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Category: Resources (page 1 of 25)

New Thai Course at the Andrew Biggs Academy: Sap Khao Ngai Nid Deow

Sap Khao

Although the Andrew Biggs Academy mostly focuses on teaching English, Andrew’s new course can be used by both Thais learning English and those learning Thai: ทราบข่าวง่ายนิดเดียว /sâap kàao ngâai nít dieow/.

“Sap Khao” is a service for Thai learners of English as a second language … but it is also an excellent tool for anybody interested in learning Thai.

Andrew Biggs, who is fluent in both Thai and English, explains the headlines of the day. This is a perfect opportunity for non-Thais to learn new Thai words and phrases.

Every day, Monday to Friday (9am), you receive a 10-minute video in the morning explaining the day’s news. You can watch it as many times as you like, and at any time you like for a period of 90 days. And at 1,599 Baht per year, it works out to the cheapest Thai lesson you are ever going to have!

To acquire the course you first sign up at Sap Khao.
See you there!

Website: Andrew Biggs Academy
Facebook: Andrew Biggs Academy
YouTube: Andrew Biggs TV
twitter: @AndrewBiggs

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Mind Your Language: Two Week Intensive Thai Course in Pakchong (Khao Yai National Park)

Mind Your Language

Mind Your Language’s Two Week Intensive Thai Course promises to be quite the adventure.

Along with learning Thai using their T.M.C. Teaching Method you’ll visit Khao Yai National Park (Pakchong), experience Thailand’s Thai cowboys (Chokchai Farm) and do a bit of wine tasting at Granmonte Vineyard and Winery. And if all pans out, included will be shopping at the Kingdom of the Pottery (Ban Dankwian) and a Thai Premier League game at Korat Stadium.

The T.M.C. Teaching Method is comprised of:
T – Transformation method: Reversing sentence structure.
M – Muscle memory method: Repetition leads to accuracy.
C – Combination method: Creating meaningful paragraphs.

The method sounds fairly straightforward to me but if you are interested in hearing more about it check out reviews from their regular intensive Thai course on Koh Samui (it uses the same teaching method): Reviews.

The intensive Thai beginners course in Pakchong will be held from the 3th to the 14th of July, 2017.

Excluding accommodation, the price for the two week beginners course at both Koh Samui and Pakchong is 14,900 Baht. On Samui you can arrange your own accommodation or leave it up to the school; Pakchong will have a package deal (accommodation and excursions – to be announced later). On Koh Samui I found it’s roughly 9000 baht for 12 days on the island but that’s without the school’s discount (and how much you want to slum it).

If you are interested in attending the intensive course at Koh Samui instead, you have more options as far as dates go. But the main difference between the two intensive courses (Koh Samui and Pakchong) is that on the island, classroom studies are the main focus and the activities are secondary (and up to you). On Koh Samui, after class is over for the day you can choose from: cooking classes, diving, kite surfing, massages & spa, yoga, safari tours, golf, frisbee golf, fishing, paddle-boarding, night markets, waterfalls, beaches, etc.

On top of Thai, on Koh Samui there’s also an Italian intensive course:

Thai, English and Italian are taught following the same teaching styles (T.M.C. teaching methods). Regular courses run throughout the year (2 or 4 times a week).  Intensive courses for both English and Italian will start from April (Easter Time) and a holiday-study package for students coming from abroad will be offered for people who want to study in the summer time (June, July, August).

Mind Your Language has just been affiliated to Societa’ Dante Alighieri Italia, which is the headquarter and main learning centre of Italian as a second language in Italy. From January 2017 we are the only PLIDA (Progetto Lingua Italiana Dante Alighieri) Certification Centre in Thailand and the official centre where students can take the PLIDA exams and get an international diploma that assesses their level of Italian as a Second Language (From A1 to C2) . Facebook: PLIDA Thailand.

If you have any questions please leave comments below or contact the school via their Facebook page or website:

Website: Mind Your Language, Thailand
Facebook: Mind Your Language School

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Sleep Learning: Reinforce Your Thai While You Sleep

Learn while you sleep

Can you learn a foreign language while you sleep?…

Wouldn’t it be great to learn Thai when sleeping? No more drills. No more tedious word lists. Just start snoozing and let your subconscious do the hard slog for you.

