Anoma and her third grader classmates are talking indistinctively, raising their hands to get called on to present how to form words in front of the class. Meanwhile, Pattraphorn Pimpa, the Thai language teacher, is busy picking a variety of materials around the classroom to motivate students’ skills and stimulate their brain and learning development. There are flash cards in Doraemon shapes, learning media made out of spoons and forks, song singing with cup and chopstick percussion and dancing along the music. Children have so much fun they forget this is the Thai language class.
Because “Learning through Playing” is the key to successful early childhood and primary school learning, Teacher Pattraphorn has carried out Thai language lessons based on Brain-Based Learning or BBL approach in alignment with Ministry of Education’s project called “School Change Maker Festival” (to ensure literacy among first graders within 1 year). The approach has been applied continuously since the previous academic year. Consequently, Anoma’s ability to learn such a humdrum subject as Thai language has been unlocked. Correspondingly, positive feedbacks have been given by other students and parents. To her, the much satisfactory result is that her little students have developed reading lover habits and improved their self-discipline.
“Educational tools were insufficient whereas the existing media had gone out-of-order. Because the school had not been budgeted for media production, teachers were left with the limited use of instructional materials,” revealed Pattraphorn Pimpa, the Thai language teacher of Ban Na Chan School, Pitsanulok province.
Child Sponsorship Project, World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT), Chat Trakan Area Development Programme focuses on promotion of various education development projects and prioritises Thai language learning based on the innovative approach, which builds children’s capacities based on their natural and age-appropriate learning and brain development, through capacity development supported to Thai language teachers from 29 schools on innovative instructional material production. This is one of BBL’s “Five Keys”* to promote child literacy, analytical thinking and fundamental numeracy skills, which are the foundations for pursuing higher education levels.
“Anoma had problems in reading and spelling. After using the instructional materials adopted from the training, she can read more fluently and better recognise the ending consonant sounds in Thai language. I’d like to thank sponsors and WVFT for supporting teacher capacity building and providing teachers with materials and supplies to make appropriate and practical media to use in classroom,” Teacher Pattraphorn talked about the girl’s development.
“I have much more fun learning Thai language than before. I love the new colourful learning materials. They’re easy to understand. Now Thai language is my favourite class,” said Anoma with a big smile.
“She’s become less distracted and paid more attention to studying. Her grades have much improved. I thank the sponsor for having supported Anoma’s education. I wish you happiness and prosperity. Thank you,” Khamsorn, Anoma’s grandmother said with tears welled up in her eyes, expressing how glad she was with her granddaughter’s improved academic achievements.
BBL’s Five Keys include Key Number 1: Playground to improve physical and brain development for learning readiness; Key Number 2: Colourful classroom to stimulate brain to learn; Key Number 3: Innovative learning process with a variety of activities, such as games and songs to promote fun learning atmosphere; Key Number 4: quality course books; and Key Number 5: creative worksheets and media