Kent student language-assistants at Naresuan University in Thailand
3rd August 2012
Eight students from Kent have started teaching and, more importantly, making friends at Naresuan University in Thailand where they will be working as English-language teaching assistants for 8 weeks over summer.
The group arrived at Naresuan University late on Tuesday night, 3 July, after the long flight from the UK to Bangkok, followed by a 5-hour bus coach journey to Naresuan. They started their first day with a wonderfully enthusiastic welcome, a tour of the campus and their first lessons with their first groups of students.
Shaun Arnold (Accounting) writes, 'So far it has been amazing, and its only day one! Everyone has been very welcoming and helpful!' Jodie Harris (Law) adds, 'Everything here is great, they are taking really good care of us, they have given us all a group of buddies who look after us and have been friendly and excited to meet us. Everyone is really interested in us and happy to talk to us.It's really great here. I'm so glad that I came!'
The Kent students are all 2nd year undergraduates from our Linguistics, Literature, Law or Accounting/Finance programmes, and will be helping Thai students with their written and conversational English.The Kent students will be livingin student accommodation near the campus and spendingJuly and August working with students at the Naresuan Language Centre, providing individual and group language support and conversational practice during the week.They will also be involved in creative teaching situations such as the intriguing 'English at Lunch' and the 'Friday Social'. Clearly, learning and teaching will be taking place in and outside the classrooms. During the weekends they will be busy taking part in an active social programme and excursions to sites of cultural and historical interest in the area.
The Kent students have paid for their own international flights and in return, Naresuan, is providing accommodation and a subsistence allowance, weekend excursions and free Thai, Chinese and Japanese language courses.
This is a great opportunity for the Kent students to make friends in Thailand and gain a deep insight into Thai culture and academic life.Naresuan students will also benefit from gaining language support from young people who know how English is spoken today, a valuable and stimulating addition to traditional English-language textbooks and classroom grammar.
The Naresuan English-language teaching assistant project is an ideal and sustainable way of providing both support for students internationally and a valuable cultural experience abroad for Kent students, which is key to greater employability in todays international workplace. English language is in demand internationally and the Naresuan project provides a useful model that can be used with our partner institutions in other countries.