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Tag: Cracking Thai Fundamentals

WLT’s Thai Language Giveaway: Jcademy’s Ultimate Thai Combo package

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

WLT’s Thai Language Giveaway…

Welcome to week SEVEN of WLT’s seven weeks of Thai language giveaways by top movers and shakers in the learning Thai industry.

If you are just hearing about the giveaway do read Please Vote THAI and WIN! 2015: Top 100 Language Lovers Competition to find out about the $4,500+ in prizes being given away.

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

Jcademy: Cracking Thai Fundamentals, Thai Bites, and Glossika Thai Fluency 1…

For Jcademy’s giveaway there’s FIVE Ultimate Thai Combo packages. The combo includes the Full Cracking Thai Fundamentals program, Thai Bites, and Glossika Thai Fluency 1.

If you already have the combo you can opt for their new subscription package instead (yet to be announced).

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

Jcademy: Cracking Thai Fundamentals…

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway I was lucky in that I attended Stu’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals in person. But as there’s only so much of Stu to go around, he created an online course to reach a larger audience.

The Cracking Thai Fundamentals online course comes with: Preparing to Crack the Thai Fundamentals, Thinking in Meanings, Cracking Indic Based Scripts, Cracking the Thai Vowels, and Cracking the Thai Consonants.

The materials in Cracking Thai Fundamentals are compiled from Stu’s lifetime experience with learning languages. A powerhouse of a course, it covers many aspects of learning Thai.

Tip: As you work through the course be prepared to open your mind to new and different concepts.

What to expect with Cracking Thai Fundamentals:

  • Learn to hear tones, consonants and vowels as Thais hear them.
  • Become aware of sound, and muscle memory paradigms from your mother tongue that may hinder Thais’ ability to understand you when you speak Thai.
  • Develop a learning regime both at home and ‘in the field’ to help maximise learning.
  • Start to see and hear things around you in a much more ‘Thai’ fashion.

NOTE: Preparing to Crack the Thai Fundamentals is free to the public.

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

Jcademy: Thai Bites…

WLTs Thai Language GiveawayThai Bites are just that – short, bite-sized lessons on the Thai language and Thai culture. Chock-full of all things learning Thai, they are also perfect for when you don’t have a lot of time to study but still want to get Thai into your learning schedule.

Subjects covered in Thai Bites:

  • Speaking and Sounds.
  • Writing.
  • Grammar.
  • Culture.
  • Colloquial Thai and Slang.

To try them on for size, here’s a few free Bites: สวัสดี 卍 The True Meaning of Sawatdee, Word Duplication to make you sound ไท้ยไทย Thai Thai, ขาวจั๊วะ Colour Rhymes in Thai and Develop an Adult Thai Handwriting Style Part 1.

Also free on Youtube are Stu’s Thai Bites Live Webinars.

WLTs Thai Language Giveaway

Jcademy: Thai Fluency 1 – Glossika GSR and GMS…

WLTs Thai Language GiveawayGlossika Thai is interactive. With the original Glossika materials you study phrases by listening to the audio files while reading along with the pdf files, or just by listening (up to you). On Jcademy’s online interactive course there’s more of a hands-on approach.

Thai Fluency 1: Sentence-based method that gradually builds sentences helping the learner acquire language naturally. Colloquial informal language that you can use with friends and family.

Gain listening comprehension and speaking skills in 30 days. For serious students or for busy people with only 20 minutes per day, it is possible to finish the course in 1 month.

Recommended for mid-high beginners with a working vocabulary of 100-200 words.

The Thai Fluency 1 includes GMS and GSR. GMS (Glossika Mass Sentences) has all of the sentences in the course. And GSR (Glossika Spaced Repetition) uses those same sentences with the proven spaced repetition method of getting the phrases into your head.

NOTE: To assure accuracy the Glossika Thai materials have been totally rewritten by the team at Jcademy. At the time of this post it’s not quite ready for primetime but it will be soon.

About Stuart Jay Raj…

WLTs Thai Language GiveawayStu Jay Raj has a lot going on: Accredited Dale Carnegie consultant and trainer; regional advisor, trainer and lecturer in cross cultural communication; IT developer; simultaneous interpreter, translator and editor; television and audio composer; TV presenter; polyglot, TV host, part of the official Miss Universe interpreting team, jazz pianist, and Dad.

And now there’s the wonderful Jcademy.com.

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Stu. One important subject that often comes up is his beloved grandfather:

He taught me all different memory techniques and we would use them to remember wordlists in English and other languages, memorize lists of numbers, calculate what day of the week any given date was, convert decimal to binary to hex, send messages to each other in Morse-code, build electric circuits from schematics, listen to shortwave radio broadcasts, taught me to touch-type at the age of around four and many other things that stimulated and bridged the senses.

He would play with words with me and we would make new meanings up by making ‘nonsense words’ with roots and affixes that only we knew what they meant.

I believe that all of these things had an impact on my ability to learn languages.

Stu Jay Raj Interviews on WLT:
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part One
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part Two
Successful Thai Language Learner: Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj.

