Hello and Sawasdee Khrap, Today, I went to a shop opposite our Big-C and met two of my ex- students I've taught about seven years ago when they were in grade six. First, I didn't even recognize her when the 19-year-old was greeting me with a Wai and said: "Hello teacher." I also made a Wai and asked her where she'd study but she didn't understand a word I was saying. Then she called her one year younger brother for help who attended the same class. After saying hello I was asking him: "How are you?" but it wasn't understood and when their mom and daddy arrived I switched to Thai to make them feel more comfortable and nobody lost face. When they told me in what class in grade six they're studying I switched my notebook on and showed them some photos with both of them in their classroom at primary school. When they left primary school they could have a conversation in English, knew how and when to use past and present tense and it was a very sad day in my life to see them many years later after six years of high school being unable to have a very simple chat in English. They then studied six years at a well known high school that's using two different agencies. Both agencies have a very good looking brochure, and they only offer experienced NES teachers with degrees in education. But living in this city I already knew why they didn't catch up with learning English. The girl, for example, had six different experienced NES teachers in only one term. The school is always changing the agencies every one or two years. First, they started with agency A, then after a year, or two they decided to sign up with agency B for a year, or two. but very seldom longer. It's easy to understand, each signed contract comes with a great sum in cash and that's what the directors are interested in, not the students' education in a second language. Studying English for an hour from a foreigner who's got no idea what teaching is all about, plus the lessons from their Thai English teachers, usually the grammar part, does the rest. But both agencies seem to have the same problem. They can't "deliver" what they promise in their brochures. It's not a secret that both agencies seem to have their own ways to get their employees a visa and a work permit, but only for ten months. Not many of their employees are NES and quite a lot of them do not have a degree. There's no student to blame, it all goes back to the teachers, the Thai English teachers, but also the foreign teachers. I copied some language learning DVD's for the two ex- students showed them how to do the setup and drove homo with a very bad feeling in my stomach. One way the other, I had a feeling of being guilty, even when I think that I did pretty well as an English teacher when they were in primary school. After all, it's not just the no-fail policy, the loss of face and the "please don't ask me any questions Thai English teachers" that make Thailand look very bad in English skills, being the number 55 out of 60 countries. There seem to be quite a few foreign people employed who know nothing about education at all. As a part of an assignment for my Diploma, I had to watch a film about a teacher from Finland who gave some great and very useful information why his country became the number one in education. One of his reasons was the quality of their teachers and all teachers in Finland have to have a Master's. The education in Finland is superb, the salary is very high and being a teacher there is an occupation almost every Fin would love to have. I was thinking about what we foreigners could do better in Thailand and hope that you add some of your thoughts to it. I will stop fixing their computers in my free time and concentrate more on my real job which is teaching English, science, and math. From now on the students, no matter if it's teacher x's son or director XXL's daughter, will receive the real grades. The grade they deserve. Too many of them are so used to just copy their homework or any assignments in class right in front of me. That will have an end. A meeting with all English teaching staff has to be done this week. It seems that nobody wants to see the problems we are facing. I'm sure that some of you guys out there are facing similar problems. It would be great to see your input, your solutions, what you'd do with too noisy students, etc... P.S. The lady on the photo was hired as a teacher assistant but she threw the towel after only two weeks just because so many things are completely out of order. She allowed me to post the photo here. Thanks a lot in advance for any replies. Merry Christmas.