We feel that learning vocabulary is a systematic process that is most efficiently done by yourself, providing the right tools and methods are used. When you use our system, you will be quite amazed at just how quickly you can increase your vocabulary size. Chunking words will allow you to insert large amounts of new words into your short-term memory in a small period of time. After you have chunked these words into your short-term memory, our reading exercises will start bonding this new vocabulary to your long-term memory. You will then be asked to form new sentences using the new vocabulary that you have learned. By this stage, the new vocabulary should be fairly deeply ingrained into your long-term memory. To ensure that you never forget a word that you have learned you will be periodically tested with the spaced repetition software included in our program. We guarantee that our program will teach you vocabulary more effectively than a private teacher.
Learning to read is also a systematic process that can be easily accomplished by using a structured approach which breaks down the process into bite size chunks. With the HighSpeedThai program learning to read Thai is really easy to do. If you spend 1 to 2 hours per day learning to read with HighSpeedThai, it should only take you 2 to 3 weeks to learn to read. Learning to read Thai using the right approach is fun to do and very straightforward. There is no need at all to have a private tutor teach you to read, in fact it is more than likely to slow you progress down when compared to learning with HighSpeedThai.
Once you have learnt 500 to 1000 words or so it can be useful to have a language teacher practice conversing with you in a controlled manner and help you to correct your mistakes. The HighSpeedThai program is designed to be used without the need for any outside input at all. Everything is explained in great detail which means you should almost never have any questions about what you are learning. If you do, please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to help.
There are a few things that you should consider before enrolling in a class. Here's a story. I signed up to study Thai in one of the biggest and most famous universities in Thailand. I had great expectations about the course. I thought that I would come out of it being able to converse with strangers or Thai friends. I paid a couple of hundred dollars for the course, which was 40 hours long and fairly enjoyable. However, I came out of it with a vocabulary of around 200 words. The course was good for learning a few basic phrases like, 'Where is the toilet?,’ 'I will go to the restaurant' and 'I have a motorcycle,' but if a Thai person spoke to me I would be utterly lost. 200 words is a start but, realistically, you need a much bigger vocabulary before you can have basic conversations.
What was the problem with the course? Progress was slow and a large number of the words it did cover were not high value words. For example, the course spent a lot of time on rarely used words such as ‘spy,’ ‘pilot,’ ‘merchant’ and ‘soldier.’
Still determined, I signed up to learn Thai in another famous institution that has branches all over Thailand. This company offered a much longer course. The total program consisted of nine 30-hour courses. That's a total of 270 hours. There were a couple of issues with this course, the first was that the Thai alphabet was not used at all and, again, the important words used to put basic sentences together were nowhere to be seen in the first half of the program. Instead, we spent a huge amount of time learning words that were of very little value such as ‘piano,’ ‘chess,’ ‘guitar,’ ‘florist,’ etc. On average, we learned about 10 words in a two hour period. Spending the same amount of time with our program will allow you to learn 30 – 40 words.
Another thing to be careful of are classes and products that claim to teach you in the same way that a child learns his first language. There is a lot of research out there on this topic. The research concludes that the methods required to efficiently learn your secondary language are fundamentally different from the methods a child uses to learn his first language. As a child you have a parent or caretaker around you all day spoon feeding you the language, you are unlikely to have this luxury as a secondary language learner. You as secondary language learner already have an understanding of the concepts of one language, using this allows you to gain an understanding of your secondary language quickly and efficiently.
Also be cautious of courses that have been put together solely by Thai native speakers. It is very hard for Thai people to see the language from the same viewpoint as you. They will have trouble understanding how an English speaking person should approach learning the Thai language. Our course has been put together by both native English speakers and native Thai speakers.
We are extremely confident that you will enjoy and most importantly learn Thai with our program. This is why we are happy to offer a money back guarantee, something that we have never seen offered at any language school.
HighSpeedThai will let you study at your own pace. You won't be locked into any timetables. You can study from the comfort of your own home. When you are in the mood to study, it will be there. You won't have to wait for class to start.
To learn the same amount of Thai as you will learn in HighSpeedThai at a language school you will easily spend 10 times the purchase cost of HighSpeedThai and it is more than likely you will learn at a much slower pace.
Audio Only Programs
There are a few different types of audio programs available. Here is a breakdown of the two major types.
