Do you know what an idiom is? No, itís
not an idiot (and thatís not a very nice thing to say!). An idiom is a
group of words, phrases or sentences that cannot be understood by just
knowing the meaning of the words. This means that they can be very confusing
for people who are learning a new language. Here are some examples:
ē Itís raining cats and dogs - this
doesnít mean that cats and dogs are falling out of the sky, but it does
mean that it is raining really hard!
ē You have a green thumb - this
means that you are very good at growing plants.
ē Crocodile tears - this
means that you are only pretending to cry.
Do you know any idioms? Write to Marvin
and tell him. You can send your letters to:
156-158 Im-boon Housing Estate
T. Changmoi, A. Muang,
Chiang Mai 50300
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 053 234 145
1) What do you get if you cross a pine
tree with an apple tree?
2) How does a train driver sneeze?
3) What do you call a train that carries toffees?
4) What runs and whistles but canít talk?
1) A tree that grows pineapples
2) Ahh choo choo
3) A chew chew train
4) A train
Bye from Marg and Marvin
NIS - Children help Children
Grade 3 at Nakorn Payap International School had been
studying communities in their social studies lessons, but just reading about
them in books was getting a bit boring! They wanted to experience,
understand and help the community they actually lived in, so they planned
and designed a community project.
Manager Ms. Kris Yimprasert, Grade 3 teacher Ms. Ceri Stockwell along with
Mr. Billy and Ms. Kathleen Doerner of the Shek Man Hin Child Development
Center - and the students themselves.
Grade 3 decided that they wanted to help other children
in Chiang Mai so their teacher, Miss Ceri Stockwell, suggested a small
charity called ĎThe Shek Man Hin Child Development Centerí.
The center began in October 2002 with funding from Shek
Man Hin, a nine-year-old boy from Hong Kong who was dying from leukemia. Man
Hin had been granted a Wish Fund, which he planned to use to pay for a trip
to Disneyland before he died. However, before he was able to go, he changed
his mind and wanted to donate the money to help poor children instead.
Kris, Principal John Allen and the NIS Student Council present a check to
The center now prepares disadvantaged school-age children
who are not in school, to enter first grade in the Thai school system. It
also provides a safe and loving environment for learning where the children
build their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Grade 3 children made and put up posters around the
school to ask all students to bring in donations of books, clothes, toys,
soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. The response was really heart-warming as
many students, teachers and parents showed great generosity and a huge
amount of items were collected.
On Friday, Oct. 10, Grade 3 finally got to meet the
children they had learned so much about and worked so hard to help. Miss
Ceri took her class to the center where they were introduced to the children
and shown around the classrooms by the owners, Billy and Kathleen Doerner.
After the children from the center had sung some Thai
songs for the NIS students, they all returned together to the NIS campus for
a morning of making arts and crafts. At 12:30, the children all went to the
NIS canteen for lunch provided by the school and then spent some time
playing on the climbing frames. The Shek Man Hin students returned to their
center at about 2:00 where they were to find bags and bags of presents
donated by NIS.
Miss Ceri said she was extremely proud of the Grade 3
children for being so responsible, well behaved, friendly and welcoming, and
all the children said that they enjoyed the day and had really liked being
able to help their community. All of Grade 3 offers a huge thank you to
everyone that donated and helped make the day possible.
Studying education in Chiang Mai: Good Schools
by Alexei Andre Waters
sense of sadness pervades the beloved kingdom as the Ministry of Education
embarks yet again on reform initiatives. Under Prime Minister Thaksin there
have been four Education Ministers, all with bold plans that have remained
abstract ideas, as ephemeral as the Lanna murals of Wat Nong Bua in Nan.
Itís not because of incompetence or the absence of
seriousness of purpose. Thailand is blessed with many gifted scholars and
administrators committed to excellence. Instead, stalled reforms stem from
an unwillingness to confront cultural barriers that impede the
democratization of education.
Without a more robust educational system, economic
integration in ASEAN and all the bilateral and multi-lateral free trade
agreements wonít overcome what cultural practices sanction and domestic
policies legitimize. So if education is critical for Thailandís future
economic development in this era of global capital flows, regional trading
blocks and sub-regional economic integration, this prompts an examination of
what should occur in good schools.