Web (business): Jcademy.com
Web (personal): stujay.com
YouTube: Stujaystujay
Facebook: Jcademy.com by Stu Jay Raj
Twitter: @JcademyOnline and @stu_jay

Rules for WLTs Thai Language Giveaway…

The rules are dead simple:

  • To be included in the draw, leave comments below.
  • Comment(s) need to add to the conversation (it really does matter).
  • If you don’t collect your prize within a week of the announcement, it will be given away to the next person in line.

I will not be responsible for choosing the winners so even if you’ve known me for ages you too can win.

The draw will run from this moment until the 14th of July, 6pm Thai time. At that time I’ll announce the winners in the comments below as well as create a dedicated post.

My thanks goes to Stu Jay Raj and the team at Jcademy for sponsoring such wonderful prizes, and those leaving comments below. Good luck everyone!

WLTs 2015 Thai Language Giveaway…

Here are the posts so far in WLT’s Thai Language Giveaway.

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Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Thai Bites

Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Thai Bites

Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Thai Bites…

In January Stu Jay Raj launched Jcademy’s CTF Challenge. Shortly after his wonderful Thai Bites started rolling out.

Thai Bites are small ‘bite sized’ lessons in Thai that are based on Stuart Jay Raj’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals programme.

Thai Bites are available as a monthly subscription package where subscribers will be sent regular ‘Thai Bites’ to their email each day.

Once a week a free bite will be released to the public at Stu’s Thai Bites playlist at YouTube.

But to get the full program, subscribe to Thai Bites at Jcademy.

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Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Thai Challenge 2014

Cracking Thai Fundamentals

Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Thai Challenge 2014…

I’ve reviewed scads of learning Thai projects since starting WLT and Polyglot Stu Jay Raj’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals Thai Challenge is one of the most exciting ever.

To give you a bit of background: Stu’s original Cracking Thai Fundamentals started in Bangkok in 2000. Wanting to learn about the Thai language, I attended a CTF course shortly after arriving in Thailand. Like other students I met in class, I loved it so much that I signed up for second round.

If you are interested in what people are saying about CTF, below are several Cracking Thai Fundamentals interviews:

Stu Jay Raj is Back in Bangkok with Cracking Thai Fundamentals
Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Interview with Claudio Sennhauser
Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Interview with Scott Eddy
Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Interview with Peter Lo

In order to reach more students, six months ago Stu started working his butt off to create an online learning experience: Jcademy. That’s right. You no longer have to physically attend one of Stu’s courses to reap the benefits.

To add to the thrill, this week he launched the Jcademy Cracking Thai Fundamentals Challenge.

I’ll say it again. Stu’s CTF Challenge is one the most promising projects I’ve come across. And to help make it even more powerful, please do join in!

For the next few months you can follow Polyglot Stuart Jay Raj as he guides two expats through the CTF course. To do that, Stu created four ways to experience the challenge:

  1. Watch the sessions live via Jcademy’s CTF Challenge section.
  2. Afterwards ask questions of Stu, Andrew, and Richard on Google Hangouts.
  3. Watch the session videos on Jcademy and Stu’s YouTube channel stujaystujay.
  4. Join the CTF Challenge (how can you resist?)

Note: The first CTF Challenge Google Hangout starts at 4pm, Wednesday, January 22.

Be sure to keep up with Jcademy news via:

Web: Jcademy
Facebook: Jcademy
YouTube: stujaystujay
Twitter: @JcademyOnline

And a reminder. This is not a paid ad – I don’t do those – the opinions in this post are unencumbered by personal gain.

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The NEW Cracking Thai Fundamentals

The NEW Cracking Thai Fundamentals

Cracking Thai Fundamentals Workshop…

I started Cracking Thai Fundamentals in 2000 for the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand to help journalists hit the ground running. At the time, the course was developed on the fly to try and give as much information about Thai that wasn’t available in your average ‘learn Thai’ books as possible in a short period of time.

Over the years, I have honed the course. In the original course, memory of the consonant classes, tone rules and other ‘rules’ were conveyed purely by mnemonics, vivid imagery and other memory pegging techniques. While these techniques are still used in the new revised CTF, I have given it a much more solid linguistic backbone. Participants start to gain an intimate understanding linguistically about what their mouths, tongues and lungs are doing, how to alter them to make them more Thai and then linking those things into the rules of Thai using imagery, emotions and muscle memory. The result, people go out of the class after two days not only knowing the rules but understanding why they are. More importantly, they learn techniques to let those rules run in the background and create a 24/7 environment around them that teaches them Thai rather than just setting a ‘one hour per day’ learning regime that many people tend to do.

The online version of CTF will be the first online course to be released publicly on Jcademy.com around April, shortly followed by Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese and with plans for Arabic, Spanish, Farsi and Burmese.

