There were two presenters to the Pattaya City Expats Club at their Sunday, December 2, meeting. Shaun MacLoughlin spoke about his adventures as a BBC Drama Producer and “Learning English through Drama.” He was followed by a short presentation from Stu Lloyd, “True Tales of Expat Misadventure in Asia.”
Currently, Shaun is Drama Director with TETD (Teaching English through Drama) Ltd., in Thailand. English Through Drama is a program comprising a group of teachers, writers, dramatists and investors who have come together to provide a unique approach to learning English as a foreign language, whilst offering scholarships to orphans, refugees and street-children.
Their motto is: “Have fun and learn English as you learnt your mother tongue”. English through Drama has two websites: www.englishthroughdrama.com which contains a mass of information, with 56 courses for teachers and parents and also about their work with charities to help poor kids in Nepal; and www.learnetd.com which they are developing to make their intentions clearer.
His team consists of himself, Oxford University MA, with 30 years’ experience as a BBC drama producer; and Mimie Acuna, a Filipino who has taught English to school kids and policemen and hotel staff in Thailand for 14 years. This summer she was one of 65 teachers from 35 countries who attended an Oxford University continuing education seminar. The participants were really interested in using their courses and Ahmed Bakouch from Morocco is now translating the parent’s course into Arabic.
Their creative webmaster is Anver Regalado; and their youngest member is Christian Anstee, musical director and actor in an English theatre performance of a ‘Christmas Carol’, currently touring in Germany. Christian will be coming to Thailand next year to promote English through Drama in schools. Finally, Bob Pierson, manager of British Forces Broadcasting stations, and of several commercial radio stations in the UK, is helping them to spread peace and to integrate communities by promoting English through drama in poor inner-city schools in Birmingham.
Not only do they teach English, but many other life skills such as acting, public speaking, writing stories, journalism, copy writing, singing, composing songs, performing music, drawing, painting, costume design, creating props, set design, photography, digital arts, videoing, computer post production, internet research, audio recording, gathering sound effects, and – most important – team work.
The drama elements of the courses encourage the creativity of kids, parents and teachers whereby participants are encouraged – after a cliff-hanger – to work together to create their own endings. As part of the program, student, parent and teacher drama producers need to increase their general knowledge. They also need to research the background to the plays they produce.
Shaun asked, how can we help you and your families and friends to improve their English and life skills and have fun? He then asked, how can you help them to create a sustainable business that can provide scholarships to poor and talented children in Thailand and around the world? To answer these questions, he encouraged his audience to contact Mimie Acuna, their Education Director, at [email protected]
The second presentation by Stu Lloyd dealt with his, “The Hardship Posting” series which was first published in 1999 and is now up to Vol 5, having dominated the best-seller charts around Asia for years, and has sold 69,000 copies to date. Each volume has 400-500 new stories in it. It’s all about true tales of expat misadventure in Asia, with over 120 contributors to Vol 5 from all parts of Asia. Stu said everyone who sets foot in Asia has got a story to tell. And if you live in Pattaya you’ve probably got a lot more! The stories cover the full spectrum of life as a farang … from language and miscommunication, to police and officialdom, to work and office, travel and vacation, taxis and transport, wives and girlfriends, bars and restaurants, etc. He mainly covered language and miscommunication stories.
For example, he was briefing his team on what was needed for a staff function. “We’ll need a birthday cake that says Happy Birthday Bruce, and we need 24 sausage rolls.” Come the day, we sang happy birthday for Bruce and in comes the cake, with beautiful scripted icing which reads: ‘Happy Birthday Bruce, and we need 24 sausage rolls!’ That’s one birthday party I’ll never forget. He also mentioned taking a greenhorn American businessman out on the town, who picked up an unusually attractive and unusually tall lady. You know how that story runs and ends.
Stu is a 4th generation Rhodesian (or Zimbabwean as they are known today), and has since lived in 8 countries and travelled to 75 others. He first moved to Hong Kong in 1987 and that was the beginning of his own misadventures in Asia. Hardship Posting is for sale at Asia Books for 450 baht. The full series is now available on E-book for the first time too. All money raised goes directly towards fighting political correctness. See more at www.stulloyd.com or https://www.facebook.com/HardshipPosting/ .
After the presentations, MC Roy Albiston brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and then turned it over to the Open Forum portion of the meeting where questions are asked and answered and comments made about Expat living in Thailand, Pattaya in particular. For more information about the PCEC and their activities, visit www.pcec.club.