Repeat after me programs
These programs say a list of words or phrases aloud and ask you to repeat them. These programs are ineffective and tedious.
The audio component of our programs is classified as structured. This means that it has been put together in a progressive way integrating proven teaching methodologies which allow you to learn in an efficient manner. Audio is an important part of our program but the software and written materials are equally as important in helping you learn the Thai language quickly.
There are a few problems with audio-only programs.
- Audio-only programs are slow at introducing new words.
- Audio-only programs get complicated when trying to introduce intermediate to advanced grammar. It is often much easier to explain complex grammar rules in writing. This is why all classrooms around the world are fitted with whiteboards, blackboards or projectors.
- You must learn everything at the rate that the teacher is teaching or you will end up lost and confused.
- You will not be taught how to read or write the language.
- The program cannot adapt to your individual needs. The software included in our program, however, adjusts its behavior according to your abilities.
Pimsluer is an audio-only program that teaches you around 300 words. The average 3 year old has a vocabulary of around 900 words so don't expect to start conversing after you have listened to Pimsleur. Pimsleur only teaches you speaking. You will not be taught how to read or write. The Pimsleur Thai program retails for US$120.
There are many sites teaching languages by podcasts. These all sprung up very quickly and you can find a site teaching almost any language using podcasts. In my efforts to learn more languages I have tried out many of these podcast programs. I find they suffer from a few fatal flaws. The podcasts are recorded at a predetermined pace that may be too fast for some and too slow for others. There is no easy way to skip what you find easy because you risk skipping past something important.
Usually there is little to no long term repetition of what you learn, one lesson may introduce a bunch of new words and phrases and in order to review the lesson you have to re-watch or re-listen to the whole thing. You can end up wasting many hours reviewing vocab that you know very well trying review what you are finding difficult.
Often there is very little user interaction promoted in these podcasts. A phrase is read out and the student may have to repeat it a couple of times. It is very important to use what you learn, this is why the HighSpeedThai program contains speaking exercises where you will be asked questions in Thai and must also respond in Thai. You will find that many of these podcast programs are pretty much phrasebooks recorded to video.
I have found that most of these podcast systems are just clones of one another, someone came up with the idea of teaching a language via podcast and others thought this was a good way to make money so they ended up cloning the system. The problem is that the they was not designed from the ground up in order to teach the language in the most efficient way possible.
I am not saying that all of the podcast programs are totally worthless but I think you will find they are more of a gimmick than a real language learning tool.
Learning By Practicing with Native Speakers
Practicing with others is a good tool to reinforce words and grammar rules that you have previously learned, but learning new words from conversation can be quite slow. While practicing with a native speaker, a new word may come up in the conversation once. You may repeat the word in context once after that. It is very unlikely that your brain is going to retain this word by hearing it and using it once. One solution to this is to always take a small notepad with you. When a new word comes up, note it down and review it later. If your vocabulary is very limited, this will be awkward as you will be stopping the conversation every few seconds. Your mind will be overwhelmed with new words and you will end up not learning much at all. Before you can get a lot of benefit from practicing in a real life conversational situation, you should have a fairly good understanding of the language. We are not saying that you should completely avoid speaking Thai when you are a beginner but we are saying don't expect to go out and have in-depth conversations until you have a fairly good understanding of the language.
Once you have learnt about one thousand new words or so we do recommend that you go out and practice as often as you can. If possible put yourself in situations where you will be listening to others speak.
Every lesson of HighSpeedThai has a large practice section. You will be asked to form new sentences on the fly from words that you have recently learned. This section allows you to practice speaking in a controlled environment.
Books On Learning Thai
With the advancement of technology books as a method of learning languages are becoming less and less utilized. The big problem with books is that there is no easy way to pair the text with audio, the book may come with an audio download, DVD or CD but this kind of setup is usually clumsy and awkward to use. Ultimately compared to the alternatives books designed to teach you a language are very inefficient. On top of this you will find that most books are poorly formulated and often present you with huge lists of words and expect you to somehow magically remember them all.
Once you are more advanced in a language and know perhaps 5,000 words or so regular fiction and non fiction books can be a great way to pick up new vocab. Once you develop a good foundation in the vocabulary and your pronunciation is reasonable we recommend you seek out some simple but interesting books to read.
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