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  1. #1
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    Thailand:- KIDS Learning Thai and English

    My Kids live in both Thailand and the West and we are raising them bi-lingual.

    But how to teach them both Thai and English in a way that 'speaks' to them ... certainly not through a text book.

    Kid's Cartoons ... way to go.

    We have had excellent success with both the fun and informative and educational cartoons designed to teach the kids numbers, alphabet, colours, shapes, objects names.

    Now, there are many more English ones available then Thai and I don't speak Thai so welcome any Thai suggestions.

    I have Boys who are 2 - 3 year age group, but much of the stuff is interesting for ages well above this. Heck, I even enjoy watching a few of them.

    So, maybe you have Thai kids moving to the West or Western kids and want them to learn a bit of Thai ... I'll post what we watch and the methodology behind them.

    I have downloaded them on a few memory sticks so that the kids can watch them at home, in the car or on that long plane flight.

    To convert them I use the simple (and free) Freemake Video Converter Freemake Video Converter - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com
    or any other software program you may have.

    Good luck with the learning process and please fee free to add anything you may feel of value.

  2. #2
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    Fun First, then Learning

    So, I'll start the boys with something like this ...


    Disney's Planes: Fire & Rescue Extended Clip
    It's got that great AC/DC song in it.

    If they liked that one then maybe one more fun one ...

    Planes Trailer 2013 Gangnam Style

    Then, incorporate that plane into direct learning.

    Such as ...


    Actually I just saw this one for the first time and haven't tried it with the Boys.

    This one is well tested and Boys like to sing along ...


    This one also the Boys like ...



    So, it is usually play time first, then incorporate that element of fun into their learning.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    From dot one we only let our kids watch TV in English. It kind of backfired as their English was better than their Thai and I had to get them a private Thai teacher even though my wife is Thai. All's good now and my kids Thai is much better than their English. We try to impose a rule that when in the house that everyone speaks English, incl the wife. There's time that they can't think how to translate some Thai into English so that's allowed as long as it's with their mother who then helps them.
    When watching TV now, even though Thai is their first language, they still only watch programs in English. They never watch Thai spoken programs. That's now their choosing.

    When I came to the village 11 year ago the was a S African who had 2 sons. Mother ran off back whoring. Anyways the S African was fluent in Thai and spoke to his kids in English but they would not speak English to him. I spoke with them in English and they'd reply in a bad broken English. This helped me cuz my Thai is basically zero.

    That's my experience.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic
    I came to the village 11 year ago
    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic
    my Thai is basically zero.
    Impressive mate

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger
    Impressive mate
    Thanks. I have a memory like a sieve. I've seen farangs who can speak Thai and converse with their kids in Thai and their kids English is shite.

  6. #6
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    I showed my son teletubbies at 9 months old. At the end of each episode each one of the 4 teletubbies says 'bye bye' and fucks off, about 6 fucking times. That's about 24 bye byes. Now I can't say bye bye to him without him getting upset. So I thought him how to high-5 to compensate.
    Lang may yer lum reek...

  7. #7
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    In my opinion you need to give kids who are half Thai the ability to speak both languGes of the parents...they then have the choice later in life where they want to go. You also need to get them both passports *ahem* but let's not go there.

    Mother of the kids spoke Thai to them, I spoke English , you have to try not to mix it up and have conversations in both...the 3 youngest then lived for around 5 years in China, Chinese did not interest the eldest daughter, but she still has passable basic mandarin, the 2 youngest and my Thai wife both learned mandarin to a good level.

    I had to put the 2 youngest into a full time Thai school in the South for a year on their return as they had lost a lot of written Thai, once they were back up to speed they passed the entrance exam for the Tri lingual program and are studying there now.

    A German guy I know in the UK had 2 sons, was adamant that they should only learn English , worried that speaking German to them was going to cause other issues. Named them Alex and Rudi, some years later Rudi joined the Army, they saw the name did some digging found out he had a German father, he couldn't speak a word of German, I always thought that even if he'd had the basics this would have opened a lot of other doors / possibilities.

    Both of them were also restricted to limited communication with the German half of the family, for me this made little sense.

    IMHO if you have kids born from two different language cultures you really need to make an effort here...the kids will thanks you for it when they are older .

  8. #8
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    I agree with Andy,

    wife speak Thai and I speak English to them. Most of the TV we watch is English but because my wife never shuts up she's always talking to her about what she's watching in Thai.

    My daughter is 2 1/2 and I'd say her vocabulary in English is pretty good but she speaks more in full sentences in Thai.

    She went to an international playgroup once a week for a year, a nursery 2 days a week for a year and will start at a bi-lingual school next year.
    I'd like to see what morning looks like
    Don't wanna drink pint after pint
    I wanna wake up without feeling sick
    But I can't cuz I'm a drug-abusing alcoholic

  9. #9
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    In my experience it's Thai that needs most effort, especially written. And speaking Thai makes further Asian language study easier.

