Thoughts of my students and their fear of ASEAN community


My students at a public health college
One-on-one interview is the thing I do to grade my students in their listening and speaking final exam as oppose to the paper and pen normally administered by most of my colleagues at the university. Based on what I read, paper and pen isn’t really a good tool in measuring the communication skill of an individual. Copying is inevitable in some instances and random selection of an answer is always a part of it. Interview on the other hand may probably not that effective either but it gives students a chance to really use the target language, and hear their thoughts even in broken English. 

So last semester, I did interview my first year listening and speaking students. I asked them their thoughts regarding the Asean community (It’s near so I wanna know what they think of it). With the poor English proficiency of most Thai students and the Thai people in general, it wasn’t so surprising to hear them say that they didn’t like the idea of a single community coming into picture in the next two years. They said jobs will go directly to those who can speak English well and to people from neighbouring countries who use English as a second language, like the Philippines. Those who can’t on the other hand may suffer unemployment which normally don’t happen in the present day situation, adding that requirement to speak English is not yet being practised by most companies. However, they fear it will change soon enough. 

There were some with their eyes glimmering in excitement  as they narrated their story about the chance of exploring different countries, meeting new friends and ultimately improving their English language proficiency. 

They have different thoughts and ideas about this. But as I had somewhat predicted, most of my students were not yet ready to meet the challenges of having a single community because as they say “We aren’t language proficient yet.”

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