ลปรร. ความรู้จากการจัด Home Stay
ผมได้รับ อีเมล์ จาก ผอ. พรทิพย์ แห่ง Fulbright ดังต่อไปนี้
As you may recall, my office just organized a program for 16 American teachers ka. It was our first time to have a homestay and actual in-class teaching ka. We asked 8 schools and 16 teachers to help ka, placing our American participants in the teachers' homes, allowing them to know a bit more about Thai family and living, as well as the teachers before they all went to their schools. The hosts had to take care of our participants for 3 nights and about 3 full days ka.
At the joint evaluation session, we asked both Thai and Americans to share their experiences and let us know what their next steps would be.
It was a usual practice for Americans to start first, followed by their Thai partners. Personally, I was very happy to see that most of the Thai hosts were pleased with this little project. They felt they had given and learned from their partners. Many thought that the program should have been longer!
Our American participants gave us briefings what they had done both at home and at school. They said they planned to stay in touch with several thinking of future exchanges between the schools. The experiences shared were very impressive.
Despite the very nice reports with some delightful faces and stories, I was a bit unsure whether things were as nice as they seemed. I recalled earlier that the first response from an American participant was 'It was okay.' I also thought of several too-long-a day programs, starting as early as 6 am or ending with 'Pirate of the Caribbean' movie.
I then found out more what the American group thought by reviewing all the evaluation and talking directly with them. There was actually a big understanding gap ka.....while they were trying (some trying hard) to be polite since they really appreciated the warm hospitality and time generously given by the Thai hosts/schools, they were frustrated because they were in a different environment with 'strangers' and did need a little time to adjust themselves. Some were asked to teach without letting them know well in advance at all, leaving them with no choice but going through to complete the requests. Some were asked to talk in front of the students in the morning without letting them know or what they should talk. Many were saying the duration was just right whereas some others thought the three days and three nights were too long.
What about the Thai side? I read through the evaluation and gathered that both teachers and students were very happy and most of the hosts wanted to have a much longer program ka.
It's obvious to me that expectations didn't match at all.......cultural differences, ways of thinking and work all combined created gaps. I was happy and admired the two sides for their learning and sharing efforts.
Some little but significant things that we need to do next year are more info. during separate sessions of orientation ka. Thai people don't normally prepare 'towels' for guests while Americans find it part of their practice na ka. Americans feel awkward not to know when is the best time to give gifts and 'when to pay'. Thai people have our notions of 'sabai sabai', whenever you'd like to give, give....but when it comes to 'pay', it's different because as hosts, we tend to pay for everything especially when we're older. I don't mean to say that it's our normal practice but I think on average, we're likely to be so, jing plao ka?
We've learned a lot from this year's activities.... many lessons and tips, increasing our understanding of the two sides. We have yet come to think of the best suggestions for all the situations ka.
Any views mai ka?
ทำไห้เกิดความคิดว่าน่าจะมีคนเข้ามา ลปรร. ความรู้ที่ได้จากการจัด โฮม สเตย์ ว่าคนไทยชอบอะไร ไม่ชอบอะไร ฝรั่งชอบอะไร ไม่ชอบอะไร ความคิดที่แตกต่างกันระหว่างคนต่างชาติต่างประเทศ หรือต่างภาค น่าจะสนุกมาก
๒๐ สค. ๔๙
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