Jump to content
Thai Visa Forum

Best Thai Language School


Recommended Posts

The walls which we will find the most difficult - if not impossible - to climb are those constructed by ourselves
.

A truer statement was NEVER spoken (errr.. written :D ).

BY far the BIGGEST hurdle I have in overcoming my great reticence in speaking thai is that I DON'T BELIEVE I can speak thai well enough, clear enough, (insert your adjective here) enough. This now totally ingrained almost hard-wired yet WRONG notion makes me not wanna speak for fear of speaking incorrectly. :)

Sadly, I have shoe-horned myself into an all too small cubby-hole that is proving extremely tough for me to exit.

It's the exact same reticence I have seen time and again with young to middle aged thais who certainly KNOW the english language sufficiently to speak quite understandably, yet won't speak, again for fear of speaking incorrectly.

As an aside; I just returned from another thai language school called; Language Express near the Ploen Chit BTS station.

When I had toured their school just after they opened they were using Benjawan Poomsan Becker’s; Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced thai books as course curriculum.

They now have developed their own (very impressive) material based on "step-learning". The little I perused the books this afternoon showed a very well thought out, well designed conversation based learning system. The books are written with thai script, 'phonetics' and english translations. They also have in class hand outs to begin learning to write thai as well.

I'm heading back up there at 6:00PM tonite to observe some classes and see how they teach the material.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 610
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

any websites for the thai language schools? i have been recomended Jentana? any good?

Thailanguagesolutions Asoke & Sukumvit and Phaya Thai location both steps from BTS. will give you 6 months ed visa good personal attention. P.M me if you want the website or phone number.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The walls which we will find the most difficult - if not impossible - to climb are those constructed by ourselves
.

A truer statement was NEVER spoken (errr.. written :D ).

BY far the BIGGEST hurdle I have in overcoming my great reticence in speaking thai is that I DON'T BELIEVE I can speak thai well enough, clear enough, (insert your adjective here) enough. This now totally ingrained almost hard-wired yet WRONG notion makes me not wanna speak for fear of speaking incorrectly. :)

Sadly, I have shoe-horned myself into an all too small cubby-hole that is proving extremely tough for me to exit.

It's the exact same reticence I have seen time and again with young to middle aged thais who certainly KNOW the english language sufficiently to speak quite understandably, yet won't speak, again for fear of speaking incorrectly.

As an aside; I just returned from another thai language school called; Language Express near the Ploen Chit BTS station.

When I had toured their school just after they opened they were using Benjawan Poomsan Becker's; Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced thai books as course curriculum.

They now have developed their own (very impressive) material based on "step-learning". The little I perused the books this afternoon showed a very well thought out, well designed conversation based learning system. The books are written with thai script, 'phonetics' and english translations. They also have in class hand outs to begin learning to write thai as well.

I'm heading back up there at 6:00PM tonite to observe some classes and see how they teach the material.

Thailanguagesolutions bts Asoke and Phaya Thai if you want the website and phone No. P.M. me. One of the few that will get you 6 month ed visa but you must get it out of country like go to Laos or Cambodia they will give you letter to get your visa.

Want to learn on line learningthai. free

Link to post
Share on other sites
BY far the BIGGEST hurdle I have in overcoming my great reticence in speaking thai is that I DON'T BELIEVE I can speak thai well enough, clear enough, (insert your adjective here) enough. This now totally ingrained almost hard-wired yet WRONG notion makes me not wanna speak for fear of speaking incorrectly. :)

Sadly, I have shoe-horned myself into an all too small cubby-hole that is proving extremely tough for me to exit.

Same here. I'm going to need a personality transplant in order to actually speak Thai.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Addendum to Thai Language School review;

Language Express

www.languageexpress.co.th

One nite last week I had the chance to sit in on a conversational thai class at the school Language Express located at the Ploenchit BTS Station.

I had made another post about the school changing their course material from using the Benjawan Poomsan Becker “Learn Thai” books into ones they made themselves. In that post I mentioned how impressed I was both by the layout, the structure and the methodical approach they used in developing their new curriculum.

