Courses: Beginner Level 1-3 (13 weeks)
>> Why do you want to learn Thai?
Last year I was volunteering in Thailand. I worked at an orphanage in Phang Nga for a month and at a girls shelter for another month and a half.
It was so hard to communicate as they spoke very little English and I didn't speak much Thai. We tried to use Google Translate but even though it is a great tool, it doesn't work very well between languages that are structured so differently such as Thai and English. After I left I tried to keep in touch via Facebook but that was hard as well due to the language barrier.
That's why I decided to learn Thai. I need the language so I can be of more help to the children and girls here. I am a computer programmer which is great for being able to work remotely and my dream is to have my own business that will enable me to both have a good income and be location independent so I can continue to support the NGOs here both financially and with my time. In the future I might even start my own organisation, and then I will definitely need to be able to speak Thai.
>> Did you know any Thai before you started your studies at LILS?
I knew a few odd words I had picked up from being around Thai people, but I couldn't put together a sentence, except for "My name is Anne".
>> How would you describe your language skills today?
They have improved dramatically! I feel that I can speak about most things now. I can read and write, and I am confident while talking with Thai people.
>> How would you describe the courses you have taken?
Beginner Level 1 was really fun! It was hard to learn the Thai alphabet but I learned so much in such a short time. Beginner Level 2 was the biggest step for me. Suddenly everything was in Thai. In Beginner Level 3 I started to really enjoy the language. If I thought of it as "hard" during previous levels everything started to make sense in Level 3.
>>What do you think about Koh Lanta as a location for studying?
It's great! I really like this island. It's laid back and it feels like you're in the real Thailand because it's not so touristy. The locals are very nice. I have walked to and from school every day and so many people have stopped me to have a chat. There is a lot of opportunity to practice speaking Thai here which is great.
>> What would you like to say to people who are thinking of applying to a course at LILS?
Definitely do it! But be prepared that it's going to be intense. You have to be motivated to last three months but classes are fun, and you won't get bored. The material is relevant and useful and we practice a lot. The environment is good for learning and you'll have a nice bunch of people at school who will support you. The teachers here really care that you are learning and improving which is great!
I originally applied for the four weeks of Beginner Level 1 only but extended my course with another two levels as I found LILS to be a great place to carry on learning. So go for it!