An Assessment Of The Application Of The2008 Thai English Language Policyat The Basic Education Level
When the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chose English as the working language of the region in 2007, Thailand was among the first countries in ASEAN to welcome the initiative quickly by making English a compulsory subject at the basic education level. Above all, the government made an effort to upgrade the level of English language proficiency through the reform policy known as the “2008 Basic Education Core Curriculum.” Today, nearly a decade after its implementation, the curriculum has not succeeded, and this has been clearly shown by a considerable number of academic researchers. For these researchers, since there has been no improvement in the English performance of the students, the ultimate goal of the curriculum has not been attained. The continuing decline of Thai students’ performance in English proficiency exams over the past several years, despite the implementation of the new curriculum, puzzles everyone. Based upon these realities, this paper focuses on the understanding, adaptation, and application of the 2008 English language teaching policy of Thailand, as applied in the basic education level.Moreover, this study will seek to explain the inconsistencies between the policy and its implementation. In particular, it will investigate how English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is implemented at the institutional level. It will also investigate the relationship between the policy and classroom practice during the implementation of the policy.
Keywords - ASEAN, EFL, communicative language teaching, teacher-centered approach, learners’-centered approach