I sat in on “Step B” of their thai conversation class. The books have phonemic transcription, english translations and the thai language, so depending on your ability to read you can ignore the karaoke thai if you want. They are situational conversation exercises; i.e. at the store, in a taxi, at the restaurant, at the market, etc. They also use a substitution based format which different things are talked about in each situation with the sentence structure remaining the same (just subject and object changes). This gives a student a fairly good grasp of basic sentence structure and helps in them trying to form their own sentences with the vocabulary they learn.

The class I sat had only 4 people in attendance that nite but the teacher said some students couldn’t make it, and usually there were about 6 or 8 people. The vocabulary is introduced, pronounced by the teacher, repeated in a group by the students, and sometimes with difficult words, individually student by student around the room. The teacher reads sentence (-A-) and all the students reply with sentence (-B-), thru the situational dialog. Then students break into pairs and go over being either person (-A-) or person (-B-) in the exercises to practice.

The vocabulary was high frequency words, even if the sentence structure was a little too formal (but better too formal than too casual). In the lesson I sat, classifiers were covered for the basic things, causing quite the lively discussion. Most of the questions posed by the students and the answers given by the teacher were in english, as the students didn’t appear to be able to format grammar specific questions to the degree that it would make sense.

Then again, I can’t say I could do any better in that regard. It’s not often I use the words; รูปประโยค; structure, ลักษณนาม; classifier, คำนาม; noun, กริยา; verb, คำคุณศัพท์; adjective, คำกริยาวิเศษณ์; adverb, คำบุพบท; preposition, or คำสันธาน; conjunction, in the daily conversations I have with the thais I do interact with. Nor do I even know if those are the right words for those things as (sorry I looked up some of ‘em in the dictionary :) )

Anyway, overall I thought it was an entertaining, educational well put together class. I certainly would have no reservation in recommending the school for thai conversation classes.

Contact the school for pricing both for the year long ED tuition program, as well as hours purchased in blocks of time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
i think all of these posts are from people trying to advertise their school. checked out some links, not all of them work and most are utter cods wallop

anyone got any real info on langauge schools in bkk?

jay

Yes I do not represent any school other than I am a student at ThaiLanguagesolutions. Get in touch with them online or drop into their offices at Asoke or Phaya Thai and talk to them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
i think all of these posts are from people trying to advertise their school. checked out some links, not all of them work and most are utter cods wallop

anyone got any real info on langauge schools in bkk?

jay

Heyyy there; why don't you "gear down big shifter". .. :D

FWIW: I spent a hellova lotta time going to the various and sundry thai language schools scattered around bangkok to see what's what. I try to give fair reviews of what I perceive their strengths and weaknesses are.

BTW: I get NOTHING from any school to write my reviews, mostly because they are my opinions, and may run contrary to a schools perception of their material and method of teaching thai.

MOST of the links I've posted to the various schools work.

You could also use a nifty thing called "Google" and try typing in "thai language schools bangkok". :)

Welcome to Thai Visa; for your first post you've certainly come out swinging. :D

(please do your part for global warming and turn out the light when you leave thailand :D )

Link to post
Share on other sites
SCHOOL REVIEW: Walen School of Thai

This "front loading" of learning to read thai FIRST in a class environment does not leave the student with the previously explained 'bang-4-the-baht' or a warm/fuzzy feeling early on. They are not speaking, are struggling to master an alphabetic system that is very dissimilar from english, and it can result in a discouraged student. If a student feels they are not learning, believe me they aren't; because learning anything, first and foremost has to hold someone's attention to be retained.

My experience there was similar. When I first started, I couldn't read and so going to class was less productive than studying Becker's book, so I didn't go. But, now that I can read (transcribe written Thai to Karaoke Thai in my head, although since I have a vocab of about 1,000 words, it's slightly better than that), the book and the classes are much more useful. As a matter of fact, the book without the class is even useful.

