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Learning Plateaus

Discussion of all things related to Thai language. Have a question about grammar, or the origin of something? Post it here!
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PatrickK
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Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Learning Plateaus

Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:14 pm

Posted on the FB group:
How do you deal with language learning plateaus?
Right now I'm at a point where think I've learned enough basics but not sure how to advance from here. My typical study regime( in no particular order) would be Glossika gsr sentences, anki flash cards, reading/listening exercises and of course watching thai shows as well as listening to thai music.
I wouldn't say I'm bored however my same style of learning since I began is starting to not have the same effect as when I started and can cause lack of motivation at times. Has anyone here felt with anything similar and able to tell how to overcome this? I'm still eager as ever to become better but a different approach to learning more may be encouraged, any tips appreciated : )


Thoughts?

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Tod Daniels
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:38 am
Location: Bangkok Thailand

Re: Learning Plateaus

Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:13 am

There are numerable times in learning thai that people "hit the wall", or seem to plateau out.

In reading the regimen that the poster is following it seems very LONG on "drills", listening, reading, but very SHORT on conversations with with real live thaiz!! In fact they didn't even mention that they talk to thaiz in thai..

You can study until the cowz come home using this or that fancy-smancy program, read out loud until you're blue in the face, and watch all the mind numbing thai soap operas you can stomach, BUT until you start incorporating CONVERSING in thai to thaiz you ain't ever gonna get past the plateau you're on.

I wrote a piece for Catherine Wentworth's site Women Learn Thai about the subject a while ago.

It's called; "Hitting the Second Wall of Learning Thai"
http://womenlearnthai.com/index.php/hitting-the-second-wall-of-learning-thai/

Mostly it covers the HUGE plateau I was stuck on for what seemed like EVER in my thai language studies...

Maybe you'll find it interesting...

Sorry to link to something of mine :o :oops: .. I didn't want to re-post it here as it's already on Cat's site.. :)
Whoever said 'Money can't buy you love or joy' obviously was not making enough money. <- Quote by Gene $immon$ of the rock group KISS

User avatar
PatrickK
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Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Re: Learning Plateaus

Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:55 pm

Good share, thanks. At least half of learning a language seems to be a mind game - staying consistent through plateaus, keeping motivation to learn, overcoming embarrassment, etc.

A bit off topic, but in regards to this:
Nowadays I can hold my own with about any Thai conversation, except ones where I walk in half way thru. That’s because pronouns and designations are omitted after the first go round, so walkin’ in on an on-going conversation can give you information about someone or something, but if you missed the first part you don’t know exactly who or what they’re really talking about.

How do Thais handle these kind of situations?

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Tod Daniels
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:38 am
Location: Bangkok Thailand

Re: Learning Plateaus

Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:41 am

Good question Patrick;

Typically a thai walkin' in on a conversation half way thru already knows the people who are speaking together very well, or they wouldn't walk up. They can make the leap-in-logic as far as who's being spoken about because they're of the same group (friends, family, work-mates, etc).

Even so, I have seen thaiz ask, 'Who're you talkin' about?'. เรื่องเกี่ยวใคร, more often said as just พูดเรื่องใคร?

At this point in my learning thai endeavor, I'm firmly of the mind it's 80% motivation and about 20% methodology (if that). I can't even remember the times I'd be studying thai in a food court somewhere on my own, yet couldn't understand something. I'd come home throw the text book against the wall, curse at it and say I'm done studying this oh-so hard language!! :o After a few hours when I'd calmed down :oops: , I sheepishly picked up the book and went back at it. :)
Whoever said 'Money can't buy you love or joy' obviously was not making enough money. <- Quote by Gene $immon$ of the rock group KISS

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ReubenA
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:37 am
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Re: Learning Plateaus

Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:50 am

People hit a wall when they stop pushing themselves. Read harder things, watch harder things, push your conversations towards more complicated things. If you're constantly doing that then I can't see how you would hit a wall.

Tod, I read your article and the second wall you talk about just comes from not having the specific vocab for a situation, right? I have this "wall" in english, despite being a native speaker. Throw me in a conversation about politics and I'll be totally lost. Does that mean I'm not fluent in English?

I think it's probably better described as a hill you need to climb to get to the next level, to talk about the specific things you need for your life, rather than a brick wall :)

The pronouns are definitely a headache though. I know Thai people themselves sometimes get confused.

User avatar
Tod Daniels
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:38 am
Location: Bangkok Thailand

Re: Learning Plateaus

Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:39 am

Both the lack of first person pronouns in colloquial spoken thai, AND the myriad of pronouns you can choose depending on familiarity, respect, etc can throw foreigners for a loop. :o

Listen to thais talk and you immediately find out they don't ผม/ดิฉัน all that often when making first person statements. Gurls will sometimes use their nickname or หนู but guys rarely use anything.

Instead of ผม/ดิฉันคิดว่า "I think that", you hear คิดว่า with the "I" pronoun left out. New thai speakers come fresh outta class ผม'ing their heads off when the speak. :lol:

Another troublesome factor is the multitude of pronouns to choose from when addressing people either older, richer, more respected, younger, poorer, less respected, etc. The language is a minefield in this regard, because thaiz put so much emphasis on "what rung of the imaginary socio-economic bamboo ladder 'o success you're standing on" :shock: :? compared to them. That's what dictates the พี่/น้อง'ing, and the pronoun use.

I finally adopted a technique where if I have to use a first person pronoun to refer to myself, I'll use เรา (which while is really "we", can also be informal "I"). Any guy I meet no matter their age, I'll address as แก and any woman again without regard to age is เธอ. Referring to people in the third person is always เขา. IF I am compelled to show some deference to uniform wearing thaiz (because they either hold some sway over my life or they imagine they do) I'll address them as บอสส์ the english word "boss".. That's as polite as I'll ever be.

It simplifies things for me.
เรา = I
แก = you (male)
เธอ = you (female)
เขา = third person him/her
บอสส์ = boss (deference/respect)

Now granted sometimes the thai I'm speaking to is a little vexed that I use such an informal pronoun choice in addressing them. That's on them though, 'cause I ain't thai :P ;) :D ..
Whoever said 'Money can't buy you love or joy' obviously was not making enough money. <- Quote by Gene $immon$ of the rock group KISS

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