Mr. Anake Permvongsenee, the secretary of Education Council, reported that Thai students ranked 5th among 10 Asian nations in a study that compared the students’ English skills. He added that Vietnam was ranked higher than Thailand.
The study was part of a cooperative venture by Asian countries to compare policies and strategies in teaching foreign languages to students. The study noted fundamental flaws in Thailand’s educational system to teach a foreign language, with problems both inside and outside the system.
Thailand needs to improve the fundamentals of studying and teaching English and other foreign languages in a more systematic way. Related organizations should work together solve this urgent problem, the study stated.
The study also suggested that in the future Thai people should not study only English and Chinese language, but also other Asian languages, especially in neighboring countries. Within the next 20 years, Thai children should be able to speak three foreign languages, the study recommended.
The researcher said that the government policy of using the English language in Thailand still doesn’t have a clear strategy. Mr. Anake said he has talked with the secretary of the committee to develop bureaucratic systems. One proposal is that in the future, both English and Thai language should be included in official documents of all government units.
Mr. Anake will share the study results in future meetings with major educational organizations. The goal is to set up clear objectives for teaching English to Thai children with specific targets to be accomplished.