If Walen truly wants to make these classes useful, I would suggest he provide a handout of the Thai alphabet and vowels and an electronic list of the vocabulary in the books. But, at a minimum, the former.

Link to post
Share on other sites
i think all of these posts are from people trying to advertise their school. checked out some links, not all of them work and most are utter cods wallop

anyone got any real info on langauge schools in bkk?

jay

Heyyy there; why don't you "gear down big shifter". .. :D

FWIW: I spent a hellova lotta time going to the various and sundry thai language schools scattered around bangkok to see what's what. I try to give fair reviews of what I perceive their strengths and weaknesses are.

BTW: I get NOTHING from any school to write my reviews, mostly because they are my opinions, and may run contrary to a schools perception of their material and method of teaching thai.

MOST of the links I've posted to the various schools work.

You could also use a nifty thing called "Google" and try typing in "thai language schools bangkok". :)

Welcome to Thai Visa; for your first post you've certainly come out swinging. :D

(please do your part for global warming and turn out the light when you leave thailand :D )

I didn't mean to come out swinging by any means. but most of the forums are pretty much the same with false claims or people advertising their schools under false pretenses. thats is all im saying

"gear down big shifter" elaborate please :D

Ive got a list of schools i will be checking out that ive found through the internet and friends.

i'll keep an eye on some of your post mr

p.s i will turn out the light from now on :D

regards

jay

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
I'm checking the schedules for you, thank you for accepting my offer. Regarding mistakes in book one, I will be happy to go over the book with you and you can point out things that you think are incorrect. I will certainly make corrections it this is indeed so.

Will back to you soon.

Walen School - Thailand, what an amazing place!

www.thaiwalen.com

Often times the definitions in the book are not quite worded correctly or specific enough. e.g., page 76 of book 1 lists แบ (baae)as meaning "open" whilst all the examples pertain to opening of hands which is good since it seems to primarily mean "to display for all to see; to lay bare; to spread out" and similarly กำ gam is listed as meaning "close" when it seems to mean more like "to clench; grasp" or "a handful or fistful" Many people would probably say the definition of กำ is flat out wrong and แบ is definitely a stretch.

There are other places where the definition of the word is ambiguous in English - e.g., "most" does that mean maximum (e.g., inner most room) or more than average (e.g., most people)? (ส่วนใหญ่ - most as in more than average)

Being more specific about the meanings would make a difference to most learners I would think. Luckily I augment my walen studies, but I still have to look up every word I don't already know to ensure I understand the meaning.

Overall, walen can be a good component of your studies but just be sure to take everything with a grain of salt. I use it mainly for pronunciation practice and not learning to read or conversation.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Addendum to Thai Language School review;

Language Express

www.languageexpress.co.th

One nite last week I had the chance to sit in on a conversational thai class at the school Language Express located at the Ploenchit BTS Station.

I had made another post about the school changing their course material from using the Benjawan Poomsan Becker "Learn Thai" books into ones they made themselves. In that post I mentioned how impressed I was both by the layout, the structure and the methodical approach they used in developing their new curriculum.

I sat in on "Step B" of their thai conversation class. The books have phonemic transcription, english translations and the thai language, so depending on your ability to read you can ignore the karaoke thai if you want. They are situational conversation exercises; i.e. at the store, in a taxi, at the restaurant, at the market, etc. They also use a substitution based format which different things are talked about in each situation with the sentence structure remaining the same (just subject and object changes). This gives a student a fairly good grasp of basic sentence structure and helps in them trying to form their own sentences with the vocabulary they learn.

The class I sat had only 4 people in attendance that nite but the teacher said some students couldn't make it, and usually there were about 6 or 8 people. The vocabulary is introduced, pronounced by the teacher, repeated in a group by the students, and sometimes with difficult words, individually student by student around the room. The teacher reads sentence (-A-) and all the students reply with sentence (-B-), thru the situational dialog. Then students break into pairs and go over being either person (-A-) or person (-B-) in the exercises to practice.