I will be running another face to face two day workshop in Bangkok on the 30-31 March, 2013 and there is the possibility of running a Songkran two Day workshop in Chiangmai. For more information, you can make an enquiry via Stu Jay Raj: Cracking Thai Fundamentals

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October: Who’s Talking About Learning Thai

Look Who's Talking About Learning Thai

Who’s talking about learning Thai…

September saw the first Look Who’s Talking About Learning Thai and this month I’m going to do something slightly different. Instead of starting off with the featured site, I’m going to thank people who generously gave their time: WLT’s wonderful guest writers, and those being interviewed.

WLT’s generous contributors…

In September, a big deal for Bangkok was Stu Jay Raj’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals workshop. in October, Claudio Sennhauser wrote a fine review of the workshop: Claudio on Stu’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals. Another enthusiastic attendee, Peter, agreed to an interview: Peter Lo on Stu’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals. A heads up: Stu will be back in BKK at some point, so keep an eye on his site if you aim to take his workshop.

Reiner Eiteljörge wrote a review comparing L-Lingo, Learn Thai Podcast, and Rosetta Stone. In the post Reiner discusses how he learns languages, the importance of learning grammar, as well as the challenges of learning Thai via the three courses.

For the Interviewing Successful Thai Language Learners series, Ryan, a clever iPhone app designer, took the time to answer questions in detail: Successful Thai Language Learner: Ryan Zander. My review of his app is here: Reading Thai Alphabet iPhone App.

What you didn’t see in October were two other guest posts (apologies, October was… it just was): Hugh Leong (host of the Thai Language Thai Culture series), and Lani (from the first Thais Learning Thai).

Their posts will go in the November lineup, but to make up for my snafu here are the last October posts on their personal sites. And how fun, both are about motorcycles.

Hugh: My other car is a motorcycle
Lani: The left handed motorbike (no longer online).

Note: If you would like to contribute posts and/or if you have a talent for Thai, please contact me.

October: Who’s talking about learning Thai…

Andrej: Bakunin Learns Thai (no longer online)

The TV Method is new and quietly growing in popularity. But other than turning on the tele, not much is known about the actual process. In October Andrej embarked on quite the conversation about learning Thai via TV Method, which is why I’m featuring his site. I found it interesting and I do hope you do as well.

Both ‘Some observations on the acquisition of vocabulary 1’ and ‘Some observations on the acquisition of vocabulary 2’ are self explanatory. Andrej writes about what he’s learning while watching TV and listening to audio files.

In the ‘Shortcomings of the TV method’, a comparison is made between ALG classes and TV. Tip: the comments add to the post.

What I absolutely cannot do is ‘Learn without translation’. I could try, but I know I’d be driven to peek! What do you do?

While not specifically about the TV Method, his other October posts are well worth the read:

Go Genius book series
An excellent idea, Andrej asked a friend in Bangkok to record a selection of Thai books. From my experience, learning to read while listening to audio is often easier than grinding you way through grammar tombs and Thai tones (although I can’t help myself, I still have to know how things work ;-)

TPR & Wimmelbücher
Wimmelbücher is a series of Dutch see and tell children’s books. In the comments Andrej shared a amazon.de link so I went looking for an amazon with Wimmelbücher on offer closer to home. And here they are: Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Excellent. I’ve ordered a few of the cheaper books to play around with.

Thailand under water

Ajarn Pasa: Tweet Yourself Thai | twitter: @AjarnPasa

I cheated a little when choosing posts from Hamish’s site – I went the theme of the day instead. Two of the posts below are from October. The other two are from each side of the month (September and November). And if you’ve been watching the news, you’ll know why I made this decision: flooding in Thailand.

With น้ำท่วม Flood! you get tips on searching via twitter for conversations on the subject. In Flood! – reduxe and Fomenting the floods practical reading practice is the topic. And Hamish’s post about The Six Seasons is a sweet match.

Terry Fredrickson and Jon Fernquest: Bangkok Post, Learning From News

Hamish’s discussion about the weather reminded me to add a new resource to the monthly review, Learning From News.

Terry has been writing on this subject for years (more in a later post). His efforts have recently been transferred to the Bangkok Post website. The target market is Thais learning English, so most of the copy is in English (as it should be). But if you scroll down towards the bottom of each post you’ll get the Thai vocabulary. They’ve even recorded each article in English. Nice.

As with the posts above, I went with a flood theme:
Flood-related vocabulary updated
Flood waters approach Bangkok
Virtues of the traditional Thai house
Flood damage to rice crops and factories but sugar crop spared

BTW. If you think Thailand is having a lot of flooding now, check out Bangkok back in 1942!

Anothai Dara: Anothaidara

Anothai Dara is my favourite musical energiser bunny and I’ve grabbed a few songs to share:
Two Popetorn – Sia Jai Tee Tur Mai Roo [I’m Sorry, But You Don’t Know]
Gun the Star – Raya Tum Jai [Period of Coping]
NOLOGO – Kon Tee Kao Jai [Somebody]
Flame – Ruk Sanook [Fling]

Brett: Learn Thai from a White Guy

What do you get when you throw Brett Whiteside in together with David Long at Bangkok Barcamp 4? For their first meeting it was a discussion about Why Language Study Sucks. David made a request for comments so if you have something to say, please do. I’d certainly be interested in hearing what you have to say.

