Sample Activity and Key Points to Make Teaching English in Thailand Easy

Teaching English in Thailand – Sample Activity – Battleships

We were setting up a teaching volunteer program in Chiang Mai in 2011, and I was asked by the director of this school to start teaching this class to show him what our volunteer teachers would be doing. I had exactly five minutes of preparation time! So the pressure was on.

Some things in this lesson can be used, others you really need to ignore. For example, I used Thai far too much – you are not meant to use Thai at all. I made it easier on myself and translated – but only after they guessed correctly. I also used Thai to explain things, which was not good as I should have relied on English and my demonstrations.

Some things that are good about this video are:

– The way I drill the vocabulary over and over with the children.
– The way I keep them engaged the whole time.
– We play a game, but there is so much drilling in that game that it’s a focus on the language with playing the game as a secondary objective.
– I demonstrate the game instead of explaining it, and it takes a few rounds before they understand it – when they do ‘get it’, they become more engaged.
– I use a points system, which helps them get more engaged and competitive. I talk about who’s winning all the time too.
– My sound effects, you have to admit, I am awesome at making the true noise of a battleship.

This is quite a popular video on YouTube for teaching English in Thailand in it’s category, which is nice.