Thai taxi drivers learning English on the go in Thailand

Thai taxi drivers learning English on the go in Thailand

Thai taxi drivers are learning English on the go in Thailand, thanks to The Department of Skill Development (DSD). They are now providing English lessons on radio for taxi drivers to learn English, in order to assist tourists visiting the country.  Director-General of DSD,  M.L. Puntarik Smiti, said that the radio broadcast training services really do help taxi drivers improve their English skills.

The program began because taxi drivers’ schedules do not provide the time to attend traditional English classes. Taught by instructors of the Sukhothaithammathirat Open University, the DSD broadcasts five-minute lessons on FM 91 MHz every day at 5:25 a.m., 5:25 p.m., and 10:25 p.m.

Each lesson is geared towards the types of conversations the self-training taxi drivers need to communicate effectively with English-speaking visitors, including travel routes, tourists spots, and fares. The lessons focus on the following areas:

  • Welcome (Hi. I can take four passengers.)
  • Destination (I don’t know that place. Do you have a map?)
  • Understanding the passenger (Speak slowly, please.)
  • Special instructions and requests (No smoking, please.)
  • Traffic conditions (The traffic is bad over there. You’ll get there faster if you walk from here.)
  • Fares and fees (I don’t have any change.)
  • Goodbye (Watch out for motorcycles before getting out!)
  • No service (Sorry. That is out of my boundaries.)
  • Small Talk (Have you been here before?)
  • Things a passenger could say (Could you slow down, please?)

In addition to providing better service to tourists, the DSD Director-General said that developing taxi drivers’ English skills will prepare them and the country for Thailand’s entry into the AEC, increase their own income, and they will be able to promote the country’s tourism.

The lessons are also open to the general public.