How to Teach English in Thailand

Living and Teaching in Thailand

Learning The Truths of Buddha
How to Become a Buddhist Monk
How to Turn to Buddism

The Introduction to Thailand (The Beach)

It was holidays in the United Kingdom for a week or so so my long time girlfriend and I decided to hit the cinema to watch The Beach a 2000 adventure drama film directed by Danny Boyle and based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Alex Garland, which was adapted for the film by John Hodge. The movie changed my life and I later did my scuba diving PADI on Mayo beach where the movie was filmed. There were two of us on the island at that time, my PADI instructor ( A true Friend) and myself.

I’m a Sagittarius and always loved holidaying two three times a year in Greece, Spain and Portugal. After watching The Beach about a group of travellers who lived together on a paradise island I became hooked on the idea of living and working in Thailand. My girlfriend asked me many times that she excepted the fact that I wanted to travel so off I went. 

I had a travel book, a rucksack and five thousand pounds in the bank. I left to travel Thailand for 5 weeks and had butterflies in my stomach about returning home so I excepted a friends request to travel to Australia for a year and then back to the United Kingdom.

My time in Thailand was amazing throughout and I met hundreds of other travellers from around the world. I visited The Beach on Koh Phi Phi and learned how to speak a few words in Thai. I didn’t work in Thailand at that time but ended up on the road for over 18 months so not bad for someone that only had £5000. I dead set on returning to Thailand to think about finding some work in the future.

I had fallen in love with the Land of Smiles and it showed with my future plans to return and become an English teacher for almost five years. The people no matter of their wealth or poverty always amazed me about how traditionally warm and welcoming they were to foreigners.

Tourism is their main industry and they achieve their warmest welcoming so well that even I never wanted to leave. Most people that have been to Thailand will explain to you the same experience of the Land of Smiles and never wanting to return home and much of that derives from the tradition and faith of Buddhism.

I returned back to the United Kingdom and saved for a few months and booked a course in Bangkok to complete my teaching licence otherwise known as a TEFL certificate. In a matter of five months I was on the road back to the Land of smiles but this time it was to stay. I was excited to be able to plan ahead and with a new ten-year passport I was ready for the time of my life and it was exactly that and more.

Teaching in Thailand & General Education

It’s been almost 16 years now since quitting teaching in Thailand after the five beautiful years of memories and all the royalties that coincide with demonstrating and proving to myself one day I will become a teacher in a foreign land. My journey from the United kingdom to the Land of Smiles was exciting and gracious enough to have left Birmingham with some friends that shared a moment in the bar with a few pints of Guinness before I left.

I arrived at the training academy the following day after arrival and sorted out my apartment and began studying. I loved being in front of the class and it suited me and after 6 weeks I passed the TEFL course with flying colours. You can learn more about this from my about page which goes in teaching and travelling in more detail.

 

Teaching in Thailand is a gracious and uplifting experience from teaching primary students for 4 years and also teaching business English students from businesses in and around Bangkok. The motivational experience is exceptional with students always wanting to learn our language and being so well behaved. Business English students are intrigued to learn and utilise how English is spoken and how written skills are utilised in the workplace which in turn gives them a better communicative experience overall.

In my first 3 months teaching English in Bangkok Thailand saw me working for a flight booking software company called Abacus Solutions with great training facilities and superb students. 

During my first 3 months or so I also picked up a contract from my training school that allowed me to teach English for a channel 7 soap opera company called Pao Jin Jong. It was later confirmed that the owner of the company was married to a previous miss Thailand who became my boss. Even further into the contract while teaching Office staff I was delighted to go on set to watch them record a Thai soap opera.

My final contract was working for a retouching company in the advertising market at a penthouse near Lumpini golf course slightly outside Bangkok city centre. They showed me some contracts even though slightly secretive for some work they were completing for Heineken and Colgate.

Traditional Thai Food

Teaching English can be a stressful job being so many thousands of miles away from home. However, after 18 months you begin to adapt to change with religion, culture and cuisine. Even today after 16 years of returning Thai food is my favourite cuisine and I often spend time preparing Thai meals at home. However, nothing is a good as the real thing.

After spending almost 5-years in Thailand my culinary skills became far more adapted to preparing the occasional Thai dish, however, I often spent time dining out at restaurants in and around Bangkok. The delightful expertise of Thai friends that prepared my favourite dishes still remains with me today, after going to the same restaurants of favoured choice.

How to Prepare Thai Food

Dealing with Thai’s Expectations

Thailand, commonly known as the land of smiles can be a challenging place to live when expectations thrive around the common dictation of the meaning ”Som Nan Na” meaning water under the Bridge. In western countries, this is subsequently suggested that we should let it go and worry no more. After almost 5 years this became more of a game predominantly for me and other Western friends that got used to the term to not worry so much about life.

Thailand, commonly known as the land of smiles can be a challenging place to live when expectations thrive around the common dictation of the meaning ”Som Nan Na” meaning water under the Bridge. In western countries, this is subsequently suggested that we should let it go and worry no more. After almost 5 years this became more of a game predominantly for me and other Western friends that got used to the term to not worry so much about life.

Ultimately this can be a dangerous game to play, however, under cultural beliefs, it is something we should learn about. Generally speaking, it doesn’t mean we should not worry about anything like in the West. Specifically speaking in order to live a decent life we should arrange our worries, grow confidence and deal with them.

Learning How to Love, The Land of Smiles

How to Smile in Thailand

It is a commonly known cultural fact that Thai’s love to have fun, smile a lot and enjoy life for the day. Of course, understanding the cultural meaning of Thai life is important when living in Thailand to understand as a democratic country we have a choice as foreigners to understand fun is not a bad thing and to place the ultimate freedom upon our lives.

Songkran – also known as the Water Splashing Festival – is a celebration to mark the start of the Buddhist New Year. Buddha images are bathed, and younger Thais show respect to monks and elders by sprinkled water over their hands. 

 

However, to emphasise and elaborate more about the festival, one has to mention the lack of safety towards common traffic and road laws when venturing out in a hire car or motorbike with water constantly been thrown at you at speed. However, the festival continues to be the most favoured Festival for most Thai’s and foreigners who stick to the safety rules.

It is a beautiful and enlightening experience to learn and understand how Buddhists from Thailand have so much fun and love to see in the new year. I have contributed much love and understanding of Thai culture even through hard times due to the respect and honour of their religion and culture and how they taught me so much about myself.

 

 

The Buddhist New Year
Author: Stephen

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