How to Choose a Thai Language Course in Thailand
Hoping to improve your listening, speaking, reading, and/or writing skills in Thai? A Thai language course can certainly help. However, you should know that no two Thai language courses are built the same! There are several things to watch out for in order to select the best course for you. First and foremost, however, know that the best Thai language courses are offered in Thailand.
By experiencing total cultural and linguistic immersion, you’re set up for success in your Thai language learning journey. The key to mastering any language is to practice it amongst native speakers, meaning it just makes sense to learn Thai in Thailand. Also, did we mention that the country is renowned for its breathtaking natural scenery? When you’re not studying, you can explore and enjoy the natural landscape.
Learning Thai in Thailand can open a world of possibilities for you. Once you learn the basics, you can begin to communicate with locals, better understand the Thai culture, and even build friendships with other Thai speakers. You can also gain access to new employment opportunities that require an understanding of Thai to qualify for.
If you’re considering enrolling in a Thai language course in Thailand, you came to the right place. In this article, we outline the top 5 considerations you should take into account when selecting a Thai language course in Thailand- and suggest some top-quality courses to boot!
- Quality of School
The quality of your Thai language school is reflective of the quality of their course offerings. Look for schools that have extensive experience teaching a variety of languages to locals and foreigners alike, as this is indicative that they offer flexible learning styles and know how to cater to different types of learners.
Another indicator of quality is the breadth of course offerings. A comprehensive, high-quality school will offer a staggered approach to courses, with offerings for beginners and advanced learners alike. In addition, top schools offer courses for specific purposes, including simply for leisure (“for fun”), or for formal test preparation. If you are learning Thai for a specific purpose, you should choose a school that offers courses that are tailored to your needs. This ensures that you get maximum learning benefits for your time and tuition.
- Teaching Style
Research has demonstrated that live instruction combined with active learning is the best technique for learning a new language. Be sure to search for a school that emphasizes collaboration and participation in the classroom, as these strategies lead to the best learning. You’ll be better able to use Thai in practical contexts if you select a school that employs active learning in its courses. Don’t settle for less! It’s not worth compromising your learning.
For example, Insight is a great proponent of collaborative classrooms. By leveraging the power of group discussions, problem solving scenarios, interactive learning, instant feedback, and practical experience, Insight students thrive when using Thai in the real world.
- Course Structure
Naturally, course structure varies by institution and by course content, but there are several tips and tricks to look for when evaluating the integrity of a course’s structure. A well-structured course leads to well-structured learning, so don’t overlook this criteria!
For Test-Specific Courses
While some test all key language applications (speaking, listening, writing, and reading), some may only draw upon one application. Every test is different, and as such, it’s important to select the correct course for your needs. If you only need to improve your writing skills, choose a course that emphasizes writing skills in the course structure. If you need to improve all applications, choose a course with a more balanced structure. A good school will offer test- and skill-specific courses.
For General Thai Courses
When it comes to general Thai courses, be sure to choose an administration format that works for you. Pay attention to the number of instruction hours per week and course duration. If you’re hoping to learn Thai for fun, don’t lock yourself into 40 hours of instruction for 50 weeks (unless, of course, that’s your idea of fun!). Instead, try a more leisurely format so that you can get a taste of learning Thai and decide later on if you would like to join a more rigorous program. Selecting a pace that works for your schedule and interest will set you up for success.
Private Vs Group Classes
You know yourself best. Do you prefer to learn in a group environment, or would you rather have one-on-one instruction? Top-notch schools typically offer small group and private classes so that you can choose which best suits your learning style. Small group sizes benefit from collaboration with peers, but private classes are more tailored. There’s no “better” option here, it’s simply a matter of personal preference.
A quick warning: beware of schools with large class sizes. Small groups are conducive to constructive learning and collaboration, but the larger the class, the less personal feedback you get. Be sure to look for schools in Thailand that advertise “small groups”, and when you’re not sure of the average class size, don’t be afraid to ask!
- Desired Application of Knowledge
You’re learning Thai for a reason, and there’s a course out there that perfectly matches that reason! Don’t settle for a course that doesn’t check all of your boxes. For example, Insight, based in Thailand, has designed their fleet of Thai courses to appeal to Thai learners of all ages and levels of Thai.
Insight offers general conversation classes at the beginner, elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper-intermediate, and advanced levels, as well as business-specific and general Thai courses. No matter what your goals are, rest assured that Insight has a course and instructor to match! The best part? With so many levels of learning, you can choose the ideal course that builds on your strengths and challenges you to improve your language skills. You can also work your way up through the levels if your goal is to become fully fluent.
- Location Within Thailand
Some Thai learners are already living in Thailand and want to join a school close to home. Others travel from abroad and want to enroll in a school that’s in proximity to tourist attractions and other fun things to do. The best Thai schools are established in Thailand with multiple locations across the country. For example, Insight boasts three locations in Thailand: Silom (Bangkok), Ladprao (Bangkok), and Hua Hin. Silom and Ladprao will appeal to the city folk learners, while Hua Hin is ideal for beach and nature lovers.
Now, you’re fully aware of the top 5 criteria you should consider when selecting a Thai language course in Thailand. After considering the quality of the school, teaching style, course structure, course content, and location within Thailand, you’re well prepared to make a confident decision about the Thai language course that’s best for you.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choice of course, consider visiting the school(s) offering said course in-person. Check out the building, the location, and the environment to see if it’s a good fit for you. If you can, also connect with staff members to learn about the institution. If you can’t do an in-person visit, definitely consult online reviews from past learners. Try to find course-specific reviews if possible to guide your decision-making.
Another element to look for during your Thai language course search is free demonstration classes and assessments. Top-quality schools will offer free trial classes so that you know what you are signing up for. You can assess the class environment, teaching style, pacing, student-teacher interaction, and more. Many schools also offer free assessments prior to enrollment, where you meet with a Thai language expert to assess your current understanding of the language. Then, they will recommend the course with the appropriate level of difficulty for you, once again helping you ensure that you get your money’s worth. We strongly endorse taking advantage of these free opportunities, as they will ultimately help you make the best decision. Be wary of schools who are not transparent about their teaching methods and course content.
Interested in learning more about choosing a Thai language course in Thailand? Check out Insight’s fleet of Thai courses across three beautiful Thailand campuses. Whether you want to learn Thai for fun or for professional purposes, and regardless of your current level of expertise, there’s a Thai course that’s perfect for you. Benefit from live instruction, small class sizes, and a practical approach to learning. Visit Thai courses to learn more!