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Thai language for foreigners - 1 year (2 semesters) University Program?


Trek800

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I have been looking for a university in Thailand where they have one year Thai Language program for foreign students. And so far I have only found such course in Udon Thani Rajabhat University. Does anyone here know is there any other Universities/Colleges in the Kingdom who offer something similar?

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checking out the uni programs is all good, but if you really want to learn Thai language, the very last thing I would recommend is studying at a university. I've experienced both (2 universities and 5 private language schools) and there is absolutely no comparison. And if a visa is part of the issue, you can also get a visa from proper private schools.
I only have experience with private schools in Bangkok. I would recommend Union Language School first. After that, I would recommend Unity Thai Language School (who "appropriated" Union Language School's system a number of years ago and started their own school). I think your progress in the language at one of those schools as compared to a university will be dramatically different.

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Hey, those UDRU girls are hot, hot, hot and very reasonable....I'm taking a course at a private school and the biggest negative is that the course is taught in English, but there are a few non-NES in the class, besides the teacher...and you thought fingernails across the blackboard was bad....one of the guys is a good dude, while the other one wears dirty circus pants, has bad BO, and is a devought communist from Eastern Europe.

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On 8.3.2017 at 5:18 PM, Sig said:

checking out the uni programs is all good, but if you really want to learn Thai language, the very last thing I would recommend is studying at a university. I've experienced both (2 universities and 5 private language schools) and there is absolutely no comparison. And if a visa is part of the issue, you can also get a visa from proper private schools.
I only have experience with private schools in Bangkok. I would recommend Union Language School first. After that, I would recommend Unity Thai Language School (who "appropriated" Union Language School's system a number of years ago and started their own school). I think your progress in the language at one of those schools as compared to a university will be dramatically different.

What´s the advantage / added value of joining UTLS after attending a Union LS for half a year or so. Genuinely interested to hear your insight and experience with that approach!

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On 3/14/2017 at 7:57 PM, DUS said:

What´s the advantage / added value of joining UTLS after attending a Union LS for half a year or so. Genuinely interested to hear your insight and experience with that approach!

Sorry, I don't understand your question.
I didn't attend ULS for half a year or so. Are you saying that you did? and are wondering what the value of joining UTL would be after that?
I attended private schools for a couple of months to I think about 4 months on various visits, years apart.
But if I understand the gist of your question, I don't see that there would be any particular advantage unless there were a teacher that suited you better at one place over the other. Location to where I was staying was one reason I chose one over the other. I used UTL, which I could walk to. If I had to do it over, I'd take the train to ULS. Mostly because I found the attitudes at ULS MUCH easier to live with.
My main point was to not waste time in university language learning if at all possible.

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1 hour ago, Sig said:

Sorry, I don't understand your question.

I obviously misinterpreted your "I would recommend Union Language School first. After that, I would recommend Unity Thai Language School (who "appropriated" Union Language School's system a number of years ago and started their own school)". Thought you´d recommended using these different teaching approaches in consecutive order rather than your first choice of school being Union LS and your second choice being Unity.

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Any chance someone here have taken this Thai Language for Foreigners in UDRU? And can write little bit how was it.

Main reason Im considering taking it is that I want to have an experience what its like to study in real Thai university.

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On 6/25/2017 at 0:02 PM, Trek800 said:

Any chance someone here have taken this Thai Language for Foreigners in UDRU? And can write little bit how was it.

Main reason Im considering taking it is that I want to have an experience what its like to study in real Thai university.

