In Bangkok, Thailand, a bilingual school is considered to be one of the best in terms of overall quality of education for a Thai child. Children who enrol in Thailand’s bilingual schools are taught under the Thai curriculum and most of the classes predominantly use the English language. This can be extremely beneficial for both locals and expats who wish to have their child learn English while receiving an education based on the Thai curriculum.
Government schools in Thailand offer good education on Thai subjects, but there is little to no emphasis on teaching the English language. International schools, on the other hand, focus on teaching international education with greater English emphasis, but often times most students who graduate are not fully fluent with their native Thai language.
If you’re looking to enrol your child in a Thai bilingual school, it’s important to know what’s included in the curriculum. This way, you can manage your expectations and make a decision on which school to enrol your child.
Percentage of English classes
Thai bilingual schools have a high percentage of English classes. This can range from anywhere between 40-100% depending on the school. This holds a significant advantage over government schools where students receive no more than 5% of their classes in English. Thai bilingual schools focus on teaching the Thai curriculum so that students can enter a Thai university should they continue to pursue higher education. The only difference between government schools and bilingual schools in Thailand is the amount of English language exposure students receive.
Most bilingual schools begin teaching students at six years old where they prioritize teaching the Thai language as opposed to English with 80% in Thai and 20% in English. Once the students reach the age of 12, the English language becomes increasingly taught and used throughout the class, with over 40% of classes held in English. During high school, the percentage of English classes rise even further with 80% and once they reach 18 years old, almost 100% of their classes are held in English. This helps bilingual students develop a competitive mastery of the English language which could prove quite significant once they enter their career paths.
English is an important aspect of quality education and is a universal language that is required in every competitive field of work. A bilingual school offers the best chance of learning both English and Thai language for Thai students compared to government or international schools.
Thai Culture and Art
With an emphasis on the Thai curriculum, a bilingual school in Bangkok, Thailand will teach students about Thai culture and art. Over the years, Thailand is slowly adapting the Western culture and it’s important for the students to familiarize themselves with historical Thai figures, musicians, writers, and especially the Thai Royal family. This allows the students to stay in tune with their rich culture as opposed to adopting Western influences. International schools in Thailand mainly teach international education which results in many Thai students not being familiar with their own culture. In bilingual schools, Thai students are taught about their own culture and how to function as a basic member of Thai society. Students are taught the required skills and information needed in order to pursue a successful career in Thailand while maintaining competitive English language skills.
Bilingual schools also teach Buddhism to their students. Monks will visit the school and provide lectures to students about religion. Bilingual schools in Thailand honour Thai holidays where the students are taken to a local temple for praise and worship.
Teachers in Thailand’s bilingual schools
In Thailand’s bilingual schools, the Thai curriculum is taught by teachers who speak in native English. This offers the greatest learning potential of the English language for students in bilingual schools compared to government schools. For example, a Thai teacher might pass on mistakes taught by other Thai English teachers, whereas a native English-speaking teacher has a full grasp of the language and will be able to teach the language the correct way to the students.
This provides a significant advantage for Thai students enrolled in a bilingual school. They will be taught competitive English from qualified Western teachers, some of which have different accents which the students will be exposed to. This allows the students to learn a variety of accents that’ll help develop their English language skills even further.
Enrolling your child in a bilingual school means they will be learning about the Thai curriculum in general with an added emphasis on the English language as they get older. Students under bilingual schools will be familiar with their native tongue, have a good understanding of Thai culture, and develop competitive English skills that they can use in the future when pursuing career paths outside of Thailand.