The vocabulary was high frequency words, even if the sentence structure was a little too formal (but better too formal than too casual). In the lesson I sat, classifiers were covered for the basic things, causing quite the lively discussion. Most of the questions posed by the students and the answers given by the teacher were in english, as the students didn't appear to be able to format grammar specific questions to the degree that it would make sense.

Then again, I can't say I could do any better in that regard. It's not often I use the words; รูปประโยค; structure, ลักษณนาม; classifier, คำนาม; noun, กริยา; verb, คำคุณศัพท์; adjective, คำกริยาวิเศษณ์; adverb, คำบุพบท; preposition, or คำสันธาน; conjunction, in the daily conversations I have with the thais I do interact with. Nor do I even know if those are the right words for those things as (sorry I looked up some of 'em in the dictionary :) )

Anyway, overall I thought it was an entertaining, educational well put together class. I certainly would have no reservation in recommending the school for thai conversation classes.

Contact the school for pricing both for the year long ED tuition program, as well as hours purchased in blocks of time.

Only 10 % of learning is done in a classroom environment the remaining 90% is done outside the classroom environment, in any school.

Link to post
Share on other sites
SCHOOL REVIEW: Walen School of Thai

This "front loading" of learning to read thai FIRST in a class environment does not leave the student with the previously explained 'bang-4-the-baht' or a warm/fuzzy feeling early on. They are not speaking, are struggling to master an alphabetic system that is very dissimilar from english, and it can result in a discouraged student. If a student feels they are not learning, believe me they aren't; because learning anything, first and foremost has to hold someone's attention to be retained.

My experience there was similar. When I first started, I couldn't read and so going to class was less productive than studying Becker's book, so I didn't go. But, now that I can read (transcribe written Thai to Karaoke Thai in my head, although since I have a vocab of about 1,000 words, it's slightly better than that), the book and the classes are much more useful. As a matter of fact, the book without the class is even useful.

If Walen truly wants to make these classes useful, I would suggest he provide a handout of the Thai alphabet and vowels and an electronic list of the vocabulary in the books. But, at a minimum, the former.

Thank you for your suggestions, we are working on improving our way of teaching, it seems that Walen is the most challenging method on the market, still the only one using only Thai, all other schools compromise to teach in karaoke Thai, the result is that their students will take much longer to learn Thai.

Both suggestions are very good. We will also be releasing recordings of the method soon which should make things easier. Thank you for your positive feedback.

Walen School - always improving

www.thaiwalen.com

For priority service please register

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

Edited by macwalen
Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm checking the schedules for you, thank you for accepting my offer. Regarding mistakes in book one, I will be happy to go over the book with you and you can point out things that you think are incorrect. I will certainly make corrections it this is indeed so.

Will back to you soon.

Walen School - Thailand, what an amazing place!

www.thaiwalen.com

Often times the definitions in the book are not quite worded correctly or specific enough. e.g., page 76 of book 1 lists แบ (baae)as meaning "open" whilst all the examples pertain to opening of hands which is good since it seems to primarily mean "to display for all to see; to lay bare; to spread out" and similarly กำ gam is listed as meaning "close" when it seems to mean more like "to clench; grasp" or "a handful or fistful" Many people would probably say the definition of กำ is flat out wrong and แบ is definitely a stretch.

There are other places where the definition of the word is ambiguous in English - e.g., "most" does that mean maximum (e.g., inner most room) or more than average (e.g., most people)? (ส่วนใหญ่ - most as in more than average)

Being more specific about the meanings would make a difference to most learners I would think. Luckily I augment my walen studies, but I still have to look up every word I don't already know to ensure I understand the meaning.

Overall, walen can be a good component of your studies but just be sure to take everything with a grain of salt. I use it mainly for pronunciation practice and not learning to read or conversation.

I will see what can be done, we do not want to copy a dictionary definition of every word as we want students to get the general meaning of the word, later when you speak Thai you will not be thinking about English translations, you will just switch to Thai.

I will make notes of your suggestions, thank you for taking time to make this post.

