Tuesday, November 22, 2005


"The East-West Center is an education and research organization established by the U.S. Congress in 1960 to strengthen relations and understanding among the peoples and nations of Asia, the Pacific, and the United States. The Center contributes to a peaceful, prosperous, and just Asia Pacific community by serving as a vigorous hub for cooperative research, education, and dialogue on critical issues of common concern to the Asia Pacific region and the United States. Funding for the Center comes from the U.S. government, with additional support provided by private agencies, individuals, foundations, corporations, and the governments of the region."

"As a national and regional resource, the Center offers:

An interdisciplinary
research program that examines major issues of critical importance in U.S.-Asia Pacific relations.
Dialogue and professional enrichment programs that focus on groups central to the communication of ideas: the media, political and policy leaders, and educators.
Educational programs to develop the human resources needed by the United States and the Asia Pacific region in a new era of increased interdependence "

Thursday, October 06, 2005

"Best Practice"

I had attended Fall 2005 "Best Practice" Institute between September 30-October 20, 2005 at EastWest Center, Hawaii University, Honolulu, Hawaii. There were 24 participants from two countries - 12 from southern Thailand and the same number from Bundung, Indonesia.
Followings are what we had learned from the Institute :

AsiaPacificEd Fall 2005 “Best Practices” Institute
September 30-October 20, 2005

Welcome and Program Introduction – Goals, Intended Outcomes & Logistics/Resources by Namji Steinemann, and Terance Bigalke, Director, Education Program, East-West Center

Opening “Community- Building” Activity by Namji Steinemann and Patrice Lewis, Desert Ridge Middle School, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Introductions to Participating Schools

Review of Award Documents & Visa Papers by Valerie Wong, Visa Officer/Award Services, East-West Center

Defining “Best Practices” & Constructing KWL(What we Know and Want to Learn about “Best Practices”) by Judy Rogers, Sonora High School, Sonora, California

Jigsaw : Small Group Investigations/Presentations of “Best Practices” Topics, by Judy Rogers

Introduction to “Class Meeting” &Assessment by Patrice Lewis

Visit Assignments : Documenting “History” of School-Visit Experiences by Namji Steinemann and Judy Rogers

Southeast Asia : A Crossroads of Cultures by Barbara Andaya, Director, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawaii

Small Group Discussion in School Groups to Discuss Visit Expectations and Logistics

Roundtable Discussion/Sharing of School Visit Goals and Expectations

“Best Practices” Presentation : Backward Design Lesson Planning by Cris Rathyen, Moanalua High School, Honolulu, Hawaii

Concurrent “Skills Development” Sessions
Strategies for Improving Reading and Writing Skills by “Best Practices”
Strategies for Incorporating Technology into Teaching by Soo Boo Tan, Education Specialist, AsiaPpacificEd Program, East-West Center

Strategy Session : Creating “Posters” of School Visit Experiences by Judy Rogers

Introduction to “Five –Step” Process by Namji Steinemann

Concurrent Sessions : Modeling “Best Practices”
Using Primary Sources and “Authentic” Real-World Connections by Patrice Lewis
Differentiating Instructions to Address Diverse Learning Styles of Students by Judy Rogers

“Best Practices” Lesson Planning and Rubric Development by Judy Rogers

Small Group Work on “Best Practices” Lessons by Soo Boo Tan, Patrice Lewis, and Judy Rogers

Group Presentations of “Best Practices” Lessons

Review of Travel Logistics for School Visit by Soo Boo Tan and Wendy Nohara

Sharing Observations of “Best Practices” &Round-robin Sharing of Posters by Namji Steinemann

KWL : What Have We Learned about “Best Practices” Teaching?
By Charlene Weiss, University of New Mexico/Albuquerque Public School, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Roundtable Discussion : “Where do we go from here?” by Namji Steinemann and Charlene Weiss

Individual or Small Group Planning on Applying “Lessons Learned” by Soo Boo Tan and Charlene Weiss

Discussion of “Habits of Mind” by Charlene Weiss

Class Meeting “Synthesis” Level Questions (Bloom’s) by Charlene Weiss

Develop Peer-Assessment Rubrics for “Lessons Learned” by Charlene Weiss
And Namji Steinemann

Group Rotation, Assessment, and Feedback : “Evaluation” Level Questions (Bloom’s) by Charlene Weiss and Namji Steinemann

Participant exchange & Review of Resources by Charlene Weiss, Soo Boo Tan, and Namji Steinemann

Resources of the EWCA(the Officeial EWC Alumni Association) by Gordon Ring, Alumni Officer, East-West Center

Institute Evaluation & Sharing Reflections

Friday, September 16, 2005

Classroom activities

As Thap Put is an upcountry small district in Phangnga, our students rarely meet or interact with foreigners. Most of them lack inspiration as well as motivation to learn the designated English language. Therefore, most teachers have to look for new teaching techniques otherwise interesting classroom activities to activate them. For example, inviting English native speakers to the class, studying English via some websites on the Internet, presenting some topics in group works, and simply just listening to the teacher talk can be advantagious and challenging experiences.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Local Sites to Visit

Thap Put is a small rural district in Phangnga province. People there mainly work on agriculture such as rubber plantation, rice products, and vegetable crop.
There is a main street pass through the Thap Put town to Bangkok from Phuket. Therefore, it's very easy to reach us. In case you need fresh air, please drop by and take a deep breath with upcountry atmoshpere.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Dear PET!

Phangnga English Teacher Club (PETC)

“Join for the Better Chance”
Established September 2004

Our Goals :
1. To be the center for English teachers
2. To share, exchange, and learn more about teaching techniques and experiences
3. To participate in academic activities and teacher training
4. To improve learning resources and professional development

Hello everybody,

How have you been doing?
Phangnga English Teachers has formed ourselves and established our Club since September 2004. Currently, there are 130 members from various districts, both from primary and secondary schools. We had a few meetinngs as well as a one-day seminar last year. We've shared and exchanged our teaching experiences so that we could help each other improve our English skills.

I've been very honored and pleased to be voted the first President of the PETC. I'll try my best to activate and encourage as well as help train most teachers of English in our province to catch up with this modern world. No matter how busy we are, how far we live, we will do it with all our attempt.

I look forward to hearing from you in the coming days.
Best wishes,
Weena K.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Teaching English in Thailand

The following article was written from my own history, more than 5 years ago.It was composed and sent to onestopenglish.com in order to share teaching experiences and receive some English books as a token. Take a read...

Teaching English in Thailand

When I was a student, about to attend upper primary school, my father told me in advance not to ask him anything about English and Maths for he couldn’t give any explanation. I remembered that well and prepared myself every minute to face the situation. Unfortunately, as the first child of the family, I did not have any older siblings to ask or consult.

In the old days, most Thai people were first introduced to the English language when they were in grade 5. My parents’ knowledge was merely fourth-grade level so such warnings were completely true.

Later on, my first English class began as expected. The young-lady Thai teacher of English started the lesson by politely commanding her students in Thai to “read the sentences on page 1, please”. All pupils but me chanted loudly, “This is a book. This is a chair. This is a desk. This is a door.” I was totally amazed and wondered how they did that!

Time passed. Gradually and eventually, my instinct for survival, endless curiosity and intensive English exposure accumulated and taught me to adapt and adopt the input provided. I got through six years of student life in school and four years in a teacher’s college. I vigorously managed to learn and master the language with great confidence and self-esteem. However, I later realized that my theoretical competence in English was a different matter than my practical performance. In fact, what I had learned and mastered might have been more fruitful and meaningful to me if communicative language teaching had been introduced and applied at the time.

