Levels of Learning
Learning to speak and read/ Adjusting the Basic
- Uses English transliteration to learn the Precise Sound of the Thai Sound System (Tones, Ending sounds, Consonants, and Vowel sounds). Students can choose to continue the lesson with the Thai script afterward easily and accurately.
- Students learn various situations based on Basic Thai conversation to be able to survive alone in Thailand. Later students can pick a subject interesting to them, but I will also suggest if they prefer.
- The focus is on sentence structure and the pronunciation of tones.
For students who are able to speak and read
- Uses Thai script only, no English transliteration
- For each lesson, the student picks a subject interesting to them, but I will suggest if they prefer.
- Students paste Thai phrases about subjects interesting to them into our interactive whiteboard and I correct the mistakes, explaining grammar if necessary. I also create sentences patterns for students to work with
- Conversations are practiced toward the end of the class.
- For homework, students study the new phrases and vocabulary, create sentences using sentence patterns, and prepare new sentences for the next class.
- Preparations for The Thai Competency Test (Minister of Education of Thailand) The Thai Permanent Residency Interview (The Royal Thai Immigration Bureau) The Thai Nationality Interview (Minister of Interior of Thailand)
For Proficient speaker and reader
- For conversation, we talk on a variety of topics occurring in real life situations with Thai people. We also discuss current events.
- I find that students at this level are more interested in the different usages of words having almost the same meaning, but not quite. Learning how to use these types of words correctly helps students sound more fluent in Thai.
- Advanced students are often perfectionists, so we spend the time needed to iron out the small details of the Thai language.
- For reading and writing, we read real news and websites. We also write stories, letters, emails, and more.
My online Skype lessons are 55 minutes long. I advise beginning Thai students to sign up for a minimum of two lessons a week for six months straight (canceling lessons does not count). For those who do not have pressing engagements (work, school, etc), three to five lessons three times a week is preferable. After six months of learning regularly, or when both of us feel they are comfortable with the Thai language, lessons can be cut back to once-a-week maintenance mode.
To get the most out of the course, students are expected to study 2-3 hours on their own for every 55 minutes of Thai lesson with me.
For all levels, I create exercises to strengthen reading and comprehension skills based on their lives (stories about themselves, their friends, and their family). I also add real-life reading materials (menus, street signs, etc). A part of the class is spent discussing the reading materials. Advanced students graduate to the more difficult Thai newspapers and magazines.
If requested I keep 15 minutes spare at the end of the class to rerecord any key elements discussed during the lesson (vocabulary, phrases, etc). Doing this benefits both Skype and face-to-face students.
With writing lessons my students use Skype’s chat box, typing in Thai. For handwriting, they can show their finished work to me to correct, but to save them money, I prefer that my students practice on their own using children’s books.
And I’d like to take this time to point out that I’m the queen of time-saving strategies. I don’t like to waste time, so whatever I can assign my students to do in their own time, I do. Especially as it’ll save their Thai study budget. I’d rather have my students come to me for the heart, the secret, the real tips for learning the Thai language. It is more important for me to have Thai students who are no longer with me because successful students become my public relations people :-)
Every learner has their own gems inside. It is up to the teacher to find and polish those gems. To do that, the teacher must adjust their teaching style to match the student’s learning style.