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  1. #1
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    Arrow Rapid Read Thai Bootcamp August 22-27 (Chiang Mai)

    ADVERTISEMENT / SPAM / COMMUNITY NOTICE (take your pick)

    Stop!

    Are you still illiterate? You can't really speak clearly and accurately unless you can read. The quickest and most effective way to learn to speak and understand Thai is through reading because you are then also able to absorb Thai continuously from your environment - just by reading the menus and the signs...

    If you cannot read Thai or are still struggling to read and you would like to speak Thai distinctly with naturally-sounding tones then this course is for you. By the end of the six days, you will be able to read Thai - albeit slowly and without necessarily understanding what you are reading - and pronounce each word accurately with the correct tones.

    What if you just want to learn to speak and understand Thai? Although it seems counter-intuitive, the most effective way to do this is to speak-through-reading. See the details below about the follow-on conversational courses.


    You'll absorb Thai from your environment if you can read these signs.




    If you are already fluent in Thai then please tell your "illiterate" farang friends to come and get it done, once and for all! ช่วยแนะนำเพื่อนฝรั่งผู้ไม่รู้หนังสือมาเรียนด้วยครั บ


    When August 22-27, Monday to Saturday, 8am-5pm
    Where Chiang Mai
    Cost ฿35,000 (฿38,000 for Bangkok courses)


    Includes
    - delicious buffet lunches and all-day refreshments,
    - comprehensive workbook,
    - lifetime access to the online "video workshop" course,

    - the "Anki" spaced-repetition flashcard files comprising the 500-odd words from the workshop (takes a month to memorize).

    And me with my whips and chains to make sure you can read Thai by the end of the week!

    What is the Rapid Method?

    It's an integrated system based on a less-is-more philosophy that incorporates mnemonics, pictures, risqué songs (where possible!) and stories for easy memorization, as well as a structure for developing good speaking habits, building up your vocabulary and training your ear - that fits into your busy/lazy lifestyle. Instead of studying mountains of academic or "linguistic" material, the minimalist Rapid Method focuses on a small body of essential & relevant vocabulary, sentence patterns and colloquial idioms that you master by studying gradually over time for no more than 10-15 minutes per day, plus two one-hour sessions per week with a teacher (online or face-to-face).

    If you can't make it to the workshop then you can follow the Video Workshop Series and learn to read Thai by yourself online.



    Workshop Schedule

    Monday is about learning all the basic consonants (which you should already know pretty well already from the preparation); and understanding exactly how to pronounce them. We introduce the first few vowels and practice reading simple words.

    Tuesday is about learning all the (simple) vowels. There are a lot of them. And practicing how to pronounce them. The vowels are the hardest thing to pronounce because you have to get the shape of your mouth just right.

    On Wednesday, we introduce the tones, learn the less common consonants and the more complicated (‘combination’) vowels. Now we can start to read real Thai – and we practice reading a few songs, such as:

    ดูเธอทำ

    คันหู
    This is a very risqué song that is NOT about an itchy ear!

    เห็นหมีหนูมั๊ย This is a vulgar song that is NOT about a bear (think "Spoonerism")!

    We complete the tones on Thursday, add in a few more not-so-common consonants and start to practice reading whole sentences without spaces. (In Thai, we don’t need spaces!) By now, you will remember nearly all the letters because of the stories and reading practicing that we do every day.

    Friday and Saturday
    are mostly consolidation and more practice, and I throw in the obscure consonants as a kind of free bonus. These letters are not so important, but they do appear in about a hundred common words – so you do need to know them. But if you forget then you can quickly look them up by yourself when you come across them in a word.

    Click here for more details and to book online

    Follow-on Conversational Program

    After you can read, I recommend you focus on speaking-through-reading; and the course I recommend is Everyday Thai for Beginners. I’ve adapted it so that it can be used interactively as a self-study system, along with a Thai tutor who you meet for an hour’s session twice a week online via Skype. It’s a 30 week course (and only in Thai script). After about 4-5 months, you will be able to speak and understand basic everyday Thai very well.

