Thais handicapped by their poor English

Thais may end in a weak position in the development of the ACS business community in December 2015. In fact, their English is the lowest of all the countries of Southeast Asia .

The ten ASEAN countries are preparing for the opening of a common market (AEC), which should be in place from the month of December 2015.

If Thailand can count on many skilled workers, they lack the language skills, especially in English … A disability may leave Siam the key.

Following the establishment of the common market of the ACS in December 2015, skilled workers can normally move freely within the ten ASEAN countries.

Will be concerned at first professional accounting, engineering, architecture, medical and dental services, and tourism.
But the skills may not be sufficient for Thailand. The Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University, has conducted a survey of various groups of entrepreneurs.

Result: many argue that the problem is not the lack of qualified workers, but the lack of mutual understanding. The ASEAN countries might be close geographically, cultural differences are quite marked.

No other choice than English
The biggest problem is of course the language: to understand each other, workers of different nationalities will have no choice but to speak English.

In Southeast Asia, the English levels vary widely from country to country; and we must admit that Thailand is lagging behind.

The English profiency Index conducts an annual global ranking of countries according to their level of English. This report ranks nations into five categories: very high skills, high skill, moderate skills, low skills and very low skills.

Thailand 42nd class over 60 countries on English proficiency index: it is the lowest among the countries of Southeast Asia.

Among the listed countries, the study includes:

9th Malaysia 55.54 high competence
12th Hong Kong 54.44 Average proficiency
13th South Korea 54.19 Average proficiency
14th Japan 54.17 Average proficiency
25th Taiwan 48.93 Low
26th Saudi Arabia 48.05 Low
29th China 47.62 Low
30th India 47.35 Low
32 Russia 45.79 Low
34th Indonesia 44.78 Very Low competence
39th Vietnam 44.32 Very Low competence
42 Thailand 39.41 Very Low competence
44th Kazakhstan 31.74 Very Low competence

Thailand, which has one of the lowest proficiency scores, also is behind Vietnam and Indonesia which are nevertheless also ranked among the countries with “very low skills.”

Interestingly, countries that are perceived as having a low level of English such as Japan and South Korea also receive a relatively higher score than Thailand in this study.

This ranking is relative, however, since there is no known data for Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Faced with the opening of the common market, Thailand wants to become a “hub” and medical tourism. Indeed, these are two areas where the country is uniquely qualified.

However, competition may be fierce if an effort is not made at the practice of English.

Posted in ASEAN | Leave a comment