The history of Lanta International Language School
In 2006 the predecessor to Lanta International Language School; Lanta Learning Centre was teaching Thai to a small group of students. They used the traditional way of teaching
Thai, with a course book and a teacher who wrote vocabulary and sentences on the white board. It was a terribly frustrating experience both for the teacher and the students as the students progressed very slowly and with great agony. 80% of the students quit before the last day of the course and on that very day, the teacher quit too and left for Phi Phi islands.
Paula Westberg, who started Lanta Learning Centre, realised that if students were going to learn Thai and the teacher enjoy teaching them, it had to be done by using different teaching methods. She started to search for methods that were both effective and enjoyable. As she had a master´s degree in Educational Design she knew where to look.
After several months of studying various teaching methods and results from scientific research Paula had an outline to a beginner course that would let both the students and
teacher enjoy the learning experience. She had also done the paperwork for opening a real school (If you want to teach more than seven students you need a school license in Thailand) and named it Lanta International Language School. But she still had no teacher.
At the same time Ninnete Surarat (Ying) was fed up with her job as a hotel receptionist, and came to look for a position at the new school. Paula found Ying to have the perfect skills and personality for a teacher position and Ying found the idea of developing something completely new to be an interesting challenge. Together they started to test the new course outline.
Many groups of tourists and expats on Koh Lanta were invited as test students and with every group the course outline was improved. Effective methods that the students and teacher enjoyed were kept and the rest were discarded. After more than a year of researching and testing Ying and Paula had found a good combination of methods and the school opened for paying students in September 2008.
As the years progressed Ying and Paula continued to improve the teaching methods and course material. They also developed a teacher training course that made sure all new teachers would confidently use the unique combination of methods that had become the signature of Lanta International Language School.
When the covid pandemic hit in 2020 the school was unable to continue classes as the teaching methods require classroom interaction and government regulations made that impossible.
In 2023 Thailand´s limiting regulations are gone and Lanta International Language School can reopen again. This time with new leadership. After almost 20 years Paula is relocating back to her native country Sweden and the Isaksson family has decided to take over the business with Ying as their head teacher. The Isaksson family has lived on Koh Lanta since 2005 and are the owners of Slow Down Lanta and the Swedish school "Lilla Svenska Skolan". They will start to offer Thai language courses at Lanta International Language School´s premises in September 2023.