Sorry to exclude those living outside of the big BKK but I am sure this post will interest every foreign person interested in learning Thai in LOS. As you might have read previously I have been studying Thai for a while now. Being a bit of a home study phobe, I enrolled in a school to keep me disciplined and focussed. I was skeptical at first, thinking it would all school-like, but as luck would have it, it has turned out to be one of the best things I have chosen to do in Thailand thus far.
The school I attend is called Language Express, and is situated right outside Pleon Chit station. I paid around 10,000 Baht for about 3 months (I think), and for that I can study Thai speaking and writing for 4 hours each per week. However, the lessons are repeated twice weekly, so the majority of students pick 2 days out of the week and do one speaking lesson and one writing lesson on 2 days of the week.
My main concern initially was the teachers and how well they would be able to engage with foreign students. But honestly, the classes are really fun and I actually look forward to going. The school sticks to a learning strategy which is both interactive and progress focussed, and there is huge emphasis on practicing with your fellow students. It hasn't just been the learning that has kept me interested and entertained. The school management has done a really good job of making the centre a social spot for students to hang out and makes friends as you would in a college environment. The school offers English lessons too, so the environment is nicely balanced between Thais and foreigners. There is a cafe, free Internet access and plenty of seating, and the staff are all very friendly and accommodating – I have even seen the big boss chatting with students about their progress on numerous occasions.
I have met some really cool people, of which a few I am sure will become good friends. If I hadn't signed up I'd have never known such people lived in this dense city.
This might sound like an advert of sorts but it really isn't meant to be. I have no affiliation with the school. I am a tough customer, and anyone is likely to complain it's me. The only thing I will say is this; if you decide to enroll, and at any point feel you are ready to move up a level and don't want to wait for the testing times, then you will need to speak up and ask to take the tests early, or have your level reassessed. I did this after a few weeks of speaking in level one, but had I not spoken up I feel my money would have been wasted studying stuff I already knew.
I knew a lot of Thai going into the course, but I needed to learn proper sentence construction and expand my vocabulary skills, and also understand why things are said in certain ways, rather than just saying them. My writing is still pretty bad, and I won't lie, it is very difficult to get to grips with, but my teacher Tang is awesome and I am reluctant to move up a level because her classes are so fun. As a way of getting ahead in class I recently purchased a book that is designed to fast track foreigners in learning the Thai alphabet, and it really has helped. It is only $19.99 and is instantly downloadable. I highly recommend it. See more here.
If you are looking for Thai courses in BKK then I highly recommend Language Express, not just for the study, but also as a way of getting out there and meeting new people.