The Relationship between Thai Culture and the Learning and Teaching of English in North-eastern Thailand

Graham, Steven Jacob Arthur (2019). The Relationship between Thai Culture and the Learning and Teaching of English in North-eastern Thailand. EdD thesis The Open University.



This research explores the relationship between Thai culture and the learning and teaching of English in north-eastern Thailand, by focusing on the adoption of learner-centeredness in the English language classroom, and whether it is mediated by Thai culture. This qualitative study employs observations, and individual/group interviews, using a socio-cultural framework to investigate primary school teachers’ perceptions of learner-centered teaching, how they implement learner-centeredness in the classroom and how this is negotiated by Thai culture. In addition, students’ perceptions of their learning preferences, and how they relate to learner-centeredness are both investigated in relation to Thai culture.

The research findings reveal that most Thai teachers of English taking part in this investigation were able to demonstrate aspects of learner-centered teaching, for example, engaging students, varied use of content, a learner-centered environment, some student autonomy, and assessment to reach student goals; however, they were not particularly adept at explaining theory during their interviews. Teachers highlighted a lack of confidence, a perceived deficit of pronunciation ability and the lack of opportunities to use English outside the classroom as having an influence on their effectiveness. In addition, a shortage of qualified English teachers, and excessive extracurricular activities in schools were also emphasised as having an impact.

Furthermore, the students liked to learn English by singing songs and playing games, and preferred their teacher marking their work, and working in groups, although teachers believed that their students also lacked confidence in using English.

This research has possible implications for teacher training, in that there may be a requirement for Thai culture, as well as the local context, to be taken into consideration when implementing educational change, including the involvement of all stakeholders in the educational process if it is to succeed.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions