Teaching in Thailand

The Best Teaching Jobs in Thailand

Opportunities for the Experienced English Teacher

Whilst teachers without a degree or EFL certification may be able to find work in a few Thai government schools and private language institutes, an experienced and highly qualified teacher has far more options available.

The highest salaries can be found by teaching in Thailand’s many upmarket international schools. While most are based in Bangkok, more are opening up in other provinces such as Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya. These schools provide teachers not only with a good salary but teacher accommodation and opportunities for self development too. Most schools detail their recruitment packages on their respecive websites. The Thai Ministry of Education provides a detailed list of international schools and their contact information.

Teaching in Thai International Schools

In international schools and bilingual programs students are not necessarily Thai. They may be children of an expatriate couple or from a mixed marriage between a Thai and ‘farang’- the Thai word for foreigner.

Working in such a cosmopolitan atmosphere is both motivating and rewarding. Students study with many other nationalities, using English as their medium of communication, a common third language to facilitate conversation between each other, be it Thai and Swede, French and German, Korean and Japanese. Consequently, their learning curve is much shorter as they immerse themselves in English, both for social and academic purposes.

International Schools also offer the teacher structure and support. They have the best teaching facilities and employ non-teaching staff to provide assistance to both students and teachers. Most schools are based on the British Curriculum, such as Dulwich International College or St John’s International School. Others follow the International Baccalaureate, Australian or American system.

Other benefits include long holidays and many schools offer a flight allowance and relocation assistance, a rare commodity in Thailand. International school teaching vacancies listed on the job database at ajarn.com, (Thailand’s foremost source of teacher recruitment) show the range of benefits available, with salaries levels quoted at around 60,000 baht per month ($1900) for a qualified and experienced teacher. This is considerably more than the average English teacher’s salary in a government high school or private language institute, who advertise their salaries at 30,000 - 35,000 Baht per month.

An additional bonus is that job opportunities are often advertised in Educational publications outside of Thailand such as the Times Education Supplement (TES) and the Education Guardian, a supplement of the British based Guardian newspaper (online versions are available). This is unusual, as most Thai schools insist on a face-to-face interview and therefore tend to advertise locally.

Teaching in Thailand’s Hotels and Tourist Resorts

Don’t overlook the advantages of teaching in the private sector. Some of the best teaching positions are to be had in the major hotel chains in Bangkok and the main tourist resorts. The Marriot Group, The Hilton and Six Senses Resorts are just a few of the hotels which are likely to employ their own English language trainers.

Salaries are usually around 40,000 baht per month but are topped up with a guaranteed monthly gratuity (a share of the tips) and a food and beverage allowance for use within the hotel’s restaurants.

Students (hotel employees) are adults and are often highly motivated, eager to apply what they have learnt in the classroom to their job. Planning lessons and writing materials are also easier for the teacher as employees share a common background and similar work ethic. It is therefore much easier to provide examples in a specific work context, whether it be a vocabulary lesson, visiting a guest room to identify the items in it, or use of the hotel menu to learn how to take food orders in English and describe dishes to guests.

Whilst the contracted holiday allowance is not as attractive as in International Schools, the paperwork and record keeping is considerably less, avoiding the time consuming completion of a mountain of attendance sheets, student reports, school lesson plans and teaching records, currently required by the Thailand Ministry of Education.

Bear in mind that hotels do not always advertise their vacancies, as often potential applicants enquire ‘on spec’. Sending a resume, references and copies of your qualifications to the relevant Personnel department will enable your details to be kept on file.

Where to Find a Job

In addition to the teaching vacancies advertised on ajarn.com, look in the local, regional newspapers for jobs in the main tourist areas. Thailand’s most popular English language daily, The Bangkok Post, regularly features teaching positions in its classifieds section and publishes an Educational Supplement (The Learning Post) every Tuesday. Local teaching websites are another good source of job hunting.

Good Luck!

