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English teachers are needed

Re: "Take English action", (PostBag, Nov 24), "Colonial benefit", (PostBag, Nov 26) and "Shaking up English," (PostBag, Nov 26).

While the first letter does make good points, such as the need to test students' actual speaking skills, I would have to take issue with the letter's insistence of having only those native speakers with English or Education degrees teaching in the kingdom.

What benefit does studying English literature have in teaching the language? If anything, it has been my experience that natives with English degrees actually make worse teachers than do others.

They seem to know so much about the language, that they cannot put themselves in place of the learner, and are unable to comprehend how hard it is to learn a foreign language.

While the second letter may have a point in stating that many countries have been able to produce adequate English speakers with teachers who reside in the their home country, the writer neglects to point out is that many of those Asian countries have previously been occupied by Western powers.

So English language proficiency has been transmitted in almost genetic-like fashion there. Thus, of course, they can speak and teach English better than here.

Nonetheless, I wish to point out that countries which have never really been occupied by Western powers, such as South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, employ native English speaking teachers en masse.

So while he is correct in asserting that having better trained English instructors who were born here would improve things in the kingdom, this does not at all imply that one should do away with native English speaking teachers entirely. There is still room for native English speakers in Thailand.

Now, even Southeast Asian powerhouses such as Hong Kong and Singapore are employing native English speakers, which is another point worth making.

North American Teacher


It's all a matter of law

Re: "Prayut: Amnesty International to be investigated", (BP, Nov 26).

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's announcement that authorities are investigating whether Amnesty International (AI) has broken any Thai laws should not be considered by the international organisation as intimidation.

On Sept 29, 2020 the Indian offshoot of Amnesty International (AI) announced the suspension of its operations in India after the law enforcement agency of that country ordered the freezing of its bank accounts, after it was found that AI had contravened Indian laws by receiving funds from abroad.

Whether AI has broken Thai laws should not remain in the dark for long. If it had, that would mean the end to the all-powerful international institution's operations in Thailand. No person or organisation has the right to break another country's laws.

Vint Chavala


Vaccines save lives

Re: ''Mutation dangers", (PostBag, Dec 1).

Eric Bahrt himself tells us at best a half-truth. One of the key reasons to get vaccinated is that when someone is infected, he or she will not get as ill. Vaccines do save lives and prevent hospital overcrowding.

Paul A Renaud


Please publish rebuttals

It really does seem PostBag has embraced vaccine scepticism.

Eric Bahrt got another airing with more of his wild accusations and incoherence. Journalists are called racists and liars when they report factually the presumed origin of the Omicron variant to be South Africa.

When "it is reported" that the origin may be the Netherlands, which better suits his vaccine theories, Khun Eric suddenly finds a source he can trust.

As for the nebulous statistics he quotes, it is like so many of these gotcha statistics dug out of an anti-vax website.

Come on PostBag, even if you don't agree with those of us who think Mr Bahrt's views are at the loony end of the scale, at least publish somebody's rebuttal of his wild theories.

Ray Ban


What's in a name? Plenty

I am disturbed by the practice of naming Covid variants after letters of the Greek alphabet. Most Bangkok Post readers are not Greek, and the Greek letters may confuse them.

I propose renaming all variants after negative qualities, in adjective form and in alphabetical order.

So we would have the Awful virus, followed by the Bad, the Crummy, the Dreadful, and so on, right down to the Zilch variety.

The most recent variant, Omicron, could be renamed Omigod.

Readers with smutty minds (there might be a few of you) will wonder what the F variety will be called.

Ye Olde Linguist


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