My English

The article continues. A Thai from head-to-toe.Thai is my first language. I speak, read and write Thai with excellence. English was introduced as soon as I attended next door nursery at the age of three.

My English

The first English sentence taught to me and my classmates was from a textbook by a British publisher: "This is a chair." This was immediately followed by, "This is a desk." As soon as two sentences of each single item were established, the next line read, "These are a chair and a desk." I was intrigued by words such as "this," "that," and "these" - "those" as they were introduced to us. Right off the bat, not only did we learn plurals, but we also learned opposites- that was pretty cool! Then came the fun part: we were taught a song about those four words, and we were even allowed to point our fingers as we sang!

The lessons that followed after are a blur in my memory, but at the end of my only year of kindergarten I left with quite a bit of English vocabulary, and I knew how to greet others in English. Soon after, I met with our real English teacher who was actually English, and my relationship with the language prospered from there. My parents also contributed. Since they were the first people who introduced Tupperware and its "new" marketing approach to the Thais they were proficient in the language. They encouraged me to converse in English with their British, Australian and- later- American bosses and colleagues. When I was in my pre-teen years my parents assigned to me the position of tour guide whenever we had first-time visitors to Thailand from the company -which happened often throughout the year. I had a lot of fun and felt at ease among our foreign friends.

Whether my English was functional on a real level, I got tested when my parents talked me into spending the three Thai summer months in England after I had completed ninth grade. What I didn't know was that there was already a plan in place to send me to the United States to continue my education. I enrolled in a school in Eastborne for its spring semester and stayed with a family with two children and another on the way. I was scared and lonely- for one whole day. After that I blended right in, and it was one of the most wonderful experiences with so many fond memories that I will cherish until the day I die.

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Ralph Schatzki and Pradichaya Poonyarit are the main writers for articles in this section.

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