The Power of Language: Co-Creation of Mutual Values and Thai Language Abilities in Thai-Malay Muslim Farmers’ Transmission of Local Organic Rice Farming Innovation in Ban La-han, Narathiwat Province

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Pariyakorn Chookeaw
Pornpan Khemakhunasi
Karuna Dangsuwan
Purisa Kaweepun


This research aims 1) to shift the thinking paradigm of Thai-Malay Muslim farmers from believing that they could not communicate in the Thai language to believing otherwise, and 2) to transform their intangible knowledge into concrete practices. The conceptual framework used here includes the concept of transformative learning, the formation of relationships between Thai-Malay Muslim farmers adopting local organic rice farming practices and experts in Thai studies, and the application of learning accomplishments towards co-creating mutual values. Concerning the methodology of this study, a participatory research strategy was applied. The Thai-Malay Muslim farmers’ Thai language communication skills were developed through co-design of knowledge, co-creation of knowledge, and co-dissemination of knowledge. The development involved 4 activities: 1) collecting data on abandoned rice fields and farming areas; 2) collecting data on the quantities of rice produced annually, as well as examining whether such production was sufficient to match household consumption; 3) mapping the quantities of wet-season rice and dry-season rice areas, and 4) the brainstorming of the Thai-Malay Muslim farmers’ ideas about being professional farmers. It should be noted that Thai language knowledge and communication skills were integrated throughout these activities. Experts provided the farmers with guidance on such issues as word sequences in the Thai language, presentation sequences, clarification of information, explanation of tables and maps, and demonstration. These encounters allowed the farmers to constantly practice their Thai language communication skills. The activities not only encouraged the farmers to co-create knowledge and instilled in them the value of the Thai language, but they also satisfied the participants’ language development needs. The farming participants changed their beliefs and overcame their fear of using the Thai language. Therefore, it can be said that, because of their improved Thai abilities, they would be able to use the language to transfer their knowledge about local organic rice farming practices to others, such as the young and those interested in farming. By way of such empowerment, these people, too, could then access the wisdom of the Thai-Malay Muslim farmers.


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Chookeaw, P., Khemakhunasi, P., Dangsuwan, K., & Kaweepun, P. (2019). The Power of Language: Co-Creation of Mutual Values and Thai Language Abilities in Thai-Malay Muslim Farmers’ Transmission of Local Organic Rice Farming Innovation in Ban La-han, Narathiwat Province. Area Based Development Research Journal, 11(3), 188-204. Retrieved from
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