Teaching English in Thailand Teaching English in Thailand

“While Bangkok absorbs an enormous number of English teachers, both trained and untrained, there is also demand in the other cities such as Hat Yai, Chiang Mai in the north, and Songkhla in the south, where there is less competition for work. Not much teacher recruitment takes place outside Thailand. Even Thai universities and teachers’ colleges, as well as private business colleges, all of which have EFL departments, depend on finding native-speaking teachers locally. In short, anyone who is determined to teach English in Thailand and prepared to go there to look for work is virtually guaranteed to find opportunities. Finding language schools to approach is not a problem

Teaching English in Thailand Global Vision International
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification in Thailand
Travel, teach and gain a TEFL! Get your TEFL certification and teach English in Phang Nga, Thailand. Renowned for its stunning natural beauty, this region is abundant with wildlife, white sand beaches, culture and history. As a participant in the GVI Thailand program, you will study the GVI TEFL course, developed specifically to train people to teach with minimal resources, attracting those with an interest in sustainable development and conservation, and those wishing to enter the commercial TEFL Industry.

Cost: From $2,830
Dates: All year round for 5 or 10 weeks.
Contact: Global Vision International, 252 Newbury Street, Number 4, Boston, MA, 02116, USA. Call Toll free on 888-653-6028; info@gviusa.com; www.gviusa.com


Phuket, Thailand
CTESOL: Teach English Around the World
4 week – (140 hr) Internationally accredited courses worldwide.
Our training centre in Phuket provides teacher training, certification and career guidance and support throughout our graduate’s teaching career. The course has a very practical emphasis and features a high proportion of actual teaching practice hours in the classroom. Teach, travel, live and work abroad.

Dates: Course available each month all year-round
Cost: $1490 USD.
Contact: Luke Fisher; info@teflcorp.com
Website: www.teflcorp.com


Ban Phe, Thailand
CTESOL: Teach English Around the World
4 week – (140 hr) Internationally accredited courses worldwide.
Our training centre in Ban Phe provides teacher training, certification and career guidance and support throughout our graduate’s teaching career. The course has a very practical emphasis and features a high proportion of actual teaching practice hours in the classroom. Teach, travel, live and work abroad.

Dates: Course available each month all year-round
Cost: $1490 USD.
Contact: Luke Fisher; info@teflcorp.com
Website: www.teflcorp.com


Teach in Thailand
Has it been your dream to live and work in Asia? American TESOL Institute is one of the largest TEFL teacher training organizations in the world—can not only make this dream come true but also help you experience and explore the culture, language, food and history of Thailand. The project comprises of TEFL training for the first month and then four months of practical teaching experience which may be anywhere in Thailand.

For more information, visit www.justtefl.com.


Ajarn.com: The Largest and Most Comprehensive Website for English Teaching in Thailand. The site has an extensive job board, plus general information about living and teaching in Thailand, including freelancing. The job board contains mostly full time positions, but many schools will be interested in part-time or weekend teachers as well. Contact: www.ajarn.com or see www.ajarn.com/Education/Resources/Yellow_Pages/index.htm for a list of language schools in Thailand.

American University Amumni Center (AUA), www.auathailand.org. Bangkok’s best known and most respected language school - a good place to look for weekend work. They offer a one month TESOL certificate course and also have a Thai language program.

The Bangkok Post: www.bangkokpost.net. Check the jobs section for postings.

Bangkok University: www.bu.ac.th/english. Another reputable university in Bangkok where English in taught.

The British Council (Thailand): www.britishcouncil.or.th. Located at the fringes of Siam Square. The Chulalongkorn Continuing Education institute is located in the same building, upstairs (only open on Saturdays and Sundays). English teaching jobs are posted on the site.

Chulalongkorn University: www.culi.chula.ac.th. Thailand’s other top university. Located in the heart of the city behind Siam Square. English is taught here.

Cornerstone Workplace English, cwe@loxinfo.co.th, Cornerstone Workplace English is a Christian language school, which teaches business English on site in Thai businesses in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We are looking for professional native English speakers with ESOL/TEFL qualifications and some experience to work with us.

Cultural Embrace
Teach in Thailand!
Thailand’s education system recognizes the need to improve its English language skills, thus hiring foreign teachers. Expect to teach an average of 20-25 hours a week, with extra time needed to create lesson plans, attend faculty meeting, and extra-curricular activities. Students’ age range from elementary to professionals, with varied levels of English skills. TEFL certification is included. For more information visit www.culturalembrace.com/2949203_24622.htm.

