What Is the Best Way for Thais to Learn English?
Learning a new language is hard, so it’s important to identify the most effective way to learn English. That way, you get maximum knowledge with a minimal time investment. While there is no magic recipe for Thais to learn English, there are some important tips and tricks to be aware of to make your journey to English fluency as smooth as possible.
I’m sure we’ve all taken a stab at classic language teaching platforms like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. I know I have, but I’m never quite able to stick with them long enough to develop any solid comprehension of the language. If you’re Thai and have struggled to learn English, you’re not alone. Many people use a stop-and-start approach, trying multiple times over the years to learn English, but ultimately never become fluent. It doesn’t have to be this way! There are many effective ways to learn English, but not everyone knows about them. I was guilty of this at one point myself!
If you’re tired of struggling to learn English and you just want to find a method that actually works, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, you will learn about:
- – What makes English a difficult language to learn,
- – How much time you should dedicate to learning English,
- – The best instructional methods for learning English,
- – How to develop an English language learning mindset,
- – The best everyday tricks for Thais to learn English,
- – And the most effective tools recommended to English language learners
Is English a hard language to learn?
There’s a reason why so many people try to learn English but fail: it’s a difficult language to learn! It’s rife with rules and exceptions, nuance in word order, silent letters, synonyms that can’t be used in the same way… shall I go on?
Learning English as a native Thai speaker can be especially difficult because you don’t share a “language family”. For example, if you were a German or Dutch speaker, you would have a much easier time learning English because of similar patterns amongst the languages. The transition from Thai to English is less straightforward- but not impossible to achieve!
How much time does it take to learn English properly?
This is a trick question, as how long it takes someone to learn a language is entirely dependent on the quality of their instruction. As a general rule, it takes about 200-300 hours of study to achieve conversational-level English. This means that you will have a strong foundation in sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and speaking patterns.
To learn English in the most effective way possible, focus on the type of instruction and not the time of instruction.
What’s the best type of instruction to learn English?
Immersive experiences are the top way to master English. You can try to learn from an app all you want, but nothing beats applying your knowledge in real life situations. The ultimate way for Thais to learn English is to start using English in every situation, all the time.
Don’t worry- that’s not my official recommendation! I know it’s super unrealistic to be a 24/7 learner. If you start busting out the English at work all of a sudden your employer may have some questions. Still, I can’t stress enough the power of immersive learning.
How do I develop an English language learning mindset?
Another key component to learning English is your attitude. The language is difficult, which means that it’s important that you be kind to yourself and take a constructive approach. Here are my top three recommendations for developing the proper mindset to learn English:
1. Be prepared to make mistakes
It’s impossible to learn English without making mistakes. After all, the only way we learn is by doing something wrong and then figuring out how to correct it. Don’t begin your learning journey by expecting it to be a breeze. It won’t, but the tougher it is, the more you’re learning!
2. Practice being patient with yourself
Knowing that you’re going to make a lot of mistakes as you learn English means that you need to be kind to yourself. When you make a mistake, be patient and work towards a solution instead of getting angry and giving up. The more patience you have, the more you will be able to learn.
3. Work on self-editing
If you’re taking on learning English alone, you probably don’t have anyone to correct you when you make a mistake. Instead, you need to adopt a mindset that self-evaluates. When you practice, be sure to keep checking that you’re writing/speaking/reading correctly. If you don’t self-edit you may teach yourself incorrectly and accidentally waste your time. Instead of having to re-learn later, self-edit in the moment.
What are the best everyday tricks I can use to work on my English?
There are tons of effective tricks that Thai speakers use to learn English, but here are just a few of my favorites.
Practice translating everyday words from Thai to English
Start with learning how to refer to the objects around you. Select items that you use every day, learn their names, and then make an effort to call them by their English names whenever you see and/or use them. The next time you watch a YouTube video, write down all the objects and people you can see and then translate their names into English. Walk through your home and pick 5 new things to learn the English name of everyday. All of these examples help you to get familiar with the basic English words that you will likely use in everyday life.
Read your favorite Thai texts in English
This is an excellent tip and one that has personally served me well throughout the years. Start by finding a children’s book that you adored as a kid- but this time, you’ll be reading the English version. This is helpful because you’re already familiar with the story and the words are simple, so you won’t get lost while trying to learn. As you master children’s books, work your way up to more complex titles. If there’s more than 5 words that you don’t know the meaning of on a single page, the text is too advanced for you. Start slow and build up your comprehension with time.
If books aren’t your thing, you can also do this with online news articles and even social media. Find what works for you!
Watch Thai Netflix with English subtitles (and vice versa)
Everyone loves Netflix! The beauty of using Netflix is that it often offers English subtitles. You can relax and watch your favorite show and learn English at the same time. Be sure to actually read the subtitles though! You can also try watching English Netflix with Thai subtitles, although this might be harder to come by.
The best part of engaging with this type of media is that you get to experience the pacing, inflection, and tone of how English speakers talk. These are important details that you can’t get from reading or writing. Experiencing how a conversation operates is massively important to your development.
Make Google your friend
Sitting on the bus and bored? Google English verb tenses and start to get familiar with them. Or, Google English news stories. Check in to see what an English celebrity has been tweeting. You can even Google your current location to see what it’s English name would be. Whenever you find yourself feeling bored, you can use this as an English learning opportunity through Google.
Find a friend to practice with
Witnessing English conversations is great, but having English conversations is better. That’s right! The best way to learn English is to speak English! What could be more immersive than actually participating in the English language? To avoid feeling self-conscious, practice with other English language learners. You can help each other learn in a welcoming and risk-free environment.
This is also a great strategy for holding you accountable to your learning goals. Learning together means that you don’t want to fall behind or disappoint the other person. You’re more likely to stick with your learning program this way.
What are the best tools to learn English?
In all honesty, I believe that the best way for Thais to learn English is through courses. I’m a huge fan of using coursework due to the comprehensive nature of learning, as you get to do independent work, collaborate with other learners, and be exposed to fluent learners. In addition, you’re immersed in learning for a set period of time, which as we know is important for actually absorbing what you’re learning.
If you’re interested in learning more about courses that help you to become better at the English language, check out Insight English’s fleet of courses. With offerings for general English learning, specialized English training, virtual English training, and even business English learning. We offer live instruction, one-on-one support, group work, and help you apply what you learn to real life situations. Want to learn more? Check out the course catalog!