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Sorry for not looking at all eight pages of posts, but...

I am looking for a school in Bangkok that meets two basic criteria for me:

1. "Immersion" schooling. I am thinking of the kind of language training that Mormon missionaries get before going to proselytize. I would like to spend two months in such an environment.

2. I want to learn to write and read alongside speaking and listening comprehension.

Any suggestions?

M

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Sorry for not looking at all eight pages of posts, but...

I am looking for a school in Bangkok that meets two basic criteria for me:

1. "Immersion" schooling. I am thinking of the kind of language training that Mormon missionaries get before going to proselytize. I would like to spend two months in such an environment.

2. I want to learn to write and read alongside speaking and listening comprehension.

Any suggestions?

M

I've been going to Thai language school since the end of last year. I am studying 4 hours per day (2 hours reading/writing, and 2 hours speaking). After only 6 weeks I gave a 5 minute speech written in Thai language (NO phonetics) at my wedding! The school is Baan Aksorn and is located near Soi 33 close to the Phrom Phong BTS Station. The school is in a Thai house, which was converted to classrooms. I have 1-to-1 lessons with four teachers in a rotation. It's a lot of fun and I've learned quite a bit in such a short time. All of the programs are customized around your requirements, or you can take group lessons. I personally prefer 1-to-1. The format and structure is very thorough and easy to follow. My wife and I researched more than 7 schools prior to choosing this one. There are 8 full-time teachers at the school and they are certified by the Ministry of Education. They are very personable and have a good sense of humor. They can also help with Non-ED Visas, if needed. You can check out their website, just google the name.

If you need any further information just send me a message.

Good luck!

Edited by Marcati
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  • 2 weeks later...

After spending nearly 5 years in thailand and being too lazy to really learn the language, i finally started doing some lessons last month. I'm studying thai at paimmitr on suk soi 13, trendy plaza building (they have a website so do a search on google), i must say i'm very happy with the lessons so far. The group lessons (which i prefer) are 5,500 baht per book/level and are taught in 3 hour blocks every week day.

Ofcourse i can't give a objective opinion about how good they are compared to other school, since this is the only school i've been to, but comparing to berlitz where i studied french and SOAS where i studied burmese, they are of good standard.

It's a pretty relaxed atmoshpere and not too big, only negative point about the facilities is the 15 baht charge for a packet of 3in1 coffee, but that's a minor thing. It's not a bad place to go if you have the 3 hours a day to devote to it. They do do private lessons aswell, but i don't know the pricing on that.

I think they do student visa's aswell but you have to pay for many months in advance and i don't know how well they organize it.

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Wow! What a long thread going back several years. I hope this hasn't been covered loads of times but has anyone any experience of learning Thai by "normal" methods, ie a mix of Thai and English being used in the class, and the method whereby not a word of English is spoken from start to finish. At my time of life(50) I wonder how well I would cope with the latter, if it works at all.

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I have been to several of the Thai Language Schools in my 8 years of living here. ( Pattaya )

Pro Language wins hands down, in my opinion, for the best school in Pattaya.

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Learning anything in the end comes down to how much time you put into it privately. Of course a good teacher is of immense help and methods of learning suit different people, so it is worth while looking around and having a sample lesson at each school.

The ED visa is fantastic for me, as it solves my visa problems and i get to learn Thai. I goto the CTLS language school in Pattaya and am very happy with it. It's professionally run, the teacher is good and it is a little laid back; which a school for adults should be. I noticed in a previous post that it is stated that CTLS doesn't have any students; well, you are WRONG! The great thing also about CTLS is you pay half the fee to get the temporary 3 month ED visa, and pay the rest when you apply for the full one year ED visa. The other schools in Pattaya didn't offer me that.

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Hi everyone,

I've visited this forum before, and have received some good info. I registered today to post this message because I felt it was important. I hope the length of it is not a problem. If so, I apologize...

I've been taking Thai lessons in Bangkok at Pro Language for about 2 months now, and find it to be a good school... pleasant staff, nice learning environment, decent teacher (the one I have). I do wish, however, they used a different system of transliteration. I'd prefer the system in the "Thai-English/English-Thai Dictionary" by Benjawan Poomsan Becker, as I find it more intuitive than the one used at Pro Language. Since I wanted an ED visa, I signed up for 180 hours with Pro Lang and am happy with that decision.

