Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Thailand
This study aimed at investigating English communication problem solving strategies of Thai students in an international exchange program called TFI Scale (Temasek Foundation International Specialists’ Community Action and Leadership Exchange). The participants were 23 Thai students from Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna who were selected to enroll the program in 2017. Data were collected using an English version questionnaire as an instrument in search of their problems faced during their joining the program in Singapore and the strategies they used to overcome the communication obstacles. The communication problems and strategies used in coping with communication problems were calculated into the mean (x̄) and standard deviation score. The score of agreement level was defined by using the Likert scale from the scores of 1 to 5 (strongly agree to strongly disagree). The findings revealed that the Thai students joining the exchange program encountered three main communication problems; a lack of listening comprehension (x̄=3.30), limited vocabulary size (x̄=3.22), and other environmental factors (x̄=2.74) respectively. The common problem solving strategies which the students used in order to cope with their English communication problems were the use of body language (x̄=4.09), asking the interlocutors (x̄=4.04) and using general words to avoid the word they do not know (x̄=4.00). It is suggested that the Thai students who will join the program in the following years communicate with foreigners in English regularly in order to better their pronunciation, practice listening comprehension skills more often and increase a vocabulary size related to the context of TFI Scale Program which can be done through trainings before their departure and personal language practice such as watching English soundtrack movies, listening to English songs, etc.
English communication strategies, language learning strategies, international exchange program