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I’m looking to formally study Thai at an intermediate level at a school in Pattaya, Hua Hin or Bangkok. Probably Pattaya. I can speak and read at intermediate level and write at a basic level (I have lousy spelling). I want to improve my vocabulary, reading and writing skills. The school should be very good at assisting with an education visa and I will be applying for the visa abroad in my home country. The course should last 3 to 4 months. Price is an issue but not the most important one. 
 

thanks

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I think you're going to find that the only quality schools are the ones using the Union method, and are all based in Bangkok.  They are Union, Piammitr, AAA and TLA.  I have been told that UTL, which used to be a good option, is closing down.  Personally I'd avoid Union because of the large number of god-botherers.

 

Chulalongkorn University also runs an Intensive Thai Program which may also be worth looking into.

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There are really only two options for quality instruction in Thai, by which I mean equivalent to the level of teaching at an American university.  I have studied at both schools.

 

Intensive Thai Program Chulalongkorn University. http://www.arts.chula.ac.th/CTFL/intensivethai

 

This program is indeed intensive since the curriculum calls for learning at least thirty new words per day.  The teachers are excellent.  Many of them either have PhDs or are working on them.  It is a team teaching approach in which they rotate the teach every few days, so that the student adjusts to the individual teachers' slightly different way of speaking.  The teachers follow such a well-laid out schedule that no disruption results from switching teachers so frequently.  They do something else which is quite remarkable.  The pace that the teacher speaks Thai to the students starts slow in level one and then notches up a little in level two and so on for each level.  The extraordinary thing is that the teachers all adjust their speaking pace in unison.  

 

Classes were a little smaller in my day.  I understand that average size now is about fifteen.  Students are highly motivated and very diverse.  The full course runs nine levels and takes about a year.  

 

Sumaa Institute for Language and Culture.  http://www.sumaa.net/

 

Sumaa was founded by three teachers who had started the Intensive Thai Program at Chulalongkorn.  However, unlike the Chula program, most instruction is one-on-one rather than classroom, the advantage of which is that you get a lot more correction which is essential.  The teachers are highly qualified, several having master's degrees as described on their website.  Sumaa has a distinguished roster of former students who have gone on to work with the Thai language including business people, academics, military, and diplomats such as the past or present ambassadors of the US, the UK, Germany, Australia, Ireland, and probably others I don't know about.  Teaching at Sumaa may be either in person or online.

 

I am currently continuing to study at Sumaa.

 

Compared to other schools in Thailand, Sumaa and Chula are expensive, but compared to the cost of equivalent education in Europe or the US, they are cheap.  

 

 

 

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Thanks to both of you for your detailed and informative answers.

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Posted (edited)

Walen is a good school.  They have branches around Thighland.

 

They do all your visa paper work too.

Edited by johnray
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On 8/8/2020 at 8:08 AM, cmarshall said:

There are really only two options for quality instruction in Thai, by which I mean equivalent to the level of teaching at an American university.  I have studied at both schools.

 

Intensive Thai Program Chulalongkorn University. http://www.arts.chula.ac.th/CTFL/intensivethai

 

This program is indeed intensive since the curriculum calls for learning at least thirty new words per day.  The teachers are excellent.  Many of them either have PhDs or are working on them.  It is a team teaching approach in which they rotate the teach every few days, so that the student adjusts to the individual teachers' slightly different way of speaking.  The teachers follow such a well-laid out schedule that no disruption results from switching teachers so frequently.  They do something else which is quite remarkable.  The pace that the teacher speaks Thai to the students starts slow in level one and then notches up a little in level two and so on for each level.  The extraordinary thing is that the teachers all adjust their speaking pace in unison.  

 

Classes were a little smaller in my day.  I understand that average size now is about fifteen.  Students are highly motivated and very diverse.  The full course runs nine levels and takes about a year.  

 

Sumaa Institute for Language and Culture.  http://www.sumaa.net/

 

Sumaa was founded by three teachers who had started the Intensive Thai Program at Chulalongkorn.  However, unlike the Chula program, most instruction is one-on-one rather than classroom, the advantage of which is that you get a lot more correction which is essential.  The teachers are highly qualified, several having master's degrees as described on their website.  Sumaa has a distinguished roster of former students who have gone on to work with the Thai language including business people, academics, military, and diplomats such as the past or present ambassadors of the US, the UK, Germany, Australia, Ireland, and probably others I don't know about.  Teaching at Sumaa may be either in person or online.