Dream on … it’s not going to happen. Or rather, not in the way you might think. Not yet anyway.

But there is one way you can reinforce the Thai you are studying and that’s by first revising a set list of words or phrases right before you sleep, then again before you enter the NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) phase.

Verbal cues during sleep can boost the memory, at least when it comes to vocabulary: A new study reveals that it may be easiest to learn that second language if you incorporate some verbal cuing during a snooze right after studying.

The study relates memory retention is stronger for those who study vocabulary, then use a verbal cue, such as a tape that recites the same vocabulary, during sleeping. The key is the studying has to be within short order of the nap learning time.

“You can only successfully activate words that you have learned before you go to sleep,” says Schreiner. “Playing back words you don’t know while you’re asleep has no effect”.

Learn Thai Words & Vocabulary…

For Thai, the only app with the above mentioned sleep attributes I could find is Learn Thai Words & Vocabulary Free (created by Languagecourse.net). They’ve only recently added the sleep mode so if you already have the app, check it out.

Learn in your sleepAt the moment I’m experimenting with an iPhone sleep app for Italian instead (SleepyItalian) because the sleep mode from the Languagecourse.net app doesn’t work with iOS (for me, anyway).

So why am I featuring an app that doesn’t fully work on iOS? Because the rest (most everything but the sleep mode) works fabulously. The app is sort of like Glossika, only with fun bits to play with. And to see what I mean, check out Sven Elven’s a sleep learning screen record download from box.com, or get the free app to play with. Or both.

I plan on reviewing the app in full but as this post is about revising vocab/phrases while you sleep (a lightweight Xmas post) I’ll leave that for later.

A brief walkthrough of ‘Learn Thai Words & Vocabulary Free’ sleep attributes…

In the main menu of the app select Sleep Learning Timer (almost at the bottom of the home page navigation).

From the sleep learning menu:

Start in x minutes: The time when the program starts (let’s say you know you will be asleep in 30 minutes so set the timer to 30 or 40 minutes).

Duration: From the next drop down menu choose the duration you want to study.

Course: Choose the course you want review while you sleep (tip: a course won’t appear in the menu until you first study it while awake).

Background music: Select none, white noise, or white noise with binaural beats (the iOS does not have this option).

Volume Calibration: Set your volume then click the button to see how loud the audio is. Reset if needed.

Yes/No: The next window gives you the choice of doing a final review of the words/phrases before you go to sleep (Yes. Show word list) or go straight into the sleep mode (No. Start sleep learning session now). The review is text only, no audio (pity).

Continue/Start: If you are ready to get to sleep press ‘continue’ or ‘start’ or ‘start sleep learning’ (depending where you are in the process, the selection is different). The screen will then dim.

The program will start playing random phrases at the time you’ve chosen. The phrases will be spaced out about 10 to 15 seconds apart. Once your allotted time is over the audio will stop.

Learn while you sleep


Learn while you sleep


Learn while you sleep


Learn while you sleep

From Sven: Very easy to use and a great tool even if you are awake. I use it while running …

Thank you so much Sven Elven – I couldn’t have done it without you!

iOS: Learn Thai Words & Vocabulary Free
Android: Learn Thai Vocabulary Free

Note: Here’s a smattering of subliminal products for Thai.

For those who want to know more…

Abstract: Boosting Vocabulary Learning by Verbal Cueing During Sleep Reactivating memories during sleep by re-exposure to associated memory cues (e.g., odors or sounds) improves memory consolidation.

Learn while you sleep

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PickupThai Podcast’s Black Friday Sale

PickupThai Podcast

PickupThai Podcast Black Friday Promo…

It’s that time again – time to save mega-bucks at PickupThai Podcast!

PickupThai Podcast: Fun-based Thai podcasts that teach you how to speak exactly like a native speaker.

Learn 100% REAL Thai from fun stories and funny phrases. Throw away your boring textbooks. Learn Thai with us and sound like a foreigner no more!