Chris: chris_thai_student

In Language Spikes Chris introduces a term I haven’t heard. Apparently spikes are what happens when learning via phrase books or similar, as they are arranged by subject (I believe I have that right). The tip shared in Unusual language equals video goodies is a good one – tell everyone that you are learning Thai and you just might get gifted a Thai thing or two!

Jo and Jay: Learn Thai Podcast Blog

When I stopped by the LTP blog I noticed their last post offered Free Thai Language Lessons for Your Holiday! Words and phrases, dating, food and drinks, numbers, shopping, getting around, and a lot more are included. Free is a good deal so if you have tickets to Thailand this Xmas or New Years, then Bob’s your uncle.

Jon Russell: Jonny Foreigner

I don’t get around to many of the non Thai language blogs (no time), so a special thanks goes to Martyn for the heads-up about Jon Russel’s post. My “long” journey learning Thai is the first in a series of posts sharing how Jon learned Thai. I’ve now signed up for his feed via email. Have you?

Megan: Bangkok Reality Smackdown

Megan goes right for the throat with Challenge: Sitting Down and Studying Thai. And haven’t we all felt the same at some point? Studying a foreign language can be tough. No doubt. And sometimes you need to reach deep to pull out the reason why.

By the end of the month, Meg gets out of full-time Thai studies by getting a job. But if I know Megan (and I don’t) then she’ll continue her studies on the side. What I do know is that Megan won the amazingly fabulous Reading Thai iPhone app this week so she’s got that part of her Thai studies covered at least.

Palmisano: Thai Blog

Again I went hunting for a theme. I came up with two and both subjects are common in Thailand. Cute vrs ugly, and two lots of food poisoning:
Hey There, Good Looking!
But Your Just Too Ugly!
Food Poisoning part 1 of 2
Food Poisoning part 2 of 2

Richard Barrow: Using the iPhone in Thailand (no longer online)

Bless you Richard. I really do need to get back to reviewing more iPhone apps (and I will, I will… soon!) But until then: Thai Alphabet Helper, Easy Thai Script for the iPad and uTalk Learning Thai.

Rikker: Thai 101

Rikker’s October post, Bureaucracy insanity: What makes a good Thai teacher?, isn’t exactly about learning Thai, but it’s a good read and does touch on the Thai school system. Scary.

Sebastian: Language – Life – Work (no longer online)

In ‘Comprehensible Input In Thailand’, Sebastian talks about a trip to Bangkok where he tries out the Thai he’s learned so far. Also mentioned: Stephen Krashen’ comprehensible input and the invaluable videos from AUA.

Snap: Learning Thai In Chiang Mai

Snap has had such a time sorting out a Thai language school in Chiang mai. After getting the run around for months from CMU, she went back to researching Thai Language Schools. And now she announced I’ve enrolled! Snap decided to attend Pro Language, which is the same school Talen is attending in Pattaya. Before Snap got on the plane she jotted down what she knows so far in Thai: Before I Go.

Talen: Thailand, Land of Smiles (no longer online)

As you’ve read previously, Talen is a couple of months ahead of Snap in the Thai school system. And his ‘Learning the Thai Language Update’ just shows you how far one can go (when they actually do their homework). Kudos Talen! We are rooting for you.

Stu Jay Raj: stujay.com

Stu’s fun post, Pirated DVD’s and Thai Translations Gone Astray, has tips on how to chose videos once in Thailand. Well, that’s if you buy pirated videos… right?

In 12 Easy Steps to Reading Thai Stu explains how to use his Thai Consonant Chart. I wrote about his chart in Thai Language Cheat Sheets. The two other posts mentioned as must reads in his posts are Thai Tones, Consonants and Vowels in One Simple Post and Jazz Lessons on Language – Improvisation 101 – Stuart Jay Raj’s Indic Script Compass.

?? thaiwrite

ดอกไม้บ้านเฮา is about house flowers from the north. I recently spent a week sipping a soothing tea made partly from กระดังงา /rà-dang-ngaa/ or as we call it elsewhere, ylang ylang. It was an interesting experience deserving a repeat.

Bloggers who sometimes tweet more than they blog…

As I mentioned in my first post, several bloggers also spend heaps and heaps of time at twitter (almost as much time as I spend writing emails).

Ajarn Pasa: Tweet Yourself Thai | twitter: @AjarnPasa

Ajarn Pasa is one of the few here who gives twitter and blogging equal time.

Kaewmala: Thai Women Talks | twitter: @Thai_Talk

Kaewmala is a political gal at @Thai_Talk but also shares needed insights on the Thai language at @thai_idioms and @lanna_talk.

Rikker Dockum: Thai 101 | twitter: @thai101

Rikker sometimes blogs, sometimes podcasts, but mostly twitters.

Who’s all a Thai twittering…

Here’s the complete list of those twittering about Thai:

Podcasts about learning Thai…

I’m not really clued into who’s podcasting about Thai (don’t hold your peace if you do), but as far as I can tell Rikker is the only one for October.