Contact: info@culturalembrace.com

Dave’s ESL Cafe Discussion Board on Thailand, www.eslcafe.com, is a lively board with a lot of inside tips, experiences and dialog among experienced teachers. The forum also has a fine master index of links helpful for those who wish to teach English and live in Thailand.

ECC (Thailand)
Chain of language schools with 50 branches employing 500 native speaker teachers, who must have a bachelor’s degree and at least six months teaching experience or a CELTA entry level qualification.

Contact: 430/17-24 Chula Soi 64, Siam Square, Bangkok 10330, Thailand; 011-66-2-253-3312; fax. 011-66-2-254-2243 or in the U.S.: 425-930-5421; jobs@ecc.ac.th, www.eccthai.com/jobs.asp

English Plus
Another of the large language school chains for teaching English with a branch in Thailand.

Contact: www.eltcom.com.

A major chain for teaching English with many branches, including one in Bangkok.

Contact: www.inlinguathailand.com.

Island TEFL 4-week Certified Course - Thailand
Package A: 4-week certified TEFL course. Package B: 4-week certified TEFL course PLUS 2-month volunteer placement in a state school on Samui (full accommodation included in this package option). 10 hours of observed teaching practice. Gain your TEFL qualification in a troipical paradise.

Contact: info@islandtefl.com, www.islandtefl.com

Khao San Road, www.khaosanroad.com, is a portal which provides information useful to English teachers in Thailand and expatriates in general.

LanguageCorps Thailand
Teaching English in Thailand: Flagship Program
Program include TESOL certification, guaranteed paid jobs, regional excursions, host country language instruction, support of a local “Corps Advocate,” a prepaid cell phone, visa preparation, and pre-departure and re-entry packages.

Contact: teach@languagecorps.org, www.languagecorps.org

Learn to Teach English with Learn in Asia
The TEFL Certificate certifies you to teach in Thailand and worldwide. The course focuses on the dynamics of teaching English, specifically to Thai and Asian learners.

Contact: Learn@Learn-in-Asia.com, www.learn-in-asia.com

Siam Educational Experience (SEE)
SEE 4-week (120 hours) Accredited TEFL Training Course
SEE’s TEFL Programme benefits include Ministry of Education TEFL accreditation, Cultural Awareness accreditation, Survival Thai language skills; plus visa and job placement assistance. Chiang Mai, Thailand. Programme fee from $756.

Contact: info@siameducationalexperience.org, www.siameducationalexperience.org

SIT TESOL Certificate Course
The School for International Training (SIT), Vermont, USA, has been a leader in the field of TESOL training programs for over 30 years. The Certificate Course held at AUA Language Center in Bangkok is a 4-week, 130 hour course that provides participants with knowledge and skills in teaching English, as well as the tools needed for their ongoing reflection and growth as teachers. Graduates are highly sought after throughout Thailand and internationally.

Contact: training@auathailand.org, www.auathailand.org/sit/index.html

Starfish Ventures
Teaching English in Thailand
If you like children and want to help children in Thailand prepare for a better future join our Teaching Venture program. Jobs are avaialable throughout the year and you be living in a Thai community away from the tourists. Experience life in Thailand first-hand and volunteer to help the local people.

Contact: enquiries@starfishventures.co.uk, www.starfishventures.co.uk

Stickman’s Guide to Bangkok, www.stickmanbangkok.com, contains a wealth of information related to living and working in Bangkok. A great source for those who wish to teach English in Thailand.

Teach in Paradise
Great teacher training available in Chiang Mai and Pai for those who wish to teach English in Thailand.

Contact: info@teachinparadise.com, www.teachinparadise.com

Teach in Thailand, www.thailandteacher.com. Employment Postings, Resources, Message Forums, Facts & FAQ’s for teaching English in Thailand.

TEFL ASIA, www.teflasia.com, is an excellent portal for Asian ESL jobs, articles and resources with positions in Thailand.

TEFL International
TESOL Certificate
TEFL International is an internationally recognized 4-week course which trains you to be an English teacher. As the largest organization of its kind in Asia, we pride ourselves in providing a supportive course with lifetime job placement assistance. We operate courses all year long in Thailand, China, and Morocco. Accommodations are included in the course fee.