    I wouldn't worry about basic English levels at this point, catching up in Englishn I have always found easier, we had a real issue when returning to Thailand and it took over 12 months to get 2 kids aged 8 and 11 back up to speed.

    Good luck with it to all...

  10. #10
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    I was also lucky , the wife spoke normal Thai, they both learned "South" dialect while living down in the South, eldest 2 speak Isaan, but also good Thai.

    The regional accents sound cute when the kids are young and always get the Thais laughing, but when older they need regular accent.

    For my two penneth worth...

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat Humbert's Avatar
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    My wife and I are raising our grandchild in the village. He is 26 months old now. His parents are in Pattaya. He has been with us since he was 3 months old. I started him on Little Baby Bum and other English videos and lullabyes immediately. He started talking a lot at about 23 months in both Thai and English. He speaks more Thai than English but he throws a lot of English in and understands both languages completely. His Thai is reinforced instensively through play with his cousins. If each native English speaker speaks to the child consistently in their own language children pick up both languages organically according to the experts and it seems to be happening that way in our experience.
    This post has not been authorized by the TeakDoor censorship committee.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyCap View Post
    In my opinion you need to give kids who are half Thai the ability to speak both languGes of the parents

    Mother of the kids spoke Thai to them, I spoke English , you have to try not to mix it up and have conversations in both...

    IMHO if you have kids born from two different language cultures you really need to make an effort here.
    What he said.

    Let the kids use and enjoy both languages. Give them access to books, videos and songs in both languages and give them a need and desire to use both languages; reading, writing, speaking and listening.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyCap View Post
    In my experience it's Thai that needs most effort, especially written.
    It depends where you live. If you live in an English speaking country, Thai will need more effort. If you live in Thailand, English will need more effort.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AndyCap View Post
    In my opinion you need to give kids who are half Thai the ability to speak both languGes of the parents

    Mother of the kids spoke Thai to them, I spoke English , you have to try not to mix it up and have conversations in both...

    IMHO if you have kids born from two different language cultures you really need to make an effort here.
    What he said.

    Let the kids use and enjoy both languages. Give them access to books, videos and songs in both languages and give them a need and desire to use both languages; reading, writing, speaking and listening.
    Thanks Neverna ... you picked up the main salient points outlined in AndyCap's excellent post.

    We do the same. Their Thai mother ONLY speaks Thai to them ... I ONLY speak English. They are fluent in both.

    ATM, they lean towards English because this past year they have lived in the West, but their first 15 months were living in a Thai Household.

    We want to give them both languages because, when they are men and left our guidance, they may decide to live some or all of their time back in Thailand.

    The Boys have 'Western' Christian and Surnames (first and family names) but have Thai middle names.

    We just hope to give them the best shot in life through a solid Family upbringing, expansive education and set their moral compass in the right direction ... then show them the door and let them loose on the world, with these words fresh in their ears.
    Boys, don't think to make your parents proud, we don't have weighty exceptions on you ... make yourself proud, do the right thing, give before taking, listen before speaking.
    Now piss off, because the Footy is on the tube!



    ps ... never let them play in the car where you have stored a little talc powder in the door pocket ... they will find it!

  15. #15
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    Nice picture and thanks for the positive comments.

    If you are thinking of international or bi-lingual education, with th view to passing exams that will give access to free schooling from A levels up in the UK, you rally need to watch the Thai proficiency even if you are living in Thailand IMHO, we are again having issues with the youngest son 10 YO, not passing the written Thai exams, he's smart, speaks 3 languages fluently, but will thank me in later life for the extra classes he's not happy about now.

    There was another excellent thread a hole back about college or university, my eldest daughter, passed 5 GCS's here in China last year, wants to go into Sound Engineering, crazy about music, theatre, etc. She wrote to the Wesminster college in London and was accepted for their 3 year course, this is cost free because she has a British passports and is registered at my parents address in the UK. Anybody with a daughter in Thailand needs to think carefully about higher education, I'm happier with her in London at 18 than running about in Thailand, although you will always worry about daughters!

    Sons , well they are a whole different set of problems...

  16. #16
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Sorta tri lingual here. Thai at school, Lao and English at home. Kids seem to do well with all 3. Only communicate with them in English. Agree with those above who do same.

  17. #17
    splendid and tremendous
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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD
    My Kids live in both Thailand and the West and we are raising them bi-lingual
    How does this work with a formal education? And I'm not being sarcastic here, I really want to know. The only, only, reason I'm full-time in Blighty is for the kids' school and there's no way they'd be able to chop and change between the Thai and British syllabus.

    Since in England both my girls speak exclusively in English, steadfastly refusing to chat in Thai even when at home - but mum speaks to them in Thai and we spend quite a lot of time at the restuarant she works at now so the language is certainly ingrained. After all, it is their mother tongue, and a teacher at their school told me it takes three years after the transition (from one country to another) for children to gain 100 per cent fluency.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD
    My Kids live in both Thailand and the West and we are raising them bi-lingual
    How does this work with a formal education? And I'm not being sarcastic here, I really want to know. The only, only, reason I'm full-time in Blighty is for the kids' school and there's no way they'd be able to chop and change between the Thai and British syllabus.