Since Pro Lang. doesn't teach the Thai script right away, I also signed up at Walen School of Thai about a month or so after signing up at Pro Language. Both are located in the same building (Times Square building) on Sukhumvit Rd. Unfortunately, I met with dissappointment at Walen. Here's why:

(1) First and foremost, I was shocked at the attitude of 2 of the teachers I had for 2 different classes. Both teachers actually had a nasty attitude to those of us who were not getting the right answers (e.g., correct identification of thai alphabet characters and vocabulary words). They'd shake their heads, and angrily ask "Why you don't know this? (We just studied it last class!)". I know I felt somewhat humilated in this process, and another student had to argue for why he did not know how to answer the task at hand. I'd end up going to the classes feeling anxious. I walked out on both of these 2 classes/teachers because of the teachers' attitudes. After the first time, I spoke with the receptionist about the problem and she said she'd speak with the teacher about it. While she told me she did this, I never heard from the teacher herself about the incident (nor from the receptionist until I asked). (If I had a student feel the same about me, as their teacher, I'd get in touch with them personally). After the 2nd time, I spoke with the owner of the school. To his credit, he was sincere and concerned, and said he'd speak to the teachers about this, and that their teaching behavior was unacceptable. He also offered to extend my class series 2 classes, since I ended up leaving 2 times. The next day, while going to Pro Language, the teacher from the day before (whose class I walked out on) saw me in the building but didn't say a word. That was disappointing. The other thing is that the teachers didn't even pause for a couple of seconds when some students were trying to answer with identification of a Thai character. The teachers would immediately give the answers while you took a second or 2 to think. I finally had to ask them to give me a moment to think.

(2) I had gone to 4-5 classes, and each time there was a different teacher. Unfortunately, the first 2 teachers I had were great; but I heard they were no longer there. I can't verify it, but there seems to be a high turnover rate there (but, like I said, I'm not sure what's up with a different teacher every time, since I don't think this is what they planned on). Having a different teacher every time doesn't allow one teacher to get to know your strengths and weakness; and for the student, the pace of the class would change each time with a different teacher.

Now, I do have a background in teaching as I am a university professor, and recently took a CELTA training. So, I do have some knowledge about how to teach students, including when teaching a foreign language. You don't make students feel humiliated; you don't get nasty and angry with them; and you provide a little bit of time for them to come up with the answers to the task at hand. I feel that at least some of the teachers at Walen need some serious training.

I haven't decided on whether or not I'll go back to Walen. I find it just as well to use the book I purchased there and learn the Thai script on my own, and to practice reading and speaking what's provided in the book. Again, the situation may have been addressed thoroughly by now; the owner was concerned and sincere. If I don't go back, I'll eat the baht spent... que sera sera.

I wanted you all to know, so you can make an informed decision, and maybe not waste time and money. I'm not posting this message to hurt the school-- I thought the owner was a decent guy. I do hope he makes sure the teachers get the training they need.

JJ

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Hi everyone,

Since Pro Lang. doesn't teach the Thai script right away, I also signed up at Walen School of Thai about a month or so after signing up at Pro Language. Both are located in the same building (Times Square building) on Sukhumvit Rd. Unfortunately, I met with dissappointment at Walen. Here's why:

(1) First and foremost, I was shocked at the attitude of 2 of the teachers I had for 2 different classes. Both teachers actually had a nasty attitude to those of us who were not getting the right answers (e.g., correct identification of thai alphabet characters and vocabulary words). They'd shake their heads, and angrily ask "Why you don't know this? (We just studied it last class!)". I know I felt somewhat humilated in this process, and another student had to argue for why he did not know how to answer the task at hand. I'd end up going to the classes feeling anxious. I walked out on both of these 2 classes/teachers because of the teachers' attitudes. After the first time, I spoke with the receptionist about the problem and she said she'd speak with the teacher about it. While she told me she did this, I never heard from the teacher herself about the incident (nor from the receptionist until I asked). (If I had a student feel the same about me, as their teacher, I'd get in touch with them personally). After the 2nd time, I spoke with the owner of the school. To his credit, he was sincere and concerned, and said he'd speak to the teachers about this, and that their teaching behavior was unacceptable. He also offered to extend my class series 2 classes, since I ended up leaving 2 times. The next day, while going to Pro Language, the teacher from the day before (whose class I walked out on) saw me in the building but didn't say a word. That was disappointing. The other thing is that the teachers didn't even pause for a couple of seconds when some students were trying to answer with identification of a Thai character. The teachers would immediately give the answers while you took a second or 2 to think. I finally had to ask them to give me a moment to think.

