The SWU TEFL program emphasizes practical experience and an open-minded approach to teaching English in Thai primary and secondary schools. Our objective is to equip our teachers with both the tools and the classroom experience to begin their experience as a professional native speaker English teacher in Thailand. In order to do this efficiently in as short a time as possible, we expose our trainees to a wide variety of educational settings. The course can be separated into five elements, some of which are spread throughout the 3 weeks of course time. The final week is left free for trainees to explore Thailand on their own, while SWU TEFL finds a suitable position for any trainee who desires one. The five elements of the course are:
Practical TEFL Training
This portion of the class takes place primarily during the first week of training, at the SWU facility. Trainees will learn about the Thai educational system, the role of a foreign teacher, techniques for eliciting language, lesson planning, activity design, adapting teaching styles to different ages and levels, and classroom management. These lessons are designed to work together with the ‘Teaching Practice’ section of the course.
During 8 of the 10 days of training at the SWU facility, trainees will have the opportunity to teach short lessons to university students under the guidance of their trainer. This will help new teachers become comfortable explaining features of the English language to students, and will also provide an opportunity to practice the lessons being learned in class.
Thai Language and Culture
Toward the end of the training period at the SWU facility, trainees will receive professional training from SWU staff in the basics of Thai language and culture. Together with the materials we provide, it is our hope that this portion of the class will greatly enhance our trainees experience of living and working in Thailand.
In both Bangkok and Prachuap, trainees will have the opportunity to create and implement activities for two English camps for Thai students of different ages and levels. These camps are informal and intended to be as active and entertaining as possible. They are an excellent opportunity for trainees to become acquainted with Thai students outside of the classroom, and to design and practice using entertaining activities to make learning English not only educational, but fun as well!
During the portion of the course that takes place in the beautiful beachfront town of Prachuap, the trainees will have the opportunity to visit actual Thai schools for all ages and levels: Anuban (kindergarden), Prathom (primary, or grades 1-6), and Matayom (secondary, or grades 7-12). After the initial school visits, trainees will have the opportunity to observe actual classes taught by foreign teachers, and to speak with those teachers about their techniques and their experience as a teacher in Thailand. After following and observing an experienced teacher for a day, the trainees will have the opportunity to teach real lessons to that teacher’s classes, under the observation and guidance of the teacher whose class they are teaching. This will give our trainees the actual experience of teaching in a Thai school before they begin their first job, and is a key feature of the course.
Following the completion of the practical section of the course in Prachuap, trainees will return to Bangkok for a final evaluation, graduation ceremony, and exit interview. During this final stage, SWU TEFL will inquire about the trainee’s teaching preferences, and present the employment options available to each trainee. While our graduates are relaxing and exploring Bangkok, we will be guaranteeing that each graduate who so desires has suitable employment as a teacher for the upcoming semester!