What is UDRU?
As for studying in a "real Thai university", I guess it would depend on what you are studying. But I would be extremely wary and research the exact department very well before you join the place. I did waste 4 years at one of the top universities in Thailand. I needed a bachelor's degree for some other silly requirements to be fulfilled before doing graduate studies in fields I needed. Those were some of the worst years of my life (this is recent, having finished that grotesque exercise within the last couple of years) an absolute and utter waste of time with a bunch of professors who... I won't go into details. I think you get the picture. I was not the only one. Virtually every single foreign student I met in the university was disgusted to the nth degree. From incompetence to corruption, it ran the gamut. Specifically, I would NEVER recommend studying a foreign language at a university. I can't hardly think of a more useless idea. Focus on language studies at a private language school, not in a university that puts all sorts of other silly requirements on you (requirements of physical education classes, social studies classes, science classes, etc. etc...). It is total nonsense. And as for Thai universities in particular, in my experience and many of whom I've spoken with, including professors, the international programs are the worst of the bunch. International programs are often created to bring in money for the university and the programs are dumbed down significantly. I had a number of classes in which some of the Thai students could hardly understand the lecturer! And they dumb it down accordingly. But they sure did put together a great sounding curriculum! I could go on and on and on about the many insanities that I witnessed. One last point is that as a foreigner, you will not be treated equally by any stretch of the imagination. I've seen seemingly endless examples of extremely unfair treatment of foreign students in order to let Thai students gain advantage, whether scholarships, grading, doctoral dissertation fraud, cheating on exams, or something as silly as attendance record manipulation. It is very extensive. And if I witnessed all of these things in a top university of this country.... well... I can only imagine how wide spread it is.
Whatever UDRU is... if it is a Thai university, I would avoid it like the plague.

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On 12/07/2017 at 0:35 AM, Sig said:

What is UDRU?
As for studying in a "real Thai university", I guess it would depend on what you are studying. But I would be extremely wary and research the exact department very well before you join the place. I did waste 4 years at one of the top universities in Thailand. I needed a bachelor's degree for some other silly requirements to be fulfilled before doing graduate studies in fields I needed. Those were some of the worst years of my life (this is recent, having finished that grotesque exercise within the last couple of years) an absolute and utter waste of time with a bunch of professors who... I won't go into details. I think you get the picture. I was not the only one. Virtually every single foreign student I met in the university was disgusted to the nth degree. From incompetence to corruption, it ran the gamut. Specifically, I would NEVER recommend studying a foreign language at a university. I can't hardly think of a more useless idea. Focus on language studies at a private language school, not in a university that puts all sorts of other silly requirements on you (requirements of physical education classes, social studies classes, science classes, etc. etc...). It is total nonsense. And as for Thai universities in particular, in my experience and many of whom I've spoken with, including professors, the international programs are the worst of the bunch. International programs are often created to bring in money for the university and the programs are dumbed down significantly. I had a number of classes in which some of the Thai students could hardly understand the lecturer! And they dumb it down accordingly. But they sure did put together a great sounding curriculum! I could go on and on and on about the many insanities that I witnessed. One last point is that as a foreigner, you will not be treated equally by any stretch of the imagination. I've seen seemingly endless examples of extremely unfair treatment of foreign students in order to let Thai students gain advantage, whether scholarships, grading, doctoral dissertation fraud, cheating on exams, or something as silly as attendance record manipulation. It is very extensive. And if I witnessed all of these things in a top university of this country.... well... I can only imagine how wide spread it is.
Whatever UDRU is... if it is a Thai university, I would avoid it like the plague.

UDRU =  Udon Thani Rajabhat University

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/12/2017 at 0:35 AM, Sig said:

