negative feelings they associate with English. There are lots of games and on the British Council learn English website which are a variety of levels. Have a look.” Catriona Young
“Try something different, something easier. Don’t always try to teach/do something new. Boost your child’s confidence by looking at things he has studied already. Find out what your child has studied recently at school in English and make a game out of it. Get him/her to test you to see if you know as much as he does. ‘Mum, how do you say go swimming in Thai?’ Then swop roles and see who gets the most points. Instead of translation into Thai you could do an action with your hands or body and guess the word your child learnt at school. Have a spelling competition too. (But make sure you’re not too good!!) Revision of what they already know is just as important as learning new things. Once a child feels like they are good at English they are more likely to be encouraged to be more adventurous in what they read and do in English.” Jane Dyas
6 ขอทราบ WEB SITE การ์ตูน ฝึกออกเสียงด้วยคะ
Is there any website that can help with pronunciation? (for children)
See answer to 8.
7 ซื้อหนังสือการ์ตูน 2 ภาษาให้ลูกอ่าน ลูกบอกว่า “อ่านนิทานให้ฟังหน่อยคะ” แม่ก็อ่านภาษาอังกฤษ แล้วอ่านภาษาไทย ที่แปลให้ แต่ลูกบอกว่า เอาแต่ภาษาไทย ขอเรียนถามว่า ทำอย่างไรให้ลูกอยากฟังเราอ่านนิทานภาษาอังกฤษคะ
I bought bilingual cartoons for my kids and when I read for them I would read English first and then Thai but my kids only want to hear the Thai. What should I do to get them to be more interested in English?
“It’s no fun watching something you like and it’s all in a language you don’t understand. Don’t force your kid to use only English. You could balance the amount of Thai and English used in explanations. Your child will use English when she/he is ready.” Susie Chan
“This is one of the biggest problems with any story or cartoon that has both English and Thai on the same page. Be relaxed about it and let them read it in Thai first if that makes them more relaxed to then look at the English.
I suggest you try to make a game/competition out of it. Here are some ideas:
1. Cover the Thai and see if your child can translate certain key vocabulary from English into Thai. Then you can move onto whole sentences.
2. Also think about covering words in English and seeing if they can remember the missing words.
3. Use the pictures to help you stimulate the child’s interest. Get your child to name five things they can see in the picture in English or get them to tell you
- what the person is doing “He’s swimming in the sea”
- what is going to happen “He’s going to fall out of the airplane”
- what he did yesterday “He went to the cinema”” Jane Dyas
8 ถ้าพ่อแม่ไม่เก่ง Engฯ จะสอนลูกอย่างไร (ex : การออกเสียง )
If parents are not good in English, how can we help our children especially on pronunciation?
“There are many ways to help children. Using cassettes with books so they can listen and follow at home, or using the internet, which has many useful sites that can help with all language skills. As well as the British Council website there are many more parents can check and use which have lots of interactive games and children can even record themselves and compare.
- pronunciation (phonics)
– reading and pronunciation (phonics)” Catriona Young
“Great points Cat! If parents are interested in improving their pronunciation this site might be interesting for them:
Hope this helps” Phil Sweeney
9 ถ้าเค้าออกเสียงภาษาอังกฤษบางคำไม่ได้ ต้อง Push เค้าให้ออกให้ได้มั้ยคะ ออกให้ถูกต้อง หรือปล่อยไปก่อนคะ
If my kid can’t pronounce some words, should I correct and try to get them to pronounce correctly or should I let it go?
“If your child wants to improve, you should help them pronounce it clearly. But if the idea is communicated clearly and you understand, then leave it. If you over-emphasise correctness in pronunciation it might deter your child from learning English”. Susie Chan
“Can you understand what they are saying? Is it intelligible? It is unrealistic to expect children to speak like a ‘native’ as pronunciation can take years to develop. Constantly correcting might make your child reluctant to speak English to you; it really does depend on whether what they say stops communication, and by interrupting them you might irritate and interfere with their train of thought.” Catriona Young
“This depends on the activity you are doing. If you are looking at individual words that they are learning or revising then yes you should make them focus on the correct pronunciation. Keep it fun by not insisting on the correct pronunciation if they are struggling. Use silly voices to help them not feel self-confident. Good voices are a robot’s, a monster’s, a baby’s voice, an angry man’s voice or a tired boy’s voice. All this adds humour to what could cause embarrassment to the child.
