Native language: Thai
Hometown: Surin, Thailand
Birthday: April 25th, 1988
Education: Assumption University
(Business English major)
Sirindhorn School (French program)
Private Thai Tutor, PickupThai
Thai & English Instructor, Thai Language Hut School
Secretary to Vice President, SKR International
Data Analyst, Exxon Mobil Corporation
Years of Thai Teaching Experience: 2014-Present
Foreign Language Abilities: : English (fluent),
Khmer (fluent), French (Beginner), Japanese (beginner)
Tell me about yourself.
Sawaddee ka, everyone. My name is Kobpon Buamas. You can call me “Kruu Fai;” Fai is my nickname. I was born and grew up in Surin, a small and quiet city in Northeastern Thailand. In Surin, we use 4 languages to communicate; Thai, Khmer, Isaan, and Suay; the last being a local language used by a minority ethnic group of people in Surin. I myself can speak Khmer and Thai because I live in the area where people mainly speak them. I can also understand a little bit of Isaan (Northeastern dialect).
How did you become a Thai teacher?
I first became interested in language learning and teaching when I was in my freshman year at university. I worked as a part-time English tutor, and I found it very interesting. I had a lot of fun teaching the English language. After I graduated, I worked for a couple of well-known companies, as a data analyst and a secretary, but I found that I missed teaching. So I decided to change directions and found myself a job as a Thai teacher at a Thai language school. While I really enjoyed my new teaching position, I missed my hometown, and so I left the school after a few years to return to there. Luckily, things worked out so that I was able to combine the best of both worlds, as I now live in Surin and teach Thai online to foreigners full-time.
What kind of Thai do you teach?
I focus on teaching my students “real Thai,” the language Thai people really use daily. There are a lot of different words and expressions in the Thai language that are used in different registers and contexts, and it’s important to know which one is used in spoken and which one is used in the written language. That way you know the appropriate word to use for each context, and can convey the right meaning to people, while sounding natural like a native speaker.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I love teaching Thai, and anything that you do with love, or passion, you normally do well. Being passionate about teaching Thai gives me the dedication to learn and keep improving my skills constantly, and to always strive to be a better teacher. My goal is for my students to have fun learning Thai, by making it an interesting and enjoyable experience that builds confidence in my students and leads them to continuing success towards their own goals.
What would you say to learners who are afraid to speak Thai?
Just say it, and don’t worry if it’s right or wrong. You can’t learn without making mistakes, and once you have made them, correcting them is the way to develop your skill. You’ll learn more and develop fluency faster if you apply what you learn in your daily life. Learning by memorizing can be helpful at first, but it’s when you put your knowledge into practice that you really begin to develop fluency. I believe that language is something you need to learn first, and then practice! and practice! and practice! and practice! – until it comes out of your mouth naturally, without needing to translate in your mind first. When that happens, you can consider yourself successful in learning that language. Speaking, listening, reading and writing skills can all improve very quickly if you practice them enough. I am determined to help my students learn and practice their Thai with confidence in the most fun way.
Why should a student choose you for their Thai teacher?
As an experienced teacher, I am flexible and patient and I understand the nature of language learning. I can adjust my teaching methods according to your style and speed of learning, using easy-to-understand English explanations. Most importantly, my many years of experience as a language teacher, of both Thai and English, enable me to understand the common problems learners face and to quickly and easily help them go through the obstacles and succeed at learning Thai.