My English

Part 1. 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

I was born to Thai parents and grew up in Bangkok. These factors alone make me Thai from head-to-toe, and- naturally- Thai is my first language. I speak, read and write Thai with excellence, and this is to me a great source of pride. As far as learning foreign languages is concerned, I don't know the approach taken in Thai schools nowadays; but, back when I was a schoolgirl, I learned English since I can remember. I attended our next door nursery at the age of three, and remember reciting both the Thai and English alphabets side-by- side. When my parents felt that I was "ready" to be enrolled in a prestigious school for "fine young ladies" -Rajini- my maternal grandmother took me across the Chao Phaya river, via the grand "Sapan Puth" bridge, to see the headmistress of the school at the time. This woman was one of the many granddaughters of King Piyamaharaj Rama the Fifth and was known personally to my grandmother- and, obviously, well enough for her to be able to ask her to accept me (since I was still under the age appropriate for school). I also remember "talking" to many "old" - but every one of them smiling- teachers when I went back for an interview. My kindergarten year started when I was four years old.

Although it was a Thai school (don't forget the "for fine young ladies" part), Rajini stressed the importance of taking English as one's second language as soon as she started kindergarten. It was taught alongside math, Thai, sort-of science/arts, music and other fun activities. School began at eight in the morning and ended at three-fifty in the afternoon, so we had a full day, everyday, to pack our brain cells inside our kindergaten-size heads with knowledge-filled fun.

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