Learn Thai Through The Use Of The Internet
There are several methods to learn Thai and no one method is the correct one. Often it can take a combination of many methods to get a strong grasp of any language. I decided to start a series on different ways one can learn the Thai Language but surely this can also be applied to several other languages.
First method is using the Internet or what we call Online Learning. We all know that the Internet is a vast database of knowledge and much of it is just waiting for you to use. So what is the best way to go about learning using the Internet? Well from my experience we have several options below but all with pros and cons.
1. Online Paid Thai Course – The first thing that comes to mind is signing up to an online course such as Thai Pod 101 that is designed to teach you Thai. They start you off as a complete beginner and throughout the course move you up to advanced. If you are already skilled than you can skip the initial courses. The benefits of an online course is it is very structured, often has support, forums and mobile applications so you can take it all on the go. The con of course is the price. Not everyone is willing to spend money and that is surely up to them.
2. Free Online Material – As I stated above the Internet is huge and has so much data. You can certainly find lots of information on the Internet that will help you learn the language. YouTube Videos, online radio forums, websites and so much more are waiting for you to find. However, that is also the biggest con. You have to find quality content and often the material you find will not be structured. You will find a mix bag of Thai info from beginner to advance. Usually, finding a free full course from start to finish is not an easy find.
3. Web Cam – Normally conducted through Skype you can try learning Thai from a private online tutor. The method is not free and will cost you per lesson. Sometimes you can get the first lesson at a discount or purchase several lessons at once to have the overall price reduced. Great thing about a private teacher is the teacher can actually hear you speak. That way they can correct you with your tones or mispronunciation. The teacher can also structure the course by what you personally want to learn. The con of course is the price. It can get quite pricey if you are taking a lot of lessons.
Web Cam Learning does not always have to be paid for. There are websites out there that offer a language exchange such as Hello Talk but there are several more. You want to learn the Thai language but perhaps there is a Thai Person that wants to learn the English language. You set up video cam sessions and you start to talk and learn each other’s language. The biggest con about this is you not only become the student but you also become the teacher. Another major complaint I hear with this method is the session might be too one sided. Meaning the Thai person is controlling the session and learning much more English than you are Thai or vice versa.
Learn Thai online biggest con is if you are not doing things like Webcam speaking or actually talking to the Thai People day to day. No one can actually hear you speak. Thai is a tonal language and how you pronounce a word can change the meaning. You might think you sound amazing at home but once you hit the real world you might have a lot of Thai puzzled faces with your skills. Online learning is a very important part of grasping the Thai Language but of course actually using it in real life will get you so much farther. This will be covered in other sections throughout my series.
Next series will focus on Learning Thai in the classroom. So follow me on Twitter or Facebook and will see you next time.