English teaching experts attended an academic seminar on Material Development and Assessment for English Language Teaching for Study Abroad Students organized by Walailak University Language Institute (WULI) at Aonang Villa Resort in Krabi to collaboratively put together ideas for a contextualized syllabus laying basic but strong English proficiency foundation for Walailak university students, as constantly assured by Prof. Dr. Sombat Thamrongthanyawong during his opening speech, “Our students will be able to use English functionally and master at least 3,000 basic vocabulary and 1,800 daily expressions.”
From 21-23 July 2017, Over 30 attendees from Walailak University Language Institute, School of Liberal Arts and top – ranked universities in Thailand, listing Chiangmai University, Thammasat University and King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) participated in a series of English teaching discussions led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Surin Maisrikrod, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Global Engagement and Dr. Pongsathorn Dechatiwongse Na Ayuthaya, Director of Walailak University Language Institute (WULI). The seminar proved to be fruitful in being a productive space for idea sharing and learning among experienced English lecturers. Discussion topics are chiefly centered on the use of technology and online resources to effectively develop English language teaching materials and assessment such as corpus concordance, Kahoot, Socrative, and Quizlet which have proved to be an interaction generator in class.
“Kids get involved more when there is this kind of thing in class”, said Nathan Kimmons, a guest lecturer from Chiangmai University.
Likewise, Asst. Prof. Dr. Supakorn Poocharoensil, another distinguished lecturer from Thammasat University presenting about classroom application of corpus concordance, pointed out how learners can make use of vocabulary, grammar and idiom learning by using concordance.
“Learning words separately is hard for students to apply them later on but understanding them with contexts paints a picture of how to use them”, suggested Asst. Prof. Dr. Supakorn.
Apart from technology application in class, Studying Abroad Program was significantly emphasized in compliance with an active initiation of Study Abroad Program by Walailak University Language Institute, aiming to strengthen not only language proficiency but also necessary soft skills for students planning on studying and doing an internship overseas. For this topic, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pornapit Darasawang extensively reflected on her years of experiences in how a Study Abroad Program at KMUTT has been implemented. Essentially, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pornapit added that in fact a qualitative evaluation process should be treated equally as important as the major core itself.
“Feedback from our students helps us learn and perfect our program continually”, said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pornapit.
The seminar successfully ended with group discussions on four topics which include Study Abroad program, the use of technology in class and extra tutorial. All of the attendees referred to this whole program as an excellent academic gathering and insist that more is to be arranged in the near future.
by Nootchanat Sukkaew
WULI Academic Officer