Problems Of EFL Speaking In Thailand


This chapter provides introductory explanation about the pronunciation of English sound by Thais. It identifies the issues of EFL speaking in Thailand, function of British in Thailand, and the teaching pronunciation in EFL curriculum in Thailand providing this content designed of communicative speaking skills. This is followed by need for the study, the purpose of the study, research questions, opportunity and ending with limits of the analysis.

1. 1 Track record to the study

Problems of EFL Speaking in Thailand

In lines with the role of British as an international lingua franca, Thailand has taken several measures to incorporate British into its education system. For example, in 1995, the Thai federal made English dialect research compulsory from primary university (Sedgwick, 2005). Predicated on my two-year British teaching experience at institution, Narathiwat, Thailand, however, many Thai students still have problems using English, especially in the region of pronunciation. One of the reasons for this is actually the lack of contact with English terminology use beyond your class room. Another could be because of the differences between the phonetic and phonological systems of English and their first terms. Next, they all might be taught and emphasized only the guideline of sentence structure and increasing their British vocabulary but is probably not practiced English pronunciation properly. On the one hand, formal pronunciation teaching shouldn't be neglected in all foreign language classrooms since pronunciation performs important roles in communication which is the fundamental element of foreign language learning: as it has been promise from the almost all of Thai people that educators should speak the prospective language during their foreign language class.

Due to the lack of time on teaching British pronunciation in the class room, Thai students never have been instructed in the area of pronunciation sufficiently. In Thailand, only the students doing bachelor level in British field are aware of how the audio is produced appropriately and of the British vowel sound both in terms of vowel quality and vowel size however, not for others. Hence, some students are aware only of volume differences of the vowels but never being understood of quality of the vowels. Moreover, some have no idea of both quality and the quantity distinctions between each couple of the vowel audio.

Previous studies on the British pronunciation of Thai audio speakers have discovered that they do not contrast vowel size (Chantachorn 2003). For instance, Thai speakers seem not distinguish between vowel pairs like //-/i/ and /‰ /-/u№/, leading to words like dispatch and sheep, and fool and full being produced as homophones. However, the majority of the shared studies on the creation of English vowels by Thai speakers are impressionistic in character, and hence, the current study aspires to take a look at the development of British vowels by Thai speaker systems through acoustic evaluation. It also seeks to examine the amount to which the development of vowels is influenced by Thai vowels.

Those problems of spoken British by Thai students are influenced by the next factors: functions of English, English language education, and coaching of English pronunciation.

Functions of British in Thailand

In Thailand, lately, the role of English is actually important as it is employed for international communication. New technology and INTERNET have been developed swiftly resulting in a greater move in education, business, travel and leisure and economic affairs which all interrelate commanding high English proficiency.

Thai government officials use English for international conference and communication. For example, ASEAN summit which is a meeting presented by ASEAN with regards to economic growth, cultural progress and cultural development of Southeast Asian Countries. In the industry part, English can be used by entrepreneur, holiday organizations, hotels, airlines and even loan company to talk to foreigners, as well as business for import and export. Beside this, British is the most important for the tourist area in Thailand. For circumstances, Phuket island, Krabi and Phangna positioned in southern of Thailand are very well-liked by Westerners. Therefore, Thais who leave in visitor area need to communicate with them in English even sometimes they do not communicate effectively. This may be credited to faulty pronunciations which lead to communication malfunction. Some researcher's overseas friends have blamed that the majority of the Thai people cannot talk well, especially for folks who result from Deep South of Thailand that are Narathiwat, Pattani, and Yala provinces. This could be credited to there aren't so many foreigners come there and Deep South is not a visitor area. This also cause the students in the region don't have much drive in learning British.

Another band of English user is at media and magazines. Some news programs and variety shows in Thai television program use British as a medium to execute their program. The examples of such programs are 'English breakfast' program on Tv set Thai channel providing English knowledge as well as entertainment such as idiom for everyday living, sentence structure as well as English pronunciation. 'Chris Delivery' once famous English teaching program on route TTB5 and 'British minutes' a brief program on channel 5. Furthermore, the Hollywood films are played out in the cinemas around Thailand with British sound keep track of and Thai sub-title. However, most Thais choose to view the Hollywood films playing Thai sensible track to English one. Moreover, there are also Reports program using British as a medium played out on channel MCOT. Thailand view channel is a 24 hours English language information route broadcasted by ASTV (Asia Satellite television on pc) which provide information and perception into Thai affairs that basically matter and have an effect on both Thai and foreign residents. 'The Region' and 'Bangkok Post' are well known and greatly read by foreigners and educated Thai readers all over Thailand. For the English magazines, 'Land Junior' and 'Scholar Regular' have been well-liked among Thai young adults. Since English is a worldwide language, Thai government has attempted to get all mass media involved with English language to be able to provide Thais and support those to learn British.