Good schools are social institutions that foster
democratic principles of learning so that everyone has the right to
participate as a moral equal in knowledge acquisition regardless of age,
grade, ethnicity, religion, nationality or gender. In good schools, ideas
are valued more than those articulating them. They are spaces where
creativity and innovation are celebrated more than a stultifying commitment
to mediocrity under the guise of shared cultural values.
We can go even further, though, with a modest
acknowledgement that the qualities of good schools far exceed the limited
space a column provides.
1. Good schools reward intellectual curiosity and the
ruthless application of the mind to matters of theoretical and practical
significance. They emphasize the development of critical intelligence, the
mastery of skills necessary to test theories, form hypotheses, make rigorous
arguments and consider the full implications of any postulated arguments.
2. Good schools employ collaborative learning techniques.
They provide students with the moral authority to become self-directed
learners. They promote classroom learning activities in which the combined
efforts of a small group of students raises the intellectual abilities of
3. Good schools use multiple assessment measures in order
to provide a more accurate snapshot of individual strengths and weaknesses.
By so doing, academic progress becomes more than simply grades (GPA).
Academic achievement is ranked across a wide variety of subjects and
cognitive, emotional (leadership) and artistic skills.
4. Good schools form linkages within community
institutions in order to provide their students with greater access to
activities promoting knowledge creation and moral development. In science
that means offering students the chance to become research training
apprentices with area hospitals, public health facilities and university
research centers. For schools interested in fostering greater leadership
qualities among students, an academic credit-bearing program in which
students join organizations and institutions (public and private) committed
to improving the quality of life for provincial inhabitants would be an
integral part of the curriculum.
5. Good schools reward teachers for motivating and
inspiring their students; invest generously in their professional
development and encourage them to offer the highest quality instruction
Why do we need good
In a province where good jobs are scarce, salaries are
relatively low, and the abuse of narcotics is on the rise, education remains
the last decent possibility for a generation of youth who believe - with
great justification - that the 21st century will pass them by without a
Political marginalization in post-industrialized nations
such as the United States during the 1990s spawned Generation X for the
middle classes and the crack epidemic for the underclass. The cultural
crises in America have created a host of social problems that will likely
continue for some time; but the range of social services, educational
opportunities and meritocratic possibilities ensure that a majority of the
population will achieve a modicum of success.
In a developing country like Thailand, a society of
slackers is unlikely to form; or at least so long as wealth is concentrated
in the hands of oligarchic families and a tiny group of nouveau riche while
the pitiable masses labor in poverty. Channeling them into low quality
vocational colleges will do little to allay their fears or dampen their
anger as they gradually learn that their efforts are valued little by
Good schools canít solve crises that political
decisions and judicial deficiencies create. But like democratic
institutions, theyíre the best hope for pluralistic societies mired in
circumstances demanding public action.
A night of talent
Prem hosts a Courtyard Concert
This past Wednesday evening nearly one hundred students,
teachers and visitors attended a courtyard concert put on by Premís
boarding community. Student performances ranged from skits and poetry
readings to original piano compositions and a stirring rendition of
ďAutumn LeavesĒ by the Prem jazz band.
students Lenka, Gina and ESL teacher Yuka sing a Japanese pop song.
Prem was also lucky enough to have in attendance students
and teachers from Kardinia International School in Victoria, Australia.
Kardinia is taking part in Premís Visiting Schools Program and will be
staying at Prem and participating in several school activities for the next
eight weeks. This courtyard concert is just the first of many events that
Prem and Kardinia students look forward to sharing together.
science teacher Gregg Kerr rocks out with bassist Saba.
Both Prem and Kardinia audience members were clearly
enjoying themselves and showed the performers enthusiastic support. This
termís concert was both much larger in scope and showcased a wider variety
of talent than in previous years. The fact that Kardinia students were also
able to attend added to the international atmosphere of the evening. The
Prem community looks forward to watching even more talent perform in the
courtyard concert already being planned for next term.
boarders Megumi and Tata charm the audience with a song.
time was had by all!
In an article printed in Chiangmai Mail,
page 13, Saturday October 18, reporter Pichitpon Tongtuek inadvertently
attributed a quote to Junji Taniguchi, the site director of the Princeton
Review. Junji did not make this comment as reported.
In a related article appearing on page 21, it was
reported that 60 students from Chiang Mai and 600 from Bangkok had enrolled
at American education institutions in 2002. Junji Taniguchi wrote to us,
ďI think the number should be, 600 for Chiang Mai, and 6000 for