Contact: info@teflintl.com, www.teflintl.com

Thailand’s best value teacher training courseconducted on beautiful Patong Beach, Phuket, is a 4-week 125-hour course offering more practice teaching classes than any other provider. Train to become a professional teacher of English and earn an internationally recognised TEFL certificate.

Contact: info@teflplus.com, www.teflplus.com

TEFLworld in Koh Samui, Thailand
Graduate with a worldwide accepted certificate from stunning Koh Samui, Thailand. TEFL World offers an honest professional, practical, affordable and enjoyable 6 week TEFL course that prepares you for the actual English teaching experience. Certified by the Ministry of Education, our course exceeds international standards with 10 hours of observed teaching practice and tutor feedback.

Contact: info@teflteachsamui.com, www.teflteachsamui.com

Text-And-Talk Academy in Thailand
Language training programs, translation services, corporate English teaching, free lesson plans, job services and much more.

Contact: benbow@langserv.com, www.langserv.com

Thai Visa, www.thaivisa.com, provides expatriates and prospective English teachers in Thailand information about the legal formalities.

Thailand TESOL, www.thaitesol.org, is a fine organization for those who teach English in Thailand.

Thammasat University, www.tu.ac.th/org/litu/enlitu.html, is one of the top universities in Thailand. Two campuses, one in Banglumpoo and the other at Rangsit.

Youth Hostels Association of Thailand: International Community Service Programme
Volunteers with basic Teaching English as a Foreign Language experience spend 3-5 months teaching 4 hours a day in different locations around Thailand in exchange for living and travel expenses within Thailand.

Contact: bangkok@tyha.org, www.tyha.org

Wall Street Institute in Thailand: The New Way to Learn English
We use a totally flexible multi-media based approach to teaching English, including small classroom sizes, social club activities, a total English language environment. We are open everyday at two locations, students have unlimited access to our learning facilities.

Contact: info@wallstreet.in.th, www.wallstreet.in.th

WorldWide TEFL
English Teacher Training Academy in Thailand
Teach English as a Foreign Language around the world with a certificate that schools and employers recognize and value. Our full time, 1 week, 120 hour course which takes place at our center in Pattaya, Chonburi in Thailand will give you valid a certification and allow you to teach English and start your teaching career. Our certificate reflects the fact that we operate as licensed institute of education, so our graduates have education recognition for completing our course.

Contact: info@worldwidetefl.com, www.worldwidetefl.com


Teaching English Can Be Just the Beginning

While teaching English is by far the most common type of international work, and probably has the easiest paths to follow in terms of finding a job, there are many other options for native-speakers living abroad that can be both challenging and lucrative. Working as a temporary salesperson for a foreign company combines very well with the longer stability of a teaching position, and has the added benefit of networking possible business connections down the road.

I have been teaching English for the past year in a small town about two hundred kilometers from Bangkok. After graduating from college, I went through the proto-typical angst over career choices, and decided on teaching English as a stopgap measure, basically a way to be doing something worthwhile while I figured out what I really wanted to do. Thailand was an easy choice, due to the relative security and good infrastructure, and also because I had an old roommate who was a Thai citizen. I have found the Thai people to be incredibly warm and truly grateful to have me teaching there, and love the general daily challenges and discoveries of life abroad.

One of those adventures showed me the inroads to a very interesting means of supplementing my income, while also gaining some experience in the international business scene. As part of my contract with my school, I live with a Thai host family, a tremendous stroke of good fortune for me. This family has accepted me without reservation, and helped me with the myriad obstacles and bewilderments of life abroad. They own a large furniture factory, exporting dining sets and other pieces all over the world. I try my best to learn the business and help them, designing a new website and occasionally speaking with customers. During the first week of March, we participated in the Thailand International Furniture Expo, and I got a glimpse of a use for my English abilities extending beyond the classroom.

English is the language of business, a truism of life that allows people from vastly different backgrounds to communicate and make use of each others’ resources. While more people speak Mandarin as a native tongue, English is the global second language, a compulsory part of nearly every school curriculum and the closest realization of the Esparanto dreamers. For the TIFF fair, I brushed up on my host family’s company history, general profile and basic operating procedures, then put on my dashingly handsome Bangkok-tailor-made suit, threw a handful of business cards and breath mints in my pocket, and went to work.

