Teacher Licensing, Culture Testing, TCT
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Posted 2006-10-22 02:07:45
Hi upon my return to work next week I am being asked to supply copies of all the documents I supplied to get my work permit, copies of my work permit, visa, photo's etc and I am told I need to take an exam. I haven't been told what the exam is, or what to expect it to contain.
I have been working at the same school for nearly 2 years. Is this likely to be anything to do with a teacherís license? If so any info on the exam and what to expect in it would be appreciated. I was hired as a teacher for conversation English, at my interview I made it quite clear that I was not qualified to teach grammar, which was no problem as that is taught only by the Thai teachers anyway. So the school was fully aware of what I could offer and what I couldn't. I am paid 24k a month which is low but then despite having a degree and a TEFL I was without experience. If I am required to take an exam, and it is a teacherís license, I would not be wrong to be asking for a large pay rise (given that I pass) would I? This is not in Bangkok but Kanchanaburi where pay is rather low. Another point is if I am hired to teach conversation and the exam is based on a grammar teaching basis why would I be in need of taking it? It is the not having any info. On why they need the documents again or what the exam is for that creates my concern. If anyone can shed light on this situation I would be most grateful.
Posted 2006-10-22 06:03:39
Yes, this has been cropping up just recently- something about an "exam" that everyone must "pass" (soon!) without any real info yet about just What The **** They Are Talking About- probably mostly because the schools are still mostly out. I have heard some sort of rumbling about this indirectly from my school as well, though all teachers are already out and we have already had our WP's and everything processed this year. In other words, the Ministries have ALREADY decided we qualify, but now we don't.
The closest thing I've heard to detail comes from a post on another website, but it might be true: someone said they heard that all teachers without TEFL certs who've been teaching less than 3 years will be asked to pass *some* sort of exam on Thai culture. This is likely more accurate than anything we'll hear officially anytime soon.
What does this mean? God knows. Obviously some moron at the top feels that it will somehow clear out the majority of dodgy teachers (who have no work permits and are off the official radar entirely) to harass those of us who actually qualify for them, or even already have them. Predictions: the test will be completely inapplicable to non-TEFL teachers, but we'll have to take it anyway. The test will be full of largely inaccurate but very proper-sounding platitudes about what "should' be true in Thai culture, which we will bob our heads at blithely and get passed for. After all, are there ANY tests given by Thai institutions at ANY level which ANY one in Thailand can actually fail?
Posted 2006-10-22 10:50:09
Thanks for the response, if you or anyone else hears more about this can it be posted please. Now what about the request for all my documents again? Is this part of the exam situation or something else? It is not a problem as i have all they need, i just like to know why they need.
Posted 2006-10-22 12:24:21
It all seems to get more rediculous by the moment.
Posted 2006-10-22 14:08:42
boatabike, once 'they' - the Thai administrators or officials - get excited or get officious, they're likely to ask for all the documentation they can think of, just in case. But if you have a real bachelor's degree, and already have a work permit, you've worked there two years at low pay and they like you, and it's the correct phase of the moon, you should have nothing to worry about.
Indeed, it's a ridiculous time for Thailand, in more ways than one. I pity the good teachers without perfect paper credentials who are just barely hanging in there, who may have to quit and leave.
Posted 2006-10-23 10:20:34
Remember nobody fails tests in Thailand. This is just a bit game so that people who wear white jackets with lots of gold braid gain face.
Can you imagine a culture test administered by Thais about themselves? It will be the biggest piece of self-deception ever created.
Posted 2006-10-25 11:21:12
I have heard rumors about the new requirements but I am not sure what they are. I talk to the head of another department at my school when I was at Carrefour a couple of weeks ago and she is very concerned about the new requirements and her ability to recruit teachers next year. That is about all I know about the requirements.
Posted 2006-10-25 12:01:14
I heard about this test from a few pals in the English teaching profession and they have all been told to attend a one day Thai cultural awareness training session... which got me wondering if a farang cultural awareness training session to help them understand the foreigners they employ better would also be on the cards as well... but I doubt it.
All that's needed now is for all the foreign teachers to stand at the front of the school and sing the Thai national anthem in Thai from memory too and then a true feeling of warmth and acceptance will be had by all.
What's next... a pledge of allegience to the constitution?
Posted 2006-10-25 12:13:41
Yes that and two years of National Service.
Posted 2006-10-25 18:02:34
Yep, and on scouting day all teachers must now wear brown shorts.
Posted 2006-10-25 18:12:54
Steady, boys. It *is* ridiculous, but let's leave out He Who Must Not Be Named. (Yog-Sothoth, right? Or is it Cthulhu? )
Posted 2006-10-25 21:11:27
Actually, I foresee scout short on scout day in my future. I don't know why, but when I read it, I thought that sounds like something my admin would think up.
At our school's mother's day ceremony, all the dignitaries, mothers and thai teachers went under the tent. Foreign teachers were asked to sit out under the hot sun with the students.
Posted 2006-10-26 10:41:53
Thais must be confused with farang. Think about it, we pay large amounts of money to go to hot countries, strip off our clothes and lay in the sun trying to become black. Then when the Thais considerately provide us the opportunity to lay in the sun for free, we complain.