Now is the best time to start! Enjoy our Black Friday promotion while it lasts and save BIG! Buy any podcast from one of our three courses (beginner, intermediate and advanced) today and get another podcast from the same course for FREE!!!

Hurry! The promotion ends November 30th, 2016.

For more info: PickupThai Podcast
Client kudos: Reviews
Free samples: All levels available
List of podcasts: Podcast Store

For the “Black Friday” promotion, click here: Value Package

PickupThai Podcast

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Survey Results: How English Speakers are Learning Thai with HelloTalk

Survey

Results from the HelloTalk survey…

Back in August (my how time flies) I posted a survey How English Speakers are Learning Thai with HelloTalk and let it run. Below are the results.

To round out the information and advice, I’ve also copied James McGregor’s answers.

Note: Not all entries have been included.

1) Why did you choose HelloTalk?

James: I initially choose HelloTalk because it was set up as a smart phone application. At the time I discovered HelloTalk I only knew about web-based language exchange services. Compared to HelloTalk, they were outdated and not as simple and easy to use.

HelloTalk survey:

  • To study.
  • It’s useful.
  • Easy access to native Thai speakers.
  • For a trip.
  • To meet Thai friends.
  • To practice reading and writing.
  • I want to learn Thai.
  • Because my mom is Thai.
  • It’s a good way to learn languages.
  • It’s easy and fun to use.
  • It’s easy to find Thai speakers.
  • Because it’s more convenient.
  • To teach English in Thailand.
  • My friend suggested me to use it.
  • I like the Thai language and would like to be fluent in Thai.
  • Multiple options such as phonetic spelling before translation and the way of showing people their mistakes.
  • Because it provides the facility to communicate with native people.
  • Previously very successful learning Korean with the app.
  • Because it’s the easiest, and fastest way to communicate with others whom speak the language. Hence, helping me learn and expand my word choice!
  • It’s the only language chat app I know of.
  • Hello Talk is the best app to learn new languages and get new friends.
  • I already have private Thai tutoring – so I choose HelloTalk to practice what I am learning with native speakers.
  • It’s such a great, easy, and inexpensive way to learn languages.
  • It’s free and many Thai people there to make friends with and ask everything for fun and knowledge, culture understanding.

2) Please list other language exchange websites and apps you’ve used, if any.

James:

1) My Language Exchange: Before stumbling upon HelloTalk I was initially using mylanguageexchange.com to find Thai language partners. But as I mentioned before, it was an extremely outdated website and I didn’t really like the design and layout of the site. I haven’t revisited MLE since finding HelloTalk over a year ago and would not recommend it to anyone.

2) Thai Friendly: I have used and continue to use thaifriendly.com to practice my Thai with Thai people. I have had nothing but very positive experiences using this website for language exchange.

But, I must warn people that TF is mainly a dating website purely for Thai females/ladyboys to find foreign friends or boyfriends. So use it to practice Thai at your own discretion.

Some men who don’t have much experience living with Thai people in Thailand, and/or who aren’t yet speaking Thai above a beginners level, may run into problems when weeding out some of the undesirables who try to contact you.

HelloTalk survey:

3) At what stage of studying Thai did you start using HelloTalk?

James: 
I started using HelloTalk when I was at the upper beginner level (being able to go to restaurants and coffee shops or taking a taxi comfortably without having to use English) but I felt that this level is still too low to fully connect and have a real conversation with a Thai person about everyday life and interesting topics.

I could read Thai but there was a lot of vocabulary I didn’t know, so conversations ran out of steam, going absolutely nowhere after a very short while.

When feeling frustrated and realizing that it was me who was the problem (not Thai people), I stopped using HelloTalk. After about six-seven additional months of study and having improved dramatically in Thai (learning a lot more vocabulary), I decided to give it another try. I went back to HelloTalk and found that my experience was a lot better, hence more exciting.

HelloTalk survey:

HelloTalk

4) What is your present Thai level?

James: I would say at least low intermediate, pushing into intermediate.

HelloTalk survey:

HelloTalk

5) How do you choose your Thai language exchange partners?

