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Intensive Thai At Chula (basic 1 - Advanced 2), Your Questions Answered Here!


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Thank you so much for this awesome report...

i'm looking next year for an intensive thai program like an university same like that, i'm not a native english so maybe i didn't understand a part of your thread report but :

at the end of the program (which you succeed of course), do you have a certificate or a degree certified by the university ?

the kind of paper you can show to a company when you seek a job in Thailand and you can add a line to your CV.

i ask this because when you finish the one year program, you can speak mostly like a thai men OK but how you can prove you did it and suceed it ?

how much was the TOTAL of the one year program included all the courses ?

thank you again for this report, looking forward to your reply.

Blusher - Paris

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Thanks, that was a wonderful read, very informative. I've been wondering how to ramp up my Thai to a really high level, so that I can easily read newspapers and get the jokes in sitcoms (the non-slapstick ones--not worried about the ones where they slap each other on the head and funny noises are played). I've been speaking Thai for an embarrassingly high number of years, and taught myself to read and write, even to spell pretty well, but I seem to be stuck at a high intermediate level, progress comes slowly. One advantage this course has is that it is really intensive, once you start you're in it for 5 weeks at least. I think I'll do the entrance exam, anyhow . . . the name "Basic" puts me off, I don't think of my knowledge as basic, but maybe it's just a word, and the Basic 3 course will be just what I need, esp. if it's intensive. I suppose one way to find out is to take tests for basic and intermediate courses. My problems with Thai right now are primarily related to 1) needing more vocabulary, there are just so many words for every single thing! 2) catching the idioms that no one knows how to explain to you, and 3) comprehending rapid-fire sentences. Depending on what's being said, I often find myself thinking "now what was that word?" and not even hearing the rest of the words.

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I did the intensive thai about 4 years ago, only farang in that class to go all the way through advanced 3, it was all very good. I remember that the teachers were all professional but that a few of them were going to stop teaching after my class finished advanced 3.

My class sat along for the interview procedures for the new teachers and eventually settled for a woman that seemed both skilled in didactics and had a profound knowledge of Thai. The rest that came for the interview that day were all a bit... weird to be honest.

Anyhow, my question to the OP is what teachers are still there?

I also found the advanced level to maybe not be so informative but really useful because in my case we could all use previous experience for the assignments we got and that also gave us a lot of freedom and it felt good to be able to handle Thai in that manner.

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Hello,

Can an administrator or a moderator give me the email of "EthicsGradient" (the topic's creator)

i will suscribe very soon to the Chula thai intensive program and i have some serious questions to ask him and i send him a private message but he doesn't answer since 2 weeks now...

thank you a lot by advance, it's an urgent issue for me now.

Blusher

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Hello,

Can an administrator or a moderator give me the email of "EthicsGradient" (the topic's creator)

i will suscribe very soon to the Chula thai intensive program and i have some serious questions to ask him and i send him a private message but he doesn't answer since 2 weeks now...

thank you a lot by advance, it's an urgent issue for me now.

Blusher

once again sorry by advance, can an administrator a moderator give the email of "EthicsGradient" please ?

he doesn't reply my MP, thank you by advance for your help.

Blusher

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In his personal profile a member can configure whether he wants to receive messages by email or not. The OP has not activated this option, which leaves only the possibility of sending a PM.

Just like some busy people may not check their email every few minutes, some Thaivisa members may not check there PMs frequently.

Aside from that, perhaps a Thaivisa member may not want to enter into an exchange of PMs with another member, preferring that questions relating to his post be asked in the topic so that other readers may benefit from the questions and answers.

--

Maestro

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  • 4 months later...

Thanks again for the great course description (I thanked you the first time a few months ago). My goal is to get to native-level fluency, which is still a long ways off, and your comments influenced me to test into the course . . . I tested in at Intermediate 3, the last level before advanced, started the course in mid-May, and have 2 weeks to go before the test. I'm enjoying it immensely: the teachers are, as you said, great, and so is the material. I can't get used to how many words there are to learn, I speak German and French, have read and written at a high level in those and in Latin, and none of those presented anything like such a long learning curve, but that's mostly due to the fact that this isn't an Indo-European language, I'm sure.

The course is, as you say, very time-consuming. I haven't been able to do a whole lot else besides go to school and do the homework, but the knowledge is pouring in.

I find there's a lot more speaking at this level than you suggest; perhaps that's changed. We are discussing things in class all the time, the teachers asking us for our opinions and analysis quite a bit. Plus the listening is a very big deal. I have spoken good Thai for quite a long time, but have had trouble listening to it spoken, mostly when unfamiliar vocabulary is used, at high speeds. This is helping a lot with that.

I am planning on taking a long break when the intermediate module is done on June 19, continuing my study on my own, then taking the first advanced module when it comes around again in October. I'm hoping the teacher you mention as the only bad one will have already gotten the PhD and will be doing something else. Will report back on that later on.

