English and ASEAN

Ever since I arrived in Bangkok in 2011, I’ve being witnessing the amazing spread of English fever. At the national level, Thailand is wholeheartedly invested in the promise of English – the idea that proficiency in English will make ‘it’ happen for them, be it more economic development, more participation in global spheres or more 21st century cosmopolitan look to the international community. “Learn/teach English, better and faster!” is very much the message at the education level where we are seeing the rising number of English-medium programs in secondary and higher education, the constant come-and-go of fly-in/fly-out ‘language experts’ in Bangkok, and mushrooming private English language schools throughout the country. Similar to those in many other non-English speaking Asian nations, everybody I know wants to learn English to get a good job, and most academics I meet speak of English as the key to Thailand’s brighter economic future. Language on the Move, 3 February, 2012. Read more…

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