SAKSIT SAENGBOON (NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION)

UNDERSTANDING ENGLISH USE IN CONTEMPORARY THAI SOCIETY: TRANSLANGUAGING IN ACTION? : CROSS-CULTURAL ISSUES

The study of English in Thailand receives comparatively little attention in the world of Englishes scholarship despite a complex and dynamic linguistic landscape. Like many countries in the region, English is used in predictable contexts, such as schools and at work. However, English is being increasingly used as a contact language among Thais and non-Thais, requiring much needed empirical attention. This study aims to address this neglected issue by examining how Thais perceive and use English in contemporary Thai society. This study explored the ways in which English has been used in public signage, mass media, especially about Thai food, and perceptions of Thais (N = 80) regarding English. Findings indicate that English in Thailand is used in a complicated manner portraying both standard and non-standard English. Thais still hold a static or traditional view of English, making it impractical, if not possible, to have Thai English as an established variety.

Saksit Saengboon teaches fundamental English and Global Englishes at School of Language and Communication, the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) in Bangkok, Thailand. His research interests include Global Englishes, TESOL and teacher development