Lawrence F. Boehm, Peace Corps Thailand,1971 to 1976

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By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, July 01, 2001 - 7:16 pm: Edit Post

Lawrence F. Boehm, Peace Corps Thailand,1971 to 1976

Lawrence F. Boehm, Peace Corps Thailand,1971 to 1976

Letter of reference

Supervisory Unit
General Education Department
Ministry of Education
Bangkok, Thailand

To Whom It May Concern:
This is to attest to the dedicated work and worthwhile contribution made by Mr. Lawrence F. Boehm to the Kingdom of Thailand during his tenure as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1971 to 1976, and most sparticularly in his initiative as a member of the Writing Team involved in the production of English textbooks for use in Thai secondary schools in the latter half of that period.

In my capacity of supervisor of English over the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity of working with a great number of Peace Corps Volunteers, including activities such as the organization of training programs, participation in Thai-government sponsored in-service training programs for teachers of English, projects for preparation of aids and materials, and so on. Mr. Boehm would rank at the very top among those whom I feel have given of themselves in the true spirit of the Peace Corps.

Not only has Mr. Boehm always been pleasant to work with, but he also evidenced a sense of dedication, which enabled him to make a contribution over the normal expectations. In other words, his performance created something that was unique. In the case of his contribution to the preparation of English-language materials, done under an official project of the Supervisory Unit, Mr. Boehm developed by himself a whole set of characters and the frames in which they operated, for three complete books. This was the major contribution in the much larger task of preparing all of the art for the three books. To put it simply, his art work, and innovative suggestions for its use, gave the materials a separate entity and uniqueness, the very feature that have already proved to be so popular with Thai students and teachers.

In view of this remarkable achievement and the fact that I had the personal opportunity of working with Mr. Boehm, and thus was able to observe both closely and exactly how that achievement came about, I wish to recommend without any reservations whatsoever any endeavors that Mr. Boehm is being considered for, especially where some latitudes of innovativeness and imagination is needed, for he operates most admirably in such a situation.

It has been my good fortune to have had the opportunity of working with Mr. Boehm.
Tom Durr

Thomas A. Durr
English Language Expert
with the Ministry of Education,
and Supervisor of English,
General Education Department

By james w. gadberry on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 2:59 am: Edit Post

I am an English teacher in the Bangkok area at a private college. These are some of my obstacles:

1. Lack of Interest. Thai students show little interest in learning to speak English. Their main interests appear to be socialing with friends.
2. Study. My students (600 total, 20per class) don't (or can't) read their textbooks (New Interchange); they don't take notes; and they don't pay attention in the classroom (even for reviews before tests).
3. Distractions. Constant chatting with friends in class, monitoring their mobile phones continuosly, applying cosmetics, etc., etc., etc.
4. Textbooks. All English textbooks that are available on the market focus on Western culture and issues. Thai students are basically not interested in any culture but their own. Our textbooks don't hold or generate interest. Are there any textbooks which focus on Thailand but use English?
5. Speaking. the students are very reluctant to speak in English fearing being shunned by peers if they do. They also believe their pronunciation is inferior to foreigners so they won't speak. Therefore, their language skills never improve.

The lack of interest issue could be helped by the use of a good textbook but we can't find such a book. Does one exist? We've got a library of over a hundred popular books interest.

I asked Cambridge people about this issue and they said there's no profit in it for their company. Thailand is too small a market.

Any advice? (James)

By paul ( - on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 8:28 am: Edit Post

Dear James,

I have to say that I'm really disappointed after reading your comments about Thai students. All the blames are thrown to the students. I'm just wondering whether you have ever stopped and looked back to what you were doing in class and why it could't draw the students' attention. Don't take this personal, though. I'm talking foremostly about the teaching methodology.

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