James: I tend to check out the person’s profile and will contact them if they have an interesting audio introduction, written introduction, or if they’ve posted interesting photos or statuses on their wall.

I tend to ignore or not really pay much attention to people who just send an initial message of “Hi” but I will usually reply to those who have read my profile then sends a message that is longer and more eye-catching than just a one word.

HelloTalk survey:

  • I am ok to friend anybody.
  • Genuine enthusiasm.
  • I talk to everyone who wants to improve.
  • I chat with everybody who wants to chat!
  • Accept all.
  • Those who can speak in Korean.
  • Randomly.
  • From profile pictures and normally I receive contact from Thais.
  • How they wrote their profile.
  • Locality and look fun.
  • By knowing their interest in teaching Thai.
  • Age, how they present themselves in initial message. Other mutual languages. Looks. As well as if they are free to teach me Thai language.
  • I chose them no matter what~ :)
  • They contact me. I get maybe three people everyday who are curious about why I’m learning Thai.
  • Partner’s level for my mother tongue.
  • I start to like their stories in the timeline and mostly check their profile.
  • Complete profiles I.e intro and some shared moments… also people close to my age.
  • I just search on search tool. It doesn’t matter if that Thai partner is not learning my language. Moreover, I choose Thai native speakers who learn English because we both speak in English.
  • Can they teach kindly.
  • Open and understand well the language to explain my questions.
  • Free to be friends with anyone.
  • Just chat first and then if I feel comfortable add them as language partners.
  • Just choice and consider user’s timeline.
  • Having an introduction was a big plus; otherwise, just looked who’s online or continued a previous conversation.
  • Have to speak French.

6) What problems have you run into when chatting with Thai language partners?

James: To be completely honest I haven’t really run into any problems when chatting with Thai language partners. I guess the only problem I had with HelloTalk would be when I first started and was still a “beginner”. This made it hard for the conversations to go anywhere (in Thai) as my vocabulary was extremely limited at the time.

HelloTalk survey:

  • No problem all is ok but sometimes they use words I don’t know. But I have the translator so I get to understand and learn too.
  • They are Thai females not looking to learn English but have alternative agendas.
  • The main problem is time differences. Our schedules do not fit.
  • Getting the balance right between typing in English and Thai.
  • Their English.
  • None.
  • Communication because of low level.
  • A different language exactly… the English of Thai users isn’t too good.
  • Time gap.
  • Too much English, and some don’t like being corrected.
  • I have faced not even a single problem.
  • Lack of structure. They need to be really good teachers. Most convo in English.
  • No problem.
  • No problems, they are all really nice and helpful!
  • Not many! Some people are looking for boyfriends it seems, but it’s easy to spot them.
  • Many are not good at English or Korean.
  • Misunderstanding each other.
  • I find some users are not willing to educate as they get taught. It feels like I am teaching more than exchanging.
  • Confused answers and some give different answers or they can’t explain all aspects of language situation.
  • The truth that I can’t read any Thai language.
  • Most people don’t really use the correction feature, or correct towards formal language use.
  • Writing Thai with a non Thai keyboard.

7) How often do you chat on HelloTalk?

James: 
I have really cut down on using HelloTalk because after finding a few really decent Thai partners there I started to chat with them exclusively on Line. But when I was at my peak of using the app I was chatting every single day.

HelloTalk survey:

HelloTalk

8) How has your Thai improved since you started using HelloTalk?

James: My Thai has improved a lot since I started (reading, writing, speaking and listening). But you really do need to put in the effort to see these improvements. You need to be able to hold the interest of the person you’re talking to, and that person also needs to be interesting enough for you to want to put in the time and effort to constantly exchange Thai/English with them as well.

The “correction” feature especially helped to improve my Thai. This feature enables Thai native speakers to correct your sentences in your messages and status. I have found that if you are able to form a close enough connection, Thai people will not hesitate to help out by correcting your mistakes. It’s a bit daunting at first when almost every single message you write is corrected, but eventually you’ll come to realise that it’s effective in helping to improve the grammar, sentence structure and even the words you choose.