    Since in England both my girls speak exclusively in English, steadfastly refusing to chat in Thai even when at home - but mum speaks to them in Thai and we spend quite a lot of time at the restuarant she works at now so the language is certainly ingrained. After all, it is their mother tongue, and a teacher at their school told me it takes three years after the transition (from one country to another) for children to gain 100 per cent fluency.
    The boys are only 2 1/2 so we haven't faced the hurdles you have.
    All communication is verbal, bar the Thai alphabet which we have on a wall poster and the Boys refer to it.

    I can understand your girls though. They will speak in the language which gives them social acceptance, which, in good 'ole Blighty is English ... well mostly anyway.

    We don't have all the answers yet because we haven't faced all the hurdles and it's great to read others posts who have gone before us.

    somtamslap, good luck with the girls and please feel free to post your experiences (good and bad) because we can all learn from them.

  19. #19
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    Hi again,

    As I've tried to say here, it requires a lot of time and effort. My eldest was in Singapore from 2 to around 10 years old (he's mid twenties now), we returned to Thailand and he refused to speak Thai for a few months, you have to be careful...and I can relate to the girls not wanting to speak Thai in the UK.

    It's not just language it's the whole social scene and acceptance issues involved. There are also huge cultural differences between Thailand and the U.K. I think my eldest thought Thai inferior for a period of time, now in his mid twenties he's chosen to work and live in Thailand

    Good luck with it...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyCap
    If you are thinking of international or bi-lingual education, with th view to passing exams that will give access to free schooling from A levels up in the UK, you rally need to watch the Thai proficiency even if you are living in Thailand IMHO,
    This is massive. One of the reasons we steered away from an international school education is that they're just not getting enough Thai during the week. I work in this area and the amount of Thai students I encounter who can't read or write in their own home language is amazing.

    We don't plan on ever returning to the UK so for us at least, Thai language proficiency is very important.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyCap View Post
    <snip>
    I think my eldest thought Thai inferior for a period of time, now in his mid twenties he's chosen to work and live in Thailand

    Good luck with it...
    AndyCap ... agree 100%

    I think it's best not to make the decisions for the child, but to give them options.

    As your example above eludes to ... at one time in their life they thought the Thai option was crap ... but later decided to live there.
    The only thing that I remain resolute on is that they receive their main education in the West.

    Doesn't mean that they won't attend school in Thailand ... I think a short period could be good (but yet to be decided), but I've read so many horror stories and seen my partners Nieces and Nephews attend their local school and ... no way is that going to be the basis of their education. 6 months ... OK ... 6 years ... NO WAY!

    International Schools are OK ... but why spend that serious coin when it can be invested elsewhere in their education.

  22. #22
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    I stopped international school education once it was clear non of the kids were going to be rocket scientists. Wasted a bloody fortune with 4 kids over the years.

    I'm happy with the compromise at the moment in Bangsean for the youngest 2, might reconsider in a cuiple of years. I have not yet fully understood what needs to be done to get GCSE's or the equivalent to enable them to apply for free schooling in the UK when they are old enough .

    Will be back in Thailand in. Couple of weeks and it's top of the list to look into.

    Parky

  23. #23
    splendid and tremendous
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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD
    The boys are only 2 1/2 so we haven't faced the hurdles you have.
    Cool, nice age - not! Where do you think the boys will eventually go to school - east or west? Not saying either is better (west is better) but you certainly need pockets bursting with cash to fund a good education in Thailand.

  24. #24
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    I think a decent bilingual school is better if you intend on staying in Thailand. Make sure it has small class sizes, decent facilities and teachers that don't look like they just got of the overnight bus to the islands- replete in fisherman's pants and all. I would be a bit of stickler for the school getting kids through IGCSE or the IB. At some stage they will have to make the decision to stay in Thailand or go elsewhere. Give them all the tools that they will need to make their own decision. Considering the less than perfect reputation of Thai universities, I'd want my hypothetical kids to take their uni education far,far away from Thailand.

  25. #25
    Fresh Seaman CaptainNemo's Avatar
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    Not Thai, but Lao, and I think, really well made... my kids like it... for many Isan/Lao is a first language, so it's no problem mixing up Lao and Thai programmes.



    For kids... you really ought to think about them learning a different paradigm in language:
    https://scratch.mit.edu/

    Get them to the point where they make their own flashcard games to learn Thai... turn them in to producers, not just consumers... it's a fantastic way to learn... why not make your own animated shows with friends and put them online?
    Last edited by CaptainNemo; 10-09-2016 at 04:15 PM.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1F2i0rYMj8

    we are all figments of our own imagination.

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