However, it is of vital importance that you don’t stop a child in mid flow. If a child is talking or telling you a story or asking a question, don’t put them off or interrupt them. Fluency and confidence is more important than accuracy.” Jane Dyas
10 If I speak English with my children but they don’t understand, should I translate them into Thai or just keep doing it in English?
“Again, grade your language. Use common sense. If they still don’t get it after several times in English then use a bit of Thai to explain, but use English (insist!) when talking to each other at basic things, greetings, everyday phrases etc.” Susie Chan
“Some top tips for speaking in English with your child:
• Keep it simple to begin with. Easy and repetitive questions or statements.
• Never say “เข้าใจไหม?” as this puts too much pressure on the child. You should be able to gauge if they have understood by their non verbal or minimal verbal response.
• Don’t expect instant verbal responses from them! It might take weeks or months for the child to build up confidence – that doesn’t matter, just keep going and eventually it will feel natural to them and they will join in. Remember they know you are a native Thai speaker – children find it especially strange when their parents who have never wanted to speak to them in English suddenly decide they are going to start now!
Try to choose a specific time to talk to them to begin with i.e. during breakfast or in the car on the way to school, or on the way to badminton lessons. It is best to start this with them when they are as young as possible. Keep it regular and get the child used to that being the ‘English time’.” Jane Dyas
11 จริงๆแล้วควรเริ่มจากพ่อแม่เรียน การสอนภาษาอังกฤษที่ถูกต้องรึเปล่าคะ เพราะถ้าแม่สอนเพี้ยนจะแย่
Should parents improve their own English first before teaching their own children? Otherwise the children with get bad examples.
“Don’t be afraid to use English with your child, even if you only know a little bit of English. If you make mistakes in front of your child, it’s not a big deal. Your child will hear and learn English from many different sources. What is more important is that you are a good role model for your child. If he/she can see you using English (for e.g. reading in English, studying English, Listening to English music, enjoying using English etc.) your child will learn that English is important and just a normal part of life.” Phil Sweeney.
“If they want to. On the other hand they can learn along side their children by reading books together, listening to tapes to help them before they read, or playing games together either using cards or on the internet. Many children don’t have parents that can speak English, and still learn and develop well.” Catriona Young
“This often isn’t practical as parents are busy people. If you feel you are not overly confident with your English then there are a number of ways to help yourselves:
• Use CDs! These could be CDs that come with text books, song CDs or many Readers for Young Learners come with CDs so children can listen and read at the same time. This puts less pressure on parent’s pronunciation abilities.
• Remember any help and encouragement is positive even if the parent’s English isn’t perfect. At lower primary level there is less focus on complex grammar and more focus on basic language structures, spelling and vocabulary. Be there to help children practice what they learn at school. Make them feel confident about what they already know.
Learn with them! If you’re keen, they’re keen!” Jane Dyas
12 มีลูกอยู่อนุบาล 1 จะเริ่มต้นสอนลูกเรียนภาษาอังกฤษอย่างไร เพราะที่บ้านพูดภาษาไทยกันหมด จะเริ่มต้นที่
1. A B C
2. คำศัพท์ เป็นคำๆ เช่น Apple , Cat
เมื่อได้เป็นคำๆ แล้วจะทำอย่างไรให้พูดเป็นประโยคได้ หรือพ่อแม่ต้องคุยกับลูกเป็นภาษาอังกฤษ
-เมื่ออ่านเป็นคำได้แล้ว เช่น Ant Cat แล้วต่อไปทำอย่างไร
-มี Tools หรือ หนังสือ อะไรที่จะใช้ฝึกภาษาอังกฤษ (แนะนำชื่อหนังสือ)
My kid is now in K1, what should I start teaching them? ABC or easy words e.g. apple, cat…? After my kid knows the words, what should I do to get them to speak in sentences?
