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BANGKOK 21 November 2018 03:37
BurgerGung

Banter - and Thai culture regarding boundaries

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My main goal has been to get students to speak. Banter works well. And six-pack-abs are among the things I like to jest about.

 

Am middle aged and do have a paunch. But having my belly fat felt up has happened a few times. Students aged 11 and 17 did that. Is this normal?

 

Just asking.

 

Serves me right, talking about "sic-pack-abs".

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Thais are generally a little more touchy than some cultures.   So, on their part, it wouldn't be viewed as particularly wrong, but it is a good idea to set boundaries with the students and I would avoid letting them do that.

 

When I taught younger children, they often liked to touch the hair on my arms.

 

In general also females should not touch males or vice versa.  

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For many Thais it is a sign of good luck ... so they touch your paunch hoping some will rub off ... I've even had cops do it

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At least they don't point to you belly and shout "baby" as has happened to me on occasion!

?

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I have been told that Thai women only touch men if they are interested in them. Not sure if true but in my experience seems likely. 

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I have had plenty of people touch my stomach too. as above, even police... but still - in a school environment with underage students - - not appropriate behavior. 

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You didn't say if you are trying to get them to speak in English. If you are there is a question of loss of face. They feel a loss of face if they are corrected or unable to speak well.

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Getting them to speak is important, but don't become a clown. They wont take you seriously and you'll end up with a class that is in control. 

Have you had any teacher training? There are lots off effective ways to get them to speak that are more structured and that can be used when you give them tests later on in the term.

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Look for games for tired teachers.... and keep your hands off the students.... just better that way..

 

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At every English camp I’ve been to, where we are allowed to dress down, the students have always been fascinated with my chest hair. There’s a fair amount of touching and pulling too. Same things happens at a nearby water park where I sometimes take a bunch of the neighborhood kids (in fact I’m there right now).

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