Review of My Learning Thai Resources

My Thai books

Week 21 of My Six Month Attempt to Learn Thai

My schedule for learning Thai went off the rails during the last 10 days. Last week, my niece come to stay with us, then I picked up a bad cold that put me out of action for 72 hours, and I also started a new job. To be honest, it was actually nice to take a break from studying, and it has put me in a better frame of mind for the last few weeks of this challenge.

I am now down to just two Thai learning activities. I’m using the Glossika with my exercise regime, and I’m preparing for my video. I’ve also cut the time I spend learning Thai down each day to just three hours (it was over five hours for most of the challenge) – I need to make this reduction because of my new work commitments. At the end of the challenge, I intend to continue with one hour of Thai per day.

Seeing as there isn’t much to report back on my recent studies, I thought this would be a good time to talk about the resources I have been using. I’ve spent a fortune on Thai books and courses over the years, but here are the ones that I’ve been using during the last few months.

Pimsleur Thai

I first played around with Pimsleur Thai about six years ago, and I used it during the first week of this challenge just to practice my pronunciation. I do think it is a good course for beginners, but it’s a pity it doesn’t go much beyond the lower intermediate level. It uses an audio spaced-repetition system, and this is the approach I prefer, but I have found Glossika Thai (see below) to be far superior – although it probably isn’t a good option for complete beginners.

Cracking Thai Fundamentals

I would not have made as much progress during the early part of this challenge if it hadn’t been for the help of Stuart Jay Raj – they guy is a phenomenal teacher. I wish that I’d had access to his Cracking Thai Fundamentals course when I first started learning Thai because it would have made things so much easier for me. His course provides instruction on how to reproduce Thai sounds like a native speaker, and his instructions are easy to understand and easy to follow.

Benjawan Poomsan Becker Thai Learning Series

The Benjawan Poomsan Becker books were the first resource I used when I began learning Thai, and I still use them today. I found Thai for Advanced Readers to be perfect for practicing reading out loud, and I listen to the Speak Like a Thai in the car.

Learn Thai Podcast

The Learn Thai Podcast is another resource that I’ve been using for years, and it is most comprehensive course I’ve found – there is something for all levels of language learning. I love the video format and the fact that the material can also be downloaded as audio podcasts for when I’m on the go.

Glossika Thai

I feel so lucky that Glossika Thai became available right at the start of this challenge. It is the resource I’ve used most over the last few months. There are 3,000 audio sentences in this course, and I find the spaced-repetition approach to be the most effective for me. I’ve been creating my own audio sentences tracks, so I can continue with this approach even after I reach the end of the Glossika course (I’d like to have 10,000 sentences eventually).

Websites

I’ve also got a lot of help and encouragement from websites and social media groups including:

Farang Can Learn Thai Facebook Group

A Woman Learning Thai … and some men too
Thai Recordings
Pantip
Glossika Facebook Discussion Group

Other posts in this series on learning Thai

Week 0- My Quest to Speak Fluent Thai in Six Months
Week 1 -Creating the Right Mental Conditions for Learning Thai
Week 2- Maybe Just Getting Out There and Speaking Thai is Not Enough
Week 3 – 5 Improvements in My Approach to Learning Thai
Week 4 – Generating Enough Passion to Learn Thai
Week 5 – Undoing the Damage from Speaking Thai Badly for Thirteen Years
Week 6 – Early Impressions of Glossika Thai Fluency Course
Week 7 – Introverts Can Learn Thai Too
Week 8 – Winning Strategy for Achieving Fluency in Thai
Week 9 – Thai Fluency in 10,000 Sentences
Week 10 – Problems with Staying Focused Prevent Me from Learning Thai
Week 11 – Importance of Cracking Thai Fundamentals
Week 12 – Painful Lessons while Ordering Pizza in Thai
Week 13- If I Can Become Fluent in Thai, So Can Anyone
Week 14 – How I Make Time to Study Thai
Week 15 – Redefining Fluency After Losing My Way While Learning Thai
Week 16 – My Learn Thai Fitness Challenge
Week 17 – Talking about Myself in Thai
Week 18 – No Need to Force Myself to Speak Thai
Week 19 – 5 Factors that Improve My Ability to Learn Thai

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3 thoughts on “Review of My Learning Thai Resources

  1. Well, it appears you’ve amassed quite the pile ‘o learn thai books there Paul. It would also appear you’ve bounced around quite a bit, trying this or that for a while, before you ran out of steam or it sucked the life out of you.