What is UDRU?
As for studying in a "real Thai university", I guess it would depend on what you are studying. But I would be extremely wary and research the exact department very well before you join the place. I did waste 4 years at one of the top universities in Thailand. I needed a bachelor's degree for some other silly requirements to be fulfilled before doing graduate studies in fields I needed. Those were some of the worst years of my life (this is recent, having finished that grotesque exercise within the last couple of years) an absolute and utter waste of time with a bunch of professors who... I won't go into details. I think you get the picture. I was not the only one. Virtually every single foreign student I met in the university was disgusted to the nth degree. From incompetence to corruption, it ran the gamut. Specifically, I would NEVER recommend studying a foreign language at a university. I can't hardly think of a more useless idea. Focus on language studies at a private language school, not in a university that puts all sorts of other silly requirements on you (requirements of physical education classes, social studies classes, science classes, etc. etc...). It is total nonsense. And as for Thai universities in particular, in my experience and many of whom I've spoken with, including professors, the international programs are the worst of the bunch. International programs are often created to bring in money for the university and the programs are dumbed down significantly. I had a number of classes in which some of the Thai students could hardly understand the lecturer! And they dumb it down accordingly. But they sure did put together a great sounding curriculum! I could go on and on and on about the many insanities that I witnessed. One last point is that as a foreigner, you will not be treated equally by any stretch of the imagination. I've seen seemingly endless examples of extremely unfair treatment of foreign students in order to let Thai students gain advantage, whether scholarships, grading, doctoral dissertation fraud, cheating on exams, or something as silly as attendance record manipulation. It is very extensive. And if I witnessed all of these things in a top university of this country.... well... I can only imagine how wide spread it is.
Whatever UDRU is... if it is a Thai university, I would avoid it like the plague.

Actually, I think, there's a big difference between International Studies for a  -whatever- bachelor and International Thai language programs.

 

In Payap, the only Thai in the class is the teacher, all students are foreigners. Despite its Christian roots, they don't bother you with that Christian bull.sh.

As said before, Chiang Mai University is only second choice.

 

Chulalongkorn is also said to offer a good Thai course, but they seem to be one of the thoughest schools. Their language exam, however, is well accepted. http://womenlearnthai.com/index.php/chulas-thai-test-for-foreigners-cu-tfl/

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On 8/20/2017 at 5:29 PM, BernieOnTour said:

Actually, I think, there's a big difference between International Studies for a  -whatever- bachelor and International Thai language programs.

 

In Payap, the only Thai in the class is the teacher, all students are foreigners. Despite its Christian roots, they don't bother you with that Christian bull.sh.

As said before, Chiang Mai University is only second choice.

 

Chulalongkorn is also said to offer a good Thai course, but they seem to be one of the thoughest schools. Their language exam, however, is well accepted. http://womenlearnthai.com/index.php/chulas-thai-test-for-foreigners-cu-tfl/

I think I may have confused you by mentioning both the international program I was in for Thai language for foreigners and then I mentioned classes with Thai students. The classes with Thai students were classes for the minor degree I was also studying alongside my major of Thai language for foreigners. The international program of Thai language for foreigners was actually even worse. The professors were all academics who were experts in Thai language, Sanskrit, or linguistics. NONE of them had any expertise at all in teaching Thai language to foreigners, which is a completely different field in itself. There are massive differences in theory, curriculum, and etc. They were pretty much clueless. And the curriculum that was "developed" was not so bad in its description, but in practice it was a joke. One will learn much better in a private language school, assuming it isn't one of the typical ones that operates pretty much like the universities and nobody has training in teaching language as a second language, and in particular Thai as a second language. There are very few who have such training. I only know about one university that has a program to teach prospective Thai teachers this specifically, although of course there may be more as this area of study is gaining more demand.
I didn't know Payap and CMU had bachelor's degrees for Thai language for foreigners. Perhaps they are new programs. Back when I studied, the field was extremely limited and most universities that had anything at all for teaching foreigner's Thai language only had short programs that nowhere came near to any kind of 4 year bachelor's program. Some had "Thai Studies" programs with some Thai language classes sprinkled in. The last I heard, Chula didn't have a bachelor's program in it either, although they do have a couple of programs for foreigners who want to learn some Thai. But they stress the same thing... they say that their professors are experts in Thai language and linguistics. This sadly misses the needed requirements for teaching a language as a second language. But I know that they are currently trying to develop these things. It is just that this field is in its infancy in Thailand. And being that the education system is the way it is here... that infancy might last a long time!
By the way, that test of Thai language proficiency that you linked to is just how the writer explained it! It is no walk in the park!! I have also taken the CU-TEP (Chula Test of English Proficiency). It wasn't so easy either, but it was a lot easier than the CU-TFL (their test of Thai as a foreign language)! The CU-TFL will have you sweating bullets! People think their Thai is pretty good until they take that test!
By the way, not everyone thinks Christian stuff is "bull.sh.", even non-Christians who have done any kind of serious study and don't just listen to the nonsense put out in the media and other less scholarly books, respect the scholarship in Christendom and can respect other people's faith, whether Christian or Buddhist or whatever.... just sayin....
Good luck with your studies! (assuming you're still studying...)