HelloTalk survey:

  • Same.
  • My Thai improved when I met Thai friend.
  • Refreshed.
  • I try to speak Thai more now, and it seems my accent is a lot better.
  • Reading and writing skills have greatly improved.
  • A little.
  • Gradual learning.
  • I have learned the alphabet, and how to say hello and other things!
  • It has helped my vocabulary and grammar a lot. I thought people would use a lot of slang but most Thais use proper Thai with me, and I appreciate that.
  • Just a little bit.
  • It has been improving better than the first time I joined.
  • Although I have a decent vocabulary I have found that my conversation skill has improved and I can form larger sentences.
  • Nothing.
  • Quickly.
  • It has improved dramatically.
  • A little bit.
  • Improvements are probably unrelated to HelloTalk.
  • Zero … hope my Thai friends improved their French!

9) What advice can you share about learning Thai via HelloTalk?

James: I don’t believe HelloTalk should be the only tool to use when trying to learn a language. I’ve found it effective when combined with watching Thai TV, listening to Thai music and reading Thai daily.

First get past the very beginner stages in learning Thai, and then you will find many Thais wanting to talk to you. From my experience they are appreciative and show much more interest if you have at least a little bit of genuine cultural knowledge of Thailand – if you show genuine interest in Thailand and all things Thai. Don’t be rude, and if someone stops talking to you, just move onto the next person. There are thousands of Thai people who are online everyday who would like to make friends with a foreigner.

I have come to realise after talking with hundreds of people through HelloTalk that Thai people are some of the most talkative and social group of people I’ve ever met (hint: they are the perfect group to help you learn your target language!)

HelloTalk survey:

  • Educate them that this is not a dating site.
  • Be patient. Everyone is really nice, and they have the same goals as you.
  • Writing sentences in both language is slow but can be rewarding!
  • Just do it. Practice practice practice. I could be a more systematic studier. 555
  • Stick to typing Thai, don’t fall back on English, like me!
  • Choose the partners who are really interested in teaching and can teach in proper way.
  • Can’t be your only source. Supplement with books, lesson plans, in person native speakers. Hello talk partners are more of a resource for questions and testing your knowledge. You generally won’t “learn” too much without making your own effort.
  • Make friends and be open to everyone!
  • There are many Thais with very limited English skills. So knowing the fundamentals of Thai will be very useful since most of the time you can’t explain in English.
  • Find the right partner.
  • Patience… remember your partner is learning also so take your time! You get what you give.
  • Fill in your profile and behave as you would want others to behave towards you.
  • Master writing in Thai script.

My thanks to everyone who contributed to the survey. If you are wavering about using a language exchange program, there’s certainly enough advice here to nudge you on your way.

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Thai-Notes: Free Reading Course

Thai-Notes

A website growing in popularity with the Thai community for its online Thai Typing Trainer is Mike’s Thai-Notes. Mike is presently in the process of adding yet another free course – one that teaches you how to read Thai.

Thai-Notes is a website with a variety of applications to people learning Thai. Its latest addition is a reading course. This course takes the beginner from reading the first few characters and vowels, in small, easy steps, to a comprehensive mastery of all the rules of reading Thai with its many complexities and irregularities. Provided within each lesson are lots of opportunities for practice through simple, interactive games.

New materials introduced in a logical way, based upon frequency, makes sure that beginners get maximum use out of what they learn.

The course also includes instruction and worksheets for those who want to learn to write Thai characters and words.

Currently there are 12 lessons available online (out of a planned 70). Until the course is complete new lessons will be added.

The course is available at Thai-Notes: Reading Index

Also available on Thai-Notes…

Thai Typing Resources:

Thai Typing Trainer
Thai Steady Typer
Thai Typing Game

Thai Dictionaries:

Thai-English/English-Thai Dictionary
Thai Classifier Dictionary

Thai Flashcards:

Flashcard Game
Flashcard Editor

Miscellaneous tools for learning Thai:

IPA Typing Tool
Thai Typing Tool

Note: As this is a project in the making, please contact Mike if you have suggestions or feedback.

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Bab.la’s New (Community Driven) Online Thai-English Dictionary

Bab.la's Dictionary

Congrats to Bab.la! They’ve now added Thai-English to their massive collection of crowdsourced online dictionaries, making the Thai language number 42.

