Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I (Dave) spend two hours in Thai language class with our team leader, Steve, at Cornerstone Language School in Chiang Mai. Although it has been difficult to fully engage with language learning these first few weeks amidst getting settled in, I have very much enjoyed these times.
Our small class size (just Steve, our teacher Mike and me) allow for an interactive, conversational approach to learning. We are consistently practicing, echoing phrases, asking questions for clarity and listening to how Mike pronounces words. The first 240 hours of class (which will take us nearly a year to complete) is a TPR (total physical response) curriculum — a comprehensive approach to language learning that incorporates physical movements, visuals and listening.
Khruu (“teacher”) Mike is 27 years old and grow up in a nearby province in Thailand. He attended an international university where he had plenty of opportunity to practice English. He now teaches Thai to English speakers as well as English to native Thai speakers. He has made my language learning experience fun and stress free so far!
We have already learned the Thai numbers, which I have been able to practice at the market several times. Being a tonal language, it will take months and months of listening and soaking in pronunciation before I am anywhere near proficient, even at the basic conversational phrases.
Last Friday, the language school hosted a Christmas party! I enjoyed getting to know the teachers and other students on a deeper level and having some fun together.
Thank you all for your prayers in regards to language learning! Our next goal is to find a private language tutor for Sarah, hopefully to start in January.