Thanachote Pimelapthanabrun, 14, started learning English by himself before he started school. He has since won many English speech competitions including Triam Udom Suksa School's the TU Open House 2019 in January , beating contestants older than him.
He is now studying in class 8A at Assumption College Thon Buri. He has written an essay for The Nation's online readers about how the young generation should learn new things including languages to prepare themselves for the "Thailand 4.0” campaign.
“Thailand 4.0 brings with it many things, but one of the biggest aspects of this drastic disruption to our country is its focus on the education and mental growth of Thais, both young and old. Other elements include the innovations in technology and with it, new ways to learn and master new skills, especially another language, namely English.
“I was sitting in front of my computer munching on potato chips, when it struck me that the best way to learn something is to enjoy it. I’m sure you all have had an experience similar to the one I about to describe: “You’re sitting in class, listening to your teacher talking about a boring subject.” There’s something in that last sentence that should be of note -- the word “boring.” Why is that class so boring to you? Many other people in your class enjoy it, so why not you? Maybe because you’re not good at it? Then find ways to enjoy that lesson, to remove the loop, find ways of learning on your own, in your free time. This also applies to English. There are many tools online you can use to learn and while some of those methods are probably not advisable for adults, for Thai youth, there are highly enjoyable.
"Movies and music are things you can relate to and find inspiration in. How can you learn from these things? For movies, I’d also include documentaries as you can use them to learn about a certain subject, but for the big budget Hollywood blockbusters, I’d have to turn to language, specifically learning to copy a foreigner’s accent and pronunciation. Grammar can be learned from reading novels and even comics, tailored to your style. And if you like video games, those are good too, you can use them to your advantage for learning slang, which is sometimes vital to communication, and also to learn to type faster. You wouldn’t want to get shot in-game while you’re communicating with your teammates, who keep throwing games, right? Well, it’s a matter of perspective.
"There are many ways to learn a new skill, especially one as in-demand as a new language, but the most importing thing is to take it at your own pace and to find things you enjoy that have an undeniable affiliation with the skill you’re learning."