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Teaching and Learning Issues with an IPGCE in Thailand: 4 Strategies

Teaching in Thailand, like any other country, comes with its unique set of challenges and rewards. For those with an International Postgraduate Certificate in Education (IPGCE), these challenges can be particularly pronounced. This article will delve into the teaching and learning issues associated with an IPGCE in Thailand, and offer four strategies to navigate these challenges effectively.

Understanding the Thai Education System

Before we delve into the strategies, it’s crucial to understand the Thai education system. This understanding will provide a context for the issues and the strategies we’ll discuss later.

The Thai education system is divided into three levels: basic, vocational, and higher education. The basic level covers 12 years of schooling, split into six years of primary education and six years of secondary education. Vocational education offers practical skills training, while higher education includes undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

While the system is designed to provide equal opportunities for all, there are disparities, particularly in rural areas. These disparities often result in issues such as low literacy rates and high dropout rates, which are challenges that teachers with an IPGCE often grapple with.

Challenges in Teaching with an IPGCE in Thailand

Language Barrier

The first challenge that teachers with an IPGCE often face in Thailand is the language barrier. While English is taught in schools, it’s not widely spoken, especially in rural areas. This can make communication with students and parents difficult.

Imagine trying to explain a complex scientific concept to a student who has limited English proficiency. It’s akin to trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces. The message gets lost in translation, leading to confusion and frustration on both sides.

Teaching Methodologies

The second challenge is the difference in teaching methodologies. In many Thai schools, rote learning is still the norm. This is in stark contrast to the more interactive and student-centred approach promoted by the IPGCE.

It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. The teaching methods that work well in a western classroom may not necessarily work in a Thai classroom, leading to a disconnect between the teacher and the students.

Cultural Differences

The third challenge is cultural differences. Thai culture places a high value on respect for authority, which can sometimes hinder open discussion in the classroom. Teachers with an IPGCE, who are trained to encourage critical thinking and debate, may find this challenging.

Imagine trying to encourage a lively debate in a classroom where students are reluctant to voice their opinions for fear of disrespecting their teacher. It’s like trying to start a fire with wet wood. The spark of critical thinking can be difficult to ignite in such an environment.

Strategies for Overcoming These Challenges

Embrace the Language

The first strategy is to embrace the Thai language. Learning the basics of the language can go a long way in bridging the communication gap. It’s like learning the rules of a new game. Once you understand the rules, you can play the game more effectively.

There are plenty of resources available online and in bookstores to help you learn Thai. You could also consider taking a language course or hiring a private tutor.

Adapt Your Teaching Methods

The second strategy is to adapt your teaching methods. While it’s important to maintain the principles of the IPGCE, it’s equally important to be flexible and responsive to the needs of your students.

Think of it as being a chef in a foreign country. You might have to adjust your recipes to suit the local palate, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the quality of your dishes.

Respect the Culture

The third strategy is to respect the culture. Understanding and respecting Thai culture can help you build a positive rapport with your students and their parents.

It’s like being a guest in someone’s home. You respect their rules and customs, and in return, you’re welcomed and accepted.

Seek Support

The fourth strategy is to seek support. Whether it’s from fellow teachers, your school, or professional organisations, don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it.

Think of it as being part of a football team. You’re all working towards the same goal, and you can achieve more by working together than you can alone.


Teaching with an IPGCE in Thailand can be challenging, but it’s also an opportunity for personal and professional growth. By understanding the challenges and adopting the right strategies, you can make a positive impact on your students’ lives and enjoy a rewarding teaching experience.

Remember, the key to success is flexibility, patience, and a willingness to learn and adapt. With these qualities, you can overcome any challenge that comes your way.

Take the Next Step in Your Teaching Career with IPGCE

Ready to transform your teaching career in Thailand and beyond? Embrace the opportunity for professional growth with the IPGCE program. Enhance your qualifications, connect with a global network of educators, and gain a deeper understanding of international curricula. Join a community of teachers who have seen a significant boost in interview callbacks, promotion rates, and salary increases. Don’t let isolation or limited advancement hold you back. With flexible online study options, you can balance your career development with your current commitments. Make the move to become more adaptable and qualified for the international teaching landscape. Join the UK’s #1 Teacher Training Course today and start making a difference in your professional journey.

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