“Quite often people don’t speak in sentences. As long as your kid knows how to use English to express ideas, the sentences and complex structures will come later.” Susie Chan What next? Are there any tools or books that I can use to teach my kid English?
“With younger kids make sure English is used and taught in achievable chunks i.e. make it easy. They will soon learn to enjoy it.” Susie Chan
“Absolutely Susie! Try to build in simple phrases into your everyday life for e.g. close the door, dinner’s ready etc”. Phil Sweeney
It’s a great idea and huge positive step for a child to have help in English from an early age. Give your child regular and constant exposure to English. But the most important thing is to keep it FUN and RELAXED. Your child is still very young and English learning should be an enjoyable and entertaining way to spend some time with their parents.
• You should have set times to practice English or
• Have an English corner of the house – make sure this is bright, colourful and attractive - where you both go and play with English.
• Don’t expect too much and don’t try to force the child to produce (speak) the language; he or she will do this when they are ready.
• Children that age also have very short attention spans. They will want to move onto something else. Rather than force them to finish an activity (this will only end up with them getting upset and disliking English), go with them or change the activity.
• Use post it notes to write words on to make signs to put around the house. Words for things in the kitchen is a good place to start. Fridge, chair, table, glass, plate etc. Stick the ‘fridge’ post it note on the fridge etc. Then test your child from every day. “Where’s the fridge?” “What’s this?”.
Build from this and take away a few of the post it notes one day and see if they can remember them. Change a few (or all) around and time your child to see how fast they can put them back on the right object. Your child will run around like crazy while you sit and drink your coffee!
• Use songs see the Learn English Website:
Do actions, dances or activities with the children as they listen. For example, use the I can sing a rainbow song. Get different coloured cards and put them on the floor, children listen to the song and touch the cards.
• Stories are also great for very young children. Don’t worry if they don’t understand every word. Children are experts at making sense of things that are new to them.
• Use word cards and picture cards (cut up) to play games with. For example:
Again, to begin with don’t expect production. Recognition is just as important to begin with.
The most basic game for word recognition is the “Slapping Game’. Put a set of picture cards face up. Say a word and give your child 3 seconds to find the correct card and touch it to win it. Instead of saying the word you can also just mouth the sound. You can move on from there to more complex games. Begin to spell a word slowly and the child has to touch the correct word before you finish spelling it.
Below is a list of more games to build on their skills:
Here are some games to play with the cards.
1. Pelminism. (2 or more players)
Put the picture and word cards face down. Turn over one of each to find a matching pair. If you find a matching pair, say the word/phrase and you can keep the cards. The winner is the player who has the most pairs at the end of the game.
2. The Missing Card. (2 or more players)
Put the word or picture cards face up. Tell your partner to close their eyes. Turn over one card. Say ‘Open your eyes! What’s the missing card?”. Your partner has to guess the missing card to win a point.
3. As Fast as you Can. (3 or more players)
Put the word or picture cards face up. The ‘Quiz Master’ says a word and the other two players race to touch the card first to win a point.
4. Spelling Game. ( 2 or more players)
Put the cards face down. One person picks a card and asks the other players to spell the word to win a point. Don’t forget to say “How do you spell.....?’
You can write the word or say the spelling.
5. The Finger Game. (2 or more players)
Put the words card face up. Choose one card. Put your finger over part of the word so your partner can’t see all the letters in the word. Tell your partner to look at the card and spell the whole word.
6. Read my lips. (2 or more players)
Put the cards face down. One person picks a card and moves their lips to say the word, but DON’T make any sounds. The other players have to guess the word to win the card.
7. Say a Sentence to Win. (2 or more playes)
Play Game 1 – Pelminism (as above) but to win the cards you have to say a correct sentence using that word. For example you win the ‘classroom’ word and picture class so you have to say a sentence like ‘ I study English in the classroom everyday.’