(2) I had gone to 4-5 classes, and each time there was a different teacher. Unfortunately, the first 2 teachers I had were great; but I heard they were no longer there. I can't verify it, but there seems to be a high turnover rate there (but, like I said, I'm not sure what's up with a different teacher every time, since I don't think this is what they planned on). Having a different teacher every time doesn't allow one teacher to get to know your strengths and weakness; and for the student, the pace of the class would change each time with a different teacher.

Now, I do have a background in teaching as I am a university professor, and recently took a CELTA training. So, I do have some knowledge about how to teach students, including when teaching a foreign language. You don't make students feel humiliated; you don't get nasty and angry with them; and you provide a little bit of time for them to come up with the answers to the task at hand. I feel that at least some of the teachers at Walen need some serious training.

I haven't decided on whether or not I'll go back to Walen. I find it just as well to use the book I purchased there and learn the Thai script on my own, and to practice reading and speaking what's provided in the book. Again, the situation may have been addressed thoroughly by now; the owner was concerned and sincere. If I don't go back, I'll eat the baht spent... que sera sera.

I wanted you all to know, so you can make an informed decision, and maybe not waste time and money. I'm not posting this message to hurt the school-- I thought the owner was a decent guy. I do hope he makes sure the teachers get the training they need.

JJ

Thank you for your post. You mentioned several points, I will try to address them. As you have rightly observed we do not use transliterated Thai at our school. We actually do not use it at all at any level. It is 100% Thai. This is one of the reasons why many students like our school.

At Walen School right form day one and lesson one we start teaching you the Thai alphabet as it will take some time to remember it. It is the fastest way of learning. If you return to your studies you will see it for yourself. Another option for you is to quit but will that do you much good?

Regarding the teachers. I have not been in the class and I am not able to exactly picture what it looked like but you were the only person who complained. I have spoken with both teachers and perhaps you overreacted a little. They are actually well trained. As a matter of fact I train teachers on a regular basis. Attached picture of the latest training session.

To be continued.......

Walen School of Thai - Teaching Much Faster!

www.thaiwalen.com

For priority service please register

www.dcs.walenschool.com/1mw290910.eng

post-46756-1242112530_thumb.jpg

Edited by macwalen
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Are there any Walen students reading this? The first two young lady teachers on the left, are they really so nasty? Anybody had a similar experience? They do not look very nasty but perhaps they are?

To be continued.....

Walen School - Welcome to Paradise

www.thaiwalen.com

For priority service please register

www.dcs.walenschool.com/1mw290910.eng

Edited by macwalen
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"I also signed up at Walen School of Thai" Why did you do it? Suppose the teachers upset you but the reason to join our school was to learn Thai, if the other school fully fulfilled your needs you would not be doubling up your course at Walen as opposed to many other fine Thai schools in the area.

"nasty attitude" I am not sure if they were nasty but it is enough that it was the way you felt, I have already corrected the issue and have spoken with both at length. I can assure this will not happen again. The were strictly instructed to be very gentle and polite with all their students.

"They'd shake their heads, and angrily ask "Why you don't know this?" This should never have happened if these are indeed their exact words, both of them were saying this or just one of them, looks like you joined both teachers into one person. I am sure you must have also noticed some positive sides of those teachers, can you think of any? Dynamic, energetic, good voice, nice smile, motivating. Any of those perhaps?

"I'd end up going to the classes feeling anxious" This is the first time I have read on a Thai visa forum that someone was anxious, similar to afraid, to go to a Thai class. What were you exactly afraid of? That the teacher will push you? One way of looking at this is a case of training a word champion. Pushing a little is not always a bad thing. It can also be a good thing. If you push not to the breaking point but so students understand that they are encouraged to learn and make progress as they will enjoy their studies more. I think the objective of the teachers was not to give you hard time but to help you to learn.

