The English Language Learning Needs of the Local Thai Rice Product Vendors

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Daranee Choomthong


In Thailand, it is crucial to acquire English language skills for effective communication and business purposes, given the rise to international tourism. It is essential for the vendors in the local markets who sell rice products to be able to communicate in English in order to provide explanations about Thai rice yields to foreign customers. However, these vendors often do not receive sufficient attention when it comes to expanding their English language abilities for interacting with foreign customers. Therefore, the study explores the English language needs of Thai local vendors who sell Thai rice products in order to design lessons based on their learning needs. The participants in the study were vendors of Thai street desserts and products who live in Luang Neau sub-district, Doi Saket district, Chiang Mai province. The instruments used were a needs survey and semi-structured interviews. The researcher used descriptive statistics on the data obtained via the needs survey for quantitative data analysis such as frequency and percentage, as well as means and standard deviation. Content analysis, using HyperResearch software, was used to analyze qualitative data gained from the interviews. The findings showed that most of the sample group were 50 – 65 years old and had high needs to develop their English speaking and listening skills. They reported a need for English lessons on authentic or relevant topics and communicative language to communicate with foreign customers in the local market. When inquired about the extent of their motivation, it was found that they had instrumental motivation and positive attitudes toward learning English, believing that being able to communicate is a great value-added asset as this can better their standard of living and enable them to earn more money.

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