Burma Study Center (BSC) has proudly been providing free and nominal cost English classes for migrants from Burma/Myanmar since 2011. In 2020, we expanded our offerings to include online classes, enabling us to serve students based in many locations throughout Burma and Thailand. To date, more than 2,000 students have directly benefitted from participation in BSC’s English classes, and a growing number of our alumni have gone on to complete bachelor and master’s programs at both Thai and international universities.
The primary objective for BSC’s English program is to support young adult migrant workers in improving their English language skills for personal and social development, to expand their employment opportunities, and to serve as a bridge to formal higher education. All classes are taught in English with instruction in speaking, reading, writing, listening, grammar, and critical thinking. In 2022, BSC adopted the American English File series from Oxford University Press as our curriculum for higher level classes, while the Ventures series from Cambridge University Press provides the primary curriculum for our lower level classes.
We offer a range of English classes specifically tailored for young adults who have migrated from Myanmar and now reside in Chiang Mai. The majority of our students are full-time migrant workers who are employed at restaurants, coffee shops, hotels and guesthouses, retail businesses, and with non-governmental organizations—jobs for which English proficiency is highly valued. Other students are employed as construction workers, gardeners, and security guards and are seeking to expand their future employment opportunities. A number of our students have ambitions to access higher education and to develop their skills to equip them to give back to their home communities in the future.
Two 5-month terms of afternoon and evening classes are provided each year to support the personal development and education goals of our students. Term 1 commences in February and runs through the end of June. Following a one-month break, Term 2 begins in August and concludes in December. Afternoon and online students study 6 hours per week, while evening students have 10 hours of classes each week.
To cater to various proficiency levels, BSC offers four levels of English instruction (beginner, elementary, pre-intermediate, and intermediate). This approach ensures that as many students as possible have access to education that is appropriate to their current skill-level and supportive of their personal goals.
At BSC, we take pride in our commitment to empowering young adults with the essential language skills they need to thrive in new and diverse environments. By providing a safe, supportive, and individualized learning environment, we aim to help our students unlock their full potentials and realize dreams that may have been unattainable prior to their migration.