HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Local children taught English by Grade 11 Prem students

A new principal at CDSC

Crowds enjoyed MBA World Forum-North

Violinist Ohm Chanteyoon at Payap

Quantity versus Quality in bachelor degree education

Prem’s Grade 4 visits Chiangmai Mail Offices

CMU software students first runners-up in Microsoft contest

Local children taught English by Grade 11 Prem students

Tara Colen

Grade 11 students at Prem Tinsulanonda International School are participating in a successful program called “English Language Learning” (ELL), now in its fourth year, as part of the Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) component of the IB Diploma. The program gives Prem students the opportunity to teach local Thai students English for 1.5 hours a week, for one semester. Grade 11 student Denise Gan said, “It gives us an opportunity to think about people other than ourselves.” This idea is one of the main goals of the service aspect of CAS.

Moss Chanthanasirikun, Lena Zimpfer, and Alex Kozlow teach students at Wat Nahuek.

Returning students began preparation for the program in Grade 10, during Term 4 last year. New Grade 11 students had the opportunity to go through an intensive training at the beginning of this school year. Students are supervised by Ajarn Jason (an ESOL teacher) and Ajarn Randall (CAS coordinator), who give tips on teaching the English language. Prem students have one week to prepare lessons, then, for the next two weeks, teach Thai students at five different local schools. Local schools that participate in the ELL program are Ban Nongplaman, Maharaj, Budhakasetra Foundation, Wat Sai Moon, and Wat Nahuek. Five teachers from Prem go along with students to provide support - A.Isabelle, A.Marie, A.Lucy, A.Ali, and A.Maurice who stays with his group at Prem while the Budhakasetra students come to campus.

The idea behind the ELL program is to have “learning perpetuated,” according to A. Randall. Current students can use the materials from previous years as well as make their own. Randall commented, “We love the interaction between our students and the village children. The students are committed and dedicated.” He also noted, “It could not be done without our teacher support. It is great to have qualified educators involved because they provide an insight into their jobs.”

Vlad Hird and Hannah Smith show a student the color white at Wat Nahuek.

Current Grade 12 student, Sabrina Haider said of her experience with the program last year, “We now understand how hard it is to be a teacher and to control students!” This year’s Grade 11 students seem to really love the program, as they too learn what it is like to be a teacher. Their excitement in the classroom shone through as they taught colors to various classes of students at Wat Nahuek. They were most definitely enjoying the interaction with local children. The 11th graders brought materials and made up games to play so that the children could learn colors. Prem student Hannah Smith commented to her teaching partner Vlad Hird, “I told you they would learn it through a game!” By the end of their session the small group of students in their class had learned red, yellow, and green, whilst they could name the colors instantly.

To follow International Baccalaureate (IB) guidelines for CAS, Diploma students must log 150 hours of creativity, action, and service. With each service component, they are required to write several reflection papers, as well as self-evaluations. Supervisors evaluate the students and students have the option of receiving letters of reference from the CAS coordinator to apply for scholarships as well as places in tertiary institutions.

A new principal at CDSC

Dominique Leutwiler

The Christian German School Chiang Mai (CDSC) welcomes a new principal this year. Matthias Wolf has moved to Chiang Mai after spending the past four years in his native country Germany. Even though his function as principal is new, Matthias is not a stranger to Chiang Mai and CDSC.
The following interview is a short introduction:
Q: How long have you been in Chiang Mai now?
A: My family and I have now been here for over a month. We arrived on 10th of August but we have previously been in Chiang Mai and CDSC.
Q: Why did you come back again?

Matthias Wolf and his family

A: About one and a half years ago, we were asked by the Marburger Mission Germany whether we would like to return and take on the CDSC for a second time. We discussed it as a family and gladly decided to return.
Q: Has the CDSC changed in the past four years?
A: Yes, the amount of students increased, a new building has been added, the sports court is something new for me and the number of co-workers has increased as well. What stayed the same was the wonderful location on the outskirts of Chiang Mai and the friendly atmosphere that I still remember from the last time I was here.
Q: What are your visions for CDSC?
A: I’m glad that CDSC was able to improve on its offer of a German language education in Northern Thailand, the many requests we receive definitely show that people are interested. We also got into the circle of German schools in foreign countries of the region 20/21 (southeast Asia/Australia) and are excited about the possibility of an exchange with these schools - with our nearly 90 students, we are not the smallest of these schools. I also would like to keep building the contact with the local international schools, something that has already been successful with the different sporting events in Chiang Mai.
Our school should be a place where children enjoy learning, a place to feel secure. In this fast-moving world today it is important to ask ourselves which values we want to learn and hold on to and also to be flexible enough to face constantly changing situations.
Q: Which are the highlights in this new school year that you’re looking forward to?
A: Every day should have its highlights besides our daily work. The CDSC also has its outstanding moments like participating in the sport events with the other international schools, or the festivities during the year and also the excursions with the students. These are all moments for our students to experience and remember for life. These are all events that I’m really looking forward to.

Crowds enjoyed MBA World Forum-North

Mike Hock and Sutthichok Linprasert

Over 400 people gathered at the International Center of Chiang Mai University to explore and discuss issues and educational options for MBA degrees during BankThai’s MBA World Forum-North. Judging by “buzz” levels, a lot of excitement went on in those few hours.

Despite constant rain, all four sessions of free TOEFL & IELTS practice tests were full, as seats were reserved weeks in advance. IC-ACE, EducationUSA Advising Center in CMU-IC, stepped up to offer extra TOEFL practice tests for those on waitlists.

Smiling faces, the scholarship winners.