Walen School - teaching you to think in Thai!

www.thaiwalen.com

For priority service please register

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

Edited by macwalen
Link to post
Share on other sites

I stay in Undomsuk, and was happy to find a language school at Bangna-Trat road, near Central Bangna.

It's called Modern Mandarin Center and I believe it is predominantly a Mandarin learning school.

According to them, they are also offering Thai courses to foreigners and the teachers and learning materials are from Unity Language School in Times Square.

Since I planned to go to Unity anyway, I was thinking, why not take it in this school instead, since it is much nearer in terms of location.

Unfortunately, upon further questioning, the price at Modern Mandarin Center is more expensive than Unity, and the number of learning hours are 60 instead of the 80 hours at Unity. In view of this, I have decided to stick to Unity at Times Square instead, although it is further in terms of distance. Anyway, for those living in Bang Na and do not mind paying more for less number of hours, you can call the school at 0-2744-1455. I am not sure if they have a website and I am too lazy to find out since I am not quite interested in joining them... :D

By the way, does anyone know:

1) If the textbooks used by Unity include tone marks on their Karaoke Thai? Although I have seen my friend's Unity textbook sometime back, I can't recall whether they indicate the tone marks.

2) If I did not remember wrongly, the words in the Unity textbooks are in 'handwritten' print (Please correct me if I am wrong). Are the books used by Piammitr and AAA also in 'handwritten' print? or are they printed out in a 'typewritten' format?

Thanks for any advice! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
I stay in Undomsuk, and was happy to find a language school at Bangna-Trat road, near Central Bangna.

It's called Modern Mandarin Center and I believe it is predominantly a Mandarin learning school.

According to them, they are also offering Thai courses to foreigners and the teachers and learning materials are from Unity Language School in Times Square.

Since I planned to go to Unity anyway, I was thinking, why not take it in this school instead, since it is much nearer in terms of location.

Unfortunately, upon further questioning, the price at Modern Mandarin Center is more expensive than Unity, and the number of learning hours are 60 instead of the 80 hours at Unity. In view of this, I have decided to stick to Unity at Times Square instead, although it is further in terms of distance. Anyway, for those living in Bang Na and do not mind paying more for less number of hours, you can call the school at 0-2744-1455. I am not sure if they have a website and I am too lazy to find out since I am not quite interested in joining them... :D

I be that you did not consider Thailanguagesolutions. I do not work for them.

By the way, does anyone know:

1) If the textbooks used by Unity include tone marks on their Karaoke Thai? Although I have seen my friend's Unity textbook sometime back, I can't recall whether they indicate the tone marks.

2) If I did not remember wrongly, the words in the Unity textbooks are in 'handwritten' print (Please correct me if I am wrong). Are the books used by Piammitr and AAA also in 'handwritten' print? or are they printed out in a 'typewritten' format?

Thanks for any advice! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Colabamumbai!

I did consider Thai Language Solutions, but I am not sure if I can adapt to their 'Rapid method" for learning the Thai alphabets, and it seems they do not put much emphasis on the writing aspect? Have you attended the course there? Would appreciate some feedback on their Rapid Method :D

Thanks! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Colabamumbai!

I did consider Thai Language Solutions, but I am not sure if I can adapt to their 'Rapid method" for learning the Thai alphabets, and it seems they do not put much emphasis on the writing aspect? Have you attended the course there? Would appreciate some feedback on their Rapid Method :D

Thanks! :)

I am taking a 100 hour basic beginners course, Speaking and Listening the writing is done in non Thai alphabet script, as you would see in an English to Thai translation so you can learn pronunciation. The next level would teach me to read and write in Thai script. Example with my english keyboard....Phom chorp gin.....I like to eat. Dtoon nii yuu thii nii Kiccoro? What will you do in the afternoon Kiccoro. Of course I cannot accent the letters with my keyboard. The will offer a course suited to you, just call them Pormipon will be more than happy to assist you. My payment was for group lessons 12,500 Bhat 100 hours with Ed. visa. I was the only one registered for February so I am getting one on one teaching, that works out to $125 bhat per hour. I do not think that you can find a school at that price for what you get for the money.