I spent the next five days talking to businessmen from all over the world, and was told time and time again how nice it was to be able to talk to a native speaker. Many of the foreigners were accompanied by a Thai translator, and thus felt much more at ease and in control when they were able to speak directly to me. Our company also hired a young lady to translate in Japanese, but English was by far the preferred medium of communication. I showed our full range of products, and was quite pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make a sale. Indeed, my lack of in-depth knowledge of the furniture business was never a liability, as each importer wanted to know the same basic information on prices, shipping methods and time to delivery. Working with my host family was a real treat, with a mix of rushing to set up the booth through nailing some huge sales keeping the excitement at a constant high.

During one break in the rush of visitors, I took a stroll around the fair, checking out the competition and noting the different approaches to sales. I had removed my blue “exhibitor” badge, and, as I still was in suit and tie, was approached numerous times by various salespeople. I was struck by the disparity of spoken English ability, and a few times caught myself wondering just how many business deals might have been lost due to failures to communicate. There were a few farang translators like myself, and when I spoke to them, they remarked on just how easy this job was. Indeed, knowledge of Thai, while helpful is definitely not a necessity. For the most part, due to the vagaries of the Thai educational system, the company owners can read and write English at a much higher level than they can speak. Thus, they have little trouble giving their native-speaker salesperson all of the information necessary to do the job, and then reap the obvious benefits of setting their customers at ease.

In Thailand, large scale international fairs such as TIFF are fast becoming near-monthly occurrences. The overabundance of cheap labor, along with the current Prime Minister’s emphasis on developing business and global trade (including Free Trade Agreements in the works with Australia and America, among others), has created a fertile ground for the export business. Some are already calling Thailand the “Detroit of Asia” for the latest growth in the automotive industry south of Bangkok. As trade continues to expand, the need for English salespeople to assist in all phases of the dealmaking process becomes more and more urgent.

Temporary jobs of this ilk pay anywhere between two and six thousand baht per day, depending on length of contract, experience and your familiarity with the company. Most companies advertise in the Bangkok Post, www.bangkokpost.net, and The Nation, www.nationmultimedia.com, Thailand’s two daily English newspapers, as well as international jobs boards, such as www.escapeartist.com. Additionally, possibilities for networking abound during large-scale fairs, to such an extent that I had four solid offers during my thirty minute tour of the booths. Little experience is required, but a clean appearance and professional attitude will help secure most positions.

Escape to Thailand and have fun in the sun teaching English in the Thai or International schools. Here are some good websites to help you.

This is Thailand’s most popular English teaching website:http://www.ajarn.com

Dave’s ESL Cafe:


ECC Thailand is now the largest private language and computer college in Thailand:


There are thousands of foreigners teaching English and Thailand needs more well qualified foreign English speaking teachers in a wide range of subjects:


You can also do a 4 week TEFL Course in Krabi at Ao Nang Beach:


Josef Essberger is the founder of English Club to help you learn English or teach English as a second language:


And this website is intended to help learners of English make full use of the Bangkok Post both to improve their English and to gain a better understanding of our modern world:


Serious Articles
Articles that examine the more serious side of teaching in Thailand
Teacher Agencies - The Devil in Disguise?
they are everywhere you look in Thailand but are they giving teachers a fair deal or are they to be avoided at all costs?
Interview at the Thailand MoE
John Quinn, the senior TEFL trainer at SEE, spent a morning at the MOE office in Chiang Mai to try and get some answers to the many questions teachers have regarding teacher employment in Thailand. John has very kindly allowed ajarn.com to put the main points of the interview on-line. Some of the answers may well surprise you.
Then and Now for an EFL Teacher in Thailandd
How have things changed for an EFL Teacher in Thailand over the past ten or so years? If you think things are rough now, this might just change your opinion a little.
Teaching Freelance
How easy is it to go the freelance route in Bangkok and make money charging students upwards of 500 baht an hour? Well, here are some of the perils and pitfalls.
Health Insurance - what are your options?
As the old saying goes - don’t leave home without it! In this article, Bangkok Phil explores the options open to you if you want to take out health insurance in Thailand and why you shouldn’t get too excited if schools offer ‘free health cover’

Ask Tony for Health.
Ajarn.com’s resident health insurance expert, Tony Dabbs, has put together a pretty amazing Q&A page for teachers looking for health insurance in Thailand. Whether you need something cheap ‘n’ cheerful or the kind of policy that will airlift you to nearest five-star hospital - then Tony is your man!