Just check it out!: Bab.la’s new online Thai-English Dictionary

About bab.la: bab.la is a language project by Andreas Schroeter and Patrick Uecker.

The idea has been on Andreas’ mind for quite some time. During his high school and university years he lived in Canada, France, Sweden and the USA. He noticed that just knowing the exact translation often doesn’t really help. You really need to “live” the language to come up with the right word.

Andreas has been collecting dictionaries from different languages for a long time. Putting the things together was just a natural step: Starting a portal where language lovers can meet and exchange their ideas and learn languages from each other.

Who is a better teacher than a native speaker who likes to share his knowledge?

Side note: To support the foreign language community, Bab.la hosts the amazing Top 100 Language Lovers Competition each year. It’s a huge effort (kudos to their team).

Whether your goal is to get your head around some basic Thai survival phrases for your travels around the country, or if you plan to stay in the longer term and need a more in-depth understanding, the bab.la Thai-English dictionary will come in handy.

Did you know that you can contribute to bab.la’s dictionaries? By joining the bab.la community, you can suggest new words and verify words contributed by others. You can also ask for grammar, translation, spelling or pronunciation help in babla’s forum.

For fun, be sure to check out bab.la’s infographic sharing interesting facts about the Thai language and the Thai culture.

Again, congrats to bab.la! I’ve been patiently waiting for this to happen :)

Twitter: @babla
Website: en.bab.la
Blog: lexiophiles.com
Facebook: babla.languages
Dictionary: Thai-English Dictionary

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Teach Pablo … Thai! – FREE iOS and Android Language Learning App

I just have to share this exciting new app for learning Thai. Any language, actually. Early this month Gabriel Morin contacted me about Pablo, an app he’s been working on.

There are a gazillion apps available now for learning languages but Pablo grabbed me because of its simplicity. I’m now a fan.

Do you feel like you’ve spent more time setting up flashcards and lists than you have studying? I sure have. Well, Pablo does away with that. All I do when I get a new word or list is type them into Pablo and start studying. Then, throughout the day, I grab my iPhone to flip through words, quitting when I reach words I already know. I do as much studying as I want, when I want.

I’ve yet to get into sharing/requesting words, phrases, and audio with my StudyBuddy but there’s plenty of time for that later. I’m happy keeping it simple for now.

UPDATE: You will need to log via Facebook but it’s painless (I promise) and if you lose your phone it’s just a matter of signing in to regain the lists you’ve created. You can now login via an email address.

UPDATE: Each time you practice your vocabulary, try to remember the translation of the word. Check the translation, and take the opportunity to tell Pablo if you had the right answer or not. After seven correct answers the word is noted as validated and increases your overall progress. Remember to reverse the language and repeat the test to really know your vocabulary in both directions. Just shake your phone a little bit and languages are reversed :-).

TIPS: When adding words/phrases, make sure you start off with the correct language or you’ll end up with a wonkey list (Thai and English on one side). To edit, with your finger on the entry slide to the left to see an edit menu on the right – then select ‘edit’ or ‘delete’.

Pablo comes in both iOS and Android … and … it’s FREE.

iOS: Teach Pablo: No more flashcards
Android: Pablo: No more flashcards

For more: The story behind Pablo
Facebook: Teach Pablo
Twitter: @_gabriel_morin

Thanks Gabriel! This app is a keeper.

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Survey Call: How English Speakers are Learning Thai with HelloTalk

Survey

Using Language Exchanges to study from afar…

A growing number of students are using HelloTalk (language exchange app) to learn Thai. In 2014 when I was contacted by Zackery Ngai (the brains behind HelloTalk) there were only a handful of Thais and students of Thai signed up. And now a mere two years later, the numbers have exploded.

Thai native speakers:100,359
Active on a monthly basis:13,427

Thai learners:12,940
Active on a monthly basis: 3,500

Wow. That’s an impressive leap.

There’s no doubt in my mind that chatting with online language partners can be an inexpensive way (in both time and money) to get up to speed without having to live in-country. And if done right, language exchanges can also come in handy for meeting new friends in a target language.

