February 25, 2014 00:00 By Asina Pornwasin The Nation
Khadiyah Armanakun set to represent Thailand at 2014 Microsoft in Education Global Forum
Students at Anuban Betong (Suphap Anusorn) School in Yala’s Betong district have been experiencing innovative English lessons and improving their English thanks to their lauded teacher, Khadiyah Armanakun.
Khadiyah has been an English teacher for four years after being a teaching assistant for two years.
She has designed her own creative teaching style for students to improve their English.
She has embraced English teaching and uses technology that help students better understand English in a fun way.
As the result, the school’s English scores have improved and its students have performed better in the Ordinary National Education Test.
“My passion is to help students become more proficient in the use of English and be ready for entrance to the Asean Economic Community (AEC),” Khadiyah said.
“Batong is the strategic city in Yala province that is expected to be an economic centre of the southern part of Thailand as a result of the AEC.
“Students should be well prepared for being skilful in the English language when they enter the AEC.
“English is the third language of most students in Yala province, so it’s very difficult for them to learn.”
Khadiyah said that was why she needed to create a new way of teaching which encouraged students to love to learn English.
She applied several technologies into her English program including Microsoft Songsmith, Excel, e-book and Marvelkids.com.
She uses Songsmith, a musical accompaniment software, to create songs for students to practice and sing along while learning new vocabularies.
She also encourages students to use Excel’s speak cell on enter function to help with the pronunciation of words.
Khadiyah uses Flip Album, an e-book creation program, so students can create their own vocabulary book.
Marvelkids.com, an online platform for comic book creation, to assign her students to write short stories.
She said that after students had finished writing an essay, they used Marvelkids.com to turn their stories into comic books.
She discovered these technologies while attending Microsoft’s Partner In Learning programme five years ago.
“Thanks to training by Microsoft, I was introduced to how the easy-to-use Microsoft’s technologies can benefit in teaching,” she said.
Khadiyah has blended the technologies into her own teaching programme called “5Steps to Mastering English Public Speaking”.
The programme’s first step aims to create a positive attitude towards English through technology integration.
The second step involves organising knowledge-building activities for public speaking to enhance creativity and self-learning skills.
The third step is to create opportunities to practice English public speaking through competitions and contests while the fourth step involves elevating the English skills of the competition winners to a point where they can compete at a provincial and regional level.
The fifth step is the awarding of the Star to students who are confident in English.
“All activities are designed to emphasis class interaction to improve students’ English skill,” Khadiyah said.
Because of Khadiyah’s efforts to help students improve their English, she is the only teacher from Thailand selected as an expert educator by Microsoft and she will join its 2014 Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain next month.
Out of over 22,000 entries worldwide, Khadiyah will be one of 250 teachers at the event, where she will present her innovative English teaching programme.
Microsoft’s Expert Educator programme comes under the Partner in Learning programme and is an exclusive one-year programme created to recognise pioneering educators globally who are using technology to transform education.
Microsoft (Thailand) managing director Haresh Khoobchandani said that teaches like Khadiyah inspired the company to continue making investments in education.
Khoobchandani said the company aimed to empower teachers and students around the world to make positive changes in their countries and society.
He said that globally Microsoft had invested US$10 billion (Bt300 billion) in education in the last five years while Microsoft (Thailand) had invested $5.2 million in education.
“Microsoft (Thailand) has trained 560,000 teachers and school leaders sine 2003,” he said.
“Under the Partner in Learning program, we have trained 164,000 teachers and almost nine million students throughout the country.”
He said that more than two million university students and staff had adopted cloud technology in their everyday learning, which made Thailand among the world’s top-five countries in terms of adopting cloud technology in the classroom.
“Partner in Learning has been running in Thailand for more than 10 years in collaboration with the Ministry of Education,” he said.
“To support the project’s long-term goals, we have built a network and community of teachers who are willing and able to integrate technology into their teaching in order to transfer their skill to other teachers and students.”
Partner in Learning in Thailand has reached 8.8 million students from 9,000 schools while 11,000 teachers have enrolled in the network.