    I see students in thai language schools all the time who’ve attended one school for a few courses, then move to another school, then another one. I’ve coined the term “bouncerz” for them, because they don’t stick with one method or school long enough to know if it’ll work. More importantly they set imaginary roadblocks in their mind about why this or that school, this or that method won’t work or isn’t right for them. The second you stop believing in a methodology it stops working, end of story.

    I’m not saying that applies in your case, I’m pointing out you used a bunch of stuff over the years you’ve been beating your head against the wall tryin’ to learn thai but even you admit you didn’t really make much progress. I believe 100%, the best “method to learn thai” is one that workz for you and one you believe in. Doesn’t matter how much or how little it costs, how slick the program looks or runs; if it works for you it’s the one you’ll stick with and get results from.

    You can beat the drum, toot the horn or pile on the praises for Jcademy and Glossika until the cows come home, but I don’t see they’re that much better or worse than what’s been out out in the marketplace for a while now. They just happen to “work” for you (or you believe they do) so that makes them the methods you need to use.. BTW: I have nothing against either Stu Jay Raj’s Jcademy or Mike Campbell’s Glossika. I’m just not bought off that they’re the “best things since sliced bread” in the learning thai arena is all. Now are they well put together, well marketed, well promoted? Yes, most definitely! Are they good? Quite possibly. Still for me the jury is out only because I’ve never met a single foreigner who spoke thai yet said they learned from either method. Time will tell.

    Face it, there have been NO new innovations in acquiring a second language in a LONG LONG time. The concept of “spaced repetition” has officially been around since 1932 under one guise or the other and Paul Pimsleur called it “graduated interval recall” for his stuff. That would lead me to believe it ain’t new, it ain’t revolutionary and it ain’t all that ground breaking.

    Last time I checked, when learning another language as an adult there’s no short cut, no one best way and certainly no magic pill. It takes time, dedication, effort, some more time, a lot more dedication and way more effort. The “secret” to learning a language boils down to mainly one thing; motivation. After 7+ years studying thai (mostly on my own) I’m of the mind that it’s almost 90 percent motivation and 10 percent methodology. I could send you to the absolute worst thai language school in the world and IF you were really motivated to learn thai, you would, albeit very slowly.

    I applaud your efforts.. Good luck, man.

    The opinions expressed in the above piece are just that; The opinions of Tod Daniels; a dumb hillbilly from Ohio (who also happens to speak, understand, read & type thai). Your mileage and indeed your opinions may vary, which is fine by me. I’m not tryin’ to be well liked, I’m tryin’ to be well known when it comes to learning thai.

    1. Hi Tod, thanks for the comprehensive comment. To be honest,the bouncing around has been all part of the journey for me, and I’ve enjoyed it mostly. Sometimes I get stuck, and I have a bit of a moan, but that’s part of the journey as well.

    2. Lol, I think the exact opposite, I think there`s a `magic bullet` for everything, why? because I`v saw two students with the same level of motivation and the same methods but things end up like that:
      learner 1 learns fast and without worries, things just flow in the way it`s suppose to be, on the other hand, learner 2 constantly seems stuck, he feels mentally tired and stressed every time he tries to learn something despite being motivated and wanting to learn the language badly and is always self-conscious.
      Learner 1 becomes fluent and just lives his life through the language like a normal person, the process was so smooth that he doesn`t even remember how he did it. learner 2 becomes fluent through blood and tears, and make sure to be a dumb downer and let everybody knows how monumentally difficult is to learn that language.

      If it`s all about motivation+method then why he got so many different results from people equally motivated? If `hard work` is the only answer then why we see people like myself who learned one or more languages with little or no conscious effort?

      learning happens inside the brain. The action is important but if a person isn`t processing the information directly into the subconscious, but instead, focusing on mechanical tasks without actually feeling anything (which is actually the great majority of most people`s `hard work`), relating learning with mental stress and tension (which is actually detrimental to learning), and over thinking everything (which makes the brain treat things as conscious knowledge and put fluency away) the person ends up creating a fake perception that the brain is working hard when in fact very little is being absorbed making the person feels that she needs even more effort just to make things stick. It`s a vicious cycle, one that I`m glad that I escaped from.

      Things often aren`t all rainbows, we all have your downsides and struggles but they don`t need to dominate the process.

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