Marc Belley recently wrote an excellent article – Finding Thai Language Partners – where he reviewed the latest language exchange websites and apps, as well as shared tips on how to use them. When reading the comments seems not everyone has been successful with online language exchange, so to understand how students of Thai are getting HelloTalk to work well (as it does with Marc and others), I decided do a survey.

–>> If you are an English speaker (doesn’t matter if English is not your first language) and are learning Thai with HelloTalk, please fill out the below survey. I’ll leave it open for a month and then share the results.

Note: It’s been years since I’ve used SurveyMonkey so fingers crossed the survey will be glitch free.

WLT’s HelloTalk Thai Survey…

Survey closed (deleted).

How James McGregor uses HelloTalk…

James McGregor (from the FCLT Facebook group) is another student of Thai who has been successful with HelloTalk. Using the questions from the survey (I actually ran the questions across both James and Zackery first) James agreed to share his experiences with the app. Expanded, of course.

1) Why did you choose HelloTalk?

I initially choose HelloTalk because it was set up as a smart phone application. At the time I discovered HelloTalk I only knew about web-based language exchange services. Compared to HelloTalk, they were outdated and not as simple and easy to use.

2) Please list other language exchange websites and apps you’ve used, if any.


1) My Language Exchange: Before stumbling upon HelloTalk I was initially using mylanguageexchange.com to find Thai language partners. But as I mentioned before, it was an extremely outdated website and I didn’t really like the design and layout of the site. I haven’t revisited MLE since finding HelloTalk over a year ago and would not recommend it to anyone.



2) Thai Friendly: I have used and continue to use thaifriendly.com to practice my Thai with Thai people. I have had nothing but very positive experiences using this website for language exchange. But, I must warn people that TF is mainly a dating website purely for Thai females/ladyboys to find foreign friends or boyfriends. So use it to practice Thai at your own discretion. Some men who don’t have much experience living with Thai people in Thailand, and/or who aren’t yet speaking Thai above a beginners level, may run into problems when weeding out some of the undesirables who try to contact you.

3) What is your present Thai level? – beginner, low intermediate, intermediate, high intermediate, advanced.


I would say at least low intermediate, pushing into intermediate.

4) At what stage of studying Thai did you start using HelloTalk? – beginner, low intermediate, intermediate, high intermediate, advanced.


I started using HelloTalk when I was at the upper beginner level (being able to go to restaurants and coffee shops or taking a taxi comfortably without having to use English) but I felt that this level is still too low to fully connect and have a real conversation with a Thai person about everyday life and interesting topics. I could read Thai but there was a lot of vocabulary I didn’t know, so conversations ran out of steam, going absolutely nowhere after a very short while. When feeling frustrated and realizing that it was me who was the problem (not Thai people), I stopped using HelloTalk. After about six-seven additional months of study and having improved dramatically in Thai (learning a lot more vocabulary), I decided to give it another try. I went back to HelloTalk and found that my experience was a lot better, hence more exciting.

5) How do you choose your Thai language exchange partners?

I tend to check out the person’s profile and will contact them if they have an interesting audio introduction, written introduction, or if they’ve posted interesting photos or statuses on their wall. I tend to ignore or not really pay much attention to people who just send an initial message of “Hi” but I will usually reply to those who have read my profile then sends a message that is longer and more eye-catching than just a one word.

6) What problems have you run into when chatting with Thai language partners?

To be completely honest I haven’t really run into any problems when chatting with Thai language partners. I guess the only problem I had with HelloTalk would be when I first started and was still a “beginner”. This made it hard for the conversations to go anywhere (in Thai) as my vocabulary was extremely limited at the time.

7) How often do you chat on HelloTalk? – daily, a couple times a week, a couple times a month.


I have really cut down on using HelloTalk because after finding a few really decent Thai partners there I started to chat with them exclusively on Line. But when I was at my peak of using the app I was chatting every single day.

8) How has your Thai improved since you started using HelloTalk?

