Pfizer Thailand Foundation partnered with World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) in organising the 4th Thai Language Skills Development Camp under the theme “Dawn of Learning the Language for Fun: Journey into the 21st Century” at Pak Meng Resort, Sikao district in Trang province from 17-19 March, 2017. Participants comprised 75 students from Ban Tu Te Ram School and Ban Pee Yai School, with the goal being to help children learn and master Thai language skills.
The children were divided into 6 groups to do camp activities throughout the 3 days. The first day started with Mommy Puppet, a hand puppet show that excited the children and kept them mesmerised as if spellbound. Afterwards, Mommy Puppet’s Teacher Pigam shared the techniques on how to tell ‘attention-grabbing’ stories for the children to use when staging their puppet show in the evening. They also tried playing with the puppets, which enticed children in every group as they excitedly brainstormed for the storyline for their puppet show. They came up with the plot for ‘My Home is Good’ story and vigorously rehearsed their show with great enthusiasm.
On the morning half of the second day, children created three-dimension storybooks. Every child is asked to create 3D pictures to accompany the story assigned to their group. This activity not only boosted their imagination, but also made the children with artistic prowess smile proudly when their handicraft received commendation.
In the afternoon, children enhanced their reading, writing, listening and enunciation skills through 6 learning bases as follows:
1. Summarisation Base had the children summarise stories as selected by the teacher. Then they have to take the sentences, which are parts of the summary, and arrange them into the correct order to become a story.
2. Knowledge Hunter Base trained students about reading, writing and creating a story from selected words.
3. Reading and Listening Base saw one member in the group read a story to other peers. At the end, the listeners have to catch the main points of the story and write them down on paper.
4. Tour the World of Imagination Base had the children join together in composing a story in 7 sentences according to their assigned topic as well as draw accompanying pictures in 15 minutes.
5. Storytelling Contest Base involved children telling stories which they created based on the props given to them.
6. Mime the Words Base is the one base that the children all agreed they enjoyed most. It’s because they got to laugh at the funny gestures of the person miming the word.
On the last day, the activity centred on the principles of Thai language, taught by Yom Kaeo-ampon, a Thai language teacher from Phuripornchai School in Satun province. The teacher has a special technique for turning the teaching of a difficult subject into a fun activity such that the children left the camp with a new attitude towards Thai language subject.
Ufa, a grade 4 student at Ban Pee Yai School said, “I don’t really understand Thai language subject very well. I like science and mathematics. When I joined the camp, I understood more and gained more knowledge. But what I like most about the camp is I had fun and I got to meet friends from other schools.”