Rikker: Bangkok Podcast

In the 6th of their Thai Language Series, Rikker discusses The complexities of Thai vowels. It’s a heavy subject but Rikker and the Bangkok Podcast gang make it less so.

Btw, the full list of both twitter people and bloggers can be found here: Thai Language Bloggers. Again, let me know if anyone is missing.

Until the November version, enjoy…

Thailand flooding

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Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Interview with Peter Lo

Peter on Stu's Cracking Thai Fundamentals

Peter Lo on Stu’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals…

This month polyglot Stu Jay Raj arrived in Bangkok to give his Cracking Thai Fundamentals workshop. To give you some idea of what goes on, I asked several attendees to share their experiences. Scott Eddy went first, Claudio Sennhauser second, and now Peter follows.

Peter, how do you learn languages?

I was quite passive about language learning. I can’t recall myself being as excited as now about a language after Stu’s CTF.

What is your Thai level?

I can talk to Thais, no problem with asking them for directions and sometimes have a good laugh over a conversation. However, there seems to be an invisible wall and ceiling for me between my Thai friends. My Thai reading level never passed kindergarten.

How long have you been a student of the Thai language?

Ever since I was eight when I first came to Thailand.

What Thai language learning methods did you try?

I had some Thai lessons when I was in RIS and had some private tutoring where the Thai tutor made me do repetition drills on writing, speaking of different word blocks.

How did you hear about Stuart Jay Raj’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals programme?

I am one of the subscribers to his language blog.

Please describe Stuart Jay Raj’s style of teaching/instructing.

I would say Stu’s style of teaching is: “An education expert’s theory come true”. I have read about theorist and professors saying, “Oh we must engage ourselves to whole mind learning in order for us to learn at an accelerated state. Blah blah blah.” So far I hadn’t seen any experts doing any real whole mind teaching. All they gave were just the what and how but never really the front-end product like Stu’s workshop.

Stu’s style of teaching IS whole mind learning. He teaches his material through different senses. He would tie the ลระ(Sara) together with body gestures, not only that, he also ties in the sound together with the gestures, making it really hard for anyone to forget.

What were your Ah Hah! moments during the workshop?

I finally know how to get the tones right for pronouncing Thai words. The tones were all inside my head and but I never knew when which tone should I be pronouncing. What Stu did for me was getting all consonant classes right and which tone to produce when you have different tone markers ไม่เอก ไม่โท ไม่ตรี ไม่จัตวา. I didn’t know each consonant class has its own tone characteristics. Where the high class is “windy” and “rising”, while the middle class and low class stays the same. This was a serious problem for me when it comes to reading Thai fluently. This pretty much solved all of my Thai language problems.

The tone exercises in CTF made me more aware of how words were constructed in my throat and mouth. On the way back home, I was talking to the taxi driver for a while already. The taxi driver said that he didn’t even realized that I was not Thai! I now have Stu’s Phonetic Map of the Human Mouth which is a valuable tool for me to be aware of what going on in my mouth and other people’s mouth. I have say this again, the tonal exercises really opened up my ears not just to Thai, but people’s emotions when they are speaking to me.

I was in the car with my relative in the morning one day. We would greet each other in Chinese saying the word “早(morning)” The tone of that word from my relative was different. It sounded like a high tone in Thai. Right after he greeted me with the word “早”, he was talking about something that made him happy yesterday with a smile on his face. With training, I think I can start to tell the subtler emotion difference of people around me, that’s cool and didn’t thought I would be learning from a Thai language course.

Why would you recommend his workshop to other students of the Thai language?

Stu’s class is for anyone who wants to start learning Thai and wants to get pass by that foreigner limit. Not only does he provide you with information about the language mechanics, he also fills in the culture about Thai language, which makes you want to know more about what you are learning after the workshop. It’s unearthly believable educational and entertaining at the same time! It’s like watching “Inception” for 8 hours and you didn’t even realize eight hours just passes by.

Peter Lo (Facebook)

More on Stu and Cracking Thai Fundamentals…

Around the Internet:
Twitter: @stu_jay
Facebook: Stu Jay Raj
YouTube Channel: stujaystujay
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Language and Mind Mastery
Bangkok Radio: Cracking Thai Fundamentals

Mnidcraft: The Art of Language
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part One
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part Two
Successful Thai Language Learner: Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj
Cracking Thai Fundamentals Meets Mnidcraft Over Songkran
Stu Jay Raj is Back in Bangkok with Cracking Thai Fundamentals
Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Interview With Scott Eddy
Claudio on Stu’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals

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Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Interview with Claudio Sennhauser

Claudio on Stu's Cracking Thai Fundamentals

Claudio on Stu’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals…

The first day of the Cracking Thai Fundamentals workshop started out with the obligatory introductions. I realized during the introduction that even foreigners who have been living in Thailand already for quite some time still seem to struggle with the same aspects of the language as I did: tonality, vocabulary, reading and writing. I was in good company!

