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Starting to learn Thai


OleKingCole

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After my recent and first visit to Thailand just recently, I decided that I really do need now to make a serious effort at learning the language. I had bought a few books, but they didn't seem to work for me. A number of reasons but mainly because I am not programmed to work that way and am very erratic in my learning. I need an externally imposed discipline. I looked on Google to see if there are any classes or tutors in my area, but no luck really. I did however come across the web site in the description of this topic.

 

It seems pretty good.

 

The lady, Mia, teaches by Skype video conferencing. A couple of emails and a skype video chat established my likely needs and competence (zero at the moment) She is a Thai lady, teaching qualifications and experience and fluent English. The routine is each week, I get a lesson with points of grammar, vocab etc sent by email. A few days later our weekly hour long VDO meeting. All for US$25 a lesson. Now I consider that to be very inexpensive and seems to be what I need. I will keep BMs informed of how it goes, but it seems really good so far. Having the weekly lesson does mean, I have to do the studying in between. I have a Thai native speaker checking and correcting my pronounciation and use of tones, which can't of course happen with books or CDs

But...what do I know?

 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

- Voltaire

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It sounds like an interesting approach. Information technology has opened all kinds of interesting possibilities compared to when I first learned with books and cassettes back in the 80's. I also think it's cheaper now than it was back then, I seem to remember paying somewhere around £150 for a Linguaphone Thai Course in 1988. I also love the idea of having live feedback via Skype, tape and mp3 based courses miss out in this area. Looking forward to your updates

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

The truth is immortal but people who speak it aren't - Thai proverb

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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It sounds like an interesting approach. Information technology has opened all kinds of interesting possibilities compared to when I first learned with books and cassettes back in the 80's. I also think it's cheaper now than it was back then, I seem to remember paying somewhere around £150 for a Linguaphone Thai Course in 1988. I also love the idea of having live feedback via Skype, tape and mp3 based courses miss out in this area. Looking forward to your updates

 

Couple of interesting twists on it.

 

My laptop has built in webcam etc so is obvious choice to use, but the VDO call did keep breaking up during lesson yesterday. Immediately afterwards did a speed test on it and it was only achieving 1.2 ish dl speed, though 5 u/l speed. Immediately testing desktop connection, 35 d/l and 7 u/l (don't you just love BT infinity) So have had to go out and buy webcam etc to use with desktop. The reason for the slow laptop speed, I think (I use ethernet connection) is that I use it for an animal rescue centre web site that I run as my contribution to charity and it is jam packed with zillions of animal pics, reckon the resources or fully used up. The desktop, running linux is very streamlined though as old as the hills. I suggest to anyone considering this learning method, check the stability and speed of Skype connection.

 

Secong point, the teacher is at present on holiday in Europe, but it doesn't affect the scheduling of our lessons, except to the extent that it needs to be within waking hours!

But...what do I know?

 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

- Voltaire

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It will be interesting to hear how the Skype lessons go. Some kind of live feedback is important. I remember when I started learning that using tapes meant that I had no direct feedback as to how I was progressing. It does a lot for your confidence to actually communicate rather than just repeat. In the end I paid a Thai to come over once a week to go over the previous weeks study with me.

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

The truth is immortal but people who speak it aren't - Thai proverb

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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I'm also interested in how your Skype lessons go. I'm assuming your teacher's english is good as well? I've had a couple tutors over the years and definitely progressed more with the ones that spoke both languages fluently. Otherwise you miss a lot of the nuances.

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I'm also interested in how your Skype lessons go. I'm assuming your teacher's english is good as well? I've had a couple tutors over the years and definitely progressed more with the ones that spoke both languages fluently. Otherwise you miss a lot of the nuances.

 

Her English is virtually fluent, she, apparently lived for 5 years in US (which is why I said virtually). Not sure about her French, when I spoke to her she was in France for a while, visiting a friend!

But...what do I know?

 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

- Voltaire

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This will be a good test. When I was a young man I was very good at languages. Now though the brain is not so quick

But...what do I know?

 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

- Voltaire

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Haha, yeah. I wish my parent had put me in an immersion program when I was younger.

 

Are you using any memory software, like Anki? It helps a lot with vocabulary.

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Just had my first full face to face lesson.

 

My brain aches. In a class, you get a proportion of the teacher's time. In these one to ones, with the web cam, you have her full attention every minute of the hour with her listening very carefully to every nuance of what you say and studying the way you form the sounds with your mouth etc. No where to hide.

 

She was able to determine very quickly my preferred learning style, visual, so she then used visual cues a lot to work on my tones etc.

