The Methodology

The teaching methodology employed for the AUA Thai courses is an outgrowth of the philosophy that for the students to speak Thai well they must be able to understand and produce the tones of the language correctly and accurately. In order to accomplish this goal, a method of ?focused practice? is used. Practical vocabulary and grammar patterns are introduced and drilled before students are asked to engage in short or long dialogs and conversations. A large percentage of the class is spent in having the teacher model sounds, patterns and sentences and the students practicing those drills. Language items are not initially introduced for communicative purposes, but to introduce to the learner the problem sounds and patterns to increase fluency. Within each lesson, dialogs are practiced to help the students to be conversational in order to function outside of the classroom. Communicative activities are added when necessary to integrate the language items learned. The role of the teacher, other than presenting the material in a logical and non-threatening way, is to not only provide the sounds but also monitor the performance of the students so that mistakes are corrected in a timely and non-intrusive manner. The student must take an active role in producing the sounds through repetition and substitution drills. In all activities the student must work cooperatively with the other students in the class to practice the patterns and for longer dialog and conversations be creative by adding items needed in real situations. The AUA method of focused-practice results in students who can understand and produce the language both accurately and fluently.  

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