iTEP is the “Pragmatic” Choice for Thailand
Discovering a Partner Abroad
As the business name would suggest, Pragmatic Company Limited, iTEP’s newest partner in the Kingdom of Thailand, is strategic….some would say pragmatic….about their decision to utilize iTEP’s products for the opportunities that lie ahead in Thailand’s economic engines.
Pragmatic, founded by Rose Marie Wanchupela and her late husband, Prinya, operates Rose Marie Academy—a private, internationally-oriented Pre K-12 school located in Nonthaburi, Thailand. As one of the premier English language institutions in the region for the past 25 years, Rose Marie Academy is now considering how they can adapt their educational programs to help employers and employees in Thailand’s business community.
English Learning in Thailand
“Thailand has a reputation of being very weak in English language so one of things we’ve tried to do in our school is start with the little ones,” said Rose Marie. “At 18 months we begin teaching them, and they’re bilingual by the time they’re five years old.
“We’re branching out into working with adults. We are submitting proposals to companies to test their employees for their level of English proficiency,” she said. “These tests will help to determine employees’ comprehension and communication skills necessary for their particular assignments. We are optimistic regarding the outcome.”
Rose Marie believes that with the global health crisis resulting from COVID-19 and the impact it has had on the global economy the job market in Thailand is far more competitive, making proficiency in the English language even more desirable for employers. For businesses to best take advantage of the global marketplace, they’ll need a workforce able to communicate across cultures. Improving their English will become a top priority, but that starts with evaluating current fluency. Rose Marie cites several reasons that iTEP’s English testing products are superior over similar products:
• It is one of the most economical English testing options on the market
• Results are reliable and delivered rapidly
• The lag period between retesting times is brief
• Results are available in formats that allow employers to share with the employee, outlining areas of excellence and improvement
But perhaps iTEP’s greatest selling point for Pragmatic is much more personal.
Who is Rose Marie?
Rose Marie who is originally from Pennsylvania and moved to Thailand in 1962 as a Peace Corps volunteer, was teaching English at the university level in Bangkok when she was introduced to Perry Akins. At that time Akins was presiding over the ELS Language Centers, which had a center in Bangkok.
“Perry Akins’ material (through ELS) was the best English language teaching material I have ever encountered,” said Rose Marie.
Akins went on to found iTEP in 2002 while Rose Marie continued her own career in education where teaching English language skills remained at the forefront. Being very familiar with Akins’s proficiency in English language instruction gave Rose Marie complete confidence that iTEP was the best choice to partner with in evaluating and advancing English language skills in Thailand.
While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed their start, Rose Marie says that the excitement surrounding their initial conversations about their partnership with iTEP have been very encouraging.
“We are optimistic in our long-term goal of having the iTEP suite of tests replace all other English language proficiency tests in Thailand,” said Rose Marie. “We’re starting in the business sector where we can affect change faster, and we see a lot of opportunity especially in the medical and hospitality industries.”
For iTEP, Thailand has great potential and having a partner in Pragmatic is a strong step into the market.
“Having partners like Pragmatic market iTEP’s tests to businesses for the purpose of evaluating English language proficiency as part of the hiring and/or promotion process is a winning formula,” said iTEP President Jim Brosam. “While some may know iTEP as primarily for educational testing, we are rapidly becoming the English language test of choice for many companies. I am excited to welcome Rose Marie and her team into the iTEP family.”
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The International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP) was introduced in 2008 to modernize English language assessment with on-demand scheduling, 24 hour grading, and accurate test data. iTEP provides a convenient and cost-effective testing option delivered in a highly secure environment.
iTEP offers a variety of assessment tools for university and secondary school admissions and ESL placement, hiring and employee assessment (including tests for specific industries), and iTEP Conversation, which assesses conversation skills in 30 minutes. All iTEP exams are graded by certified and trained native English speakers.
More than 800 colleges, universities, middle/high schools, and boarding schools in the USA and Canada accept iTEP results for admissions. Applicants can take iTEP at more than 500 test centers in 61 countries. iTEP International is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.