The emphasis has shifted from grammar-based to communicative and functional English. After receiving positive feedback from independent studies, we expanded to 15 centres across the country to train over 17,000 teachers.
Since then, our teachers have never been happier teaching, and our students have never been more keen to learn English.
Dr.Teerakiat Jareonsettasin, Former Minister of Education, Thailand
Ministry of Education, Thailand
The Regional English Training Centres project (Bootcamp) aimed to transform English teaching in Thailand by upskilling English teachers, improving classroom environments and to contribute to greater equality of education in Thailand.
Thailand’s 4.0 strategy aims to internationalise, develop skills, nurture creativity and innovation to develop a high value economy and greater social equality. English is an important foundation for this strategy, yet 75 per cent of teachers of English in Thailand have a Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level of English at only A2 or below. English teaching in Thailand has been grammar-focused rather than communicative, resulting in poor outcomes for students.
This meant that there was a government demand to improve the low levels of English teaching in the school and university system across curriculum, materials, teaching methodology and assessment.
We partnered with the Thai Ministry of Education to develop the Regional English Training Centres project (RETC), aimed at transforming English teaching in Thai primary and secondary schools. Since its inception, the RETC project expanded from four to 15 locations nationwide. The project allowed us to reach thousands of teachers in Thailand, helping them set up a dynamic classroom that makes learning English fun and ensures that students are fully engaged and not afraid to speak English.
The project has changed teachers’ attitudes in teaching English by encouraging learning and sharing among other teachers; inspiring them to teach better and motivating students to enjoy learning English.
We have upskilled over 17,000 English teachers in Thailand. The Bootcamp project also selected 40 Thai Master Trainers to co-train with British Council trainers for two years. As a result, 40 Thai Master Trainers are now working with the Ministry of Education to cascade the training to the next generation of teachers in Thailand. We continue to support the Thai Master Trainers (especially in Continuing Professional Development) to enhance their teaching skills and exchange knowledge with other teachers at an international level.
Thailand’s economic plan emphasises innovation, creativity and the digital economy. Central to these goals are the improvement of educational standards and levels of English. Improving English skills in Thailand creates more life opportunities for students and young professionals, which in turn creates demand for English language courses, training, and exams. At any one time, we teach over 2,000 adults and 6,000 young English learners and deliver over 28,000 UK qualifications annually.
Various ministries look to the UK for partnerships, consultancy and training in strategic areas where we have expertise (such as higher education, policy and curricula). This creates opportunities to bring influence and attraction to the UK, as well as supporting UK trade and investment.