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Hi all....

Apologies if this isn't the correct forum to post, am a newbie here.

I have recently enrolled at the AUA Language School, and paperwork is on it's way to me here in the UK, so all is good in that respect.

However, to be brutally honest - I chose AUA as it was the cheapest option to both pay for lessons (100 hrs), and enables me to get an ED Visa for that price - so was actually a bargain as opposed to other schools asking as much as 50,000 Thb.

My post, however, is to find out if anyone here either has, or is studying at this school, and if so, would you care to venture any feedback to me?

Negative or positive facts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

RP.

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I didn't know about this previously, to be honest.

However, they have been really helpful and productive, and have been notified that my papers are on way today! :)

They do two Ed Visa Packages, Silver and Gold - I opted for Silver (Approx. 13,000 thb) purely because of cost at the moment - but if the school is good - then will upgrade after my three months are up.

**Also wondering - is it possible to change my student visa to a Non B visa and work permit if I found decent employment without a visa run?**

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AUA qualtiy and even teaching approach differs from branch to branch, so it would be useful to let us know where you are actually studying.

CM has a good name, but even there the quality of the teachers is hit-and-miss. some are extrarordinary good teachers and pleasant characters, others are perfectly forgettable...

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I didn't know about this previously, to be honest.

However, they have been really helpful and productive, and have been notified that my papers are on way today! smile.png

They do two Ed Visa Packages, Silver and Gold - I opted for Silver (Approx. 13,000 thb) purely because of cost at the moment - but if the school is good - then will upgrade after my three months are up.

**Also wondering - is it possible to change my student visa to a Non B visa and work permit if I found decent employment without a visa run?**

Normally it is not possible to change from an extension of stay to one based on employment and they will most likely require that you go abroad to obtain a non-B visa.

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AUA qualtiy and even teaching approach differs from branch to branch, so it would be useful to let us know where you are actually studying.

CM has a good name, but even there the quality of the teachers is hit-and-miss. some are extrarordinary good teachers and pleasant characters, others are perfectly forgettable...

Hi,.....Good point - I will be studying at the Chamchuri Square Office buidling - above Silom MRT.

Have been informed that they involve a lot of 'role-playing, etc - which to be honest, isnt exactly my bag!

I am a qualified teacher of some 14 years myself - and know from experience that not all children (students) are comfortable with this method. I mentally squirm when asked to do anything like this!

If anyone has any experiences surrounding this 'alleged' info - would be greatly appreciated!

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if you are same as myself and prefer old-fashioned-style learning (and I was able to adopt five foreign languages that way, including two Asian), then check out utl-school.com . this school has been founded by former teachers of the (hardcore-Christian missionary) union language school.

they apply an old fashioned way of teaching, but do it in a much more relaxed way than those hardcore-missionaries at union language.

they have a very impressive variety of classes and courses at different levels, and the price is very affordable. you might well see me there later this year for another 60-hrs afternoon-course

.

.

Edited by siam2007
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For me personally, I found the old style teaching method, combined with very small class sizes also the most effective way to learn Thai. But, since the thread starter already paid for the course and getting a cheap ED-visa was one of his motives, I think we're too late with this advice. But, I also agree utl-school is a very good and not expensive school. There are other school using the same method, which are (in my opinion) just a good such as piammitr, AAA-thai language school. In the other schools you'll find smaller class sizes.

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For me personally, I found the old style teaching method, combined with very small class sizes also the most effective way to learn Thai. But, since the thread starter already paid for the course and getting a cheap ED-visa was one of his motives, I think we're too late with this advice. But, I also agree utl-school is a very good and not expensive school. There are other school using the same method, which are (in my opinion) just a good such as piammitr, AAA-thai language school. In the other schools you'll find smaller class sizes.

Hi..yes, your'e right - cost and Ed Visa were initially my priority!

Having looked at the video of their classes - to be honest, it doesn't really look like the kind of lesson I would enjoy.

Having said that - I have already paid - and am open minded enough to give most things a try!

Many thanks to all who offered advice and shared their experiences - all comments are very much appreciated!

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Hi..yes, your'e right - cost and Ed Visa were initially my priority!

Having looked at the video of their classes - to be honest, it doesn't really look like the kind of lesson I would enjoy.

Having said that - I have already paid - and am open minded enough to give most things a try!

Many thanks to all who offered advice and shared their experiences - all comments are very much appreciated!

Good to hear that you're going to stick with it for now. I'm planning on studying there next year, and so will be interested in hearing about how it goes for you. I'm likewise a little dubious about their style, but in theory I think it should work well (but maybe take a lot longer, but less work required).

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Hi..yes, your'e right - cost and Ed Visa were initially my priority!

Having looked at the video of their classes - to be honest, it doesn't really look like the kind of lesson I would enjoy.

Having said that - I have already paid - and am open minded enough to give most things a try!

Many thanks to all who offered advice and shared their experiences - all comments are very much appreciated!

Good to hear that you're going to stick with it for now. I'm planning on studying there next year, and so will be interested in hearing about how it goes for you. I'm likewise a little dubious about their style, but in theory I think it should work well (but maybe take a lot longer, but less work required).

To Be honest, as a qualified teacher in the UK of some 14 years....I have learnt that it is not just the older generation that feel uncomfortable with role play etc....maybe a cultural thing? Thais, in my experience love 'slapstick' humour, (Three Stooges, Mr. Bean, etc. etc!)......Sanook Mai? :) LOL!

