Stakeholders’ Insights Into Migrant Students’ Experiences in a Thai Public School: A Linguistic Ecological Perspective


  • Chutiwan Rueangdej Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University
  • Singhanat Nomnian Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University



Linguistic Ecology, Migrant Students, Professional Learning Community, School-Family-Community, Thai Public School


Migrant students have been increasing in Thai public schools due to their parents’ labor mobility within the ASEAN community. There are, however, gaps concerning roles and responsibilities of educational stakeholders and migrant parents who are key to the migrant students’ access and equity in schools. This case study aims to explore stakeholders’ insights into learning experiences of migrant students from Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Cambodia in language classes at one Thai government primary school in Samut Sakhon province. Drawing upon a lens of linguistic ecology, the results reveal that these key stakeholders were interrelated and influential to the migrant students’ learning experience in this linguistically and culturally diverse school. The school administrators and teachers were instrumental in promoting a positive language learning experience for migrant students, who contributed cultural and linguistic diversity to the school environment although they had poor academic performance due to their limited Thai proficiency. Communications between the school and migrant parents were not effective because of parents’ language barriers. Professional learning communities (PLC) and school-family-community (SFC) partnerships should be established in order to provide better language teaching and learning experiences for the migrant students and create an inclusive and equitable education for all. These partnerships can be strengthened through the promotion of recognition and awareness raising of linguistic and cultural diversity. This study can potentially address the significant collaboration and engagement from relevant stakeholders, communities, and policymakers to promote harmony, inclusivity, and quality education for migrant students in public schools in Thailand.

Author Biographies

Chutiwan Rueangdej, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University

Chutiwan Rueangdej is a graduate student in an MA (Language and Intercultural Communication, Language Teaching Major) Program at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University, Thailand. She is currently an English teacher at a government primary school in Thailand. Her research interests include English language education, materials development, and teaching English to young learners. 

Singhanat Nomnian, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University

Dr. Singhanat Nomnian (corresponding author) is an Associate Professor at Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University, Thailand. He obtained his EdD in TESOL and Applied Linguistics, University of Leicester, UK. He was also awarded Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Australian Government and conducted his postdoctoral research at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, under the supervision of Emeritus Professor Alastair Pennycook. His research interests include English as an international language, intercultural communication, language teacher education, professional development, and multilingual and multicultural education. He is currently the President of Thailand TESOL Association and editor-in-chief of THAITESOL Journal. 


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