Link to post
Share on other sites
i think all of these posts are from people trying to advertise their school. checked out some links, not all of them work and most are utter cods wallop

anyone got any real info on langauge schools in bkk?

jay

So did you decide to forgo learning Thai because the courses are cods wallop???

Link to post
Share on other sites
i think all of these posts are from people trying to advertise their school. checked out some links, not all of them work and most are utter cods wallop

anyone got any real info on langauge schools in bkk?

jay

So did you decide to forgo learning Thai because the courses are cods wallop???

i actually want to learn thai "Colabamumbai". most of the time on these types of forums are just the schools advertising there own business. I want to know some real feedback from the languages course that people have completed or tested out.

if anyone has can they post there thoughts about the courses where they learned thai.... (bangkok only please) thank you

jay

Link to post
Share on other sites
i think all of these posts are from people trying to advertise their school. checked out some links, not all of them work and most are utter cods wallop

anyone got any real info on langauge schools in bkk?

jay

So did you decide to forgo learning Thai because the courses are cods wallop???

i actually want to learn thai "Colabamumbai". most of the time on these types of forums are just the schools advertising there own business. I want to know some real feedback from the languages course that people have completed or tested out.

if anyone has can they post there thoughts about the courses where they learned thai.... (bangkok only please) thank you

jay

I told you before Thailanguagesoutions where I go to school they are on the internet and can be reached on skype and telephone, they will tailor a course for you. It cost you nothing to call them on skype and talk with them. Thailanguagesolutions does not advertise on this site. The owner does not post on this site. I have no vested interest I am a student from Canada.

Link to post
Share on other sites
i think all of these posts are from people trying to advertise their school. checked out some links, not all of them work and most are utter cods wallop

anyone got any real info on langauge schools in bkk?

jay

So did you decide to forgo learning Thai because the courses are cods wallop???

i actually want to learn thai "Colabamumbai". most of the time on these types of forums are just the schools advertising there own business. I want to know some real feedback from the languages course that people have completed or tested out.

if anyone has can they post there thoughts about the courses where they learned thai.... (bangkok only please) thank you

jay

I told you before Thailanguagesoutions where I go to school they are on the internet and can be reached on skype and telephone, they will tailor a course for you. It cost you nothing to call them on skype and talk with them. Thailanguagesolutions does not advertise on this site. The owner does not post on this site. I have no vested interest I am a student from Canada.

the course sounds pretty good. i will be giving them a ring shortly

cheers

Link to post
Share on other sites

I also would appreciate recommendation of a good professional Thai School to start the middle of March.

At the present time:

I can read Thaiscript - slowly

I can speak Thai - but not fluently

I understand Thai - but not yet enough to be able to follow Thai news

What I believe I need:

Conversational Thai Course to improve fluency - pronounciation - sentence structure and understanding.

I may need a placement test.

I would appreciate recommendations from ex-students - and also from any School.

Link to post
Share on other sites
i think all of these posts are from people trying to advertise their school. checked out some links, not all of them work and most are utter cods wallop

anyone got any real info on langauge schools in bkk?

jay

So did you decide to forgo learning Thai because the courses are cods wallop???

i actually want to learn thai "Colabamumbai". most of the time on these types of forums are just the schools advertising there own business. I want to know some real feedback from the languages course that people have completed or tested out.

if anyone has can they post there thoughts about the courses where they learned thai.... (bangkok only please) thank you

jay

I told you before Thailanguagesoutions where I go to school they are on the internet and can be reached on skype and telephone, they will tailor a course for you. It cost you nothing to call them on skype and talk with them. Thailanguagesolutions does not advertise on this site. The owner does not post on this site. I have no vested interest I am a student from Canada.

the course sounds pretty good. i will be giving them a ring shortly

cheers

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would appreciate recommendation from anyone having personal experience with a good professional Thai School. I would like to start middle to end of March.

