Because Ban Khok Yang School has applied the principle of learning through play – the most effective education for children – with the awareness to do its best to equip Thai children with linguistic skills development, Mesa, a first-grader, said with a grin in the Thai language period: ‘It is fun’.
‘Thai literacy is vital. We need to make sure children enjoy learning the Thai language so that they’ll be able to read and write’, Ms Phakamat Klomkliang, the 1st-grade homeroom teacher, reiterated.
So, it is very common at Ban Khok Yang School to see Ms Phakamat’s pupils playing a traditional Thai children’s game like ‘Ri Ri Khao San’ (catching the last one in the line) and to hear giggling sounds during the Thai language class. In some session, the class may start a lesson by singing songs about vowels or consonants as an introduction to the instruction that makes use of the materials supported by Takua Pa Project, World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT).
‘Our school used some instructional materials, yet they were neither as diverse nor creative. WVFT has led teachers across the network of local schools, including us, to join the instructional materials production workshop and also given us supplies so that we can make our own teaching tools’, Ms Phakamat shared the background.
As Ms Phakamat asks each of her pupils a hand to make the instructional materials, the children feel proud when seeing that their works are used and give their all into what is being taught.
‘Today, I’ve taught about the “ia” diphthong. We started singing songs about the “ia” sounds. Then, I’ve used the instructional materials and handed out worksheets for pupils to work on. Today, pupils were told to think about words with “ia” diphthongs and write them down in the worksheets. In some session when no worksheets are handed out, pupils will be practising in their exercise books’, Ms Phakamat walked us through the instructional steps and ended with a smile: ‘This pedagogical method has enhanced children’s thinking development and made it easier for them to learn. They will be able to build upon this more easily when learning more advanced vowel sounds’
And because when learning is stress-free, 10 out of 12 pupils in Ms Phakamat’s 1st-grade class have achieved the Thai language reading ability up to the standard. Her smile went even broader when she said: ‘As a teacher, it is normal to feel glad when seeing that my pupils have gained better development’.