1. Pelminism (Memory Game) (ผู้เล่นตั้งแต่ 2 ขึ้นไป)
คว่ำการ์ดรูปภาพหรือคำศัพท์ลง ค่อยๆเปิดการ์ดแต่ละใบเพื่อหาคู่ ผู้ที่ปิดเจอคู่ที่ถูกต้องเก็บไว้ ผู้ชนะคือผู้เล่นที่มีการ์ดที่ถูกต้องมากที่สุด
2. The Missing Card (ผู้เล่นตั้งแต่ 2 คนขึ้นไป)
วางการ์ดคำศัพท์หรือรูปภาพขึ้น จำและให้ผู้เล่นทั้งหมดหลับตา คว่ำการ์ดหนึ่งใบ จากนั้นบอกให้ผู้เล่นคนอื่นๆเปิดตาได้ ถามเพื่อนๆว่า “อะไรหายไป.” ผู้เล่นต้องเดาและตอบให้ถูกว่าการ์ดใบใดหายไป
3. As Fast as you Can (ผู้เล่น 3 คนขึ้นไป)
วางการ์ดคำศัพท์หรือรูปภาพขึ้น ผู้เล่นหนึ่งคนจะเป็นคนบอกคำศัพท์ ผู้เล่นที่เหลือจะต้องแตะการ์ดที่ตรงกับศัพท์นั้นให้เร็วที่สุด ผู้ชนะได้ 1 คะแนน
4. Spelling Game (ผู้เล่นตั้งแต่ 2 คนขึ้นไป)
คว่ำการ์ดรูปภาพหรือคำศัพท์ลง ผู้เล่นคนหนึ่งหยิบการ์ด โชว์เพื่อนๆและให้สะกดคำให้ถูกต้องเพื่อนได้คะแนน อย่าลืมที่จะถามว่า “How do you spell.....?” จะเขียนตัวสะกดหรือคำศัพท์หรือพูดก็ได้
5. The Finger Game (ผู้เล่นตั้งแต่ 2 คนขึ้นไป)
วางการ์ดคำศัพท์หรือรูปภาพขึ้น เลือกการ์ดหนึ่งใบ ใช้มือปิดบางส่วนของคำศัพท์เพื่อเพื่อนๆจะได้ไม่ตัวสะกดทั้งหมด บอกผู้เล่นให้สะกดคำให้ถูกต้อง
6. Read my lips (ผู้เล่นตั้งแต่ 2 คนขึ้นไป)
คว่ำการ์ดรูปภาพหรือคำศัพท์ลง ผู้เล่นคนหนึ่งเลือกการ์ดและอ่านคำ แต่ไม่ให้มีเสียง ผู้เล่นที่เหลือพยายามอ่านปากเพื่อเดาคำศัพท์ ผู้ชนะจะได้การ์ด
7. Say a Sentence to Win (ผู้เล่นตั้งแต่ 2 คนขึ้นไป)
เล่นเกมส์แรก Pelminism (ด้านบน) ต้องแต่งประโยคด้วยคำที่ได้ให้ถูกต้องเพื่อนจะชนะ ตัวอย่าง ถ้าหากว่าผู้เล่นได้คำศัพท์ และรูปภาพ ‘classroom’ จะต้องแต่งประโยค เช่น ‘ I study English in the classroom everyday.’
• To encourage your child to speak in sentences you could use a puppet or a cuddly toy. This is great stimulation. The puppet can act as the person who asks the questions in funny voices and the child has to reply. In this way you can build up a mini role play. You can also use it for spelling games or to fill in the missing word.
Use songs for children to encourage production of sentences. Children can learn an enormous amount from songs with repetition in them. Nursery rhymes are great. Or children’s books from any good book store that come with CDs are perfect. Children take time to enjoy songs in English. They won’t necessarily love them the first time they hear them. Add actions to the lyrics and play them often in the house and in the car and children will eventually sing a long with the songs.” Jane Dyas
13 เวลาสอนลูกภาษาอังกฤษต้องแปลด้วยหรือไม่? หรือพูดภาษาอังกฤษอย่างเดียว เป็น “That is cat” ต้องต่อด้วย “นั่นคือแมว” หรือไม่
Should I translate what I speak in English into Thai?
