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Yes, engineering students can and DO read: Developing an English literature course at a Thai university of technology

Thanis Tangkitjaroenkun
KMUTT, Bangkok, Thailand


Thailand is consistently notorious for its low English proficiency and Thai students were once rumored to have read approximately 8 words per year. While the rumor was later dismissed, most Thai people were not bothered by this false allegation, supposedly a true reflection of our lack of reading culture. Education-wise, some Thai universities offering English majors do not include English literature courses in their curricula, taking away the opportunity to cultivate the love for reading English literary texts in students. At King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi where the majority of students are from engineering, IT, and science backgrounds, initiating an English literature course is a challenging task for teachers, policy makers and students. Despite all the odds, a class Reading Appreciation was developed and has been offered since 2011. In this presentation, I will cover the rationale of the course, materials used, content development and adjustment, students’ written assignments, assessment and related research publications. It is hoped that the journey of Reading Appreciation can inspire and shed light into how the love for and experience in reading, especially literary texts, can be trained, cultivated and cherished even in the most unlikely environment.


Reading, English literature, Thailand

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023