Teaching English in Thailand

Miriam Bernstein November 09 2017, 9:04 am

This has been an exciting month, as things have moved from mainly planning and praying to getting started with English classes. I could sense God’s providence leading, as prior to this, any class I tried to start got rescheduled. It seems though that when the time was right in God’s plan, it was easy enough to get students in my schedule. This has been a reminder that God’s timing is the perfect timing.

Most of my English classes, although they started as an individual lesson, have turned into group classes of two or three. All of my classes, except one, are teaching adults of various levels. When teaching English in the US, I found it challenging teaching different levels together, but definitely know that God has given me wisdom as I work with that challenge here. Since it has been difficult to obtain all the materials and books needed right away, having to create my own lessons and focus more on discussion made it much easier to teach different levels together. I believe God knew sticking to a structured book at first wouldn’t have allowed me the opportunity to trust more in His ability, as I explored how to overcome this challenge. I’ve been thankful for this time to learn and experiment. Thankfully, my students seem to be enjoying and learning as well, as they continue to come and invite their friends.

Many of my students want to focus on improving their ability to understand and speak rather than on writing or traditional grammar lessons. This has given me an opportunity to get to know my students and begin building friendships in a way that might not be possible in a more traditional classroom setting. It’s fun learning about what they do for work, their hobbies and interests, and for my more advanced students, discussing their families and childhoods. There are truly so many things to discuss and each with its own vocabulary to learn!

Every lesson ends with a time to practice reading and begin getting to know our Creator God. I have various levels of children’s Bible stories and one even that has Thai translation. During this time, my students repeat the story back to me to practice pronunciation and look up definitions of words to make sure they understand. I usually end the lesson with a prayer especially praying for blessing for each student. Some students are familiar with the Bible stories and for others it is the first time. I wish I could explain more in Thai to them about the stories but trust that God is planting the necessary seeds through our friendship and their reading. Please pray that God might water these seeds and that my students may grow to know and love their Father in heaven.