In the Thai educational system, English has been considered one of the core school subjects, along with Thai Language, Science, Maths and Social Studies. Students have to study very hard so that they can pass the university entrance exam that includes an English paper, created specially to use with contestants nationwide. Teachers work extremely hard to present and drill their students with as much of English as they can – mainly grammatical structures, vocabulary, reading comprehension and previous exam paper exercises. As a result, students are unavoidably over-loaded. Pressed with unreasonable demands, many suffer emotional depression. This all contributes to chronic learning styles for most smart students. They are unlikely to enjoy learning but to compete seriously and bitterly. Such constraints will be released later. A few minutes after the examination, every chunk of English will be gone (with the wind) for good, except for a few students who willingly further their tertiary studies in the relevant field.

The so-called competition has nothing to do with any language skills except reading and choosing the correct answers. Once the total scores are announced and are high enough as designated, the testees are allowed to attend their first choice faculty; otherwise the second or third choice for substitution. They will be spending a semester or two studying basic English at university as a compulsory course.

Not surprisingly, most graduates involved in various professions usually complain about their practical English competence, especially in everyday face-to-face communication skills – listening and speaking. They admit to insufficient concentration, confusing learning styles and lack of full attention while being exposed to the subject at an early stage. Had they been in a learner-centred environment as the curriculum indicated, they would have been more successful and fruitful in their chosen careers than ever.

The National Curriculum was reformed in 1999 and every school subject was planned to involve learners through classroom activity. That helps promote a learner-centred atmosphere throughout the country. English has been formally indicated as a foreign language (EFL) in the new Foreign Language Subject Group. For two years, some state secondary schools both in the capital city and upcountry have tried out “English Program” in the first grade for the first time. Almost every subject is instructed in English. Teachers are native speakers and some are Thai who are fluent in English. These programs are being extended year by year towards the highest level and spread to more institutes. Hopefully, teaching English in Thailand can be viewed as a more dynamic process, producing more effective learners in the near future.

Weena Kanadpon, Thap Put Wittaya School, Phangnga, Thailand.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

What we did in Hawaii

I had a good chance to visit Hawaii between July 25 - August 8, 2005. There were many interesting activities to share with you all. Here we go...

Teaching Southeast Asia : Standard & Strategies
July 25-August 5, 2005

- Mapping SEA and its cultural landscapes, by Barbara Andaya, Center for SEA Studies, University of Hawaii

- “Setting the Table” for Infusing SEA into your curriculum by Jean Johnson, New York University

- “Reading, Writing, and Dancing to the Global Beat” : Teaching about Cultures and Diversity through Exchange and Collaborative Projects,
by Richard Burniske, College of Education, University of Hawaii – Manoa

- Introduction to “Web Gems” and “Web Log” by Richard Burniske and Soo BooTan, Education Specialist, East-West Center

- Movement of people, Goods , and Ideas in Pre-Colonial SEA : Uncovering
History through Primary Sources, by Barbara Andaya

- Teaching about the Hindu-Buddhist World of SEA : Classroom Strategies, by Jean Johnson

- What makes a Ruler Legitimate? : A Lesson Demonstration, by Jean Johnson

- Culture Night announcement

- Getting Credit for Your Work : Flinders University’s Studies of Asaia for Teachers/Gradute Topics by Distance by Doug Trevaskis, Topic Coordinator, Flinders University, Adellaide, Australia

- The Ramayana in SEA : Performance/Demonstration, byPatricia and Matt Dunn

- Will the “Real” Muslim Please Stand Up? Islam and Its Diversity in SEA, by Barbara Andaya

- Teaching about Islam and Its Diversity in SEA, by Jean Johnson and Gwen Johnson

- Maritime Trade and European Imperialism in SEA, by Leonard Andaya

- Preparing “Table Setting” by Gwen Johnson, Jean Johnson, Sue Peppers, and Soo Boo Tan

- “Web Gems” : Posting “Table Setting” Ideas on the Weblog by Soo Boo Tan

- Chinese in SEA, by Barbara Andaya

- #Teaching about SEA through Tales and Pictures, by Jean Johnson

# Interdisciplinary Teaching Strategies : Colonialism in SEA, by Gwen Johnson and Sue Peppers

- “Movie and Pizza” : Max Havelaar, by Barbara Andaya and Jean Johnson

- Revolution and Revolt : The Philippines’ Struggles for Independence, by Victor Ordonez, Senior Education Fellow, East-West Center and former Director UNESCO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