To get the workshop started, Stu Jay set the stage by getting our minds to think outside of words. He made us aware that learning a new language is slowed down when we focus on literal translations, because meaning of words is relative. Stu Jay asked us to “never let words limit our thoughts” and led us through an exercise in which we color-coded a list of words based on how they feel, rather than focusing on their specific meanings. All participants quickly got a better feeling of words as a result of this color-coding exercise.

It then was time for Stu Jay to teach us some basic semantic building blocks of the Thai language. We learned 11 essential words without having them translated into English. We internalized their meaning through gestures and full body motions. I found this highly effective, as it pulled us away from the writing and sound system of our mother tongue. With these building blocks in place, and only two hours into the program, each student was already able to produce complete and proper sentences in Thai.

Next, we learned the Thai vowels. We had lots of good laughs, as Stu Jay taught each of the vowels with a corresponding hand sign. It is impossible, for example, to ever forget the sara aa (า) the way Stu Jay teaches it. These hand signs have been developed by Stu Jay as a way to “lock” the vowels into our body, mind, and throat. This module of the workshop is available on YouTube (Part 1 and Part 2). You will see that you feel quite comfortable with all the vowels in less than 30 minutes.

We then learned about the different consonant classes and the role tone markers play in the Thai alphabet. Stu Jay got us to visualize vivid scenarios and repeat his sounds, body movements, and gestures to ensure the highest possible retention of the learned material. As a result, I will forever know what the low, middle, and high classes are doing in the Thai alphabet, as I vividly remember the funny stories and images Stu Jay used during this module.

After we all had a solid understanding of the classes, we tackled the Thai consonants. As with the vowels, Stu Jay developed a system that teaches these vowels in a fun and easy way. We used his Thai Consonant Map to gain an understanding of each consonant’s class, sound, and where in the mouth it is produced. Through many engaging exercises, we gradually became aware of the muscles used to produce each consonant. Stu Jay ensured that the participants remember each of these consonants by using stories, analogies and metaphors with humor. I now won’t be confusing ผ, ฝ, พ, ฟ anymore and remember how they sound and to what class they belong.

Throughout the entire workshop, Stu Jay taught us not only the Fundamentals of Thai, but also many aspects of Thai culture not typically taught during a language (or even Thai culture) course. Getting such a deep insight into Thai culture has provided many “AHA!” experiences for all participants of the workshop.

Cracking Thai Fundamentals has been an outstanding experience for me. I’m now confident and convinced that I can master the Thai language. I feel Stu Jay has given each participant a very powerful language seed and it is now up to us to make it grow.

Claudio Sennhauser
Claudio Sennhauser | twitter: @DemoWell

More on Stu and Cracking Thai Fundamentals…

Around the Internet:
Twitter: @stu_jay
Facebook: Stu Jay Raj
YouTube Channel: stujaystujay
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Language and Mind Mastery
Bangkok Radio: Cracking Thai Fundamentals

Mnidcraft: The Art of Language
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part One
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part Two
Successful Thai Language Learner: Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj
Cracking Thai Fundamentals Meets Mnidcraft Over Songkran
Stu Jay Raj is Back in Bangkok with Cracking Thai Fundamentals
Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Interview With Scott Eddy

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Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Interview with Scott Eddy

Cracking Thai Fundamentals: Interview With Scott Eddy

Talking about Stu Jay Raj’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals…

Stu is back in Bangkok with Cracking Thai Fundamentals. You already know my experiences with Stu’s workshop, so to give you another opinion I asked a former student of Stu’s, Scott Eddy, for an interview.

I first heard about Scott from Claudio Sennhauser, a mutual friend (thanks Claudio!) As mentioned, Claudio will be attending Stu’s coming workshop and plans to give an interview as well.

Scott has spent the past few years bouncing around the world, with Thailand drawing him back just recently. So recent, that I made contact with Scott right when he was moving into his new digs in Phuket.

Interviewing Scott Eddy…

How do you learn languages?

Myself personally, I really need to have a teacher. When it comes to learning new languages, I am somewhat lazy, so if I leave it up to books and cd’s, I will do it for a few days, then get bored.

How did you hear about Stuart Jay Raj’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals programme?

I was reading through some forums where people were talking about this “language guru” that was the best in the world. More than looking for a teacher, I have never met a “guru”, so I just wanted to meet him. And after a few classes, we actually became good friends, and started hanging out outside of classes.

What was your Thai level before hooking up with Stu?

My Thai was non-existent.

What is your Thai level now?

When I left Thailand in 2006, after living there many years, my Thai level was pretty good, comprehending 60-70%, maybe more, and speaking 40-50%. Fortunately, I had a Thai girlfriend/fiancée for 3.5 years, so I used to keep my Thai going, even though she is an executive at Chevron and speaks perfect English. And while I was away 4.5 years, 3 years in Barcelona, 6 months in London, and 1 year in Miami, I tried to go eat Thai 2-3 times per week and speak to my Thai friends in Thailand as much as possible. Now that I am back, I am probably comprehending 30-40% and speaking 20-30%.

Can you describe Stuart Jay Ra’s style of teaching? How did Stu help you improve?

