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Languages

Our Languages team is composed of dedicated professionals, each bringing unique expertise to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment. As you scroll through the pictures below, you’ll discover the faces behind the lessons and events.

‘Throughout the school, teachers’ subject knowledge and understanding of how students learn are strong. Relationships between students and teachers are positive. The ratio of qualified teachers to students, especially in the early years and lower primary classes, is high. ‘Deputy’ teachers, who are fully qualified teachers in their home countries, support class teachers. Due to their expertise, they make a significant difference to the rates of progress that students make. Teachers know students well and assess them accurately. This enables teachers to plan work that matches the ability of individual students and caters well for their varying needs.’ Education Development Trust (EDT) Accreditation Report, June 2017

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Benjamin Salmon

Head of Languages
[email protected]

My name is Ben Salmon and I have been working at HeadStart International School since 2016. I was born in Paris, France and grew up on the outskirts of the French capital not far from Versailles Castle. I hold an International Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Nottingham as well as a Master Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from BridgeTEFL. I started my teaching career in 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand and have also lived a year on the Canadian East coast before coming to Phuket. On top of my teaching qualifications, I also hold a Master’s Degree in International affairs. I have a true passion for teaching as well as learning new languages. I intend to continue using this passion to inspire my students. My classroom is always a positive environment where students are free to express themselves, through fun language activities and dynamic expression. I have had the chance to teach both Primary and Secondary schools, and really enjoy what each age group has to bring to the lessons. I am looking forward to make this new academic year an exciting and successful one. Outside of school, I am a very active person and enjoy working out several times per week. I also like to swim, play football and love going to the beach. My likes in music include jazz, pop, rock, electro, hip-hop, salsa and more…

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Benoit Pierre

French Teacher
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Hello and Sawadee krap! My name is Benoit Pierre and I am a French Teacher for Primary and Year 7. I joined HeadStart in 2020 and I am delighted to be part of this great project. I have a teacher's certification in French as a Foreign Language and a Bachelor degree in Business. Prior to get employed by HeadStart, I taught for 4 years at Alliance française. I really enjoy and value my role as a teacher and take a great pride in developing and executing comprehensive education in a multicultural environment. I am really passionate, warm and caring teacher who wants all children to be successful learners and work to create a classroom atmosphere that is stimulating, encouraging, and adaptive to the varied needs of students. I make sure that my class participate and leaves no student by the path. I strive to give them the confidence to express themselves and have the autonomy to face the difficulties they encounter. Above all, my goal is to cultivate a language experience that is organized, meaningful, and enjoyable. Their progression is at the core of my teaching method and I am very much looking forward to this next academic year, getting to know my new classes and helping them as much as I can. If there is anything you wish to talk to me about please come to see me. Thank you and kob khun krap.

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Dina Kalmakhelidze

Russian Coordinator
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My name is Dina and I've been working as a teacher in Phuket for 13 years. When I was finishing school, I knew of the career path I should take. My mother and grandmother have been teaching Russian language for 38 and 55 years accordingly. I loved spending time at school and university environments and loved when I was given tasks. I felt proud I could take part at school life and help them, my first and best teachers. Learning is an enjoyable experience and I love when children arrive and leave school with smiles on their faces and I feel I make a positive impact on the student’s life and they also influence me. When you are with kids, you see the world through their eyes and immerse in the world of magic, creativity and laughter. I love teaching as I think it is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world and I love making a difference in my students’ lives. I know children learn best when they enjoy their environment, when it is stimulating and when they are given opportunities, promoting a lifelong love of learning where they can learn, grow, discuss and are not afraid to make mistakes as they can learn and find something new out of them. I feel my role is more than just teaching Russian language; I feel it is about supporting the children, teaching them to understand the culture and applying their knowledge to their daily life. Then I feel my role is accomplished.

