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Thai Language School Review: Baan Aksorn

Thai Language School Review: Baan Aksorn

Baan Aksorn Thai Language School…

School: Baan Aksorn
Telephone Number: 02-258-5617 or 02-662-3090
Mobile: 084-769-6449
Address: House #40 Sukhumvit Soi 33, Klongton Nua, Watana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Location: Baan Askorn has a PDF that shows exactly how to get to their school either by walking from Phrom Phong BTS or by driving. Meaning, I don’t need to give you directions!

Basic Info: I looked at this school a few years ago, but kinda forgot about it. Actually, when I toured the school the first time I was quite put off by the condescending attitude of a particular student. But, in retrospect, students shouldn’t come into play so an in-depth review was in order.

I have to say the overall ambiance of this school is the best of any I’ve been to. From the outside it’s the most un-school looking building I’ve ever seen. Baan Askorn is located in a 30 year old Thai house that has been totally redone as a functional Thai language school. The garden area is full of towering mature trees, with places to sit. It’s shady and certainly more than adequate for having a Thai lesson outdoors (weather permitting). Honestly, I wouldn’t mind just stopping by their garden to “hang out”. Inside the school is just as inviting. The downstairs is the reception area, with the classrooms are upstairs.

Materials: The first four books are pretty standard fare. And I don’t mean that with ANY negative connotation. It’s just that they’re close to the materials seen in the better private Thai Language schools around Bangkok (as far as basic intro Thai books go). These types of books are designed to get you speaking something that at least resembles Thai. The books also provides a student with a base line vocabulary with the means to concentrate on conversation, reading, writing or a combination.

Baan Askorn’s advanced reading and writing materials are not the same old beat to death stuff I’ve seen at other schools. The course books are contemporary, up to date, and interesting. Stories start out with just a few sentences and progressively get longer in content and harder in vocabulary. New vocabulary is introduced at the beginning. And to gauge a student’s comprehension, questions (both spoken and written) are asked afterward. Quite honestly, as far as advanced materials go, these were some of the most interesting books I’ve come across in any school I’ve toured.

Method: The initial methodology at Baan Askorn is similar to other schools. Their phonemic transcription uses a system pretty close to Benjawan Becker’s Paiboon Plus. The material is presented in Thai, karaoke and English. This is situational-based material, covering the basics: greeting, meeting, getting around, asking questions, etc. It’s presented in a straightforward manner. The more advanced classes have discussions about topics relevant to the material being covered. Their advanced classes discuss articles from Thai newspapers.

Teachers: The teacher I had was more than capable insofar as teaching a foreigner the Thai language. She obviously knew the materials. In fact, she was so adept at teaching she was even able to write both English AND Thai upside down and backwards (so it would read right side up for me) as we sat across the table from one another! (I give her kudos for that feat in and of itself). I tried it after I got home and it’s definitely a skill-set which takes practice to pull off proficiently.

I spoke to a student who who sat the Thai proficiency exam after attending Baan Aksorn. He said teachers in all levels were more than competent and able to explain the “whyz-in-Thai” versus “that’s just how it is in Thai”.

Classes: Baan Aksorn offers group classes but only for those at comparable levels of Thai. However, I definitely got the feeling that they really prefer to teach private 1-on-1 lessons. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve sat group classes in many Thai language schools where the disparity of knowledge between students compels the teacher to teach either to the slowest student, holding back the faster ones, or to the fastest student, dragging the other ones along. As this can create bad feelings, some schools prefer to give private lessons.

ED Visa: Baan Aksorn offers education visas for students who enroll in a year long Thai program. It’s operated pretty much like all private Thai language schools registered with the Ministry of Education. Once students have paid their tuition, the school supplies support documentation for a Thai Embassy or Consulate (in a neighboring country), and secure a single entry 90 day ED visa. This is extended every 90 days at Thai Immigrations with additional documentation supplied by the school.

Bang-4-The-Baht: I rate this school quite high on the ‘bang-4-the-baht’ scale in terms of real value versus cost. They have some of the most contemporary and error free material I’ve seen. Their books are all written in-house, instead of being 5th generation copies of the oh-so dated Union Method material still in use by some Thai schools. They put a lot of time and effort into coming up with a solid curriculum of material for students to learn to speak, read and write Thai.

I’d recommend Baan Aksorn to anyone serious about undertaking Thai. You aren’t going to show up for the Ministry of Education’s stated minimum class time of 4 hours a week and suddenly start speaking Thai like a Thai. And you aren’t going to coast thru a class parroting material like a mynah bird (as is done in a school which shall remain nameless). This school will challenge you to learn Thai, but more than that, it will teach you the necessary skill-set to meet that challenge.