His style is unlike any that I have ever seen or heard of. As a religious follower of self improvement motivational speakers, I was immediately drawn into his methods. He uses your body movements in many of his methods, which helps you remember longer than traditional methods. And most of all, his classes are fun, not just about learning the language, you will also learn about the culture and hear about his crazy past, and his dealings with every level of Thailand, from the every day Thai’s that you will meet walking down the street to the Royal level.

Would you recommend other people learning with him? Why?

Everyone that wants to learn Thai I send to him. There are not too many teachers out there with his background and knowledge.

The bottom line is this, being a foreigner in a third world country is hard enough, but it becomes harder if you do not open your eyes and try to learn not only their language, but their culture as well. And, with his background, there is no one better to help you achieve everything you hope to gain in Thailand, than Stu. He takes a special interest in each student, something that you will never find, in any teacher, anywhere in the world!

Scott Eddy
Facebook: MrScottEddy
Twitter: @MrScottEddy

Stu Jay Raj’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals…

If you want to get the tiny details about Stu’s workshop, then head over to Cracking Thai Fundamentals for more.

Stu can also be found at the locations below:
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Language and Mind Mastery
YouTube Channel: stujaystujay
Twitter: @stu_jay
Facebook: Stu Jay Raj
Facebook: Stujay.com – Language and Mind Mastery by Polyglot Stuart Jay Raj

And here are Stu’s growing posts on WLT:
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part One
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part Two
Successful Thai Language Learner: Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj
Mnidcraft: The Art of Language
Cracking Thai Fundamentals Meets Mnidcraft Over Songkran
Stu Jay Raj is Back in Bangkok with Cracking Thai Fundamentals

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Stu Jay Raj is Back in Bangkok with Cracking Thai Fundamentals

Stu Jay Raj and Cracking Thai Fundamentals

Stu Jay Raj is back with Cracking Thai Fundamentals…

As I mentioned earlier this year – Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part One – I met polyglot Stu Jay Raj right after landing in Bangkok.

I took Stu’s workshop to gain an insight into the Thai language and culture. And I did.

Cracking Thai Fundamentals is for anyone who has just arrived in Thailand and wants to start off on the right foot or for anyone who has lived in Thailand for a long time but their knowledge of Thai sounds like a clumsy shoe falling down the stairs.

To help us to remember Thai vowels, Stu got us up doing funny things with our mouths, hands, and entire bodies. And to this day, I still smile at how Stu taught me to get the vowel า into my head.

To see what I mean, watch his video in the second part of the interview: Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part Two.

So instead of freaking out about Thai tones like everyone else newly studying Thai, I came away from Stu’s workshop with cheeky memories of saying aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah :-)

Stu took his family off to Australia months ago. Then, in late August, I got a heads up with ‘Hey Cat! I’m coming back!’ So for those of you finding yourselves in Bangkok this October – lucky you.

Date: Tues (5th) – Wed (6th) October
Time: 09.00 – 17.00

For two days, Stu’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals Bangkok Workshop will be on offer. And if I were you, I’d grab at the chance because Stu is only visiting Bangkok. Not relocating.

Btw: Those signing up for the workshop will receive a free online membership.

Mistakes people make when Learning a language…

Stu’s teaching style is chock-full of fabulous energy that sucks his students into the excitement of it all. His latest video, Mistakes People Make When Learning A Language, is a perfect example.

Some of the mistakes we make are hilarious … if you are reading this and you’ve ever been to Soi Ruamrudee in Bangkok, you need to watch the clip lest you follow the hysterical (for others) route that many have trodden before you!

Look who’s attending Stu’s Thai workshop…

The online learning Thai community is close-knit, so it was a simple matter to get quotes from two people attending Stu’s workshop. You’ll already know Talen from his popular website, Thailand Land of Smiles (no longer online), or even his recent post on WLT: Review: Thai Language Schools in Pattaya.

Talen: Now that I am getting serious about learning the Thai language and taking language lessons, I am looking for anything that will help in this endeavor. The Cracking Thai Fundamentals workshop looks to be right up my alley and I am hoping that it will provide me a solid bridge into the fundamentals of the Thai language that I so desperately want to learn.

Talen (AKA Tim Bull)
twitter: @landofsmiles

I hooked up with Claudio on twitter yaks ages ago. As we twitter back and forth pretty much daily, he was happy to give me a quote too. It sounds like he’s just as excited about the workshop as I was!

Claudio: I’ve been living in Thailand for two years and find learning Thai to be a big challenge. The problem is the tonal aspect of the Thai language. In addition, I struggle with remembering the words I learn; they seem to go in one ear and right out the other.

While reading through the course description of Stu’s 2-day workshop “Cracking Thai Fundamentals”, I became very interested. I then watched some of Stu’s videos on YouTube, immediately liking his style and personality.

So far so good, but I wanted to be sure before signing up. I then reached out to my Twitter network to see if anybody had studied with him before. The responses I received from previous workshop attendees convinced me that this is a course I don’t want to miss.

I signed up for the workshop and can’t wait for it to start! I’m looking forward to a fun-filled and entertaining two days. And the prospect of finally mastering the consonant and vowel systems, as well as learning techniques to help me remember vocabulary, is exciting.

