International Education Journal

Educational Research Conference 2006 and Cultural Inclusivity through Publishing Special Issue



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Learning English outside the classroom: Case study of tuk-tuk drivers in Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya

Yuwadee Wongthon 
Flinders University, School of Education

Supavadee Sriwanthana 
Flinders University, School of Education


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Preparation of this paper was supported by the Cultural Inclusivity through Publishing Project and funded by a Flinders University Diversity Initiative Grant.



This study was an investigation of the educational needs of tuk-tuk drivers when using English to communicate with tourists in Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya, an old capital of Thailand. The samples included 30 tuk-tuk drivers at five famous places where tourists require tuk-tuk drivers' services in Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya, for example at the train station, the bus station, a bus stop in front of the Ayutthaya district office, Hua-Ror and the Chao-Phrom market. Six participants were drawn from each place. Simple random sampling was used to select the participants. The instrument was an interview questionnaire constructed by the researchers. The data were analyzed by frequency, percentage and mean. The problem conditions were analyzed in terms of contrast and similarity. Our study has presented the problems and suggested ways to develop English competency to meet the needs of tuk-tuk drivers in order to improve the tourism industry and assist the tuk-tuk drivers themselves who struggle to earn their lives as poor and low educated citizens. This study has supported UNESCO and Thailand's National Education Act 1999, in the pursuit of lifelong learning for all. Non-formal and Informal Education have been promoted as a way for education to meet the needs of tuk-tuk drivers. It has emphasized the necessary cooperation between government educational institutions and local communities if local people are to benefit from meaningful educational opportunities. Such endeavors will assist the development of the tuk-tuk drivers' English communication competency, so necessary in the tourism industry in Thailand. 

English language learning, Thailand, case-study


Wongthon, Y. and Sriwanthana, S. (2007) Learning English outside the classroom: Case study of tuk-tuk drivers in Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya. International Education Journal, 8 (2), 433-448.

All text and graphics 1999-2007 Shannon Research Press. ISSN 1443-1475.