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  • 11 months later...

Trek800 and BernieOnTour - this thread from last year is very helpful in my school search. I am starting my second year of a half-a** private school; I will go to a Thai University for a year next fall.

 

Where should I go?

 

UDRT seems extremely well qualified to meet my individual needs, but are the Thai language classes any good?

 

Please tell me more about Payap. Are the Thai language classes any good?

 

Any other thoughts on schools?

 

Many thanks!

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On 8/22/2018 at 11:50 AM, SuperTed said:

Trek800 and BernieOnTour - this thread from last year is very helpful in my school search. I am starting my second year of a half-a** private school; I will go to a Thai University for a year next fall.

 

Where should I go?

 

UDRT seems extremely well qualified to meet my individual needs, but are the Thai language classes any good?

 

Please tell me more about Payap. Are the Thai language classes any good?

 

Any other thoughts on schools?

 

Many thanks!

 

just my 10 pence on Payap ...

 

IMO the teachers are good and committed.

The focus is on official, if not: formal, Thai.

 

Payap -and, I wouldn't be astonished, if that's the same in other Universities and of cause, also a lot of the ED-Visa-oriented schools- has IMO one big problem:

The number and background of students in a class.

There are several reasons for that, e.g.:

- it's popularity and fame

- a high influx of mainland Chinese wanting to study at the relatively cheap Thai universities 

 

That leads to several effects:

1) Classes of 18/19/20 students, even on the first conversation levels with Thai transliteration 

2) Chinese attending Thai classes based on English, where the Chinese do not even have an A1/A2 level in English (when I stopped at level 4 at Payap, they where considering Mandarin-based Thai classes, so maybe, this has improved in the meantime)

3) Very different commitment and pre-knowledge to learn Thai, combined with mother-language-specific problems in Thai of American, Chinese, Korean, French, German, Swiss students ...

4) Due to the different commitment and "ability", the student-to-student conversation exercises are totally ineffective and might even increase your shortcomings 

 

No matter, how good a teacher is, she/he has no chance to improve your shortcomings in speaking Thai in a class of 20.

IMO, 8 students would be the absolute maximum.

On the other hand, you can learn at Payap a lot of vocabulary and Thai grammar constructs in a relatively short amount of time. 

The Thai reading and writing lessons (level 3 and up) are methodical and good.

 

I am currently "de-learning" Thai and have restarted from the scratch (level 1 ? ) in a class of 7 students in AUA Chiang Mai (different teaching paradigm to AUA Bangkok !). All of the vocabulary, I am currently learning, I know somehow from Payap. The number of words and constructs are less than at Payap, but the exercises and interaction are more intensive. However - immusical, as I am, I haven't "stored" the words in the right "tone drawers" and am always using the wrong tones. Fortunately, the class is small enough, so that the teacher often corrected me. After 2-3 weeks, I realized from that, I needed to put more effort into pronunciation - and I booked 1 daily  1-to-1 lesson additional with my teacher, concentrating only on correct pronounciation. 555 the poor teacher has a hard time, but it's the first time of my life, I can differentiate without context, if maa means dog, horse or to come, based on the tones.

 

Learning from this experience, if I would be again in the situation to learn Thai at level 1 at Payap, I would immediately try to book at least a block of 10 hours (1 per day) additional  1:1-lessons, if not more..., concentrating on pronounciation.

 

P.S. In case you plan to enroll at Payap, do it early - the first two levels fill up fast!

 

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