African Weaverbirds making nests and Mama Cheetah and her new baby
BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="10 CELLSPACING="10">
European Pink Flamingos
Thai is the national language of Thailand, spoken by around eighty percent of the sixty million residents of the South-East Asian country. Linguists consider it an uninflected, primarily monosyllabic, tonal language in the "Tai-Kadai family." The spoken language is believed to have originated in the area which is now the border between Vietnam and China, an idea which provides clues to the origin of the Thai people, an area of continued scholarly debate. Linguistically, the language is related to languages spoken in eastern Burma (Myanmar), northern Vietnam, Yunnan, and Laos.
In Bangkok, the capital, an ultramodern cityscape rises next to quiet canal and riverside communities.
There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do.
Jerome K. Jerome. English Author and Humorist (1859- 1957)
The official language of Thailand is Thai, a Siamese language closely related to Lao, Shan in Burma, and numerous smaller languages of southern China and northern Vietnam. It is the principal language of education and government and is spoken throughout the country. The standard is based on the dialect of Bangkok, and it is written in the Thai alphabet, an abugida that evolved from the Khmer script.
Several other Tai languages exist: Southern Thai is spoken in the southern provinces, and Lanna is spoken in the provinces that were formerly part of the independent kingdom of Lanna. Commercial hubs such as Chinatown consist of labyrinthine alleys crammed with shophouses, markets and diners.
And over here is Bangkok
I can just see you through this hole.
Toss me a couple of peanuts.
The world is as big as you make it and where the road ends adventure begins.
Learn all about the Thai Cuisine Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge. It is known for its complex interplay of at least three and up to four or five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy.
Learn all about Bangkok
Thailand's capital, is a sprawling metropolis known for its ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals, flowing past the Rattanakosin royal district, home to the opulent Grand Palace and its sacred Emerald Buddha temple. Nearby is Wat Pho with its enormous reclining Buddha and, on the opposite shore, Wat Arun with its steep steps and Khmer-style spire.
How many Thai boys fit on one bike?
Answer: Always one more.
Thai language teacher hints, advice and tips:
I know from my own experience that being on a continual path of self-improvement is an absolute necessity toward be a good teacher. Hang out with other educators that you admire. Watch them closely and learn from them. Imitation is the greatest compliment! Join your Thai language association plus two foreign language teacher associations (state and national: ACTFL- (http://www.actfl.org) and attend their annual meetings on a regular basis. Get involved anyway you can with each. Rub noses with people at the TOP. Get to know the officers personally. Keep in contact with them. Use these association offerings, suggestions and resources.
Whenever you can in your own environment, ask to observe colleagues in action in their language classroom. Pick up ideas that work for them and adopt and adapt them to you own classroom. Always be on the "lookout" for new ideas, new means of teaching, new ways to incorporate things that work for others into your own methodology. Don't hesitate to ask questions of teachers who have had much success as to how and why that happened. I used to observe elementary teachers and how they interacted with their young students. Always something to learn. "Learn from the mistakes of others. You'll never live long enough to make all of them yourself." Another that I always loved is "If you think you're green, you'll grow - if you think you're ripe, you'll rot." All true. Don't rot! That's an axiom that will never grow old. You may think that you are the best, but you're not. There is always someone better than you. (I learned this playing basketball) Learn from them. Know what the best practices are and be aware of the current online resources that can be of great help to you and yourThai students.
Keep your Thai classroom presentations FRESH. Keep up with innovation and the changing needs of your students by incorporating technology such as computer use, iPhones, iPads, e-mail and a host of other innovations into your routine classroom activities to communicate with others in the target language and to access authentic resources. Stay current with options and trends in the field such as the National Standards and know how to incorporate them into your daily plans. Hopefully these few ideas will aid in your growth and success. Stay with it. Don't throw in the towel like many have, but again as I point out above, whatever new ideas you discover, you must first adopt and then adapt. Not everything you see elsewhere will work for you as I have personally learned. You must adapt those ideas to your own classroom. There are a host of great ideas available on all these sites, but they are only as successful as you will make them. And perhaps most important of all, do ask your Thai students often how they feel about what they are doing and learning and what they enjoy the most and the least in your classroom. Most of all, do enjoy your students and share yourself with them. [They don't care how much you know until they know how much you CARE] I hope that you picked up some ideas here that will aid in your total success. Have fun in your classroom. (ps I picked up these ideas in a recent dream and wanted to share with each of you) I'm 72 but never too old to learn and never too old to share ideas. Best yet, why not be learning another language yourself? Check out one of the sites above. It is a great means to experience first-hand what your students are feeling. Now you are "walking in their moccasins." Don't forget to have FUN doing it.
jeb BA, Cornell College (Iowa), MA, La Sorbonne (Paris), ABD, The Ohio State University (Foreign Language Education).