The Teacher Trap and How to Escape it
Is it possible to escape the teacher trap? If you think that teaching is the only thing that foreigners can do in Thailand, well here are ten stories to prove you wrong.
How Much Do I Need to Earn?
Numerous jobs in Thailand still pay around 25,000 baht a month. Is it really enough to live on? The fur really flies in our heated ajarn debate.
Foreign Teachers - Different Lifestyles - How much money is enough?
What’s a comfortable salary in Thailand? How much do you need to earn? Ajarn.com looks at about a dozen scenarios and how by earning an extra 10,000 baht a month can make all the diff.
The Ajarn.com Guide to Renting an Apartment
If you’re searching for an apartment in Bangkok, then read the ajarn.com guide to apartment-hunting and learn the tricks of the trade
The Ajarn.com Guide to Renting a House
For those getting tired of apartment life and the world and its uncle knowing your business - then perhaps renting a house could be the answer.

Will I need a degree to teach in Thailand?
Ajarn.com asks just how many teachers are teaching with fake credentials. Will schools employ teachers without a degree? And does a degree even make you a better teacher? Ajarn.com also braves the sticky, sweaty Khao San Road and comes face to face with not only foreign women that have let themselves go, but the degree makers themselves. Graduate for 600 baht? Surely not.

Too Old at 45?
With one or two positions on the jobs board asking for teachers no older than 45, ajarn.com asks if this is the start of a terrifying trend and whether our middle-aged days are numbered?
More Power to Me
The Filipino teaching community is huge here in Thailand. But as many of them bombard recruiters inboxes with over-formal cover letters and speculative applications for jobs they are sometimes not qualified to do, ajarn.com asks the question ‘can Filipinos make it easier for themselves to find jobs?’.
Hundred Word Soapbox (2007)
Ajarn.com asked teachers living and working in Thailand how they would sum up the current situation of uncertainty for teachers - in just 100 words or less. I’m convinced that when you give people a platform to speak on, 95% don’t really want it. Teacher’s unions indeed. Well at least no one’s going back home just yet.
Black Teachers in Thailand
Are the Thai hirers racially prejudiced? We asked black teachers already working in Thailand how they have coped with certain problems. Or is life a bed of roses?
Corporate Training - Is the End Really Nigh?
Is the sun setting on corporate training classes? More and more companies are dispensing with the idea of English language training. Bangkok Phil leads you through the maze.
Interviewing for jobs in Thailand? - Read this first!
Thinking of interviewing for teaching jobs? What’s the best way to go about it? And why contacting employers by e-mail is an absolute no no.
Job Survey
We asked 25 job advertisers to tell us about the job market in Thailand. How many people are applying for jobs? What really annoys the job recruiters about interviewees and e-mail applicants? It’s all in the ajarn.com jobs survey. We’re where the teachers are!
The negative interview mindset
A growing number of foreign teachers (particularly male) think that it’s so easy to get an English teaching job in Thailand that all you have to do on interview day is turn up. Ajarn.com looks at a common mindset behind interviewing for TEFL jobs
Where are all the teachers?
Is there really a chronic teacher shortage in Thailand? As 40,000 baht a month jobs go begging, we ask teacher recruiters for their thoughts.
What do Thai Students Think?
What do the Thai students really think about the ‘ajarn farang’? We asked a group of Thai adult students to give us their honest opinions.
Bangkok vs Chiang Mai?
Read a great account from a teacher who gave up the Chiang Mai lifestyle to work in the capital Bangkok. It’s a tale of two cities and how a teacher fared in both.
The Longest Journey
It’s a been a long and often painful journey, but here’s an account of 15 years in the Thailand TEFL business. My careers officer never once told me that it might turn out like this.
The Teacher’s Tales
The teacher tales were a whole bunch of articles that I wrote and first appeared on the ajarn.com website in the late 1990s. Much of the info is still as relevent today as it was back then. Take a trip down memory lane why don’t you?

