SILPAKORN UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, HUMANITIES, AND ARTS, Vol 14, No 3 (2014)

Thai Entrepreneurs’ Needs of English Language for Raft Service Business

Singhanat Nomnian




Abstract


This paper discusses the needs of entrepreneurs in raft service business catering to restaurants, accommodation, and entertainment regarding communicative English with international tourists visiting Kanchanaburi province, Thailand. These raft services started as family businesses that have been continuing to grow in tourism industry in Kanchanaburi. Drawing upon focus group discussions with thirty entrepreneurs to analyze their needs of English, there are three key results including firstly, needs for improving speaking skill; secondly, needs for learning English and other languages; and lastly, needs for the promotion of entrepreneurs’ English proficiency development. These entrepreneurs felt a strong need to improve their speaking skill the most due to the frequency of interactions requiring verbal English skills. They aimed to gain better fluency rather than accuracy because their customers were mostly from ‘non-native’ English speaking countries such as China and Myanmar. This study recognizes the importance of adult language learning that can allow these entrepreneurs to be more pro-active to gain competitive advantages in their English language skills for occupations. This study is beneficial for promoting and improving entrepreneurs’ communicative English proficiency relevant for tourism and service business, which can contribute for a higher quality of Thailand’s tourism business in the era of ASEAN Economic Community.

Keywords: Needs analysis; English for raft service business;
entrepreneurs; community of practice; ASEAN Economic
Community

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