Adding to the fun of the day, IC-ACE went beyond original plans for scholarships. “We ended up giving away additional scholarships for a total value over 20,000 baht. IC-ACE is happy to help students keen to improve themselves in our Center or abroad,” explained Dr. Busabong Jamroendararasame, Director of CMU-IC. The biggest prizes for 9,000 baht of GMAT/GRE Prep scholarships went to a trio of lucky CMU students, including Antika Shinawatra who had just finished TOEFL Prep at CMU-IC. Other scholarships were given for specialized training in TOEFL, TOEIC, Global English and Teen-Trendy-Talk.

Visitors enjoyed unique opportunities to experience demonstration classes by “star” lecturers from leading MBA programs in Thailand. Dr. Krittinee Nutthavuthisit from Sasin engaged her audience on “Generic Experiential Marketing”, Dr. Siriwut Buranapin of CMU conducted a popular session on “System Thinking & Business Dynamics”, while Dr. Philip Hallinger of Mahidol University helped listeners with “Developing Emotional Intelligence, E.Q.”

The event’s highlight was the MBA World Forum panel talk by representatives for education in USA, UK, Thailand, Japan, and Australia. In his presentation on U.S. MBA programs, Mike Hock of IC-ACE guided students to “look beyond Top 10 lists, and focus instead on specializations needed for Thailand’s economic development”. He also stressed that GMAT test cores were absolutely essential for admissions to the best MBA programs, i.e. the 430 accredited by AACSB. This advice was endorsed by Ms. Vatcharaporn Ratanayanont of the Royal Thai Government’s Office of Civil Service Commissions (which provides various scholarships).

Violinist Ohm Chanteyoon at Payap

Jan Verwers

Unfortunately many Chiang Mai music lovers missed this concert, as for some reason Payap’s Music Department did not give much publicity to this event.

Young violinist Ohm Chanteyoon (21) gave his Senior Recital, part of his music studies at Payap. “This was a nice opportunity to show my skills at this moment. I decided to play a varied program to have the possibility to show different sides of myself,” Ohm told us after the concert.

First he had chosen one of Vivaldi’s violin concertos, ‘L’Estro Armonico’, in which Ohm was both the soloist and the conductor. He hand-picked, some months ago, the string ensemble that accompanied him. “They are the new generation of string players in Chiangmai, you will hear more of them,” said a proud Ohm.

Then followed Mozart’s Flute Quartet, KV.285, in which Ohm played the first violin, together with flutist Pornjan Danpongpee, violist Annop Ruangmanee and cellist Karin Mekara.

After the intermission, Ohm was accompanied by harpist Judith Utley in Massenet’s ‘M้ditation de Tha๏s’, and later by pianist David Wilson in compositions by Dvorak, Wieniaswki and Delibes.

I asked Ohm, which part of the program he was most proud of. “Wieniawski”, he said, “It is a beautiful piece, but very difficult for the violinist. And I think I did it well, also thanks to the great support Ajarn Dave gave me. It is such a pleasure to work with him.”

Ohm, who just returned from the USA, where he studied violin for one year as an international exchange student at the University of Oregon, has been playing his instrument since he was at the age of seven. Born in Chiang Mai, he had lessons from many teachers here in town, but also in London and in Melbourne. He experimented with other instruments as well: piano, Thai instruments, even guitar in a rock band. Now he is in his last year at Payap.

What will be next? “I want to return to Oregon for some time, to study more,” he said. “And later I would like to go to Europe to practice in playing chamber music. Vienna would be the right place, but there might be some language problems.”.

Quantity versus Quality in bachelor degree education

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Quantity versus Quality in bachelor degree education was the subject of a seminar organized by the Graduate School at Chiang Mai Rajabhat University in cooperation with the Deans’ Council of Thailand on September 14-15.

Prof Dr Kasem Wattanachai, Privy Councilor, addresses delegates at the bachelor degree education Quantity versus Quality seminar.

Privy Councilor Prof Dr Kasem Wattanachai presided over the seminar opening, saying that bachelor degree education standards at present emphasizes quantity more than quality. He suggested that the quality aspect be stressed and that the educational administrators should accept changes to the system rather than hold on to old methods that might not achieve the best standards.

Asst. Prof. Ruangdech Wonglah, president of Chiang Mai Rajabhat University, and Prof. Sommai Preeprem, president of committees of the Deans’ Council of Thailand, were also present at the event, which was attended by about 150 administrators and education institute representatives.

Prem’s Grade 4 visits Chiangmai Mail Offices

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Grade 4 students from Prem Tinsulanonda International School toured Chiangmai Mail Offices last week, on a mission to find out more about “Creative Cooperation”, a subject they are currently working on in class. Accompanied by Ajarn Declan and Ajarn Tammie, the students came very well prepared, equipped with notebooks and pencils, and directed questions such as “How do we work as a team”, “How do we reach a goal”, and “How do we solve problems” to Chiangmai Mail’s Managing Director Michael Vogt, who was happy to answer and shed some light on the mysteries of management. Upon completion of the Q and A session, one student stepped forward and, on behalf of his student colleagues, thanked Michael for his time, and also presented him with a box of cookies, which was very much appreciated by the staff (and Michael).

CMU software students first runners-up in Microsoft contest

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

A team of students from the computer engineering division of the Chiang Mai University, faculty of engineering, has been named first runner-up in the Imagine Cup 2005 software competition organized by Microsoft (Thailand).

A total of 111 teams entered this competition to select Thai representatives to go on to compete in Yokohama, Japan.

The Chiang Mai team consisted of Promook Chuentosaponchai, Pongsak Sawhaew, Wiphusit Udomsrisook and Pantitra Sawaspong, advised by Wanasanan Thongsongkrit.

Their entry was Harmony Jigsaw, a program to explain feelings between sender and receptor by picture sending that eventually pieces together like a jigsaw.