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Title: The problems of English Language Education at the upper secondary level in Thailand : the perceptions of Thai EFL teachers and students in Bangkok
Author: Padermprach, Napapach
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 2762
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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This study seeks to investigate the problems of English language education in Thailand by exploring Thai EFL teachers’ and students’ perceptions at the upper secondary level. Nowadays, English language education is increasingly important in Thailand in a number of domains including professional advancement, expansion of the tourist industry, and high social status. Moreover, English is expected to be an official language among ASEAN countries. Therefore, the Thai government is trying to improve English language proficiency among Thai people. However, the problem is that, on national and international English language examinations, Thai learners have very low scores despite studying English for twelve years in primary and secondary schools. Through the literature review, the importance of exploring teachers and students’ perceptions was identified as crucial to an investigation of this phenomenon, together with an attempt to identify problems of English language education at various educational levels both in the global and Thai contexts. Most previous research utilised a top-down approach to explore context-specific problems and policymakers normally design top-down educational policies; however, the current research has expressly applied a bottom-up approach to investigate the problems of English language education at the upper secondary level in Thailand. This research took a case study approach, comprising in-depth interviews and focus group interviews. Sixteen Thai EFL teachers had in-depth interviews whereas focus group interviews were used with 10 groups of Thai EFL students. Furthermore, to broaden the data and to gain a more detailed perspective of the issues emerging from the first interview round, second interviews were also conducted with each of the 16 teachers and with 10 individual students, each of whom was randomly selected from each focus group. The data in this study were analysed using thematic analysis. Briefly, the findings suggested that the key problematic issues having influence on many other problems were mostly related to low teacher salaries, the ineffective nature of education curriculum and policy, and the prevalence of the English language examination. However, there were also some mismatches between teachers and students’ perceptions toward the problems of English language education in that teachers primarily focused on macro and micro problems whereas micro problems were mainly mentioned by students. Interestingly, apart from the expected problems which were similar to those from literature review, some problems were reported as emergent problems, which are unique in the Thai context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools