English-language students earn their diplomas

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Graduates of the second “English Conversation for a Better Life” program earned their diplomas Nov. 25 at a ceremony held at the Diana Garden Resort.

The courses take place twice a year and were actually instigated eight years ago by the Pattaya City Expats Club in conjunction with the Thai Alphabet Puzzle Club and the Banglamung District Chief Sakchai Taengho to praise HM The King.

In the past year, courses took place from April to July and August till November. This year, the first training group had 127 students with 69 successfully completing the 48 hours training session, and the second training, comprised of 65 students with 56 passing, was successful.

Volunteer teachers, organizers and trainees who have successfully completed the English Conversation for Better Life program gather for a group photo.Volunteer teachers, organizers and trainees who have successfully completed the English Conversation for Better Life program gather for a group photo.

The English training focuses purely on conversational skills and is conducted by over twenty foreign volunteers who give up their free time to help Thai people, with the permission given by Sakchai and Chonburi Gov. Khomsan Ekachai, who issued ID cards to the volunteers, allowing them to assist legally.

In the past two years, Radchada Chomjinda, the director of the Human Help Network Thailand, came on board to help Richard E. Smith from the PCEC and the Banglamung District Cross Culture Volunteer Group to help facilitate these continuing training sessions.

At the ceremony, the foreign volunteers, Smith, Radchada, and Sermsakdi Sabhananda, chairman of the Thai Alphabets Puzzle Club were all in attendance to witness approximately 40 students who were presented with their certificates by Sakchai.

Other students who had completed the training program had have now been promoted to other areas because of their new-found language abilities.

“I would greatly like to thank all volunteer teachers who have sacrificed their leisure time and who were dedicated to passing on their knowledge of English language to the people in our community,” Sakchai said. “In 2015, Thailand will join the ASEAN Economic Community. Therefore being able to communicate in English will become even more important, especially because Pattaya attracts so many foreigners. This program has enabled the students have more skills and therefore be more valuable to their employers who have seen the benefit of English in the workplace.”

After the presentation the VIPs, volunteers and students joined for a group photo and dinner and of course conversed in English.

The “English Conversation for a Better Life” program is free and open to all individuals who wish to improve their conversational skills and will return again in 2015.