The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News
The Phuket News Phuket Education
The Phuket News Arts | Community | Culture | Dining | Education | Phuket Entertainment | Environment | Health | People | Technology | Travel | World Entertainment XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Education Corner: Times are changing in international schools

Turn back the clock twenty years and an international school may not seem too dissimilar in its appearance to those in the present day.

The Phuket News

Sunday 15 October 2017, 12:00PM

They all seem to nestle quite comfortably in the suburbs of any major modern city of the world. Nevertheless, times have changed.

The glossy prospectuses of the past have been replaced with websites full of colourful images of multi-cultural groups huddled in labs and classrooms. These images represent a school’s student body and are indicative of the dramatic, and developing, demographic shift that is taking place around the world.

The growth in the number of international schools in the last twenty years has been staggering, and it is estimated that the current number will double over the next ten years. In theory, this should provide parents with more choices in terms of location, price and facilities.

In reality it means that there are now quite radically different types of international schools, and parents need to be very clear about the sort of education that they are buying into – the term ‘international’ has a variety of interpretations.

The reasons for this explosive growth are twofold: firstly the rising middle class in many emerging economies means that there is an increasing demand for an English medium “Western” style education, and secondly, some countries have removed the restriction that once prevented their nationals from attending an international school.

The international school has found a new market from its original purpose and conception. No longer is it for children of expatriates and diplomats, but also for nationals fortunate enough to be able to meet the fee levels and who wish for their children to be fluent in the global language, as well as being able to compete for places at universities in the West.

As more local nationals take up places in international schools, the number of native-speakers of English may decline – in fact in some Bangkok “international schools” the number of local students is around the 90% mark.

cachet resort dewa phuket

Of course, there have always been international schools with low numbers of native speakers, but rarely has English been supplanted by a single other language spoken by the vast majority of students. This is an “inconvenient truth” for many international schools, and the road to establish English under such circumstances can be a bumpy one.

In our world of instant fixes where we can upgrade our efforts with a click or a swipe of the finger, we often expect and seek quick remedies. Special language programs, or classes, are common features of international education, but although well-intentioned these may be established with little thought and perhaps even less effort.

Very often these “booster” classes serve little purpose other than to provide “survival” English, and rarely tackle the important issue of academic language, which is vital if a student is to cope successfully in mainstream classes.

There is no simple way to solve this problem – in fact there is probably no single solution that all international schools would completely agree upon; this is due to the complexity of language acquisition as well as the factors that affect English language learning in different environments.

However, it is imperative that successful strategies are implemented in English-medium international schools to better meet the demands of acquiring English fit for academic purpose. Recognising the true nature of the problem is an important first step along the way.


Paul Preen BA DipT ESOL MA.Ed is an English Teacher and ESL Coordinator at the British International School, Phuket.



The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:

Comments Left: Characters
E-mail: (No Hotmail, Live, MSN and Outlook accepted at this time)
   => Forget password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments

129 sea turtle eggs found on island beach off Phuket

sad to learn Phuketnews not even support usefull links to EDUCATE people :/ go on with this politics, we see every day what we achieved so far on ...(Read More)

Rawai Mayor promises action against untreated wastewater releasers

It stinks at the Supercheap just after Chalong circle before Makro, raw sewage in the car park! The old hotel Near the sea front between the 2 kan ea...(Read More)

Interpol’s red notice for Red Bull heir ‘still in force’

From the article there is nothing to indicate that Khun Kritsana has told any lies. But then again, the commentator believes that nominee shareholders...(Read More)

Tourist safety tops Digital Economy Minister’s agenda in Phuket

Good old CCTV- a real earner for the installers but rarely working when needed. 37 cameras currently set up at 10 installation points has so far re...(Read More)

Tourist safety tops Digital Economy Minister’s agenda in Phuket

Good! With widespread wi-fi, it will be easier to see how the life guards are doing. Huh? There's still no life guards? Never mind....(Read More)

New building regulations target Phuket hillside developments

How can projects with a 60 degree grade for their entrance be approved? A tuk-tuk can't make it up. Neither can any bus nor motorbike. A motorc...(Read More)

Driver injured after rear-ending parked bus in Phuket

Probably on the phone, they all do it, what about the video of the guy on the moped this week! ...(Read More)

Russian tourists injured as Phuket tour bus crashes in Krabi

"Try interviewing the 36 passengers that were on board," I have yet to see, in any "accident", on land, or water, the passengers b...(Read More)

Phuket underpass-jacknife truck driver charged

Well there ya go. All the useless PN commentators who were not even there giving their irrelevant nonsense 5 cents worth....(Read More)

Tourist safety tops Digital Economy Minister’s agenda in Phuket

Safety, well the good Doctor could start with putting lifeguards on the beaches....(Read More)

The Phuket News
Weird World
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2018 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.