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Tatiana Oparenko

Russian Teacher
[email protected]

Я работаю учителем уже 17 лет. Каждое утро я иду на работу с радостью, потому что знаю –меня очень ждут мои школьные дети, открывающие для себя новый мир. И каким они его увидят – жестоким или милосердным, равнодушным или увлекательным – зависит во многом от меня. Моя работа приносит мне чувство полноты жизни, ведь это самая творческая профессия. Быть учителем – это значит снова и снова проживать детство с каждым ребенком, видеть мир его глазами. Стать учителем я захотела еще когда сама училась в школе. И ни разу не пожалела о сделанном выборе. Самое интересное для меня — мир детства. Я всегда училась с интересом и в школе, и в институте, читала много книг, и очень хотелось делиться всем тем интересным, что открывалось мне. Я преподавала русский язык, литературу, историю... открывала начальные школы, работала с авторами различных методик в России, в Черногории и Таиланде. И за все эти годы убедилась, учитель – это человек с огромным, чистым и добрым сердцем, безграничным терпением, строгий и мягкий, человек, которому доверяют. --- I've been teaching for 17 years now. Every morning I am happy to go to work as I know my students, who are discovering a new world are waiting for me. Their success and outlook depends largely on me so I take my job seriously. My work brings me a sense of fullness of life because it is the most creative profession. Being a teacher means delving into your own childhood with each child as we see the world through his or her eyes. I wanted to become a teacher when I was at school and I have never regretted the choice I have made. The most interesting thing for me is the world of childhood. I have always been studying with interest both at school and university. I have read many books and I really wanted to share all the interesting things I learned. I taught Russian, literature, history, I opened primary schools, worked with authors of various methodologies in Russia, Montenegro and Thailand. Over all these years I have learned that teachers are people with a huge, pure and kind heart, boundless patience, strict and gentle, and people who are trusted.

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Natpatsorn Achiranatpakorn

Thai Teacher
[email protected]

My name is Natpatsorn Achiranatpakorn. My nickname is Cherry. I graduated from Chulalongkorn University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 2004 and a major in Elementary Education. In 2005, after I graduated, I received a scholarship to be an exchange student in Norway for one year. While in Norway, I practiced at kindergarten and worked with young children. I also taught pupils about Thai culture. On my return to Thailand, I worked for eight years at the Satit Bilingual School of Rungsit University in Phathum Thani as a Thai teacher teaching Thai and Social Studies in Primary school. I was awarded a scholarship for the study of a Master’s Degree in Education. I completed my Master of Education; major in Curriculum and Instruction, from Rangsit University in 2013. I love being a teacher and love to see it when students are happy and love what they are learning. I believe that every student can learn and improve themselves. I have been teaching here for 5 years. I am very excited for this coming new academic year at HeadStart International School. I will be a Thai teacher teaching Thai First Language Programme in Foundation ,Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the professional team of educators at HeadStart International School. l am looking forward to working productively with student, colleagues and parents.

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Natthapicha Damthip

Thai Teacher
[email protected]

My name is Natthapicha Damthip. My nickname is Poy. I graduated from Phuket Rajabhat University in Environmental Science program after which I studies for a diploma in the Teaching Profession in order to be a professional teacher. I have taught science in Primary and Secondary for 9 years at Dowroong Wittaya School. I also taught the students who are weak at reading in the Thai subject. After my full time teaching job, I was also a tutor. I taught Science, Maths and Thai from kindergarten level to Secondary. I decided to resign from Dowroong Wittaya School to be freelance teacher which afforded me the chance to teach Thai to special needs children. I find it very challenging to help those students who struggle in academics but it also made me very proud. I am very happy when I see children develop. I believe that every child is a genius and they will open their mind if they study in happy conditions. I have been teaching here at HeadStart for 5 years. I am very excited for this coming new academic year at HeadStart International School. I will be a Thai teacher teaching Thai First Language Programme in Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4. Lastly, I want to say thank you HeadStart International School for giving me the opportunity to work here. I promise I will do my best to develop our students to be a successful learner.

