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BANGKOK 19 April 2019 08:19
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rpentland

AUA Language School

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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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100 hours will not entitle you to a 12 month visa. You have to do 4 hrs a week minimum for that and that is about 180 a year.

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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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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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