At the present time:

I can read Thaiscript - but slowly

I can speak Thai - but not fluently

I understand Thai - but not yet enough to be able to follow Thai news

What I believe I need:

Conversational Thai Course to improve fluency - pronounciation - sentence structure and understanding.

I may need a placement test.

Tx

Link to post
Share on other sites

As I said before I have found conversational thai classes pretty much hit or miss as far as ‘bang-4-the-baht’. ..

Some are nothing more than the thai teacher pontificating about all things thai with very little interaction from the students. It seems more an indoctrination and/or brainwashing than any type of meaningful conversation. :D

Some revolve around short stories that are read in class first silently by the students, then aloud by the teacher, then aloud by the students as well; after that there is a discussion about the topic, the characters, what they were doing, etc. These can have good value if the stories are of interest.

Unfortunately I have found the majority of these short stories are about thai history and/or culture (something I have less than ZERO interest in), and/or buddhism (again something I have NO interest in). If a story doesn’t appeal to me I find it difficult to both understand and retain the information for any length of time. :)

Another thing about conversational thai classes is; I have found it very important that the students are at the approximate same level in terms of speaking, reading, thai for the class to be effective. A wide disparity in ability not only puts untoward pressure on the people with less language skill, often making them reticent to speak out, and or interact in class, as well as holding back the people who have better thai language skills.

The most useful story book for conversational thai which I cam across was a copy someone had of a textbook from Chiang Mai University. It had stories about Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, and a variety of people, places all over the world. Vocabulary was introduced before each story, and then there were a series of questions afterwards. Unfortunately I cannot locate that book anymore. Although someone in Chiang Mai may have better luck in that regard.

I think this is one reason so few schools offer a strictly conversational thai class. If anyone knows a private thai language school that offers a good conversational thai class, please post it on here. :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tod - it's interesting the different perspectives one can have. Personally I prefer subjects more Thai related. To interject words like - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Sherlock Holmes - James Bond etc etc etc.. I consider just a total waste of time. I am sure if I ever have a need to discuss Kennedy with a Thai I will know the "correct" Thai pronounciation.

"Dated" material - 40 some years old.

But thanks for your input.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a plan to find a one-on-one teacher soon for conversation, but I need to find one that is willing to be led by the student rather than impose her own ideas.

My plan is to take both an English and a Thai newspaper to each lesson. I will have her read the Thai paper, and choose a story to discuss with me. I'll also brush up my reading skills by asking her about word/slang I don't know from the paper. After that, I'll choose a story or two from the English paper to try to explain to her in Thai (I'm not going to let her practice her English reading skills, though... :) ) and to generate a conversation.

Anybody got any thoughts on this approach? It's just an idea at the moment. Also, anyone know of a school/teacher that is likely to be open to student-led lessons?

Sw

Edited by SoftWater
Link to post
Share on other sites
My plan is to take both an English and a Thai newspaper to each lesson. I will have her read the Thai paper, and choose a story to discuss with me.

Anybody got any thoughts on this approach? It's just an idea at the moment. Also, anyone know of a school/teacher that is likely to be open to student-led lessons?

Sw

Overall, I've found thai newspapers real ball-busters to read with any real and/or significant comprehension.

The constant use of abbreviations, slang, the many ministries of this and that, the different political parties, and the oh-so many MP's with their mile long names, just make it a tough slog (sometimes even for your average thai as well!!! :D ).

Now there is a b/s paper which comes out every week called; Dara Daily (don't ask me why it’s called a daily paper but released weekly this is thailand remember? :) ). It is only about the thai superstars, singers, and soap opera stars. It's just gossip of who's with who, who was seen with who, who is finished with who, and is quite an easy, fun read as well.

I've gone over articles with my former thai teachers while having coffee and it is both useful and enjoyable. Most of the gossip papers available here are written for the masses, so they use more a ภาษาพื้นๆ writing style.