However,...as a qualified teacher...and myself being uncomfortable with this style of teaching, ..as I said, I will try my best to give it a go...but to be honest, I think it is very unfair to inflict this upon others without knowing also about 'Learning Styles'...and , sadly, from past experience, both teaching and living in Thailand, they have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA ABOUT 'LEARNING STYLES'......so, I think my fears are pretty much well grounded. (Return comments..very much welcome!) R.

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Oh and from what I've read/seen in their videos, you're not really a part of the role plays (as this seems to be what you aren't comfortable about?).

Rather you are just listening to them speak. Which could potentially be done while living in Thailand for free. But the difference is that they will probably speak a little bit more slowly and clearly aswell as using some body language to assist with showing the meaning of words. Thus you learn via listening, and don't actually practice speaking much at all (they'll ask a few questions to the people in the class now and then I think but that's it).

But as I say, I've only looked at the videos and read some information about them, not actually studied there, so could be wrong.

On their website they link to a couple of blogs from their students, they are well worth reading to get a bit more of an idea on the style of the course and what the students think about it.

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My experience of a sample class at AUA Rajadamri. I watched and listened to two people talk about ladyboys in Pattaya while sitting in an absolutely filthy and badly air conditioned room. Everybody involved should have been ashamed of themselves. I left feeling disgusted and dirty.

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You should not go to AUA without knowing what they are doing. AUA Bangkok/Chamchuri Square uses a unique teaching method called ALG (Automatic Language Growth). Watch the video from David Long, the head of the AUA Thai program, first !

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Or visit there website http://algworld.com. Or read the blog of a former class mate of mine, Adam, about his experiences with AUA: http://thaiwithoutstudy.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/introduction-march-2012/

In general expect that it will take at least 1 year, every day at least 3-5 hours to see results.

If you want to learn more about language acquisition in general watch Stephen Krashen:

@ricklev: I went to AUA at Chamchuri Square 6 month (Sep 12 - Mar 13). Non of the rooms is filthy ! The Aircon also works very well. They shut down the Aircon at night so in the early morning it is not yet cool !

About Ladyboys and Pattaya - so what ! I always enjoyed that the teachers talk about each and any Thai related topic openly. It is all part of the Thai culture and AUA also teaches about Thai culture.

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I can only speak for AUA Chiang Mai. I've taken, I think, 4 classes there. I did have help with the 6-month visa from AUA, and it went very smoothly.

teachers: Motivation was above expectation. funny, knowledgeable, and they really have a good heart (jai dii). outside of class, I can tell they are ready to go home and relax.

content: not a lot, but enough for most people who like to spend only 1-2 hours after class studying.

students: you get some that complain (2 out of 20) and some who are totally lost (2) and a few who are above what is being taught (2). The rest are fine. so, overall, I think it's very much like any other classroom.

hand-outs: in course 2, great handouts. much more speaking, smaller classes (5 people), but less correction for pronunciation. I do wish they corrected me more, but it was fine.

homework: easy

overall grade: B+. I felt a lot of classes either ended early, or there was too much dead space during the 2-hour class. However, honestly, i'm not sure how much more I could have absorbed. it didn't feel like a very structured course, but it was absolutely fine. I blame myself for not being a better speaker, writer, and reader of thai. I do feel 4 classes is plenty, and my next courses will be with another outfit. Nonetheless, I think AUA does an above-average job and should be seriously considered.

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Many thanks once again to all who have contributed with some very interesting opinions.

Puukao states that next time he/she will go a different outfit - and that made me wonder.....does that mean having to go outside the country for another ED visa? Or are they not transferable?

I really was sick of visa runs when I lived there last time - and was, on the whole able to avoid them as I once worked at a couple of International schools/universities...so, that said, if I have to stay at AUA - just to avoid another teeth grinding ,mind numbing visa run! :(

Thanks again to all! Much appreciated! Chok dee Na!

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I can only speak for AUA Chiang Mai. I've taken, I think, 4 classes there. I did have help with the 6-month visa from AUA, and it went very smoothly.

teachers: Motivation was above expectation. funny, knowledgeable, and they really have a good heart (jai dii). outside of class, I can tell they are ready to go home and relax.

content: not a lot, but enough for most people who like to spend only 1-2 hours after class studying.

students: you get some that complain (2 out of 20) and some who are totally lost (2) and a few who are above what is being taught (2). The rest are fine. so, overall, I think it's very much like any other classroom.

hand-outs: in course 2, great handouts. much more speaking, smaller classes (5 people), but less correction for pronunciation. I do wish they corrected me more, but it was fine.

homework: easy

overall grade: B+. I felt a lot of classes either ended early, or there was too much dead space during the 2-hour class. However, honestly, i'm not sure how much more I could have absorbed. it didn't feel like a very structured course, but it was absolutely fine. I blame myself for not being a better speaker, writer, and reader of thai. I do feel 4 classes is plenty, and my next courses will be with another outfit. Nonetheless, I think AUA does an above-average job and should be seriously considered.

AUA CiangMai does not use the same system that they use in Bangkok.

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  • 5 months later...

I have attended AUA a bit. Great school, very reasonably priced. The downside is that their method takes a huge time commitment.

Second that. I enjoyed going and the teaching style, but just didn't have the time for the amount of hours you need to put in due to work outside of Thailand.

I should add that it was at AUA Rajadamri, BKK...which has since moved.

Edited by bkksteviejai
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