Claudio Sennhauser
Claudio Sennhauser | twitter: @DemoWell

Are you curious about the person Claudio talked to? I was too. And few tweets and emails later, Claudio’s friend and former student of Stu’s, @MrScottEddy, agreed to an interview (so watch this space).

And that’s not all. After Talen and Claudio go through Stu’s workshop, they’ll do an interview as well. Megga.

Polyglot Stu Jay Raj around town…

Around the Internet:
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Language and Mind Mastery
YouTube Channel: stujaystujay
Facebook: Stu Jay Raj
Twitter: @stu_jay

Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part One
Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj: Interview Part Two
Successful Thai Language Learner: Stuart (Stu) Jay Raj
Mnidcraft: The Art of Language
Cracking Thai Fundamentals Meets Mnidcraft Over Songkran

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Cracking Thai Fundamentals Meets Mnidcraft Over Songkran

Mnidcraft Over Songkran

Hey all, if you want to have a BLAST this Songkran, then read on…

Wanna keep dry over Songkran?…

Date: 13th, 14th & 15th April (3 x 4hr sessions)
Time: 9:00 – 13:00
Place: Will be notified of Venue on Confirmation of Place in Class
Cost: 10,000 Baht per person
Contact: stujay@hotmail.com

Over the past month I have had a number of people mention that they would be in Bangkok over Songkran 2009 and asked whether I’d be able to put on a Cracking Thai Fundamentals programme.

The answer is YES.

I will be mixing my standard Cracking Thai Fundamentals programme with principles and activities from my Mnidcraft programme (read more at Behind the Curtain with Stuart Jay Raj) over 3 x 4 hour session – 13th – 15th of April.

Cracking Thai Fundamentals…

This course is suited to anyone who has just arrived in Thailand and wants to start off on the right foot or for anyone who has lived in Thailand for a long time but their knowledge of Thai sounds like a clumsy shoe falling down the stairs. Stuart Jay Raj has built up a reputation in Thailand for teaching the Thai language and culture to the expatriate community over the last five years. When it comes to languages, take our word for it…this guy knows what he is talking about in any of the 13 different languages he can fluently speak, listen, read and write!

Aside developing conversational skills in Thai, other topics the course covers include:

  • Memory techniques and building
  • Building cognitive fluency when speaking Thai – training ourselves to react in Thai without thinking
  • Motivating in the Thai workplace and eliciting the information we really need
  • Using language to build a cross cultural rapport in the workplace
  • Street Thai vs. Formal Thai / what to say, when to say it and who to say it with
  • Expressing yourself in Thai to get the right reaction
  • Understanding and Using Thai humour to reach to the heart.

Learning with Stuart Raj…

Language is an exciting, living, changing and flexible creature that lets us get into the minds of the people who speak it. As expatriates, the value that learning to understand and communicate clearly with locals is priceless – especially in the workplace!

Over four 3hr sessions you will achieve the following objectives:

  • Develop instinctive natural responses when conversing in Thai without passing through another language
  • Overcome the psychological barrier of learning a tonal language
  • Mastered the entire Thai Consonant System – Ideal for People who have learned previously but still have problems remembering symbols and classes – (Using imagery, mnemonics, sign language and 3-D spatial recognition)
  • Learned the entire Thai Vowel System – (using unique hand signs that directly relate to the vowel shapes in the Thai script)
  • Learned the Thai Tonal Rule System – (mind-mapping, imagery and story-telling)
  • Learned new language learning techniques, including how to recognize and analyse many Sanskrit and Chinese based elements in Thai.

Does It Really Work?…

Classes are kept small (maximum 10 persons) and coaching is tailored to each individual. The one prerequisite is having the right attitude when learning and be open to letting go some of our preconceived ideas and negative experiences with language learning. You will be amazed how fast you can grasp the vowel, consonant and tone systems through the use of non-conventional methods!

What have people said in the past year?…

  • My Thai girlfriend was awestruck at how much I’d learned so quickly!
  • Great group size – focuses on the individual
  • Get a historical background – brings the language to life
  • The handbook is an easy reference
  • Enjoyed the holistic approach – Love the stories and imagery – they’ve stuck!
  • Very practical, based on our experiences, slang etc.
  • Feel more natural in Thai – rhythm of sentences and words
  • Demystified the alphabet
  • Got motivated again!


“Stuart’s background in teaching, marketing, translating and interpreting, music and computers are a testament to his multi-skilled versatility. Learning with Stuart is not a chore – his methods build an indelible understanding of ways to apply fundamental principles that underpin the paths by which we actually learn. And his methods for learning apply equally to the learning of language, music and applied technologies. In short, Stuart Raj’s methods reflect his sincere passion for the fulfilment of the human spirit” Malcolm Smith, NALSAS Indonesian Project, School of Languages and Linguistics Griffith University – Brisbane, Australia

I took Stu’s Cracking Thai Fundamentals course and it was great fun! Stu knows what he is doing, so you are sure to learn Thai amongst all the hoots.

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