More than beaches and backpacking for over 200 young Brits teaching in Thailand this summer as part of British Council ‘Thailand English Teaching’ programme
The number of young Brits participating in an English teaching programme in Thailand has risen by 25 per cent in just one year.
The British Council’s ‘Thailand English Teaching (TET)’ programme has seen a dramatic rise in numbers as more young people from the UK seek to experience Thai life beyond the typical backpacking trail.
The TET programme for undergraduates and recent graduates improves English in Thai schools and uses language teaching in educational institutions, ranging from primary schools to vocational colleges, to strengthen cultural ties between Thailand and the UK.
Set up in 2012 and running for its longest-ever duration this summer, the programme enables the development of English speaking and comprehension among Thai students, and gives English Teaching Assistants the chance to gain valuable international work experience, learn Thai and integrate into Thai communities.
The British Council, Thai Ministry of Education and programme sponsors welcomed the 248 English Language Assistants from 41 UK universities to Bangkok in June, marking the beginning of their nine-week journey as they were briefed on Thai culture, educational structures and how to settle into Thai life before starting their teaching placements.
Chris Gibson, OBE, Director, British Council Thailand, said: “We are thrilled that there has been a 25 per cent rise in participants for our Thailand English Teaching Programme with more UK students eager to take part than ever before. Sharing languages to encourage cultural exchange is at the heart of English teaching at the British Council, and we hope that the English Teaching Assistants and Thai schools will all gain invaluable knowledge and cultural understanding from this experience.”
This year 173 academic institutions within Thailand are participating in the programme; 104 government schools, 56 private schools and 13 vocational colleges. 45 of them are located in Bangkok and surroundings, and the rest are located in 50 other provinces across the country.
Helen Sunderland, who participated in the programme in 2013, said: “Stepping into the unknown has been challenging, scary at times but also exhilarating, eye-opening, fascinating and inspiring.”
The number of English Teaching Assistants on the programme is predicted to double by 2015 with applications for the next intake of English Teaching Assistants opening in August 2014.