Many think learning with a private tutor is the best way to learn a language. In my opinion this assumption is wrong. Learning a language is largely a systematic process which takes a lot of time if you want to get to an advanced level. If you were to use a private tutor as your sole method of learning a language you would spend a very large sum of money. HighSpeedThai takes about 300 hours to complete. With a private tutor depending on your location you would spend between 5 and 40 dollars per hour to study with a teacher who has experience teaching the language. If you were paying $10 per hour and you could learn at the same rate as you would using HighSpeedThai it would cost you $3,000. This is assuming the average person can complete HighSpeedThai in 300 hours.
Even if you had the money to spend for a private tutor I would still not recommend it as you can learn the basics faster by yourself by using HighSpeedThai. We have broken down the process of learning to read, comprehend and speak into very simple steps almost anyone can do. We have put a HUGE amount of time into designing this course in a way that helps you learn quickly as explained in other areas on this website. Most private tutors will use published books as a basis for their lessons. The vast majority of books and courses on language learning are very poorly structured and can make learning slow tedious and ineffective.
All you need to do to get to a functional level in the language is follow the course. Then start practising and then further expand your vocabulary to be able to converse on a wide range of topics. My latest course teaches you another 1,500 words on top of HighSpeedThai.
If you do have the money to spend on a private tutor, it would be much better to engage a private tutor once you have learnt how to read and have a vocabulary of 1000 or more words. The teacher then can practise talking with you on a basic level helping you to become more comfortable talking to others. With that being said I would still say rather than spending the time and money with a private tutor, it would be best to systematically increase your vocabulary using an efficient course to a level where you feel confident to engage regular people in conversations. This way you will not have to pay for a tutor. If you are not in Thailand you can find language partners online in various websites. With that being said you will have to help them with the language they are learning, so using a private tutor would likely be more efficient than using a language partner.
So to sum up your time would be much better spent completing HighSpeedThai and my new program Rapid Thai Vocab compared to hiring a private tutor. Not only will you learn faster it will only cost you a fraction of what you would pay with a private tutor.
The other important point is that is it is hard to teach your native language. This is because a secondary language learner learns in quite a different way to a native speaker. A secondary language learner already has a language which can be used to explain the structure, vocab, pronunciation etc of the language he is trying to learn. This is very different to how a child learns their first language. It is much easier for me to know what troubles you will experience as a native speaker when learning the Thai language because I have been though it all already. A native Thai speaker will not really be aware of the challenges an English speaker faces when learning the Thai language.
All the content concepts, vocabulary and patterns taught in the program are explained in very simple terms but also with a lot of details and many example sentences. It will be very unlikely you will every have an unanswered question about what you are learning. Whenever someone does ask me a question about the content, which is very rare I usually further revise the material in the program to ensure the next person will not have the same question.
Classes and Schools
Most classes and schools usually use poorly formulated materials as the basis of their courses. Often they use huge word lists containing many words which you would rarely use. This is one reason this course was created. If language schools were doing a good job there would be less need for this course. In Thailand you would expect to spend a few hundred dollars to attend a course which might teach you a few hundred words. If you compare this to what you get with HighSpeedThai, classes seem very expensive. As stated in the previous section you will progress a lot faster doing it yourself with HighSpeedThai.
In school rooms you will often be forced to learn at a rate comfortable to other students. This may be too slow or too fast for you. This can cause frustration and waste a lot of your time. This is another important reason self study with your own high quality materials like HighSpeedThai can allow you to progress at a faster rate than you would in a classroom.
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 second language is 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 a secondary language learner already have an understanding of the concepts of one language, leveraging of this allows you to gain an understanding of your secondary language quickly and efficiently.
If you attend a class you also will waste time travelling to and from the class. This time could be better spent putting your full focus on learning.
To learn all of what you will learn in HighSpeedThai at a language school you would be easily looking at spending 10 times the price of what you will pay for HighSpeedThai.
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. They are a waste of time and should be avoided.
The audio component of our programs is classified as structured. This means 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 and absorb grammar rules in writing. This is because you can read the explanations at a pace comfortable for you and you can easily reread them multiple times if needed. Almost all classrooms around the world are fitted with whiteboards, blackboards or projectors because the written component of classes is very important to help us learn effectively.
With audio only programs 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 behaviour according to your abilities.
Most people find it very hard to learn new words in almost any language without seeing them written.
There are many sites teaching languages by podcasts. 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 big 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 that which 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 twice. 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 phrase-books recorded to video.
I have found that most of these podcast systems are just clones of one another, someone came up to teach a language via podcast which on the surface seems like a good idea, others then thought this was a good way to make money so they copied the system. The problem is that the they were not designed from the ground up to teach languages in the most efficient way possible.
I am not saying that all the podcast programs are worthless but I think you will find they are more of a gimmick than a real language learning tool.
Learning By Practising with Native Speakers
Practising with others is a good tool to reinforce vocab and grammar rules that you have previously learnt, but learning new words from conversation can be quite slow. While practising 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 unlikely that your brain will retain this word by hearing it and using it once. One solution to this is to always note the word down. 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 stop the conversation every few seconds to note down words. 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 practising in a real life conversation, 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 to two thousand new words we recommend that you go out and practice as often as you can. Try and get as much exposure to the language as you can. Just listening to others converse can help you a lot when you are still not at an advanced level.
Every lesson in HighSpeedThai has a large practice section. You will be asked to form new sentences on the fly from words you have recently learned. This section allows you to practice speaking in a controlled and comfortable environment.
You need to weight up the benefits of practising with native speakers compared to further improving your vocabulary. Once you have learnt over one or two thousand words you should be doing both.
Books On Learning Thai
With the advancement of technology books as a method of learning languages are becoming less and less utilised. The big problem with books is that there is no easy way to pair the text with audio, the book may come with some audio but integration 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. Unfortunately even though technology is advancing so fast the content of courses and materials for language learners still often suffers from the same old problems.
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 language we recommend you seek out some simple but interesting books to read.
When purchasing any systems or courses, the most important thing you need to consider is how the materials are formatted. It does not matter if the course has hundreds of hours of crystal clear audio and thousands of pages of text. If the material is not planned in a specific way which makes learning easy, efficient and enjoyable then it is likely not worthwhile purchasing the course. We have explained many but not all of the techniques we use in HighSpeedThai to ensure you can quickly and efficiently learn the Thai language. When looking at other materials you should determine if the structure of the course ensures fast and efficient learning. HighSpeedThai and my newest course, Rapid Thai Vocab get you to a level where you will be able to use and understand around 3,500 words. You will also be able to read the language quickly with ease. Your pronunciation will also be very good.