thai cave rescue importance of english

Thai Cave Rescue:

The Importance of English



attend basically you never know
diver sign (3) extraordinary
rescue put it up encourage
cave remote universal
realize point (3) awareness
guide goal (2) attention
theme sort of darkness






British Caver: “How many of you?”
Soccer Players: “Thirteen.”
British Caver: “Thirteen?”

Basically, you never know when you will need English.

My name is Francois Lamontagne, known as Teacher Franky.

I’m from Canada.

I teach computers in English at Maesai Prasitsart. This is the school where several of the Thai cave boys attend.

When I saw the video, the British divers did did speak in English. And there was an answer from the kids.

I thought this is great! this is extraordinary!

I was proud. I was really proud of those kids, that they could actually answer something in English.

So that’s why I came up with the idea of doing that sign.

You never know when you will need your English.

“How long have you been here?”
“When will we get out?”
“How many of you are here? Thirteen? Brilliant,” a member of the multinational rescue team, speaking in English, tells the boys.
“You have been here ten days. You are very strong.”
“Thank you so much,” one of the boys says.

He put it up in the school to encourage kids to learn English.

It got attention online.

The situation with the cave at Tham Luang created an opportunity for the kids to realize that, god, it’s great if you can say a few words in English, you know?

Basically, you never know when you will need English.

English is universal, you know?

All these kids, they have to learn English, at some point in their lives, if they want to improve their careers in the future. You know, we are in a remote area of Thailand; we’re not in Bangkok.

It’s an awareness; it’s to open their minds, that there’s something else in the world, outside of Thailand.

Jack: “Hello, my name is Jack.”
Pao: “My name is Pao.”
Putter: “My name is Putter.”

Journalist: “What do you want to do when you grow up?”
Jack: “Maybe be a programmer.”
Pao: “A guide, an English-speaking guide.”
Putter: “Go traveling. New York.”

My goal as a teacher, if only one student really improves and gets a good job in the future, I will have done my job.

Teacher: “Let’s do that again.”
Class: “I am very happy about the rescue of some boys from the cave.”

I’m actually working on another sign for welcoming the kids.

They’re back in the sun, they’re back in the light: from darkness to light. It’s sort of the theme that I want to work on for the next sign.


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1. Teacher Franky is an American teaching English literature in Thailand. True or false?

2. Was the cave rescue significant for Teacher Franky? Why was it significant for him?

3. There was a lesson or theme from the cave rescue? What did he do to convey that message?

4. Did these pupils fully realize the importance of English before the cave rescue? Why might they not have cared about learning English?

5. The students want to be farmers. Is this right or wrong?

6. Is Teacher Franky’s ambition to make lots of money?

7. Is there a metaphorical lesson? Is there a metaphor to describe what has happened to the boys?


A. I have gone on school excursions. Yes or no? If yes, where did you visit?

B. Do or did students in your class appreciate the importance of English?

C. Were there any foreign teachers at your school?

D. What do your classmates want to be when they grow up? What did your classmates want to be when they grew up?

E. Have you spoken to foreigners (besides me) in English?

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