We cover different topics in our English class every Sunday. From personal stuff, world problems, politics, TV shows – you name it. There is no lesson planning. No power point presentation. Dr. Warong doesn’t like the idea of using a book either. The flow of the conversation and the transition from one topic to another happens naturally. He wants everything to be natural. And we’re doing it for over three years now.
Read: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH CONGRESSMAN WARONG OF PHITSANULOK
“Apart from the fact that Filipinos and Thai are both Asean member states, John, both countries do have a lot of similarities in culture which can be a big help for both parties to easily understand each other. Filipinos and Thai look the same as well. These are some of the reasons I am more comfortable talking to you in English than with native speakers. Others may disapprove of my beliefs but this is what I feel. I feel like I’m using English to communicate with another Thai, and I find it easier, he said.
Read: “FILIPINO TEACHERS FOR KINDERGARTEN SCHOOLS,” SAYS FORMER MP FOR PHITSANULOK
Earlier today, Dr. Warong mentioned to me for the first time the discussion he had with some staff working at the Democrat Party house in Bangkok who were educated in English speaking countries.
“When we were at the stage of recruiting teachers, I told them I wanted Filipino teachers in the project. Many reacted and advised me to choose American or British teachers. They said to choose native speakers because when native speakers talk, they talk naturally. And their accent is a lot better than Filipinos too,” Dr. Warong said.
“True. I don’t have anything against native speakers, but I believe that accent didn’t play well on that belief. Singaporeans have this strong accent, but their country and their citizens are one of the most globally competitive people. Everyone has an accent. As long as other people can understand you, then there’s no problem in getting the message across,” Dr. Warong added.
Note: This post is not intended to create a rift between native and non-native English teachers. This is a personal account of the conversation I had with former MP for Phitsanulok Dr. Warong.
There are native speakers who are really great teachers. I met and worked with some of them. There are also non-natives who are really good with their craft. Let’s leave it like that.