to teach in Thailand’s royal palace school
State students will have the opportunity to teach in the presence of royalty
thanks to two Sacramento State professors’ strong ties with Thailand.
Studies Professor Thomas Knutson and English Professor Richard Adams have established
a new program where students will teach at the Chitralada Royal Palace School
in Bangkok. Knutson said the school was originally only for the royal family
but has now expanded to 1,500 students. The Sacramento State students will leave
on May 15 and will spend 10 months teaching English to students in grades equivalent
to seventh through 10th in America.
a life-changing opportunity,” Knutson said. “Working over there
will be absolutely invaluable to them.”
Maha C. Sirindhorn and other school officials approved Kyle Hardwick, Casey
Mayville, Dwight Turner and Jen White for the program from a pool of 20 student
Knutson said his
connection with the school was established because his friend Geoffrey Hattersly,
a former speech writer for Margaret Thatcher, is the director of the school’s
English program. Knutson is also well-versed in the Thai way of life and has
taught and conducted research at several Thai universities for more than 10
years. He also helped establish a school in Nong Khai, Thailand called the First
Global Community College in 1994.
If the program
is a success, Knutson said he would like it to continue every year and hopes
it will expand. Knutson said the students will be paid $400 U.S. a month and
provided accommodation close to the school.
To get the students
adjusted to living and working in a different culture, Knutson and Adams held
a seminar for the students on Thai culture. Turner, a junior majoring in communication
studies, said students who had previously been to Thailand offered advice at
the seminar and two Sacramento State Thai students spoke about the differences
they encountered going to college in the United States.
“It was really
good to see both sides,” Turner said. “They taught us the cultural
values, the big differences and what it is like to live in Bangkok.”
Hardwick, a graduating
English major, said he is excited but feels he will still experience a slight
culture shock when he gets there. He said while he is not very familiar with
the language he doesn’t think it will be an issue because the Thai students
are encouraged to absorb as much English as possible.
Hardwick said each
student will teach their own class but will be provided with textbooks, lesson
planners and a translator.
senior Mayville said she has had previous experience tutoring students in Mexico
and feels the opportunity will be valuable to her career plans to work in the
translating industry in some capacity.
For more information
contact Knutson at 278-6941.
California State University, Sacramento Public
6000 J Street Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 (916) 278-6156