How we teach: Thai Language and Culture

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Intermediate Level - Student Presentation on 'Guy Fawkes Night'

All the practical classes of the upper levels of the Thai Studies programmes are delivered principally in Thai. The students practise extensive conversations in Thai about complex topics, such as current issues in Thai politics, and academic debates concerning Thai history, society and culture. In this way, students develop their communication skills to an advanced level. They practise how tospeak fluently and effectively.

The course was taught by Adcharawan Seeger, and the student making the presentation was Lucy Vachell (Level 2).

The session on 5th November 2009 was kicked off by a 'warming-up' exercise: students were playing the game 'my dream occupation'. Each student read out 'his/her occupation's description' while not mentioning the name of their 'dream occupation'. Peers in the class room had to guess the occupation their friends 'dreamt of'. After this exercise Lucy gave a presentation on 'Guy Fawkes Night' in Thai. In fact, each Level 2 student has to give two presentations during the course of the semester. Students can choose any topic they are interested in. The presentation is followed by a short discussion which will take between 5-8 minutes and involves all students.

One of the major objectives of this semester is to practise speaking Thai without using notes. This will be done by having debates about a wide range of topics.

Lucy began her PowerPoint presentation by circulating a handout, on which she had outlined objectives, structure, and content of her presentation. The handout also contains a list of the sources she had been using. These sources may include Thai online newspapers, Thai or English books and journals from our library collection or interviews conducted with Thai students studying at our university. Lucy wrote all new vocabulary on the whiteboard. The students were very interested in her presentation. They were particularly impressed by the overwhelmingly interesting pictures and presentation structure. Consequently, they quite visibly very much enjoyed the presentation and discussed the topic enthusiastically.

One of our major characteristics of teaching and learning Thai at Leeds is that we focus on 'student-centred learning'. As students spend the second year of their studies entirely at a university in Thailand, in their third and, particularly, fourth year in Leeds students are able to develop a high level of Thai with regard to the use of idioms, complexity of syntax and vocabulary, and fluency and accuracy of both their written and spoken Thai. This allows students to present, investigate and discuss a broad variety of topics by using the Thai language on an advanced level, accurately and fluently.

Pages in this document

  1. East Asian Studies at Leeds
  2. Course structure
  3. How we teach: Japanese Language
  4. How we teach: Thai Language and Culture