Are You Spending Your Training Budget Wisely? Part 1: The Instructor

Slider11This is a question many training departments in Thailand often ask themselves. What is the best way to learn English? Is our organization doing the right thing? Is there something we could be doing better?

Over the years, your training policy has probably changed several times: in-house vs. outside training, online vs. classroom training, and so on. A successful outcome from English training depends on several factors, but in these blogs I will focus on six: instructor, course material, class size, duration, training frequency and facilities, and I will begin by discussing the instructor.

Perhaps obviously, one key to success of any training course is the trainer. English training is no different. The English language, especially business English, is a very wide field, and very few instructors based in Bangkok are truly multi-talented and can cover the whole spectrum.

So how can you make sure you are getting the right teacher for your course? The first thing you can do is talk to your training provider and find out what level of experience the instructor has. Is the instructor really suitable for the type of course you are running?

For example, you are looking to train your back-office staff. Chances are their English level is quite low.

At this level the instructor should be able to speak Thai. Of course, a good English teacher should be able to make learners understand even though he or she does not speak their language, but how much easier is it for both parties if the instructor knows the word for ‘adjective’ in Thai?

Consider the phrase รถติด. Thai learners know the expression ‘traffic jam’. However, in Thai ติดtakes the form of an adjective, so very often the Thai translation is “The traffic is jam.”, whereas in English we say “The traffic is bad.” This is easy to explain to an elementary-level student using Thai but takes an effort using English only.

Most instructors may be comfortable teaching general English and business English courses ranging from higher elementary to intermediate, but nowadays, with overall English skills improving thanks to extensive use of social media and the fact that a large number of multinationals are based in Bangkok, lots of courses fall outside this range, and students above or below those levels struggle to improve as much as they should.

Take for example learners on courses such as teleconferencing, technical writing or presentations. These courses go far beyond the syllabus found in standard business English books, and the instructor has to tailor the courses to the learners’ needs.

You need to find out if the instructor assigned to deliver a course for your organization has done a similar course before and what feedback he got.

The success of any training course hinges largely on the ability of the instructor to deliver the course in an interesting and easy-to-follow way.

Contact us today to find out how we can help your company’s employees improve their English language skills.

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