    This Everyday Thai course comes with another Anki file, consisting of 1100 words to learn. If you work through these flashcards about 5 minutes every day then you will know all these words within six months.

    The Everyday Thai course isn’t terribly exciting, but it’s very logical and well-designed. It takes you step by step through each situation you will find yourself in when you speak to Thai people, starting with getting to know people and their families, their interests and hobbies and moving on to buying things, ordering food at a restaurant or at the market and getting around in a bus, train or taxi.

    Another great advantage of the Everyday Thai course is that you will be practicing to read Thai all the time, so that by the time you finish the course, you will be able to read Thai fluently! (Well, as fluently as a 12-year-old, say… You need to read a few books and build up your vocabulary even more to become really fluent.)

    To be able to really speak fluently and understand what people are saying, I then recommend studying a romance novel called Sydney Remember. (You can study any romance novel, but I’ve turned this one into an interactive audiobook, with notes and an accompanying Anki file.) It’s a lovely story about a Thai girl from Bangkok going to live with her cousin in Sydney. It’s our story in reverse. She sorts out her visa, gets a job at a Thai restaurant owned by a Japanese man, makes friends, etc. Nothing much actually happens in the story, but it’s written in a plain, colloquial style with lots of everyday slang; and it’s about everyday life. So after you’ve read and understand the book, you can join in the conversations with your Thai friends. It takes about a year to complete this course (two one-hour sessions per week with your Thai teacher; and 5-10 minutes per day working on Anki and practising speaking standard phrases and sentences out loud to develop your mouth muscles).

    What did the participants say?


    Listen to what the previous participants said after they finished the course. [Click on the image above]

    More video interviews can be found on the workshop page.

    Youtube and email comments

    If you're serious about learning Thai then just do the course. Richard Krause

    I am trying to learn Thai language but I was scared to attempt to read it. This course has inspired me to try now with your mnemonic based approach. Thank you so much. Graham Jones

    I have been living in Thailand for just over two years now and I have tried all sorts of methods to learn to speak and read Thai. I've tried books, CDs, classes etc, but nothing has helped. By watching your videos I have learned a whole lot more Thai than any of the above mentioned. Richard Grant

    I instantly learned how to read thai (in time for my first time visit in Thailand). I didn't think it would be this easy! Marié Park

    For me, it was realizing that it's not Thai that is difficult but the way it is taught that matters. Brent Warren

    This is extraordinarily creative and hilarious Tyler P

    Congratulations on the fabulous material. All languages should be taught this way. I started on the YouTube videos the night before and was astonished the next morning I had retained all the consonants covered after less than three hours study. This has never happened before with any subject I have studied. Lhinn Paadmottara

    I was blown away by the fact I learnt the 25 consonants in the lesson in two viewings, when I've been trying for a couple of weeks to do learn the Thai letters without a great deal of success. Alex Cannon

    Hey Gary! Brilliant, as usual I've still retained 99% of my reading skills from way back then, believe it or not. Dmitri Eroshenko

    Something that really impresses me about your online workshop is that not only is it entertaining and fun - but it is also well structured so that you really learn something! A rare combination indeed. Annette Larke

    It was like taking down the shutters from the windows and being able to see out for the first time. Colette Baily

    I asked my Thai teacher today if she thought it possible for someone with no prior knowledge to learn to read Thai in two days. She said no. When I read some Thai to her she said, "It's a miracle!" Simon Gunn, Managing Director, Channah Thailand

    I learnt and retained more information [in one day] than I had in the previous three months by conventional teaching methods. Mark Pirie, Triumph Motorcycles

    I've lived here for 14 years and couldn't read or understand my own children. Now I'm making real progress. Tom Atkins, Bangkok

    This course was fantastic – exactly what I needed in my quest to learn to read Thai. I must admit I was a little skeptical at first, but the course exceeded my expectations by miles. We were really reading Thai script by the end of the week and I am continuing to learn more every day with the online resources and follow on suggestions from the instructor. I’ve tried other methods of learning the Thai alphabet but Gary’s pictures are just what I needed to help me remember. I highly recommend this course. Cheron Gelber, Seattle