- Teaching about Issues of Decolonization : An Open Discussion, by Gwen Johnson

- Sharing Our World in SEA : Thailand, by Thai participants

- Exploring SEA in Honolulu : A Hands-on Expedition, by Peter Kiang, University of Massachusetts

- SEA in Our Schools : Strategies for Using Community Resources ,by Peter Kiang

- Sharing Our World in SEA : Indonesia, by Indonesian participants

- AsaiPacificEd’s Schools Helping Schools Initiative, by Namji Steinemann and Gwen Johnson

- Engaging Students in Real-World Issues and Developing School-to-School Connections through Schools Helping Schools, by Neil Ginsberg, Scarsdale High School

- Culture Night and SEA Food Fest

- Managing Digital Images Using PICASA, by Soo Boo Tan

- Classroom Applications : Teaching with Primary Sources, by Gwen Johnson and Sue Peppers

- The U.S. – Vietnam Relations, by Raymond Burghardt, Director of Seminars, East-West Center, and former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam

- Three Views of Vietnam War, by Gwen Johnson and Sue Peppers

- The Destruction of Cambodia and Its Current Struggles , by Judy Ledgerwood

- Buddhism and Ideas of Cambodia Identity, by Judy Ledgerwood

- Sharing Our World in SEA : Cambodia, by Cambodian participants

- Classroom Application : Introducing Cambodia and Meeting Curriculum Standards, by Kelly McKee, Lake Forest High School, Chicago, Illinois

- Sharing My Reading “Picks” by Gwen Johnson and Sue Peppers

- Teaching with Oral Histories : Using Survivor Stories, by Peter Kiang

- Strategies for Teaching about Global Issues, by Kelly McKee

- Global Issues and Local Challenges in SEA : A Progressive Roundtable Discussion, by Richard Baker, East-West Center, Judy Ledgerwood, Northern Illinois University, Ricado Trimillos, University of Hawaii, Peter Xenos East-West Center, Kelly McKee, Moderator

- Institute Wrap-up, by Namji Steinemann

- Becoming an East-West Center Associate, by Larry Foster, President, Alumni Association of the East-West Center

Dear Mattayom 5 Students!

Hello...Everybody, could you please introduce yourself on this weblog? Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Love, W.

School Subjects

There're many subjects in TPW. Students are supposed to be happy in class as well as outside!

School Life

At 7.50 am, the first bell rings and students rush to their designated areas to pick up rubbish. There’s one class a week doing the public cleaning such as student toilets, and teacher restrooms. Between 8.00-8.20 am., the morning Assembly begins and homeroom session follows till 8.30.

The first lesson starts at 8.30 and lasts for an hour. The class rotates each hour. Lunch can be begun at about 11 am or a bit late. The afternoon class continues. There’re both fundamental subjects and supplementary ones, for example ; Thai, Social Studies, Science , PE, Vocational Studies, Computer Studies, Buddhism , Islam, and English as a Foreign Language.

Finally, the afternoon Assembly arrives at 4.00 pm. Two-row trucks and buses are routinely transportations : motorcycles with helmets are also allowed.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Greeting from Thap Put Wittaya School

Thap Put Wittaya School (TPW) is a medium-sized secondary school in Thap Put District, Phang-nga province, southern Thailand. The population is currently 1,100 students and 50 teachers. It's located about 25 kilometers east of the Provincial Hall in Phang-nga town and about 2 kilometers south of the Thap Put District Office. Our school was officially established in 1975 with amount of 3 teachers and about 50 students.

Students mostly arrive school early at about 7-7.30 am. There are on-duty teachers welcoming them at the entrance every morning. Many of them have breakfast at school canteen otherwise at the school co-op shop. There are two levels of students distinguished by their school uniforms – lower and upper secondary levels.