Language School information

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by daveg, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Hi! I'm new to both the forum and to Thailand. I'm here as part of my RTW trip but plan on spending the bulk of my days in SE Asia as I can't leave until the weather warms up in central Asia. I've skimmed quite a bit of the forum and read most of the site and really appreciate all the info ya'll put out there. You can check out my blog here:

    Unfortunately I didn't realize how inexpensive air freight was until reading a few posts on this board.... hindsight 20/20, right? ANyway, I'm stuck waiting for my bike to arrive via RoRo from the USA and want to take atleast one of my 3 months here studying at a language school.

    My original plan was to go up to Chang Mai and study because I want to stay in a smaller and more manageable city than Bangkok, but I've since learned that it is just as hectic. Any of you have any suggestions? It'd also be great if it were at higher elevation to experience a bit of cooler weather.

    Any ideas?
  2. Hi Dave,
    As a regular vistor to Chiang Mai for the last 5 years and now a resident for 2 months I can say that you definately cannot compare Bangkok and CM in terms of 'hecticness'. Sometimes there is busy rush hour traffic, but even this can be avoided when you know the place. I always found visits to BKK tiring and visits to CM refreshing. As for language school, they are certainly here but I do not know them, I am sure someone else will help you there. Best wishes for your visit and please make contact with the motorcy community up here. People always willing to meet up and chat about bikes and biking.
  3. Welcome to the GT Rider forum.

    That was a good plan.

    You've been mis-informed.

    I suggest you stick with the original plan. - Sorry, I can't help re: language schools either.
  4. Hi Dave, I could give you some recommendations with a thai language course since I'm working as a german and english teacher at a school that offers them.
    But I'm down here in Phuket - it's probably easier to find a school in CM than changing your plans from north to south.
    Anyways, what bike did you ship?
  5. As a long time resident of Chiang Mai I do find it more and and more hectic, the the point now where it is just as hectic as Bangkok over the winter months when travelers (mostly Thai) flock here for the cold (cool) weather. The big difference is that the insanity is limited to a area about 10km across and 20 minutes in any direction gets you out of it. Where as Bangkok the city and city lifestyle just never seems to end. It is pretty nice up here if you manage to stay slightly out of the city.

    There are a ton of language schools up here, I can't recommend anything in particular though I have heard good things about Payap University's language course and I took a quick one at AUA that I enjoyed.

    Other schools seem to be having problems right now. I would urge you to do your research carefully before choosing a school.

    In my humble opinion though the best way to learn Thai is a little school and a lot of riding, once you get out of the city you are pretty much forced to practice your Thai and it is wonderful.
  6. Thanks ya'll for the replies. Sounds like CM is the place to do it as the craziness can be managed. I'm in Ranong right now, which is super peaceful and relaxed. I really like it here and may stay here for a bit if one of my language school hookups works out. I really would like a good teacher, not just someone who's qualified because they're fluent. I'm fluent in English and I sure as hell couldn't teach it well.

    I think it'd be fun to take a cookery class and CM seems like that is the place as well.

    I'm riding a Suzuki DRZ 400 S that is quite modified for the trip: upgraded lights/luggage/suspension/chain oiler/protectors. She should be in Thailand in a few weeks.

  7. I did the three courses at the AUA near Thapae Gate, doesn't get yotally fluent but got me started OK, can communicate in Thai most anywhere although the more they get used to my bad tones the easier can understand me. Of course it helps that my wife doesn't speak English so have to speak more bloody Thai these days than English. But that course wasn't too hard, although teachers can vary, but if want fluency will need extra later. Other courses around now over Nimmenhemin way that go all the way so to speak, but I believe much more expensive than the old AUA.

    Another guy I know couldn't speak much Thai years ago, but now speaks it better than me, he just taught himself out of a book and practiced a lot.
  8. Bangkok is one of the best large cities in the world in terms of quality of life. The operative words are "large city", but if you can get past that, there's not a better one to be in.

    The advantage of AUA, which is located right on the BTS Rachadamri stop, is that you do not have to adhere to a specific schedule. You buy "hours" and can attend classes at your level any time from 0900 to 2000, Monday through Friday, and a more limited schedule on Saturday. The classroom sessions are very entertaining and enjoyable.

    The possible down side of AUA is that there is no actual teaching curriculum, so if you are somewhat of a traditional learner, and want to be exposed to grammar and structure and so forth, you won't get it from AUA. You can, however, do some of that work on your own with some excellent Thai grammar books on the market.

    A month invested in ANY learning experience would be, IMHO, a good investment. Have fun. (Hai sanook).

  9. fixed cause no way is (central) bkk what you described

    yes have lived there, only 18 mths but that was more than enough. :D
  10. Update to my Language classes: I ended up staying in Bangkok because my shipper kept saying I'd get the motorcycle "next week" which turned into the next and so forth...

    In Bangkok, I studied at NISA Thai Language School:
    It was great. I had a very good and dynamic teacher for private tutoring. She was able to speak english so she could clearly explain things to me but did a good job of forcing me to speak as much Thai as possible. I studied for 3 weeks at 2 hours a day and feel that I can now be very polite and slightly useful in Thai. The location is good as there are many inexpensive and quality guest houses/hotels in the area. I stayed at Penguin House which I love even though the front desk guy is always grumpy.
  11. I tried the AUA method and it didn't work for me. I think the only way this method works (learning through listening alone) is if you go at least 4 times a week 2 or more hours a day. I have a full time job, so that is impossible for me.

    The website says you should not try to speak until you've atended several hundred hours of the course, yet the instructors constantly ask annoying questions to people in the class. We're not supposed to speak in the early stages of learning, yet they ask us questions every session.
  12. Daveg I recommend YMCA language school at Chiangmai near big shopping centre near moat - ( Kade som kaew ). M - W - F....1000 hrs to 1200 hrs for 5 weeks each level ......1 to 8 levels for 1600 baht each level.

    Cheers Ken F

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