Update: Mr Peter has set up a Facebook page to enable you to contact him directly.
MY REVIEW OF THE CLASS:
If you would like to learn the Thai language, there are classes available at Wat Chetawanวัดเชตวัน in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The temple is located in Jalan Gasing. Beginners class will start on the first week of March each year.
Sunday class by Peter (local retired teacher)- only at Wat Chetawan.
Venue: Multipurpose Hall, Wat Chetawan, Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya
- Intermediate at 1 pm – 2.30 pm- you should have knowledge in written and spoken Thai
- Beginners class– 2.30 pm – 4 pm – if you are new to the language, you can still attend this class as we have beginners still joining this month
All the Thai classes in PJ are held at Multipurpose Hall of Wat Chetawan.
Direction of the hall: from the temple’s office, you would see a store selling flowers and amulets next to the office. Behind is a space where you see a Buddha statue. The multipurpose hall is the building behind the store that sells flowers. Photo as shown below- the location is the building right behind:
Additional information on Peter’s class:
1. No profit and it is a charitable class
2. Taught by local qualified teacher for beginners
3. RM30 per month- it is per month and even if participants attend all the 3 classes, the amount is still only RM30.
My personal experience
I agree with some non Thai native speakers who mentioned that the most effective way to learn the Thai language is by being able to read their writing and develop one’s own convention to spell out the words. This is because, in Thai language, there are various tone marks and rules- and if one is unable to read, one can only speak based on what one hear- often, one’s hearing may not be accurate and causes the tone to be off….which can totally give a different meaning.
Therefore, if you are serious about learning the Thai language, my advise is to invest some time to learn up the alphabets, tone marks, tone rules and you would be able to speak accurately.
Another thing is if you rely on learning Thai by referring to the romanized phrase books, you may end up being much more confused than ever. This is because a number of Thai words just cannot be romanized due to the complexity of the prounciation. Even when we learn the tone rules, we need to develop our own convention in pronouncing the words. Therefore, if you learn from various books, different authors may use a different set of convention and spelling. For example, chicken is called “kai” in Thai but some books romanized as “gai” as well. If you can read know how to pronounce ไก่ because you have learned the Thai vocab and the tone marks, you would be able to pronounce it correctly yourself.
I strongly recommend the Thai language class taught in Wat Chetawan- for the past year, I’ve had the privilege and good fortune of attending the beginner’s class taught by Mr Peter, a retired schoolteacher. And I must say the dedication and passion to teach are evident. Learning beginners from a teacher who is also a Malaysian is easier because he understands the limitation and constraints of Malaysians who wishes to learn the Thai language. He is able to teach in a way that makes it easy for Malaysians to pick up the language. Each class he would introduce slowly and systematically the grammar rules or the alphabets.
Teachers like Peter is hard to find nowadays- today, even if you are willing to pay you also cannot get a teacher that is so dedicated to teach.
Before that, I tried to learn on my own but lack of like minded company as well as difficulty in comprehending the language resulted in not much improvement. When learning under Mr Peter, because he does give us a little homework to do and because every week we do attend the class, it gave me the discipline to really pick up and do my homework. Initially I was a slow learner (I always am when initially learning up a language). But within 3 months of the class, when I visited Thailand, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to read the Thai texts, even though slowly from my favourite Thai books. This had motivated me to continue learning the language through focusing on texts that I enjoy reading.
After learning the alphabets, the grammar rules, you can then attend the intermediate class where you would be taught on more vocabulary. Because the teachers would read from the Thai words, if you cannot read the basic words, it may be a little difficult. But once you can read, learning the vocabulary becomes a breeze.