After perusing Baan Aksorn’s material I realised that I was quite remiss in my earlier dismissal of this school. And if I was still looking to attend a Thai language school, I’d certainly put them very near the top of the list.

Hope you found this review of value. As always I rate schools on what I’ve found works for me. This may or may not work for you. I urge ANYONE contemplating enrolling in or attending a private Thai language school to check out as many as you can BEFORE you pay a single satang of your hard earned baht.

Good Luck.

Tod Daniels | toddaniels at gmail dot com
Reviewing Thai Language Schools in Bangkok
(BTW: Tod is NOT affiliated with any Thai language school)

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Tod’s specialty is reviewing Thai language schools in Bangkok. And in his years studying Thai he’s also collected a few language learning tips to share with you.

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11 Comments

  1. Tod, Another great review And Cat this is just the tip of the iceberg of reasons why Women Learning Thai is the absolute best resource for learning Thai on the internet. You explore all the possibilities and leave no stone unturned.

  2. Talen, thank you muchly. I am grateful to Tod for his research into Thai language schools in Bangkok. And again, thank you for your write up on the Thai language schools in Pattaya. Now if I could just get a source for the Thai schools in Chiang mai…

  3. Catherine, your site is definitely a “go-to” link as far as information about learning the Thai language and resources for it too.

    I tell foreigners studying Thai about it where ever I happen to meet them, and believe me it’s NOT just because you let me contribute to the site. ..

    You have definitely moved from the “just another learning Thai website”” into the realm of a known entity with quality material and interesting articles.

    I’m glad to see it’s taken off like it has!! Keep up the great work Cat.

  4. Hi Tod,

    “And you aren’t going to coast thru a class parroting material like a mynah bird (as is done in a school which shall remain nameless).”

    Just a quick question. Why not ‘name and shame’ certain language schools? It’s equally valuable, in my opinion, to mention the good and the bad. Or did I just miss it in a previous review? :)

    E

    PS Cat, I undoubtedly messed up the XHTML tags. Assuming I did, could you pretty please fix it for me (again)? Oh, and ‘Hi (again)! :)’

  5. Thanks Tod. The learning Thai (and learning languages) subject keeps drawing me in – there’s so much more to research and write about. Exciting stuff. The community – authors and those commenting – round off the site. The site would be sorely lacking without everyone’s contribution (you all keep me from blathering on too much :-D

  6. Hi Emil :-) I put italics instead of quotes (hope you don’t mind).

    I can answer your question. Tod doesn’t want me to get sued plus he doesn’t want to give ‘the one who shall not be named’ free publicity. Seems the guy thrives on bad publicity.

    In Thailand, even if you state the truth, if it’s negative and they can prove they lost money they can sue for damages. That’s why forums delete some (not all) negative posts about Thai businesses.

    This is not an income generating site, but even it if were and could afford to pay for a court case, I wouldn’t want to even remotely go there so Tod is very careful. Thanks Tod!

    The very best we can do is not show support. And if any are mentioned in the comments, I let the comments ride but delete links to their sites/products.

  7. Hi Cat :)

    Thanks for that! When I looked at my post after submition, the quote had disappeared entirely–a new low for my XHTML tag record!

    Thanks for the answer. Interesting news about one very messed-up piece of legislation.

    If I ever get around to studying in Thailand I know who to PM to ask specifically what schools not to go to ;)

  8. “Interesting news about one very messed-up piece of legislation”

    And there’s more where that came from. Thailand announced that it’s all for censoring twitter.

    “If I ever get around to studying in Thailand I know who to PM to ask specifically what schools not to go to”

    Tod’s your man ;-)

    But seriously, there are enough decent Thai language schools in Tod’s review section to keep anyone busy for a good long while. And if a school is not there you can always ask Tod to review it (might be a sure way to figure out what’s what, what?)

  9. Now that Tod is freed from the shackles of the mods on that previously great forum, will we be seeing a review of Walen?

  10. Scott, Tod will not be reviewing Walen on my site. But if you are interested, there’s plenty of info on TV (you can’t miss it).

  11. Tod,
    Thanks for your review of the Thai school on Soi 33. I am fluent in Vietnamese and am looking for a good Thai school around Phrom Phong/Thong Lor area. Beyond the one on Soi 33, have you reviewed other schools around this area that you could recommend? I think private lessons are the most suitable as I have no problems with tones but travel quite a bit. What about the one in Emporium Suites? Imagine it’s not cheap but can you speak of the quality? Many thanks.

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