“No. Try to use basic and simple English to explain. This maximizes the amount of English you use.” Susie Chan
“Use pictures, objects, stories, contexts etc to explain the language. For e.g. show your child a picture of a cat and say “this is a cat”. This way your child will start to think in English rather then thinking in Thai then translating into English. This is a much better strategy to learning to speak in a foreign language. An overuse of translation will only lead to a slower ability to communicate as the person translates everything into their first language before responding. Rely on translation as little as possible!” Phil Sweeney
14 การอ่านนิทานสองภาษา ให้ลุกควรอ่านอย่างไร อ่านภาษาไทยสลับภาษาอังกฤษ หรือ อ่านภาษาอังกฤษเป็นคำๆคะ/ ลูกบอกให้อ่านภาษาไทย (ลูก 7-8 ขวบ)
Similar to Q7
16 ลูก ป.2 อ่านหนังสือ ภาษาอังกฤษที่ครูให้อ่านเป็นการบ้าน ลูกอ่านได้บางคำในหนึ่งหน้า แล้วก็ดูรูป แล้วอ่านหน้าถัดไป จะทราบได้อย่างไรว่าลูกอ่านเข้าใจไหม? และมีวิธีอย่างไรช่วยให้ลูกอ่านได้
My kid is in P2 and he/she has to read English books assigned by the teacher, he/she can read some words each page then look at the picture and turn to the next page. How should I know if he/she understand and how can I help?
“You can ask your child about the book. What is the story about? Look at the pictures together and see if they can say the words in English without looking at the text. You can even get them to look at the picture and tell their own story in English (make it up together) and then read the text to check if they were right.” Catriona Young
“Ask them global questions to check their understanding. What’s in the picture? Why is he doing that? What do you think about the…? This promotes creativity and encourages critical thinking too.” Susie Chan
17 ตอนนี้ลูกเรียนภาษาอังกฤษอยู่ที่โรงเรียนเสริมทักษะแห่งหนึ่ง สิ่งที่ได้คือ
คุณแม่คิดว่า ถ้าขึ้นมัธยมต้นจะย้ายลูกไปเรียนหลักสูตรที่เน้นไวยากรณ์มากขึ้น ถูกรึเปล่าคะ หรือไม่จำเป็นคะ
My kids are studying at one of the tutorial schools, they know quite a number of words, can spell them correctly and can write in sentences. When they move to secondary level, should I transfer her to other schools which focus more on grammar?
“It depends what you want your children to achieve. Unfortunately, many Thai schools still use a grammar based syllabus and testing system. Learning this way will not necessarily help a child’s ability to communicate and, in some cases, can lead to the child becoming less confident or afraid to speak English in case they make a mistake. There are a lot of tutorial schools which prepare children to take these grammar tests or exams. However, before choosing a tutorial school I would think carefully. Do you want your child to learn English a) to pass exams or b) to be able communicate in English?” Phil Sweeney
18 จำเป็นไหมถ้าจะให้ลูกเก่งภาษาอังกฤษแล้ว ต้องเรียนในโรงเรียนนานาชาติ
Is it true that if we want our kids to be good at English, we would have to send them to international schools?
“Not necessarily, but it can help. Do some Thai schools have English programs, where children learn all their subjects in English? This might be another option. Internal and external motivation and the need for them to want to learn can also play a large role in English development, and there are many students who do exceptionally well outside international schools because they have this.” Catriona Young
“A child learns English well through frequent and regular exposure to English both inside and outside the classroom. While going to an International school can be an advantage as the child would be exposed to English constantly in every subject and activity, it is not the only way to ensure a child learns English well.
In addition to their English classes at school there are other ways to ensure a child is exposed to English.
ROLE MODELS – parents can play a vital role in leading the way:
• Through hearing their parents communicate with others in English.
• Seeing that their parents both read and write in English.
• Realising through the example of others that English isn’t only something that is taught at school. People use it everywhere!
