FOBISSEA Countdown at GIS
Professor Dr. Dimitar Dimitrov, the Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science, recently visited International School of the Regents (ISR) in Bangkok and
Pattaya. The Minister, who was the personal guest of Dr. Virachai Techavichit, chairman of the ISR, was accompanied by the Bulgarian charge d’affaires, Roumen Sabev.
(L to R) Chanyut Hengtrakul,
deputy mayor Niran Watanasat-sathorn, Chonburi deputy governor Preecha Kamolbut, Banglamung district chief Vichien Chavalit, and Dr. Virachai Techavichit discuss issues with
the Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science.
After having made a tour of the new school building on the ISR Bangkok campus, the group, which included the Senate Education Committee chairman, Dr. Pha
Agsonsua, and the Senate Economics Committee chairman, Mr. Viroj Amatakulchai, sat down for a discussion of various issues concerning global competition and approaches to
instilling a sense of internationalism in our future leaders.
Professor Dr. Dimitar
Dimitrov, the Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science (3rd from right) and Bulgarian charge d’affaires, Roumen Sabev (left) and their families visit the ISR Pattaya
campus, and were shown around by Dr. Virachai Techavichit (center), chairman of the ISR.
The minister and his party then made a trip to the impressively sited ISR campus at Pattaya where they were welcomed by Chonburi deputy governor Preecha
Kamolbut, Banglamung district chief Vichien Chavalit, Chanyut Hengtrakul, and deputy mayor Niran Watanasat-sathorn. Talks that followed centered on Thailand in general and
the ISR in particular, covering topics such as the importance of the English National Curriculum and the recruitment of highly qualified, committed teachers. The day was
completed by a tour of the excellent facilities provided by the school.
Professor Dimitrov was impressed with what Thailand has to offer and pleased with the ISR’s initiatives; he agreed to send two top Bulgarian students,
selected from a national competition, to study and board at the ISR from next September to further ISR’s international networking programme.
ISR Primary students take to the water
The Primary Swimming Gala took place at the International School of the Regents recently, producing a very entertaining mix of swimming demonstrations and
Making waves - junior swimmers
test the water during the ISR Primary Swimming Gala.
The day began with the Nursery and Reception classes undertaking a series of exercises in the shallow pool; showing remarkable water confidence, the
enjoyment of the youngsters was clearly evident and much fun was had by both swimmers and spectators alike.
Key Stage 1 pupils then took to the water, with children as young as five years old showing that they could easily tackle a length of the large pool.
Later in the day, Key Stage 2 students took part in competitive events with students showing their skill in backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. The
survival swimming group demonstrated various skills including swimming fully clothed, treading water and rescuing a drowning person. One of the highlights of the day was a
display of synchronised swimming choreographed by the junior swimmers themselves.
All in all, a very entertaining day for everyone concerned including the large number of parents and friends who came along to watch the future swimming
stars in action!
FOBISSEA Countdown at GIS
Two weeks and counting until the start of the 2001 Secondary FOBISSEA games in
Kuala Lumpur’s Commonwealth Stadium and Garden Internation School’s students are training hard! Coaches Ms. Burke & Mr. Turner have arranged extra training sessions for
the 27 students and they are working hard at improving their fitness, plus their skills and teamwork in basketball, football, athletics and swimming. Sixteen schools from
around Asia will be competing in these games, so competition will be tough for Garden but, spirits are high! Good luck to all the students!
How many FEATS in a school yard?
Steve Martin is a young New Zealander who is attempting to introduce an ambitious new educational project called “FEAT’s” Foreign English Assistant
Teachers in Thai Primary Schools.
Steve, who arrived in Bangkok in 1996, has been involved with TEFOL, ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’ ever since. Steve undertook his TEFOL
training in Germany and is fluent in German, and has been supporting himself in his travels by teaching English as a foreign language.
His initial position here was with BEI, a small private language school in Nonthaburi where he taught English language for a year. He then began teaching
English language at BCE, the British Canadian Educational Institute in Soi Buakhow. For the last eight months he has focussed on his FEAT’s project. He teaches English
language corporately in order to subsidize the development of the project.
Steve says, “I came to this idea observing the situation in Thai schools in my six years practice as an English teacher in the Kingdom. Most students do
not even have an elementary conversational ability when they finish school. English teaching in Thai public schools in my opinion is ineffective, because local Thai teachers
often have no confidence speaking English and the teaching methods put the children in a passive position. They can explain grammar but they cannot converse. The class sizes
are usually too big to be able to control and monitor any interaction practicing and using English.” The latest developments in the Thai education system with the National
Education Act of 1999, introducing some projects (e.g. the BMA Project) are aiming at improvement of the current situation.
FEAT’s is a non profit venture aimed at introducing Australian and New Zealand English speaking assistant teachers to Thai primary schools, who will work
together with the Thai teachers and focus mainly on developing the students’ speaking and communication skills in the English language.
FEAT’s aims to develop understanding and acceptance of this new teaching method in Thai educational circles and in the Australian and New Zealand embassies
in Bangkok as well as the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce and the New Zealand-Thai Chamber of Commerce.
The main goal of this project is to test and implement a new highly efficient method of conversational English language training that will greatly improve
the quality and practical results of English tuition at Thai primary schools.
The goal and the objectives of the project are in compliance with the objectives of foreign language subject at the primary level, set by the Thai Ministry
A complete project proposal is available and will be forwarded on request. Steve Martin is appealing for corporate sponsorship and educational and
governmental endorsement for his FEAT’s project. Whether the Thai Education Department will accept voluntary assistant English conversational language teachers who have zero
teacher, assistant teacher, or TEFOL training remains to be seen. If indeed the FEAT’s project meets Thai education and government endorsement, another hurdle, in addition to
sponsorship, will be recruiting sufficient numbers of university students from Australia and New Zealand to volunteer their services for a year to implement this FEAT’s
project. Quite a feat in itself. For further information contact Steve Martin 01 446-9336 or Email email@example.com
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