"I walked out on both of these 2 classes/teachers because of the teachers' attitudes" And maybe this is the problem, if you just stayed and talked to them that they are pushing you too much or that they make you stressed or that they need to give you more time to think it would be better than just walking out. In the future when your Thai is fluent you might be proud of the 'nasty' teachers.

"I spoke with the receptionist about the problem and she said she'd speak with the teacher about it. While she told me she did this, I never heard from the teacher herself about the incident (nor from the receptionist until I asked)" She did talk to the teacher right after the lesson. The situation was sorted out and she did not see the need to continue the same topic. She should have done it and I have instructed to do like this in the future. I don't know how long you have been in the country but the Thai culture is different. Believe me, they do not do things they same way as westerners do.

"as their teacher, I'd get in touch with them personally" Again, difference in culture, I agree with you and I will encourage to do it this way should a situation like this happen again. (hope not)

"said he'd speak to the teachers about this, and that their teaching behavior was unacceptable. He also offered to extend my class series 2 classes, since I ended up leaving 2 times." I have spoken with both of them. Stressing out students is indeed unacceptable at Walen. We give a guarantee on our lessons so if you thought your lessons were not worth your money I am happy to offer you additional lessons. That is if you decide to return to our school and continue your course.

To be continued.....

Walen School - More than Thai School

www.thaiwalen.com

For priority service please register

www.dcs.walenschool.com/1mw290910.eng

Edited by macwalen
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"other thing is that the teachers didn't even pause for a couple of seconds when some students were trying to answer with identification of a Thai character" You brought up an interesting teaching point. We do teach students to spell words like Thai people do. It is not fast, it is just a normal speaking speed, and now if a teacher sees or feels that a student does not know a character then she will help them without spending too much time and embarrassing a student.

Suppose you have the word ปากกา and you do not know how to spell it. Would you really want the teacher to give you 5 seconds for each letter? That is 25 seconds. Also if after one second you do not know the character and then after two seconds do you think you will recall it after 3 seconds? Perhaps, but this is not how we teach. We teach students to spell fast and it really works. Spelling without thinking about it. It can only be done by frequent repetition and revision.

To be continued....

Walen School - Life is fantastic when you speak the language!

www.thaiwalen.com

For priority service please register

www.dcs.walenschool.com/1mw290910.eng

Edited by macwalen
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Hi everyone,

I've visited this forum before, and have received some good info. I registered today to post this message because I felt it was important. I hope the length of it is not a problem. If so, I apologize...

I've been taking Thai lessons in Bangkok at Pro Language for about 2 months now, and find it to be a good school... pleasant staff, nice learning environment, decent teacher (the one I have). I do wish, however, they used a different system of transliteration. I'd prefer the system in the "Thai-English/English-Thai Dictionary" by Benjawan Poomsan Becker, as I find it more intuitive than the one used at Pro Language. Since I wanted an ED visa, I signed up for 180 hours with Pro Lang and am happy with that decision.

Since Pro Lang. doesn't teach the Thai script right away, I also signed up at Walen School of Thai about a month or so after signing up at Pro Language. Both are located in the same building (Times Square building) on Sukhumvit Rd. Unfortunately, I met with dissappointment at Walen. Here's why:

(1) First and foremost, I was shocked at the attitude of 2 of the teachers I had for 2 different classes. Both teachers actually had a nasty attitude to those of us who were not getting the right answers (e.g., correct identification of thai alphabet characters and vocabulary words). They'd shake their heads, and angrily ask "Why you don't know this? (We just studied it last class!)". I know I felt somewhat humilated in this process, and another student had to argue for why he did not know how to answer the task at hand. I'd end up going to the classes feeling anxious. I walked out on both of these 2 classes/teachers because of the teachers' attitudes. After the first time, I spoke with the receptionist about the problem and she said she'd speak with the teacher about it. While she told me she did this, I never heard from the teacher herself about the incident (nor from the receptionist until I asked). (If I had a student feel the same about me, as their teacher, I'd get in touch with them personally). After the 2nd time, I spoke with the owner of the school. To his credit, he was sincere and concerned, and said he'd speak to the teachers about this, and that their teaching behavior was unacceptable. He also offered to extend my class series 2 classes, since I ended up leaving 2 times. The next day, while going to Pro Language, the teacher from the day before (whose class I walked out on) saw me in the building but didn't say a word. That was disappointing. The other thing is that the teachers didn't even pause for a couple of seconds when some students were trying to answer with identification of a Thai character. The teachers would immediately give the answers while you took a second or 2 to think. I finally had to ask them to give me a moment to think.