BOOKS, SONGS, DVDS
• Gradually introducing English entertainment into the home. But beware – children aren’t always going to automatically love it from day one. If it feels alien to them they might shy away at first. Parents should lead through example. Children will show an interest if their parents do what they want their children to do!” Jane Dyas
“Not necessarily. Kids need to be motivated and interested and interested in learning English. It’s not important where, but it is a well known fact that international schools expose students to a lot more English than Thai/Bilingual programmes.” Susie Chan
19 ควรให้ลูกเรียน phonetic เมื่อไหร่และ British council สอน?
When should I have my children learn phonetics? And does the British Council teach phonetics?
“Phonetics is the study of the sounds made by the human voice in speech. The study of phonetics is often very theoretical and has little or no relevance to someone wanting to learn a foreign language. Many of our teachers, for example, study phonetics on their diploma courses or MA courses. This helps them have a better understanding of the problems foreign language speakers have with English and how to help them.
Phonics is a method of teaching people to read in which they are taught to recognize the sounds that letters represent.
In the UK children start learning phonics when they enter reception class at school (at the age of 4). Some start a year earlier in playgroup. At the British Council we use a range of techniques to help children learn to develop their reading and writing skills. This website will help you teach your child phonics:
If your are interested in more information about how to help your child develop their reading and writing skills please have a look at:
” Phil Sweeney
20 Which type of English you recommend to start learning, American or British?
“It’s really up to you. If your child will go to live in England in the future then British English would be better.” Catriona Young
“Either. It’s not important at all. Students imitate but they don’t have photographic memories or the ability to copy someone’s accent exactly with every word/sentence. Students usually develop their own accent in time regardless of the teacher. However, the surroundings in which the kid is exposed to English is still very important” Susie Chan
“The main differences between British and American English are in the pronunciation, the spelling of certain words and the fact that American English has some different vocabulary and colloquial expressions to British English. Your child is likely to be exposed to both types through their teachers’ accents, books, films and songs. A child will benefit from exposure to both. A conscious decision does not need to be made.” Jane Dyas
21 Should we translate words right away when we teach them or should we translate only when our kids don’t understand?
“Encourage them to try to work out the meaning themselves. Use mime and gesture to help. See answer to 4” Catriona Young
“Concept check them. You can use basic English to check they understand. Never ask: “do you understand?” It’s a silly question to ask. The answer will always be met with ‘yes’.” Susie Chan
“It is important not to let a child become reliant on translation as they can become too dependant. Children learn best through being exposed to English in context where the meaning becomes obvious from what is happening around them. It is also vital that children are given visual aids and clues to stimulate their learning. Visual aids build pictures in a child’s mind which are often easier for them to pull out of their memories to use than a picture of the written word in their memory. Kids have an impressive ability to guess meaning from context. Always give children time to process and guess the meaning first before you give it to them in Thai.” Jane Dyas
22 How do our kids learn to speak like native speaker? (or pertly munch like)
Since parents have Thai accent, will this make our kids’ accent Thai too?
“Stop focusing on accent and think about how to encourage interest in your kid learning English, promote some independence in their learning, generate fluency in expressing own ideas clearly is far more important that a mere Thai accent.” Susie Chan
“Don’t worry about having Thai English accent. People pick up the accents they are exposed to most. So if a child grows up in a particular part of the UK and hears the local accent of that area everyday, they will acquire that local accent. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different localized “native speaker” accents across the UK, the USA, Australia, New Zealand etc. What is important to know is than no one accent is better than any other. There is no such a thing a right accent or a wrong accent. What is more important is that your child learns to be able to communicate clearly. This is far more important than the type of accent they have.” Phil Sweeney
• Jane Dyas works on the British Council English programme in Satit Chula. She is a very experienced teacher and has taught all over the world including Spain and Italy.
• Catriona Young is a Diploma Qualified teacher and a very experienced teacher of young learners. She teaches in British Council Lad Prao. Before coming to Thailand, she taught in a number of parts of the world including the UK and South America.
• Susie Chan is another Diploma qualified teacher. She works in British Council Pinklao and has taught young learners for many years. She has taught in numerous countries including Japan.