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From Bangkok to Chiang Mai

The distance from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by car is about 695 kilometers. If I travel by bus it’s the same distance, but it takes longer. I can also fly, and though it’s probably less distance, if I factor in travel to and waiting at the airport, it’s questionable...

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The Natural Order of Language Acquisition

I’m always amazed when I talk to people about language learning, how much pressure we needlessly place on ourselves. Ego, paradigm, we just don’t like to wait… call it whatever you want – when it comes to language, people seldom claim that learning a foreign language is easy! Words...

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Values, Culture and Language

Values shape us in more ways that we’d probably care to realize. They are the why, underlying everything we do. Our values are largely shaped by social groups. And there’s nothing that sticks out like a sore thumb more than when someone shows up with different values into our...

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Is Automatic Language Growth more successful?

Based on the claims that we make, one might imagine that all the students who attend our Thai Program at AUA become native-like in fluency.  Often and in many places people have noted that language teaching fails – not more that about 5% of adult students actually succeed!  Is...

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Possible explanations for why Children do so much better at language

How often have you heard something like, “The reason that we can’t do well using a new language is that we have hard tongues”, or “Our brains don’t work like they used to.” or, “language can only be learned when you’re a child – adults can’t – period.” The fact seems...

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My experience learning Thai the ALG way

I was 26 years old when I entered the Thai Program at AUA in September of 1987. I’d just moved into a house on Ladphrao Rd – a large private home with a large yard ant it took about 45 minutes one way to get to school. The greatest...

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The “Airside” and the “Brainside” of Language

Language is made up of sounds, words and phrases. Right? It has a grammar involves things like pronunciation and vocabulary. Sounds, words, and phrases, grammar, pronunciation, vocabluary, all have one thing in common – we find them with our ears coming at us! Adult language teaching tends to focus...

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When should we start to speak in a foreign language? – The Linguist – language learning should be fun

A link to Steve The Linguist.Listen to Steve’s video about input based language learning – especially when it comes to when you should begin speaking a new language. When should we start to speak in a foreign language? – The Linguist – language learning should be fun. Many thanks to...

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Speak perfectly at 700 hour

The expectation that we can learn a language through practice demonstrates the need for increased understanding about how language works.I have conversations with people from time to time that indicate some misunderstanding about what we’re saying when we talk about speaking.  We have observed that for a native English...

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When it comes to language, what does “perfect” mean?

Who cares about perfection in language?  I seldom meet the person. I often speak to students just starting to learn Thai about their goals in wanting to learn a language.  Interestingly, most people don’t seem to have very well-defined objectives – and almost always the objectives they do have are...

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The AUA Thai Language Program is now being operated online by ALG. Go to ALG Thai Online for more information.