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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 11 July, 2020

Irish citizens not recognised as 'native' English speakers in Thailand

Citizens from the Republic will have to take a test to prove they can speak English in order to teach the language in Thailand.

A typical kindergarten English class
A typical kindergarten English class
Image: seetefl via Creative Commons/Flickr

THE TEACHER’S COUNCIL of Thailand (TCT) has updated its list of recognised native English language speakers – and the Republic of Ireland hasn’t  made the cut.

Under the new rules introduced earlier this year, citizens hailing from only five countries can automatically be considered native English speakers and therefore be entitled to TCT provisional teaching permit – those countries are named as: “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, The United States of America, Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand and Canada”.

As the Republic isn’t included on the list, Irish citizens (along with South African citizens) wishing to teach English as a foreign language in Thailand must take a TOEIC test to prove their proficiency.

The fee for TOEIC tests vary from country to country, however the Center for Professional Assessment in Bangkok charges Baht 1,500.00 (€40) per test. As prospective teachers would typically need to take a number of tests (in order to prove listening, reading, writing and speaking skills) the costs mount up.

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