Finally, English, therefore, works as a words for basic informal education in Thailand. Although English is not really a medium of teaching in school level, it enables students to learn and understand dissimilarities of dialects and cultures, traditions and traditions, pondering, society, overall economy, politics and supervision (Ministry of Education 2001). Overall, these functions show you that Thailand has attempted to use English in many ways to make Thais get use to English dialect however these techniques only work on some Thai organizations and some of Thais still not getting familiar with English understanding and creation skills that happen to be listening, speaking, reading and writing.

English vocabulary education in Thailand

Learning spanish serves an important and essential tool for communication, education, seeking knowledge, livelihood and creating understanding the culture and eyesight of the world community (Ministry of Education 2001). Although English isn't just the foreign language in Thailand, evidently can be seen that English language still play a dominating role as it is principally used to speak to make a connection and assistance between people across the world.

English has been called an international terminology and many Thai people have been getting involved with it for decades. Most of them implicate with British language found in their daily lives from many multimedia such as words, tv, radio and newspapers. The folks who get into institution, of course, they have known English language at the start of the first principal school level. As mentioned above that British language has been made as compulsory subject matter starting at primary college in 1995 in Thailand. However, the curriculum was modified once again in 1996 and English is now taught as a topic in Level 1 to 12(Sarmah, Gogoi & Wiltshire 2009). All students have to take British language as a compulsory subject every semester for principal and secondary college levels. Which means that they need to take English course at least 9 credits for major level and 12 credits for secondary level. Within the upper extra level, at least 6 credits are necessary for them (240 time). Because of limited time for 2 cycles/hours a week, resulting in limited lesson for pronunciation. Furthermore, six British courses are necessary for all learners in four -calendar year curriculum at the undergraduate level (Chusanachoti 2009). These few British courses are just a little time period exposed to British terminology use.

The Thai Ministry of Education has motivated several approaches in British course syllabus to improve the intelligibility in English language used like a learner-centered strategy, communicative language procedure as well as terms for specific goal. Within those approaches, the area of pronunciation in addition has been trained in conditions of chat and reading out loud. Nevertheless, the the majority of the material still concentrate on reading and writing skill for samples reading comprehension, grammar and vocabulary. This may be primarily credited to a problem in teaching pronunciation, especially at primary level and lower secondary level: students feel timid expressing and utter an British sound making them never to cooperate with the actions provided. As a result, most of the educators feel oppressed to instruct pronunciation.

At the primary institution level (level 1-6), students should be able to know the British Alphabet, to learn a simple term aloud, to spell a simple vocabulary, to read simple conversation and storyline. However, the course syllabus has been concentrated hardly any on the pronunciation and reading out loud. Furthermore, in a period of secondary institution, the fundamental British course requires the students to have the ability to pay attention, read, write and speak communicatively at the level of their own. For situations, at class 6 level, they are simply requires to be able to communicate naturally in everyday activity, to clarify or tell a story of their own lives and history. But, as is seen certainly that students still speak English badly, even though they may have studied English for 12 years (main school-secondary institution). This may be anticipated to less attention on pronunciation lessons and too little exposure to British vocabulary used out side the classroom. Furthermore, they tend to pay more attention on reading to be able to comprehend this content of the text and grammar in order to pass the final exam for everyone level level students also to success in obtaining a high report from the countrywide university entrance exam. Beside this, to stress on pronunciation and let students learn and know each sound correctly, instructors should instruct students to learn the relationship of each words and its audio. This can not only help them in reading and spelling but will grasp them in speaking. In addition, teaching students to learn how the looks are produced will also support them to understand different sound and its own characteristics.

Teaching pronunciation in EFL curriculum in Thailand

Pronunciation training has sometime been neglected generally in most EFL class room. In another phrase, it is not given much more attention by the educator in the school room. In EFL curriculum in Thailand, spoken English has been played out through these pursuing main articles: vocabulary for communication, terms and culture, terminology and romance with other learning areas and terminology and romance with community and the earth (Ministry of education 2001).