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Hathaikan Korkimseng

Thai Teacher
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I am Hathaikan Korkimseng, or Kru Kan. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Language for Development (English – Thai) from Prince of Songkla University and I got the Graduate Diploma in Teaching Profession from Phuket Rajabhat University. This Academic Year, I am teaching Thai First Language Programme in Year 7, Year 8, Thai First Language IGCSE for Year 10 - 11 Students, and Programme Second Thai Language in Year 9. As I have been teaching at HeadStart since it was the small school, I feel very delighted to see a bright future ahead as the school has embarked on its major educational development in different areas that can enhance the individual student to be ambitious, thoughtful and open – minded school community members as well as global citizen through the school’s RITE of Passage: Learning, Internationalism, Teamwork, Respect and Excellence. The school keeps growing and developing as well as being a well – known international school in Phuket Island. Therefore, I am very pleasure to be part of the school that work together to continually nurture our students with the intelligence, vitality, globally heartfelt mind and leadership; achieve to the best of their ability.

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Pornsuda Rattanasen

Thai Teacher
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Hello, my name is Pornsuda Rattanasen (Gen). I was born in Nongkai, Northeast of Thailand. After I finished high school I went to Buriram Rajabhat University and graduated with my Bachelor’s in English in 2009. My first teaching experience was in Darasamuth Phuket School, English Programme. I worked there for three years in Primary 2 as a homeroom teacher and taught English - Thai subjects as well. After that I worked at British International School Phuket as a Teacher Assistant in Year 2 for two and a half years. I also teach Thai to Russian students for private class outside of school in my free time as I speak a little bit of Russian. It has been quite a challenge working in these different school systems. I have enjoyed all of the new things I have learnt. All these experiences have allowed me to develop my teaching skills. What I enjoy most about teaching is how the students can express themselves in Thai and understand conversations as well. To enhance this experience, I source new materials for the lessons and I keep updated with the most recent communicative approaches. My method is mostly based on communication and also adding cultural and language games for a more enjoyable learning environment. This will be my forth academic year teaching at HeadStart International School Phuket. I’d like to thank the school for this opportunity. It has been a great working experience in my life to be a Thai teacher in this fabulous school. In This academic year, I will be teaching 8 year levels start from Year 3 - 6 for Primary and Year 7 - 9 for Secondary. I am excited for the year’s adventures and I will make sure I provide a positive learning experience for all of my students.

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Pharadee Praprutchob (Fon)

Thai Teacher
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My name is Pharadee Praprutchob and my nickname is Fon. I am extremely excited for joining my fifth year of teaching at HeadStart International School Phuket. I gained my Bachelor Degree in Faculty of Humanities and Social, majoring in Thai Language. After graduation, I worked at the tutoring school in Samut Sakhon for six years, teaching Thai and Social Studies for Primary. After this, I worked at a private school in Bangkok called Na Darun School. Over the past eleven years, I have gained valuable teaching experience working with children of various ages and have discovered a true passion for teaching children from a range of different classes. I am grateful for this professional opportunity that I have been given by HeadStart International School Phuket and I am excited to be teaching in higher levels this academic year. They are Thai First Language programme in Year 6, Year 7 and Year 8. I'm looking forward to continuing my journey at HeadStart, and working with all of the students, alongside my amazing colleagues.