 

I am currently continuing to study at Sumaa.

 

Compared to other schools in Thailand, Sumaa and Chula are expensive, but compared to the cost of equivalent education in Europe or the US, they are cheap.  

 

 

 

I see that Sumaa also offers online teaching. At least I got that message when I first loaded their homepage.

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On 8/7/2020 at 6:08 PM, cmarshall said:

Intensive Thai Program Chulalongkorn University. http://www.arts.chula.ac.th/CTFL/intensivethai

This course looks awesome! Wish I had 6 hours a day Monday through Friday...

 

What would be the Thai language school recommendation if you have 1 to 2 hours per day Monday through Friday?

 

Thanks!

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I believe that course is only three hours per day. You can choose between a 3-hour morning session, or a 3-hour afternoon session. Here's a copy paste from the site:

 

COURSE DURATION :
from Monday to Friday(9:00-12:00 or 13:00-16:00) for 6 weeks including the examinations
(100 hours : (5 days x 3 hours x 6 weeks)+ 10 hours for Extra Activities)

 

Looks interesting, but I have doubts that I'm capable of learning 30 new words per day as a previous poster states. I could probably do it short-term, but over the long-term to learn that many new words every day, plus remember all the words I learned before, seems more than I could handle. For every three new words I learn, my crusty old brain deletes five previously learned words automatically. But I think I'm making progress.

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46 minutes ago, ColeBOzbourne said:

I have doubts that I'm capable of learning 30 new words per day

Nobody can.  Research has shown that people can typically learn 7-9 new words per day.  30 words/day is very much a case of "throw 'em up against the wall and see which ones stick."

 

A well designed course will periodically recycle lexis, so what doesn't stick the first time might stick on the 2nd, 3rd ... nth time around.

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50 minutes ago, Oxx said:

Research has shown that people can typically learn 7-9 new words per day.

 

Actually, I should have said "adults", not "people".  Young children can pick up new words faster than adults.

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Posted (edited)

Most learn Thai courses are badly designed. They are designed for Thai students as a first language and not second language.

 

They focus on writing rather than speaking and grammar. They also focus on formal words that is never used by average Thai people.

 

That's why most of us can't understand what the average Thai say beyond the beginner level after learning the language for several years.

 

i.e. if you don't have a wife or girlfriend that function as your personal teacher of informal words.

 

If you know of a school that stress on spoken language (real Thai) and grammar rules, please inform me.

 

I don't want to learn Thai that most people don't use like those Indic words.

 

Edited by warcy

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Posted (edited)
On 8/8/2020 at 8:08 AM, cmarshall said:

There are really only two options for quality instruction in Thai, by which I mean equivalent to the level of teaching at an American university.  I have studied at both schools.

 

Intensive Thai Program Chulalongkorn University. http://www.arts.chula.ac.th/CTFL/intensivethai

 

 

 

I am currently continuing to study at Sumaa.

 

Compared to other schools in Thailand, Sumaa and Chula are expensive, but compared to the cost of equivalent education in Europe or the US, they are cheap.  

 

 

Does any of these schools stress on correct Thai grammar and speaking? You didn't really tell us what they teach. 

 

Many schools just teach vocabulary and not on how to form sentences with these words. Thai grammar is very different from English grammar.

 

Edited by warcy

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Posted (edited)
On 8/9/2020 at 11:14 AM, johnray said:

Walen is a good school.  They have branches around Thighland.

 

They do all your visa paper work too.

Walen is NOT a good school. I have looked at their book. They stress on Thai writing like most schools.

 

Most of us foreigners don't write Thai very much except for the basics. We speak Thai more often when buying things and arguing with someone.

Edited by warcy

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On 8/9/2020 at 12:14 PM, johnray said:

Walen is a good school.  They have branches around Thighland.

 

They do all your visa paper work too.

Is Walen still operating or is it just in name only with new owners.

 

i thought he ran off after his investment courses where shown up as a dud.

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On 8/12/2020 at 3:40 AM, Oxx said:

Nobody can.  Research has shown that people can typically learn 7-9 new words per day.  30 words/day is very much a case of "throw 'em up against the wall and see which ones stick."

 

A well designed course will periodically recycle lexis, so what doesn't stick the first time might stick on the 2nd, 3rd ... nth time around.

What is clear that the higher you aim, the more you will accomplish.  For anyone who does enroll in the Chula program I recommend using the Anki flashcard system for memorizing vocabulary.  Vocabulary "sticks" more the more you practice it.

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