The Thai Ministry of Education has positioned teaching pronunciation training to all college level at key and secondary college. Generally at Levels 1-3, students are expected to have the ability to know and pronounce the English alphabet, words, phrases, and simple sentences simultaneously with observing the rule of pronunciation. The tasks focus on learning basic phonology system that involves specifying the letter audio and vowel audio (a, e, i, o, u), spelling the words effectively and reading some basic words and sentences out loud as well as getting students practice on producing primary and final consonant, tempo and intonation. Besides, the students would be involved in interpersonal communication by asking these to use brief and simple term that they have heard. These include using requested words such as pleas do not make a noise and is it possible to help me, please?. Furthermore, Students grade one, two and three can identify the consonance audio and speak common phrases in imitating a genuine situation in the classroom. At Grade 4-6 principal education level, students are trained to speak English through expressing their needs sense and opinion. They also should be able to tell tale about themselves, relatives and buddies to others. The ability in using English to communicate in various situations is necessary for the kids.

During extra education, speaking activities in the EFL curriculum, students must be able to listen closely, speak, read and write appropriately using their own levels both at top and lower levels. Generally at the lower extra level, communicative speaking duties are played out through various speaking activities such as dialogue speaking, speaking for short dialog, speaking for giving the info around them and exhibiting opinion about the things around them in the current situation. Reading aloud is also emphasized by training students to read some history in text catalogs, newspaper and some simple British poem aloud before the class room. By these school levels, in reality, the practice on creation of English vowel sound shows up in the curriculum designed. For instance, students can read all word aloud by observing the basic concept of pronunciation. This implies they might discriminate the variations of English vowel audio in term of vowel duration.

The emphasis of communicative speaking at top of the secondary level is on asking for information, accurately read aloud word, news, announcement, advertisement, skits and poem and having conversations to exchange some information, experience, opinion in current situation in Thailand and abroad. These activities will be done with a role-play in the classroom. For example, divide students in an organization and ask those to create some situation by imitating the true situation in day life. Some students play as reports reporters plus some play a short drama in front of their friend.

As a matter of known fact, although there are a few contents on British pronunciation practice, the limited time as stated above is one of obstructions of doing pronunciation. Furthermore, in the EFL framework, Thai supplementary students may actually use and present attention on British literacy skills of reading and writing alternatively than tuning in and oral skills (Bennui 2003).

Significance of the Study

An acoustic evaluation of British vowels made by Thai audio system will produce more reliable home elevators the characteristics of the vowels produced, specifically vowel quality and vowel span for monophthong vowels, and the former for diphthongs. Such information will permit comparisons with the acoustic characteristics of vowels in Thai, so that it is possible to compare the vowel systems of British and Thai, and henceforth to determine the effect of L1 on British. The findings on the degree to which Thai sound system can perceive English vowel contrast can help in the understanding of the partnership between notion and production of vowel distinction in English as it can be argued that if they are unable to perceive vowel contrast, they may well not have the ability to produce the contrast. The info will provide valuable insights to the region of pronunciation teaching in Thailand.

The Purpose of the Study

The current analysis is dependant on an instrumental research of English vowels made by native audio speakers of Thai and investigates when there is any acoustic proof vowel contrast between vowels in Thai and English. It also aspires to study the magnitude to that your vowels made by the Thai topics show similar characteristics with a indigenous and neighboring variety of English. The analysis also intents to examine the belief of English vowels by Thai audio system. With regards to these, the purpose of this review is to answer the next research questions:

What are the acoustic properties of British vowels produced by Thai audio system?

To what amount will there be vowel comparison between traditional vowel pairs of /i№/ - //, /e/ - /-/, /‰ / - /u№/, /‰/ - /˜№/ and /'/ - /:/?

To what magnitude is the production of English vowels affected by the speakers' L1?

To what extent do the vowels made by Thai subjects talk about similar characteristics with English (BritE) and Malaysian British (MalE)?

To what amount can Thai speaker systems perceive vowel comparison in British?

The Scope and Restrictions of the Study

This work is bound to the acoustic properties of British monophthong and diphthongs as produced by 15 female students in one secondary school in one particular section of Thailand - Narathiwat. Additionally, the info were collected by recording the subject matter in word list and informal speech context. Thai speeches were noted by 5 female subjects in order to enable evaluation of Thai vowels with the British produced by the mark subjects.

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