Posted 2006-10-26 22:31:31
This is true but given the choice I wouldn't sun bathe in a tie, shirt, black trousers and shoes!
Posted 2006-10-26 23:26:55
It's all because they don't know where to put us on the status list.
Posted 2006-10-27 23:33:27
Actually they do: During the Wai Kru Day ceremony at my school they told us how to line up:
1. Second Generation American of British ancestry.
3. First Generation American of non-European ancestry.
4. 2 Filipinos
5. 6 Chinese teachers.
Posted 2006-10-28 09:41:19
Is that so that the yanks can throw flowers at the feet of the Englishmen?
Posted 2006-10-28 15:04:29
Wellll, your country *is* the home of the English language...
Posted 2006-10-30 08:39:22
News we have here is the following.
Work permits will be tied to a teaching licence.
To obtain a teaching licence you must fullfil one of the following criterea.
1 Be a qualified teacher or have a degree in education.
2 Have a degree and have been on a work permit from before 2003.
3 have a degree and pass a ministry of education exam in English and Thai culture. The exams will be taken in Bangkok and regional centres after a seminar.
All the schools here in Nakhon have been in communication with the min. of ed. and they have assured the schools this will be going ahead.
Going to cause ructions and a teacher shortage if it does
Posted 2006-10-30 09:00:31
In the years I've been here this type of 'news' is constantly announced. Thailand will continue to be Thailand - a very pragmatic country that doesn't view rules the way we do. Schools will employ and provide wps for whoever they want because they can.
There isn't any farang in Thailand who knows or understands completely how life works here.
Posted 2006-10-30 09:07:42
Not refuting the thread but I too suspect this will be selectively deployed. I have heard certain government schools saying to teachers that they are exempt from issuing teachers licences because they are governement schools and teachers in government schools don't need one and this is to Teachers with work permits and valid visas who all asked 'where is the teachers licence?'.
Not sure if this is bull or not from the schools but if you don't need a teachers licence then doesn't that revoke the need for the Thai culture test (whatever that is meant to be anyway)
Let me ask then... does this apply to University professors and those teaching subjects other than English?
Sounds to me like this is one of those T.I.T. Events
Edited by Casanundra, 2006-10-30 09:08:17.
Posted 2006-10-30 10:56:49
According to the info here from Thai management at several schools, there have been two sets of criteria sent out, one for private schools, one for govt. schools. Criteria for private schools, language schools included, are more stringent. However, it is explicetly stated that all foreign teachers, working in govt. schools, teaching any subject must have a teachers licence. All teachers holding a non education degree and teaching here less than three years must take the test to get the licence.
I have been at the same govt. school for five years and have no teachers licence. We have been told that for govt. schools it is a requirement, but it has never been enforced. They are not legaly exempt, just practicaly.
Agreed, probably the whole thing will be fudged or forgoton. If not, there is going to be big problems finding teachers next year. However, this is the first time I have seen things being taken this seriously from the schools here.
Posted 2006-10-30 11:10:06
Once January arrives and the 90 day 3 tourist visa rules start to kick in I think finding warm bodies to stand in front of English classes is going to be a contributor anyway without the new rules to do an English exam and Thai culture test kicking in.
If Thailand is 'really' pitching itself to get better qualified teachers to come and teach here then it needs to do several things first:
1) Sort out it's hormonal administrative staff at the schools to stop messing the teachers around
2) Bash the usless agencies over the head who make it private policy to screw teachers over
3) Pay a salary worthy of a credible qualified teacher and not some lame 35k
4) Establish a sensible education policy and resolve the issues that rote learning causes
5) Make class sizes manageable for effective language learning
6) Employ someone sensible to be the head of English at the schools
Now when all of that has happened then and only then will I believe that the schools can be a place for decent qualified teachers because right now, most schools haven't a clue how to handle one when he/she does turn up at their doorstep. All this nonsense for extra testing is avoiding the real issues and I for one cannot wait for January to come along just so as I can sit there with my big bag of popcorn to see what (if anything) the fallout will be.
Edited by Casanundra, 2006-10-30 11:11:38.
Posted 2006-10-30 12:45:23
Good question indeed.
As far as I'm concerned I teach French, why would I have to take an English exam ?
What about the Thai culture test ? Will I have to take one written in English or in broken French (I'm the only native speaker at my university) ?
What about my Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese colleagues who don't speak neither Thai nor English ?
Posted 2006-10-30 12:58:58
Excellent. This sums it all up for me as being a typical Thai trait of trying to force these things through without thinking about the wider aspects and implications of their inane proposals.
Bloody marvellous! I guess the key is to just stand there and become a complete dumb mute when they start chatting to you in English or Thai.
For those who can speak and do teach other subjects in English I guess you should start just mumbling complicated words on your specialist subject and see how much of it they can understand... like the nuances of fiscal policies in third world nations, or the life cycle of a swamp frog and how many DNA strands it takes to make a human being... I can see an opportunity for some fun here when they try to administer these tests.
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