Thais will be tested for 21st century literacy skills – are we ready?

your say December 09, 2017 01:00

Re: “A few tips on communication for native English speakers”, and “Learning a second language is a two-way process!”, Have Your Say, November 29 and December 6.

A Johnson suggests that Nation writers keep their English simple to make reading easier. 

Reading will be a major focus of the 2018 International Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The PISA assessment will judge countries for 21st-century reading literacy skills, which are known to be lagging in Thailand. It will also support the point that learning is a two-way process, in contrast to the rote method still popular in Thailand. 

For PISA 2018, the definition of reading literacy is as follows: Understanding, using, evaluating, reflecting on and engaging with texts in order to achieve one’s goals, to develop one’s knowledge and potential and to participate in society.

The PISA 2018 reading tests will be tougher than previous years, so Thai students should be urged to begin self-learning in parallel with their schoolwork to meet the new standards. If you’re not sure what to look for, ask your teacher for guidance or search the Internet. One must realise that the new PISA 2018 requirements will be applicable to one’s whole life, and for every language necessary in future careers. A former Thai Education Minister once gave the following, John F Kennedy-like, answer in an interview with The Nation: “When it comes to the educational issue, things also depend on society”. 

I would replace the word “society” here with “the individual”.

More information on the PISA 2018 requirements is at: and


Dirk Sumter