Is Ajarn.com really responsible for ‘low’ teacher salaries?
No - at least not according to Louis Minson. Louis says that not presenting a realistic picture of the overall job situation would be sweeping things under the carpet.

Problems at your school?
So there are 25 things wrong with your teaching job? Actually there are 25 things wrong with every teaching job - you just pray they don’t all happen on the same day. As Phil explains, it’s the way you handle these often ‘minor inconveniences’ that will make or break your time in Thailand.

The Mass Transit Factor
Ajarn takes a look at the Bangkok underground and sky-train systems. Where do they go? what do they know? and how has your average Bangkok teacher’s life improved since the systems started operating.

If not Thailand then where……?
We ask teachers where they ended up when they finally decided to leave Thailand. Was the grass really greener on the other side and do they any plans to return to The Land of Smiles one day?
Fun Stuff
Articles that take a playful look at the often crazy Thailand TEFL industry
The A-Z of Teaching TEFL in Thailand
Thanks to the combined efforts of the ajarn.com discussion board members, we’ve come up with the ultimate A to Z of teaching TEFL in Thailand.
The Dreaded Teacher’s Room
For all those who have ever taught in Asia - laugh along at ‘the anatomy of a teacher’s room’ from the water-kettle that’s never full to the pot-plant that always needs watering
Nonthaburi……oh Nonthaburi
There are many jobs up for grabs in this rather much-maligned suburb north of Bangkok. We asked readers who work there or who have worked there if it’s really as bad as people say…..and if it’s possible to survive without a McDonalds. The living dead are among us.
Who Do You Work With?
Nothing more than a playful poke at some of the teaching characters we’ve all worked with down the years. Can you recognise yourself in there somewhere?
The Evil Expatriates
Ever had a farang teacher look you up and down on the sky-train? It could be that they want to share lesson plans or maybe they’re simply wondering what you’ve got to be so happy about. Either way - what’s happened to the expat community spirit?
Dress For Success
If you’re thinking of coming to teach in Thailand then don’t leave home without reading our indispensable guide to cutting a dash in the classroom. How many neckties do I need? Will the pony-tail have to go? From the moment you walk in the room, you’ll be turning heads and not stomachs. On no, not all five Spice Girls please!!!
Thai classroom assistants - angels from the Planet Xerox or Satan’s snitch?
They are as much a part of a teaching package as subsidized health insurance, the occasional sports day and possible unpaid test-marking. You told us about yours.
No degree? No teaching certificate?
No experience? All you’ve got is the language you learned as a baby. Is it still possible to get a job teaching English in Thailand? Ajarn.com picks eight random phone numbers from the jobs offered board and calls them up. Dangerous things happen when ajarn.com’s got time on its hands.
First Lesson Memories
The ink is still wet on your brand new teacher training certificate and you’re suddenly faced with the prospect of standing in front of your first ever class and dishing up hearty portions of education and entertainment. We asked for your first lesson in Thailand memories. Were you as cool as a cucumber….or absolutely bricking it?
The Teachers Speak
“My advanced students asked me to teach them suitable terms for genitalia. I found it the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I ended up settling for ‘tuppence’ and ‘Peter Pumpkin” Enjoy the best quotes from 12 months of the ajarn.com discussion board teachers room.
The Teacher’s Diary
The diary was the sad and heartbreaking 4-week journal of Mr Jim Elmdon, a teacher who came, saw, and failed miserably. Keep a box of tissues handy.
Life in the Bus Lane
Life in the Bus Lane was a series of columns written for the Nation newspaper by Mr Ian McNamara, the founder of ajarn dot com. Often controversial (too controversial for the delicate Nation newspaper editor) the column ran for almost two years.
Ajarn Art
Take a look at the ajarn.com art gallery. This is the place for talented teachers to scan and send us those little masterpieces that are created while students are busy doing tests or assorted gap-fill exercises. Without doubt one of my favorite ever submissions to ajarn.com.
The adventures of Ajarn Wannabe
A group of English teachers / actors have got together to make a funny film about a foreigner arriving in Thailand and after falling on hard times, eventually finds work as an English teacher. Look out for a few well-known Bangkok landmarks. Check it out.
Stand up and be counted!
