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Thai Teacher in Sydney? Help


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OK. In the years I have been with my 'Princess', what Thai I did know seems to have gone downhill fast. Simple reason being we live in Sydney and my other half speaks great English. My incentive to learn, a few years back, was becuase I was seeking a Thai wife!


Why not have my wife teach me you shout. Over my dead body. I tried teaching her to drive, and we almost ended up divorced. In the end I paid for about 3,500 hours of professional driving lessons, but it was worth it to keep us sane. Her teaching me Thai would be the same!


I have tried formal classes in Sydney. They were crap. The lessons were more of a rambling chit chat than anything else. We learnt nothing.


What I am really after, is someone like my 'original' Thai teacher here in Sydney.


This requires a short story to make my point.


When I first starting travelling to Thailand on business, like most guys I was 1000% into it. I loved the place, the culture, and the girls ...


I just had to start learning some Thai to make my time in LOS more fun. But I couldn't find classes or teachers anywhere here in Sydney. Initially I made do with books and tapes.


In desperation I asked the manager at my local Thai restaurant if he had any staff who might want to earn some pocket money teaching me Thai.


2 days later I got a call from Khun 'May'. We arranged for her to come to my house for 2 hours every Sunday. She was an absolute star. Not bad looking either.


She was studying for a Masters degree in Sydney, so her English was very good. She had never taught anything before but was a natural at it.


Each week she arrived with new materials she had photo copied and prepared. Each 'lesson' was structured, and each week she gave me homework and told what lesson we would have next week.


Each lesson was in 2 parts.


For the first hour I was not allowed to speak English. She would ask me questions and correct my answers/pronunciation. I would have to describe my house, my family, my work etc.


The second hour was spent on vocabulary, the alphabet and so on. One lesson might be parts of the body, another office equipment and terms, another types of job etc.


I probably only had about 10-15 lessons but my progress was amazing. She was a real task master and would not let me get away with anything and would make me repeat stuff over and over till I got it right.


Sadly she returned to LOS years ago, so I really need another Khun 'May'. My incentive now is a bit different. Eventually we'll retire in LOS, so language skills are a high priority. But now I also have an extended Thai family, many of whom speak no English. So I realy need to make more of an effort to communicate with them.


Any help anyone can provide in finding me a new 'teacher' in Sydney would be most appreciated. Not really interested in classes. 1 on 1 is far more effective/productive.


But it needs to be someone who will undertake it seriously and professionally, not just someones wife wanting to earn some pocket money.




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Hi Sid,


This lady may be what you are looking for. She taught me about 15 years ago. Private lessons were $50 per 2 hour session so presumably it will be considerably more expensive at today's rates !


If I recall correctly I had to sign up (and pay for in advance) ten lessons so make sure she is what you are looking for as I don't think she gives refunds ! She would be about 60 years old presently and married to an American professor. She is very active in the Thai-Oz community and is associated with a Thai school in Sydney where she teaches Australian born Thai children how to speak their native tongue ! Her details are below.


Cheers Hall



Dr. Songsri Foran

Address: PO Box 2499

Carlingford 2118 NSW


Workphone: 02/9871 5469

Home Phone: 02/9871 5469

Work Fax: 02/9871 5469

Home Fax: 02/9871 5469

Mobile: 0411 884 939

Email: songsri.foran@thailang.com.au

Specialisation: Certified translation -Government,legal,education,medical,business documents. 24 years experience in professioanl translation. For Interpreting - legal,business liaison,conference. 22 years experience in court and conference interpreting.



Language Skills


Source Language Destination Language Accreditation

English Thai Professional (trans)

English Thai Professional (intp)

Thai English Professional (trans)

Thai English Professional (intp)


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I had good luck advertising in the newspaper at my local University for a tutor. Had quite a few responses and even had fun with the interview process.


Great idea. I might (will) need to get the 'boss' to help with the interviewing. She'll make sure I pick an ugly one :smirk:

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The only decent thai language course in Sydney I am told is the evening one run through either UNSW or Sydney Uni.


I know a couple of guys who have studied thai both here and in LOS and they both agree it is by far the best course on offer.


Not sure where in Sydney you are but the Language College at UNSW is on Anac Pde Kensington just down from NIDA .

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Motivation is what it's all about. When the Peace Corps taught us, it was survival level. After the first week they stopped feeding us and gave us a meal allowance. We learned to order meals very quickly! It's hard to study a language outside of a country that speaks it, but at least he's got someone at home to practice with.


p.s. Tell the Mrs to try not to giggle hysterically at your Thai too often. :p



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Thanks for all the tips guys. Mrs Sid has informed me that we will not waste money on a teacher, but 'she' will teach me if I am really serious :(


We'll give it a go, but I suspect I may be outsourcing the task in the not too distant future!


Husband / wife teaching stuff never seems to go well in my experience. Too easy to be critical of each other or blame each other etc



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Thanks for all the tips guys. Mrs Sid has informed me that we will not waste money on a teacher, but 'she' will teach me if I am really serious :(



Nice to see the Sid house is in order and she has you in your place.... :rolleyes:

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