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Suttiya Jumlongpun

Thai Teacher
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Hello, I'm Suttiya Jumlongpun (Tiya). I am originally from Chaiyaphum, a province in the northeast of Thailand. In 2019, I graduated from Nakhon Rachasrima Rajabhat University with a bachelor's degree in Education in the English program. After graduating, I pursued my childhood dream of living on an island by moving to Koh Phangan and started working as a Thai teacher at Si Ri Panya International School. I taught Thai as a foreign language to students in Year 1-6 for three and a half years. Additionally, I led a Cookery club for ASA in school, taught Thai to expats, and English to Thai children outside of school. Teaching is my passion, and teaching the Thai language and culture to kids brings me even more joy in my profession. I make sure I provide a positive and supportive classroom environment. I love seeing my students enjoy learning and have fun with my lessons. Witnessing my students' progress and their ability to communicate in Thai is a priceless experience as a teacher. Outside of teaching, you'll catch me hanging out with Rosie, my street-smart dog from Koh Phangan, adopted three years ago. I'm all about soaking up new knowledge and exploring activities that spark joy. In Koh Phangan, I loved training Muay Thai, hiking with friends and Rosie, exploring waterfalls, viewpoints and beaches. I'm passionate about snakes; I used to be a volunteer interpreter, connecting local folks with international grad students and researchers for snake rescue missions in Suranaree University of Technology. And when I'm not in adventure mode, I'm into mindfulness activities, painting, yoga, meditation, reading, drawing, and crocheting. Life's all about the fun mix! Moving to Phuket and the idea of contributing to a new school community, connecting with students, and embracing fresh challenges is such an exciting adventure for me. I'm thrilled to be part of the HeadStart International School family and eager to make learning fun and engaging for students. I look forward to this exciting chapter in my professional journey with HeadStart International School.

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Ratchadapan Ngoencharoen

Thai Teacher
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Hello everyone, my name is Ratchadapan Ngoencharoen, also known as Kru Bee. I was born in Krabi. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in English Education from Suratthani Rajabhat University in 2020. I began my teaching career as an English teacher at Ammartpanichnukul School in Krabi. I was responsible for teaching the Core English subject and English for reading and writing for a year. After that, I moved to Alongkorn Language School, where I gained experience in teaching the Thai language to foreign students. I am a lifelong learner and am extremely passionate about teaching and the development of young people. I believe that every student has their own potential. Therefore, a teacher's role is to provide a positive learning environment that supports children's abilities and learning progress. I currently hold a position as a Thai Teacher, continuing to teach Thai Second Language for Year 7 and 8, and Thai Foreign Language for Early Years, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6, and Year 9. I have been working at HeadStart International School since 2022. I am excited for the year's adventures and will ensure that I provide a positive and enriching learning experience for all my students.

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Orawan Thaiaerd

Thai Teacher
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My name is Orawan Thaiaerd. My nickname is Lookpla. I graduated from Phuket Rajabhat University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing in 2023. I had taught Thai Language for Kindergarten for 10 years at Kajonkietsuksa School. Working as a Kindergarten teacher, I gained a valuable teaching experience working with young children from different backgrounds across several key learning areas. As an educator, it is essential to constantly seek out new ideas and techniques to help students learn and grow and I believe that a good foundation for future learning includes thought process, morality, and ethics which will have an impact on the children’s development and learning, in order to fit into society happily. I spend my free time on the internet for making education media, movies and reading books to help create new ideas for making teaching material. I will be a Thai teacher teaching Thai First Language Programme in Foundation and Year 1. I look forward to working with the staff, students and parents of HeadStart International School to achieve success!

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Tadsaree Saesia

Thai Teacher
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Hello everyone, my name is Tadsaree Saesia (Kru Song). I was born in Trang. I graduated with a bachelor degree in Arts Program in Thai from Thaksin University in 2016. After that, I enrolled in Graduate Diploma Program in Teaching Profession, in Suratthani Rajabhat University. I used to teach at Kajonkietpattana School as a Primary Thai Teacher for 6 years. As a language teacher, I believe that all students are equal and deserve an equal opportunity to learn and succeed. Learning a new language can be challenging and even intimidating at times. Therefore, I believe that teaching should be positive and that learning should be fun, not stressful. By doing so, I hope to instill a love of learning in my students and help them to feel confident in their abilities. This is my first-year teaching at HeadStart International School. I would like to thank you for this opportunity. I am excited for the year’s adventures and will make sure I provide a positive and learning experience for all my students. I look forward to working with the staff, students and parents of HeadStart International School to achieve success!