    I've just finished the four half-day course learning the Thai script almost effortlessly and now I can read Thai. I am not often sure what the word means but I can read it in Thai. The course is based on associating each letter with a drawn character, sometimes funny, sometimes rude and always memorable. After a couple of lessons you can read some of the signs in the street and by the end of the course you are fluent in the Thai alphabet. This painless way of mastering the alphabet gives a sense of achievement and learning the language itself becomes less daunting, more interesting and great fun. Paul Sullivan, author, Chiang Mai

    Please click here for more details and to book online.

  2. #2
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    Begbie's Avatar
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    I've been able to read Thai for decades, but still can't speak to a conversational level, so I'd disagree with the premise that speaking comes from reading. On top of that your charges are ridiculous.

  3. #3
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    Reading vs Speaking Thai

    Quote Originally Posted by Begbie View Post
    I've been able to read Thai for decades, but still can't speak to a conversational level, so I'd disagree with the premise that speaking comes from reading. On top of that your charges are ridiculous.
    That's very unusual. With all my students who are following the Rapid Method, it's been the other way round. They can speak conversational Thai within a year of learning to read and - if they study the romance novel Sydney Remember - they are relatively fluent after two years.

    You're not reading flowery, literary texts (or newspapers), are you??? Try reading the first chapter of the novel and see if your conversational skills improve...

    I probably won't be able to help you correct your pronunciation if you are speaking a kind of 'farang' garbled dialect because it's probably well-ingrained after so many years. Learning to speak Thai accurately requires muscle training and it's very difficult to retrain if you've learnt to speak incorrectly from the beginning. It's like trying to change the direction the branches grow in a tree: the more mature it is, the harder it is. But you can more easily train a sapling to grow the right way if you do it soon.

    OTT charges? Depends what your comparisons are. Being in Thailand, I can charge half of what it costs to run the same workshop overseas. And many of my students (who've lived in Thailand for 5-10 years) have already wasted up to ฿100,000 on classes and courses and got nowhere. Maybe you've been taught wrong too?

    Oh and you don't need to attend a workshop to learn to read. There's an online self-study version of the course available for a fraction of the price.

  4. #4
    I am not in Jail AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Begbie's both Scottish and 'special' so is therefore a tightwad and a bit of a slow learner.

  5. #5
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    Next intensive six day workshops (Bangkok/Chiang Mai)

    • Bangkok - December 12-17 (Mon-Sat, 8am-5pm) - ฿38,000

    • Bangkok - January 14/15, February 11/12, March 11/12 (three weekends a month apart) - ฿41,000

    • Chiang Mai - March 20-25 (Mon-Sat, 8am-5pm) - ฿35,000




    In just six days - using shocking/obscene pictures, mnemonics, stories and (risqué) songs - you will remember all the letters in the Thai alphabet and be able to read out loud any Thai word accurately and with the correct tone.

    Being able to read is the most critical foundation for being able to speak and understand Thai. Even if you're in Thailand for a short while (you'll be back and end up staying longer anyway!) it's still worthwhile knowing how to read Thai. Because when you can read you can enunciate clearly and pick up Thai vocabulary continuously from your surroundings.

    The Rapid Method is a minimalist approach to learning a language, eliminating anything that is unnecessary and focusing on just what you need to ultimately have everyday conversations in Thai.

    Learning to read takes the least amount of time and effort - so THERE IS NO EXCUSE for being illiterate in Thai.

    After that, by using a kind of daily drip-feed approach, you will gradually gain an understanding of colloquial Thai with minimal effort by spending a little time each day building up your vocabulary using 'spaced-repetition' flashcards on your smartphone and a little help from a Thai tutor for a couple of hours a week. More on that later...

    This intensive bootcamp is designed to get it done and dusted in one go. If you have the time and inclination then you can work through the course by yourself online. But if you are busy or lazy or tend to procrastinate or you just don't enjoy studying then this workshop is for you.

    WHAT DO YOU GET?

