No doubt, in Thailand, English is the common language used between Thai people and farangs from all parts of the world: Europeans, Americans, Africans, Asians, etc. English is inevitably becoming the universal language. As Thailand continues to join the global community through business and tourism the ability to speak the language will continue to open up more doors for its people.
Those with strong English skills mainly move on to become tour guides, flight attendants, document translators, and international business professionals. Flight Attendant positions, though, do not bode well with many of the vertically challenged Thai people. I had a student come to me last month terribly upset. She had just come from an interview with a flight attendant school and was told that she was 1 inch shy of the height requirement. This ends world travel for many Thai women.
The vast majority of Thais will never leave the country, nor do they have the desire to. While they may not desire to leave, many do have aspirations of knowing English in order to understand our music and movies, communicate with people from other cultures, and earn higher salaries -a huge motivating benefit for a country that is moving on up.