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Wei Wang

Mandarin Coordinator
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Hello, I'm Wei Wang, an experienced educator with a passion for nurturing young minds and fostering a love for learning. Originally from China, I've been fortunate to call Thailand my home for the past 13 years. Throughout my journey, I've had the privilege of making a positive impact on students' lives through my work at HeadStart, an institution I've been dedicated to for a decade My diverse teaching background spans across various educational levels, from primary to secondary and even university students. This wide-ranging experience has not only honed my pedagogical skills but has also allowed me to connect with learners of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. I firmly believe in the power of education to shape individuals and communities, and I'm committed to creating engaging and inclusive learning environments that empower students to achieve their full potential. Outside the classroom, I'm an ardent traveller with a deep appreciation for exploring new cultures and landscapes. Whether it's immersing myself in the bustling streets of a vibrant city or embracing the tranquillity of nature's wonders, I find inspiration in every journey. When I'm not jetting off on new adventures, you'll often find me cultivating my green thumb in my garden, where I find solace and joy in nurturing plants and creating beautiful outdoor spaces. As I look forward to the chapters ahead, I am excited to continue making a meaningful impact on young learners' lives, guiding them toward a future filled with knowledge, curiosity, and the courage to pursue their dreams. It's my belief that education is a journey we embark upon together, and I am dedicated to being a guide, mentor, and lifelong learner alongside my students.

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Tian Banchao

Mandarin Teacher
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My name is Banchao Tian and I have been working at HeadStart since January 2019. I am from China and grew up in the southwest in a small tourism city called Guilin. I studied at Jinan University in Guangzhou, gaining a master degree in Linguistics and a certificate of Teaching Mandarin as a Foreign Language. I have taught Mandarin to secondary students at public schools in Bangkok and Phuket for 8 years prior to my move to HeadStart. In my teaching practice, besides delivering the knowledge and skills of Mandarin, it is my aim to inspire and motivate my students to learn the language. I believe the most efficient language learning happens through students’ own engagement and self-effort. Besides, I believe culture is a crucial concept in language teaching, in a certain sense, language learning is culture learning. Exposure to culture will in turn inspire students' interest in learning the language as well. In my teaching, I often introduce aspects of Chinese culture to my students, e.g. Chinese paper-cut, Chinese calligraphy, Beijing opera, Chinese Food and so on. Outside of classroom I enjoy reading and spending time with my family and cats. I’m a tennis lover and always want to play whenever I have free time.

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Yue Yao

Chinese Teacher
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Wenhui Zhong

Mandarin Teacher
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您好!My name is Wenhui Zhong, and I am a primary Mandarin First Language teacher. I come from Guangdong, China, a place with a multi-dialect environment that illuminates my love for language. I hold a bachelor degree in philosophy as well as a master degree in education from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and also hold a bachelor degree in Chinese linguistic and literature from Central China Normal University. With passion in education and Chinese linguistic, I gained both the National Teacher Qualification Certificate of Chinese For Senior High School (and below) in China and Certificate for Teachers of Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages. Prior to my move to HeadStart in 2022, I have taught Mandarin to students in Bangkok and Phuket for 6 years including 5 years experiences in teaching native Chinese speakers from 5 to 11 years old. In the classroom I believe that learning Chinese is more than just mastering a language, but also gaining the key to understanding a culture and value, and establishing a system model that can bring meaning to life. I am also keen to help native Chinese learners find their cultural roots and identity in language learning. My well planned and creative teachings combined with games, handcraft, calligraphy, and other Chinese culture elements are always attractive to my students. In my free time, I enjoy calligraphy and exploring different languages, exploring the world of children's books as well as playing with my child.

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