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Educational Success in Ban Ta Klang, Thailand

April 08, 2016


Have you ever participated in a very successful educational program? Well, many of you have but you may not have been aware of it. Also, have you heard that the way to truly learn another language is to go to school and to learn from native speaking instructors?  It worked pretty well when the author moved to Thailand though some would say it may have been taken to an extreme.

In any event, through many of your efforts as well as those combined with The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation and The Learning Link, the Provincial English Test Ladder results of the Ban Ta Klang primary school in Surin province climbed from 241 (last place) to 91st place in the one year we have had the native English instruction program in place.


In the Buddhist culture of Thailand, it is a wonderful thing to "tham boon" -- to make merit. Moreover, it is quite another to see the impact on others' lives in such a short time frame. Why do we care that the students learn English?  It gives them future optionality such that their families do not have to breed elephants as a way of life. Moreover, tourists can come to the village to see the over two hundred elephants there and some of the tourist money can stay behind in the village given the ability of the people to communicate with them.

A special thanks is given to the educational efforts of Khun Lauren and her magic with the students.


Moreover, we are all indebted to Khun Oh (Khun Pacharee Jaengvong) who is the young lady smiling in the image below. She heads up the Learning Link efforts and discovered Khun Lauren and her predecessor, Khun Tim to place in the village. The headmaster is the somber fellow immediately to my right. He knew he was in 241st place and had a long way to go. My guess is he is smiling these days. John Roberts, to my far right, knew it all along it would work out well.

Lauren's level of engagement with her students is shown below in these two videos she made with the children of each school and some of the other Thai educators.

(Click on the pictures below to view the videos)
Above:  Baa Ta Klang School Presents "Call Me Maybe"
Below: Chang Boon School Presents "Shake It Off"

 

“The Elephant Village” translated into Thai is pronounced “Moo Baan Chang.”  Located in Ban Ta Klang, Surin Province, it is the home to over 200 domesticated elephants and over 500 resident Mahout (owners and drivers of the elephant) families.

 

Moo Baan Chang has particular significance for The Elephant Story due to our conservation efforts in the village where we have co-sponsored, along with The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF), English as a second language and money management skills. It is our hope that these efforts will allow the younger generation of the village more options for what they can become in their future and money management to make the village more self sustainable.
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