(2) I had gone to 4-5 classes, and each time there was a different teacher. Unfortunately, the first 2 teachers I had were great; but I heard they were no longer there. I can't verify it, but there seems to be a high turnover rate there (but, like I said, I'm not sure what's up with a different teacher every time, since I don't think this is what they planned on). Having a different teacher every time doesn't allow one teacher to get to know your strengths and weakness; and for the student, the pace of the class would change each time with a different teacher.

Now, I do have a background in teaching as I am a university professor, and recently took a CELTA training. So, I do have some knowledge about how to teach students, including when teaching a foreign language. You don't make students feel humiliated; you don't get nasty and angry with them; and you provide a little bit of time for them to come up with the answers to the task at hand. I feel that at least some of the teachers at Walen need some serious training.

I haven't decided on whether or not I'll go back to Walen. I find it just as well to use the book I purchased there and learn the Thai script on my own, and to practice reading and speaking what's provided in the book. Again, the situation may have been addressed thoroughly by now; the owner was concerned and sincere. If I don't go back, I'll eat the baht spent... que sera sera.

I wanted you all to know, so you can make an informed decision, and maybe not waste time and money. I'm not posting this message to hurt the school-- I thought the owner was a decent guy. I do hope he makes sure the teachers get the training they need.

JJ

Thank you for your post. You mentioned several points, I will try to address them. As you have rightly observed we do not use transliterated Thai at our school. We actually do not use it at all at any level. It is 100% Thai. This is one of the reasons why many students like our school.

At Walen School right form day one and lesson one we start teaching you the Thai alphabet as it will take some time to remember it. It is the fastest way of learning. If you return to your studies you will see it for yourself. Another option for you is to quit but will that do you much good?

Regarding the teachers. I have not been in the class and I am not able to exactly picture what it looked like but you were the only person who complained. I have spoken with both teachers and perhaps you overreacted a little. They are actually well trained. As a matter of fact I train teachers on a regular basis. Attached picture of the latest training session.

To be continued.......

Walen School of Thai Teaching Much Faster!

www.thaiwalen.com

Dear macwalen,

As I said in my previous post, my initial experience with the first 2 teachers I had were great.

In regards to the 2 teachers with whom I had a very negative experience, no, I did not overreact. Because nobody else complained, does not mean the situation did not occur. There were 4 students in the class, including one whose attendance for the book/class series was his second time around, and the other I don't know how long she had been at the school or studying Thai. Both did not receive "negativity" directly from the teacher because they were able to provide the correct answers. The 3rd student did have to "spar" with the teacher defending himself regarding why he was not able to answer questions. Be that as it may, my experience was my experience.

In all of my years of being a student (I have a Ph.D.), I've never experienced feeling somewhat humiliated by a teacher (including learning Thai at another school here in Bangkok, that I have been attending now for over 2 months). This also includes being a student as a skydiver, a private pilot, and years of karate (all difficult things to learn). When I went through the CELTA course recently here in Bangkok, I received some tough criticism (and I mean TOUGH criticism) about some of my lessons teaching English (I've never taught English before), but never, ever felt "humiliated" by the teachers. On the contrary, I took their constructive criticism to heart and learned from it. Because they respected me as a student, and were good teachers, I learned in the process. The point here being that it was not an overreaction, and I know poor teaching when I see it and experience it. I'm sure you do train your teachers; but, sir, apparently they need some (serious) training about how to treat students and how to provide a fertile environment for learning.

Regarding your thoughts about "quitting": I rarely quit anything in my life. When I set my mind to something, I go after it. Not returning to your school, if I choose that course, is not a matter of "quitting," it's a matter of not obtaining services at a place where I have had, not one, but two unsavory experiences. If I go to a restaurant and get a couple of really bad meals, I don't go back because (1) I've twice left with a bad taste in my mouth, (2) both times were a waste of time and money and (3) based on the history, I can't count on a good meal the next time I go.

JJ

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