    1. six days of guidance through the Rapid Read Thai course
    2. delicious lunches, coffees and snacks
    3. course workbook and reference, incl. menus, songs, stories
    4. electronic 'Anki' flashcards for over 800 essential vocabulary words
    5. follow-on lessons by email to reinforce and consolidate the course
    6. lifetime access to review the interactive audio 'ebooks' of the stories and songs we practice reading in the course
    7. lifetime access to the self-study Rapid Read Thai online course for review and reference
    8. me with my whips and chains to make sure you can read Thai by the end of the week, and for any ongoing questions you may have


    What did other people say about the course?

    Test it yourself. Learn the top 25 letters in 25 minutes

    For more information please visit the workshop page here

  6. #6
    Can I still change this?
    Bogon's Avatar
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    I love the word 'bootcamp'. Seems so much fun.

    Maybe rephrasing it to something like 'happy rainbows with unicorns Thai language instruction course' may help?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Begbie View Post
    I've been able to read Thai for decades, but still can't speak to a conversational level, so I'd disagree with the premise that speaking comes from reading. On top of that your charges are ridiculous.
    Yep...
    Realistically, much more of a learned practice to comprehend the verbally conversational language first - reading and writing comes easier after that.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapidll
    Are you still illiterate?
    In vertually evern language i spoken.

    Quote Originally Posted by rapidll
    You can't really speak clearly and accurately unless you can read.
    Says the blind man who's never read a page....

    Quote Originally Posted by rapidll
    The quickest and most effective way to learn to speak and understand Thai is through reading because you are then also able to absorb Thai continuously from your environment - just by reading the menus and the signs...
    That's really cool...

    "Hey honey, I'm sorry I was out all night drinking and whoring, could you please write your complaints down so I can read them because I don't understand the body language you're trying to convey with those scissors in your hand..."

  9. #9
    Member Phoenix's Avatar
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    Wow....38.000 baht and you will be able to speak Thai. Excellent value for money.

    But surely , it could be learnt in a few days with the right sort of tuition. I would be willing to pay 100,000 baht for an intensive crash course of the above in a two day total immersion programme.

    In fact , I have a fe gullible but rich friends who would be willing to pay 500,00 baht for a super intensive course that only involved paying without the need to study at all.
    A sort of laying on of hands method whereby a fluent speaker would massage fluency into the student in a few minutes. A happy ending included would really clinch it.

  10. #10
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    Thaivisa Skeptics

    Hey guys. Thaivisa is over on the other side
    You don't need to be rich and gullible to attend this course.

    Most people who come to my workshops have already spent a ton of money (and countless hours) trying to learn Thai and giving up with very little to show for all that cost & effort.

    Watch what others have said about the course and try it yourself online if you're skeptical.

    Sure, you can get by in Thailand without knowing much Thai. But after a while it gets a bit tedious to be dumb (literally) and illiterate when it comes to the Thai language. The problem about being illiterate is that you cannot make any progress without investing time and money in studying arduously. Few people are bothered because it's boring and pointless and unnecessarily complicated (and what you learn is mostly wrong anyway).

    Once you can read, at least you know exactly how words should be pronounced clearly so that Thai people can understand you. AND (more importantly) you can continuously pick up Thai from your environment - we have a living dictionary all around us.



    So what do we do in the workshop?

    I lock the doors, feed you strong coffee and cookies and only let you out for a delicious lunch.

    Then I plug you into the Matrix and take you down a bizarre rabbit hole of U-boat captains who ply the waters around the Thai islands, and cackling old witches, and depraved ladyboys who get suspended upside down, chopped in the head and sliced and diced, an Indian fakir, a dentist with a suction pipe who tells you to open wide while he pisses in your mouth and other shocking images and stories.

    Only when you can read these texts will you be able to go home.

    Your reading will be slow, like an 8-year old, and you won't necessarily understand what you are reading (that comes later with the conversational lessons) - but you will be able to sound out the words accurately with the correct tones.

    How many farang are able to do something even as simple as that, despite living here five, ten or more years!?


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