 

We did a lot of work on the three difficult consonants, bp, dt and ng etc as well as tone practice using certain words that we ended by putting into sentences (OK very simple ones Are you going, No, I'm not going and yes I am going, thereby introducing some simple grammar) She also taught me the fish, snake and turtle consonants (bpor, ngor and dtor) and recorded part of the lesson to send me for practice before next time.

 

Having been the Headteacher of a medium sized school in my preretirement existence, I am quite good at analysing and assessing teachers' skills and styles - just one of those things you do - I rate her quite highly in her rapid assessments of my strengths and weaknesses and adapting her teaching to match.

 

Think I am going to progress quite well.

 

Will continue this review after a few more lessons, but on present form, if you are looking to start learning Thai, I really do recommend this lady, Mia

But...what do I know?

 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

- Voltaire

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Happy to hear that your first experience of this approach was a good one.

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

The truth is immortal but people who speak it aren't - Thai proverb

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Happy to hear that your first experience of this approach was a good one.

 

Had a few lessons now. Just finished latest. We started and had to abandon for an hour as I was a bit groggy. (blood sugar still not properly under control since return to UK).

 

I'm on 3 lessons a week. That's because, being an old fart, my brain is slow at the best of times.

 

One problem with the VDO stuff is that there is nowhere to hide. When we are in the review of previous lessons part, I can't secretly look at crib sheets!

 

We have covered a few consonants now as well as one or 2 vowels and today, with the introduction of hau-heeb I wrote my first sentence totally in Thai script. "I go to look for grandfather" I was really proud of that. She is also teaching me aspects of writing as we go along, today it was the idea of high class consonant with no consonant sound at the end of the syllable giving a rising tone. Did numbers as well, I am totally confident in counting up into the thousands and our role play at the end was me buying pens off her in a market and arguing the price. She wanted to charge me 3000 for a pen but I managed to beat her down to 250.

 

Great fun, but it is very intensive.

 

Will keep you updated

But...what do I know?

 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

- Voltaire

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Sounds like she is setting quite a pace. I didn't attempt to learn any Thai script until after the first month of studying.

 

I think that limiting the lessons is a good idea regardless of age. I never studied more than 30 minutes per day. That way I stayed keen and remembered what I'd learned.

         ความจริงเป็นสิ่งที่ไม่ตายแต่คนพูดความจริงอาจจะตาย                 

The truth is immortal but people who speak it aren't - Thai proverb

Karl's Thailand - My YouTube Channel

 

 

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Started using maanii the children's reading book online version today

 

Maanii has eyes, the crow has eyes, uncle has eyes Using that to learn a new vowel and couple of new consonant with my teacher working on my pronounciation. I am really enjoying this, but have been set some tough home work!!

 

The thing about having the frequent lessons is that I have less to learn each time and have my learning checked frequently before I get bad habits fixed. ( He says) Good job I am retired and have the time during the day!

But...what do I know?

 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

- Voltaire

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manii, that kid has problems, hangs round with crab and a crow.

 

Oh I misread it, I thought it said Maanii has crabs, then something about her uncle's snake in the field. So it's not a sleazy novel after all

But...what do I know?

 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

- Voltaire

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  • 2 weeks later...

After my recent and first visit to Thailand just recently, I decided that I really do need now to make a serious effort at learning the language. I had bought a few books, but they didn't seem to work for me. A number of reasons but mainly because I am not programmed to work that way and am very erratic in my learning. I need an externally imposed discipline. I looked on Google to see if there are any classes or tutors in my area, but no luck really. I did however come across the web site in the description of this topic.

 

It seems pretty good.

 

The lady, Mia, teaches by Skype video conferencing. A couple of emails and a skype video chat established my likely needs and competence (zero at the moment) She is a Thai lady, teaching qualifications and experience and fluent English. The routine is each week, I get a lesson with points of grammar, vocab etc sent by email. A few days later our weekly hour long VDO meeting. All for US$25 a lesson. Now I consider that to be very inexpensive and seems to be what I need. I will keep BMs informed of how it goes, but it seems really good so far. Having the weekly lesson does mean, I have to do the studying in between. I have a Thai native speaker checking and correcting my pronounciation and use of tones, which can't of course happen with books or CDs

pass me the address , i also love to learn thai but no lessons in california , i search all over! 25dollars i can afford that!

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pass me the address , i also love to learn thai but no lessons in california , i search all over! 25dollars i can afford that!

 

http://www.learn2speakthai.net/index.html

But...what do I know?

 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

- Voltaire

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