The Department of Skill Development, Ministry of Labour, is opening special classes of English and other languages used in ASEAN for Thai workers to boost their competitive edge once the ASEAN Economic Community comes into being in 2015.

Director-General of the Department Praphan Montakarntiwong says the training programme is divided into two categories – English and ASEAN languages. English language classes are arragned for those who already have some basic skills. Those classes vary from 30, 60 to 90 hours depending on learners’ proficiency levels.

Those with no English skill at all will be given a training programme of 1,200 hours. As for other languages spoken by ASEAN nations, the class will be held for 30 and 60 hours, also according to the needs.

Handbooks on how to use these languages will be published. They will contain phrases and expressions necessary for daily communication. Vocabulary and technical terms used in various occupations will be included along the basic conversations.

At the initial stage, the handbooks will come in three ASEAN languages namely Burmese, Malay and Cambodian. They are expected to be ready for distribution by September, free of charge.-VNA/NNT