Louis Minson, who runs the ajarn discussion forum, has put together a very interesting Thailand teacher survey. It will only take you five minutes or less to complete and then you’ll be able to view all the results from the input thus far. You can access the survey here. For an ajarn.com overview of the results so far then please click here.
Articles from guest writers and stuff that doesn’t seem to fit in either of the above categories
Ajarn in the Bangkok Post
The Bangkok Post ran a full-page article on the ajarn.com website as part of its Learning Post education section on 22nd February 2005. You can read the complete article on the Bangkok Post website.
E-Mailing for Jobs - doing it the right way!
One of the most soul-destroying things for many job applicants is to not receive replies to your emails. But are you going about things the right way? Read recruiter Chris’s excellent guide on how to do it right.
Teach in Chiang Mai
The ajarn.com guide to teaching in Chiang Mai. Reproduced with kind permission from our friends at one stop Chiang Mai, a new website under the guidance of Andrew Bond. Cheers mate!.
A Teacher in Chiang Mai
Few teachers know Chiang Mai better than Andy B. Although he started working there for less than 10,000 baht a month, he soon found out that professionalism reaped dividends.
How Much Tax Should You be Paying?
John Cork has put a very nice tax calculator on an Excel spreadsheet for us. Simply enter your monthly teaching salary into the box provided and find out instantly if your school is taking you to the cleaners!
No magic bullets!
Dave Patterson, who is a teacher at the Prince of Songkhla University in South Thailand, says it’s about time Thai students took studying English seriously. And it’s about time schools got serious about taking care of their students.
A Thai Student’s Diary
A foreign teacher contacted ajarn wanting to share a diary that one of his English program students had written. Although the student is only a youngster, the diary is a very frank account of what it’s like to study at a Thai school. Top work!
Make Way for Grammarman!
We’ve all seen Thai kids and Thai adults with their heads stuck in those damn cartoon books, but could Japanese anime be making way for Grammarman - a new comic-book superhero? Grammarman is the brainchild of Mr Brian Boyd, a teacher with the British Council Bangkok. Read his exclusive ajarn.com hot-seat interview.
Book Review
As a refreshing change from someone writing about their ten years of hell in a Thai prison, you might want to take a look at Bangkok Exit written by Ryan Humphreys. Ryan gives readers a humorous warts ‘n’ all account of his first year teaching in Thailand at Sathit Wittaya School.
Your Help is Needed
Martin Walsh is the co-founder of Dragonfly, a company that supplies volunteer teachers to schools in the poorer regions of Thailand. They also have projects going on at the moment to help tsunami orphans
Jonno - A teacher made good
He taught English for five years and then said ’sod it - I’ve had it up to the eyeballs and I’m going to open the best English restaurant in Bangkok. Let’s be honest - we love these ‘teacher manages to escape the shackles of the EFL business’ stories don’t we? And although Mommas has now closed down and Johnno has disappeared off the face of the earth - it’s still a decent story.
Great book deal for ajarn readers
Sam at D’s book warehouse is having an educational book sale and ajarn readers can get a 10% reduction on any number of books purchased. Simply say “I love Ajarn” to the sales assistant to qualify for your discount. You can view the website with directions on how to get there right here
Thailand’s most famous student has a book out!
Panrit ‘Gor’ Daorung has written his life story and it is now available from Bamboo Sinfonia Books. From starting one of Thailand’s most popular websites to drug addiction to marriage and finally to life in prison. It’s been a roller-coaster ride of epic proportions. It’s a brutally honest account of life as a Thai teenager.

Teachers Comedy Movie Skit
Kirby Dale and some of his fellow teachers and students at Chak kham Kahnathon School in Lamphun made a very funny video about Thai high school students. The video is featured in two parts on the very popular youtube website.

Find a teaching job in just 10 days
I’m still amazed at the number of teachers who will pay companies hard-earned cash to find them a job, meet them at the airport, book accommodation, etc, etc Believe me - arriving in Thailand and setting yourself up is no big deal. A.J Hoge wrote an excellent guide to finding a job in ten days and takes you step-by-step through a 10-day plan of action. Well worth a read. Check it out

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