My Thai has improved a lot since I started (reading, writing, speaking and listening). But you really do need to put in the effort to see these improvements. You need to be able to hold the interest of the person you’re talking to, and that person also needs to be interesting enough for you to want to put in the time and effort to constantly exchange Thai/English with them as well.

The “correction” feature especially helped to improve my Thai. This feature enables Thai native speakers to correct your sentences in your messages and status. I have found that if you are able to form a close enough connection, Thai people will not hesitate to help out by correcting your mistakes. It’s a bit daunting at first when almost every single message you write is corrected, but eventually you’ll come to realise that it’s effective in helping to improve the grammar, sentence structure and even the words you choose.

9) What advice can you share about learning Thai via HelloTalk?

I don’t believe HelloTalk should be the only tool to use when trying to learn a language. I’ve found it effective when combined with watching Thai TV, listening to Thai music and reading Thai daily.

First get past the very beginner stages in learning Thai, and then you will find many Thais wanting to talk to you. From my experience they are appreciative and show much more interest if you have at least a little bit of genuine cultural knowledge of Thailand – if you show genuine interest in Thailand and all things Thai. Don’t be rude, and if someone stops talking to you, just move onto the next person. There are thousands of Thai people who are online everyday who would like to make friends with a foreigner.

I have come to realise after talking with hundreds of people through HelloTalk that Thai people are some of the most talkative and social group of people I’ve ever met (hint: they are the perfect group to help you learn your target language!)

Thanks James! Having a passion for resources, I always find it interesting to hear how other language students are using different tools to improve in their target language.

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Thanking Sponsors of WLTs 2016 Thai Language Giveaway

WLTs 2016 Thai Language Giveaway

WLT’s 2016 Thai Language Giveaway…

For a second year in a row it was great fun giving away prizes during the Thai Language Giveaway.

A huge thanks from me goes to the generous sponsers: Yuki and Miki (PickupThai Podcast), Duke (Duke Language School), Bingo-Lingo (Read Thai in 10 Days), Tom and Kruu Jiab (Learn Thai Style), Brett Learn Thai from a White Guy, Jo and Jay (Learn Thai Podcast), Benjawan Poomsan Becker (Paiboon Publishing) and Chris Pirazzi (Word in the Hand).

WINNERS: WLT’s 2016 Thai Language Giveaway…

Below is a breakdown of the sponsors, the winners, and the prizes they won. Again, congrats and thanks everyone!

From Yuki and Miki (PickupThai Podcast): Diane N, Michael and Micky won 10 Creamy Coconut lessons each, Anna Measures and Roger won 15 Creamy Coconut lessons each, and the grand prize (full Creamy Coconut course – all 30 lessons) went to Jeff Netto.

From Duke (Duke Language School): Micky and Gordon won the intensive 60 hour Journey One group lessons (with course books).

From Bingo-Lingo (Read Thai in 10 Days): Fabian, Bernard, Matthew and Peter won the 2nd Edition of Read Thai in 10 Days (with audio).

From Tom and Kruu Jiab (Learn Thai Style): Stuart Cox, Michel Geneva, Lauren Sautter and Micky won the Speak Thai Course (includes a pre-release version of Speak Thai Course with Thai script only – no transliteration).

From Brett Learn Thai from a White Guy: Colin and Tim, won Read Thai in 2 Weeks along with The Need to Know Sentence Pack. Mathew and Gordon won Read Thai in 2 Weeks.

From Jo and Jay (Learn Thai Podcast): Danielle Tong, Wes and Matthew won Learn Thai Podcast’s megga course.

From Benjawan Poomsan Becker (Paiboon Publishing) and Chris Pirazzi (Word in the Hand): Robert Vargason, Kaisa Edfors Terkildsen, Mark B, Danielle Tong, Nam Parikh and Diane N won their choice of either the Talking Thai–English–Thai Dictionary for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch or the Thai <> English Dictionary for Android phones/tablets.

Posts: WLTs 2016 Thai Language Giveaway…

So, will there be a WLT 2017 Giveaway?…

At this point I’m hoping to be back with a Thai Language Giveaway this time next year. But if not, thanks again to everyone who contributed prizes and to those who added comments under each post. It’s been brilliant.

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