Thanks again, and to all who read this and are thinking about doing it, courage! You can do it if you really want to!

I studied Chula's intensive Thai program from May 2007 -April 2008. I've seen it get mentioned a lot here although it seems like not too many people have firsthand experience with it, so I thought I'd make myself available to answer any questions people might have about it. (I've got a week in Bangkok to kill before I go back home, and lots of free time to type this up) I was originally typing this as a reply in the pinned thread, but it seems a little long for that now. . . .
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  • 2 months later...

Hey you all!

I am from Germany and hope to start the Basic II course in November. I will soon have a phone interview determining whether I can enter into the course. Does anybody have experience with such an interview? I have studied Thai since April with a private teacher. We have covered all the topics they gave me so far that will be studied in Basic I. Can anyone tell me how fluent they expect you to be after you had Basic I?

Thanks a lot.

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I've taken through Intermediate of the Chula course, and I will caution those of you who want to learn Thai for your everyday life via this program. Basic 1-3 is great, and recommended for anyone that has the time. Intermediate, OK if you want to learn to read. Advanced - useless unless you want to be capable of writing term papers in Thai.

I have a Thai friend who is one of the floating instructors (teaches at all the levels) with this program, and he said many of the advanced students are capable of reading the news, watching FORMAL Thai shows on TV (i.e., news), and can write better term papers than a lot of Thai students can. HOWEVER, most of them can't understand something as simple as a Thai soap opera, because the Chula program does NOT teach slang, almost NO slang literally, and they do not teach colloquial Thai... they teach formal, academic Thai.

I know it sounds very nice to learn "hi-so" Thai... but it's useless if you want to use it to speak with your Thai friends at an advanced level and useless to watch many Thai movies, etc... that is what my friend has told me. Proceed with caution... or at the very least make sure you are learning Thai slang on your own with some other method. (not that you are going to have time to study anything besides what you learn in class lolol)

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I have a Thai friend who is one of the floating instructors (teaches at all the levels) with this program, and he said many of the advanced students are capable of reading the news, watching FORMAL Thai shows on TV (i.e., news), and can write better term papers than a lot of Thai students can. HOWEVER, most of them can't understand something as simple as a Thai soap opera, because the Chula program does NOT teach slang, almost NO slang literally, and they do not teach colloquial Thai... they teach formal, academic Thai.

I'd love to take this course, but it only appears to be offered full-time, so is out of the question for anyone working in Thailand (ironically, apart from exchange students, the very group that would probably be most interested in it!).

Anyway, personally I wouldn't find the fact that it doesn't teach colloquial thai a problem. The course must develop your listening and speaking skills (from what the others have said) to a high enough degree to be able to converse with 'thai friends' at some level, and they are the ones to turn to for the real education.

Its similar in English ESL teaching too. Students cannot learn from a textbook or class practice how a couple of lads in a London pub will talk on a Saturday night - you can't teach that, you can only experience it and learn it in the actual setting. At least if you can read and talk about the news, you will have something with which you can start a conversation, and you'll soon pick up the way people in the street talk about these things. It's all about practice and experience, not classroom study.

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The majority of the students are Japanese people that are sent there by their companies to learn Thai because they will either be working in Thailand once they finish the course, or they will be dealing with Thai via their business in Japan and need to speak Thai. A full-time intensive course obviously isn't designed for someone currently working in Thailand... but there are plenty of other courses u can take part-time in Bangkok, including a private tutor.

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The majority of the students are Japanese people that are sent there by their companies to learn Thai because they will either be working in Thailand once they finish the course, or they will be dealing with Thai via their business in Japan and need to speak Thai. A full-time intensive course obviously isn't designed for someone currently working in Thailand... but there are plenty of other courses u can take part-time in Bangkok, including a private tutor.

Hi Rionoir, there are indeed plenty of schools and courses around, but do you (or anyone else!) know of any specific schools that teach a similar academic program to the one at chula?

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Hi guys! I'm also looking into taking the course, hopefully joining from the Basic 2 class in November this year. I've done a 300 hour course previously and have some basic knowledge of the script, though I feel that I'm sorely lacking in vocabulary. In any case, I'm hoping to get placed into Basic 2. I've emailed the school but have not received a reply, hence I thought I shall seek your help here.

Can anyone advise on how I could arrange to take the qualifying test (which decided which level you are emplaced to)? What requirements would they have of someone trying to get into basic 2? What is the test format like? How long does it take to get the results?

Many thanks in advance!

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Hi Rionoir, there are indeed plenty of schools and courses around, but do you (or anyone else!) know of any specific schools that teach a similar academic program to the one at chula?

I have looked at ProLanguage's website, and their curriculum seems similar to Chula, only at an easier pace. I have no experience with their actual classes though, but from what I gathered in speaking with them it would be worth a trip in to check them out.

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