Of course that's once you get past the english names of the thai dara like Benz, Beam, Bank, Paula & Pancake spelled in thai. :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Review of Thai Language Schools; Addendum AUA

http://www.auathai.com/home.html

I will freely admit my critique of AUA and their methodology has been quite harsh and judgmental. I think it was due to several factors.

When I first went to AUA and sat in on a class I knew nothing about the thai language, so needless to say, sitting for an hour watching two thais interact in a language which I knew very few words, was hmmm, shall we say, less than fun :D . I came away with a “deer in the headlites” kind of experience, really quite ‘dazed and confused”. :D

Today I had the chance to return and sit in on another class. I got there during lunch, and I will say it is a BUSY campus, chock full of thais attending english classes. At 1:00PM I went to the thai studies area which is in the very back of the campus on the 3rd floor. I enquired about sitting a ‘free trial’ lesson, and chatted in english with the staff in the office. She placed me in level 5’s class which started at 2:00, so I had another hour to kill. I spent the time wandering the halls looking into the windows of the various thai classes already in progress.

I was a little intimidated in sitting a level 5 class because I didn’t know if my thai was good enough (the memory of the last time I sat a class there came back to haunt me :D ). I went back and asked the office if I could switch to level 3-4. The topic was religion (ugh, again, not my strong suit :D ), BUT I decided to persevere and sit it anyway.

It was one of the most enjoyable hours I’ve spent at ANY thai language school since I started scoping them out. Now maybe that was because I understood everything the teacher talked about, or I knew all of the vocab he wrote on the white board, and was able to follow along with his speed and cadenced of speaking thai quite easily, or perhaps a combination of all of them, I don’t know. There were 5 other students in the class, and it seemed they understood varying degrees of what was being said. Walking out of the class I actually felt I accomplished something, listening to a thai talk for an hour, understanding it, and actually proving to myself that I can understand this language to some degree.

As far as tuition; you’d be hard pressed to find a cheaper school to attend in terms of baht per hour class time (especially if you buy in blocks of hours). I also doubt there’s a thai language school which offers more classes at more times then AUA does as their schedule runs from 7:00AM until 8:00PM M-Th, from 7:00AM until 5:00PM Friday, and 9:00Am until 4:00PM on Saturday. Their teachers are some of the most animated and enthusiastic teachers I’ve ever seen at any school. EVERY class I peered into had teachers miming out things, writing on the white board, using props and the like to facilitate getting the meaning of what they were saying across to the students. It also appeared the students were following along, etc.

After the class I went back to the office to see if I could speak to some students who’d already attended a lot of hours to see if any could really speak thai. Unfortunately due to my “bull in a china shop approach” I made less than a stellar impression on the staff when I asked if I could speak to some current students to see if this was a good method or just b/s. Sadly no students were there to ‘interview’, but David Long was gracious enough to make the time and chat with me for a few minutes. In my conversation with him I can say without a doubt he is a firm believer in AUA’s ALG methodology (no shocker there!!). He is definitely engaging and able to convey what he perceives to be the merits of the ALG system. I asked him why they didn’t concentrate more on the E/D visa aspect like most private thai language schools, and he said that was by design. Their criteria for assisting in securing an E/D visa I think is attending class 30 hours a week as opposed to most schools using the MOE minimum of 4. I would like to sit in on the reading/writing thai class to see if my level is sufficient to under take study in those areas at AUA, but didn’t have the time today.

I also would like to have spoken to some new students to see if they were getting their “bang-4-the-baht” in terms of learning, but I’ll hafta save that for another day.

Does the ALG method work, I’ll leave that for you to decide yourself.

For myself, and what I got out of it; after already understanding quite a lot of spoken thai, I can say it was well worth the time, and I strongly urge ANYONE who understands even rudimentary thai to attend their free class to see if you can increase your comprehension in spoken thai. I think it would be especially advantageous to students who are at the “hump”, where you can understand some things, yet when the topic veers off the script you’re lost. I’ll definitely be returning to the school, because I found it was such a positive reinforcement to my listening and comprehension of spoken thai, and I need all the help I can get in that area. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...