It all began on Sunday January 8th, 2012. The January intake group for GeoVisions' Teach in Thailand program met Kevin and Jaco in the lobby of the Ratchada Hotel in Bangkok for their debriefing. After a little question-answer session, the group headed back to their rooms in preparation for the journey to Hua Hin on Monday morning. All of the students shared 2 minibuses for the two-hour drive down the coast. As soon as they arrived, everyone had a choice between three different accommodations. 12 of the students chose the Hillside, while 3 chose accommodation closer to town. For the rest of the first week, the group had Thai language classes, culture and politics lessons, as well as getting bank accounts, sim cards, and scooters sorted out.
In honor of the group’s successful first week in Thailand, we held a Braai on one of the most beautiful beaches in Hua Hin. On their first Friday evening, the staff, our January group, and even some of our friends from the Wildlife Rescue Centre joined to celebrate their new adventures. Everyone was telling stories about home and anxiously asking questions about Thailand or motivations for coming here. After one full week the teachers are settling in well and starting to build the type of connections that will last a lifetime. As the night went on, the food was served, drinks were finished, and the conversation dwindled.
As a supplement to the practical portion of the TESOL course, students get to observe an English lesson at a local middle school. The class is currently working on their food module. The teacher, a native Thai woman, revisited vocabulary from the day before, and had the teachers create bubble charts (one main idea in the middle circle branching off to other ideas) for the various types of food. An example was “Brainy Foods” and vocabulary that fell underneath the category was blueberry, banana, strawberry, and milk. The students were divided into groups, but sent an individual to present the bubble chart to the class. Through observation, these soon-to-be teachers get to see different forms of classroom management as well as how to teach older kids.
Throughout the TESOL course teachers are given many opportunities to practice presenting lesson plans. We encourage our teachers to act as if the classroom is filled with Thai children, giving instructions and eliciting vocabulary much like they will in their teaching placements. There are three main types of lesson plans, but teachers can be creative with the activities that will help the children learn vocabulary and conversation skills. Our teachers this month are all doing very well, and we cannot wait for them to get out there and teach!
For more information about the "Teach In" programs offered by GeoVisions, check out our Teach in China, Teach in Korea, Teach in Thailand and our newest, Teach in Vietnam programs to learn how you can travel to Asia, become a teacher and earn a great full-time salary with excellent benefits.