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About sandemara

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  1. I've found current mobile phone translation apps, for practical use, inadequate. As educational tools they are woeful. But I can recall a time when pocket calculators were also suspect, persona non-grata in the classroom. Now, they're just another math instrument, a standard requirement in examination sessions. No doubt translation apps will get better and, in time, get blessings from leaders in academia. I once tried arguing that, similarly, dictionaries (Thai-English, English-Thai dictionaries) should be permitted in exams in English-language courses. Traditionalists shuddered at the prospect, but I think such ideas will consensus anyway. I don't mind students using mobiles in class as long as they help prompt thinking or expand an individual's knowledge or understanding. It's easy enough to spot and identify students who use them as an escape from the learning environment. Such phones are sin-binned, no problem.
  2. Obesity is well on its way to becoming Thailand's no. 1 health problem. I regularly conducted impromptu surveys focussed on attitudes among university students about cooking, eating habits and food handling over the last 5 years. I started doing this each semester when I fist discovered few young Thais were interested in cooking for themselves or anyone else now or in the future.. Few care about cooking at all, I never found more than one out of a class (20-40 students per class) who knew how to operate a rice-cooker, for instancce. A similar proportion did not intend to cook and eat at home after graduation or while living independently. Meals would be take-out or at restaurants. The same proportion saw kitchens as a waste of space and would not require a designated kitchen area in homes they might own or live in as adults. A small fridge and a microwave were the only food-related necessities envisaged in their future living spaces whether as singles, in shared homes or as part of a married couple with or without children. Market stall or 7-11 snacks (including potato-chip or other fat-saturated western-style fast foods} provided an adequate diet in their views. Most could not imagine ever having an inclination to learn how to cook or prepare food under any circumstances. Granted these students were upwardly mobile socially, but the vast majority were not from privileged backgrounds. They all were aware of Thailand's international reputation as a source of wonderful food but were not concerned that the skills and knowledge required to support this culinary tradition might disappear in their lifetimes.
  3. Does any Embassy have to demonstrate logic to those in need?
  4. Then again, these characteristics might make you a more attractive proposition as a visitor.
  5. Do you think the cost of a replacement passport is worth it just for a tourist dash through the country while it is in mourning and under the control of a military junta with a strong sense of xenophobia to massage and promote?
  6. Elvis was equally harmless, but his calculated public "act" and persona got right up conservative antiquated noses. I assume oldies could easily see through his plastic insincerity.. The fact that oldies hated him drove more camp-followers to his fan clubs. The kids, his target market, didn't care. The fact the oldies hated him was probably the most desirable endorsement his market needed.
  7. It's a terrifying thought but I can remember stuffy old farts of the day making similar comments of outrage about a young Elvis Presley. May God help the planet if this obnoxious young oaf ever enjoys the same sort of following among the pea-brain teenyboppers of Thaland.
  8. A bit over the top. buddy. Few are allowed to talk about reality in Thaland.
  9. I should add, Ken24k, that I fully support your sentiments about human relationships in Thailand.
  10. Please read my post and see what it actually says, not what you'd like it to say.No mention of gender , age or race or physical location. I'm not responsible for imaginings bubbling into your conscious mind.
  11. Not even a pack of banana muffins from Makro? Who was that famous lady of the old French aristocracy who called for cakes for the starving peasants? Noblesse Oblige has no international boundaries and lingers on peculiar forms.
  12. I imagine those things that used to be called hatpins, or a chopstick to hold uplifted ponytails in place would still be effective deterrents for girls to use in most situations. A mini flamethrower (50 feet range?) could work against a girl's best interests in a confined space like a taxi or other small spaces. Standard knife fighting strategy is to make sure an aggressor doesn't even know you're carrying until he feels that first thrust. And once is not enough; keep pumpng that arm to maintain your advantage and control of the situation. Flashing a knife as a warning gesture reduces its effectiveness considerably..I like the flamethrower idea as a defence against savage dogs or bear attack, too.
  13. You can take stupid to the altar but you can't make them think.
  14. Has it been 30 military coups in 50 years or 50 coups in 30 years? Of course, violent armed theft of democracy and the vitually constant fiddling with the basic principles of rule of law by a string of perpetrator couldn't possibly be considered a threat to democratic political stability in the nation. could it?
  15. I've only read the first 15 responses and couldn't bear going further.. With a few exceptions, the ignorant (but, I concede, probably well-meaning) responses horrified me. I've run English language clinics for local Thai primary school students, lectured for five years in an English Degree course at a prominent Thai university for 5 years and have also taught English writing and conversation at all levels in a Thai government high school. I developed a 25-year career as a cross-cultural communications consultant to various governments (state and federal) political parties, and service agencies for migrant groups around the South Pacific and in Australia. Before you do any further damage to your son's psyche and destroy any hope you might hold of seeing this boy of yours attain fluency in English or any other language I suggest you dump and forget any of the strategies you've been playing with so far. Reflect a little and try to be very clear in your own head about what you actually want to achieve for your son. I also recommend you try to rid yourself of the colonial attitudes you seem to value and decide that your son's happiness and wellbeing ought to be your primary aim, and develop a plan that reflects that over-riding principle. Have you forgotten your own childhood so completely? I'm sorry for my bluntness, but quite possibly you experienced growing-up in a family environment in which child abuse was standard practice. Please don't perpetuate that sort of misery with your own child. What you so blithely describe as the "Thai trance" is actually a classic picture of a terrified, defenceless little boy who sees no other way to escape a miserable, loveless situation. He's too scared to run away (and I garantee he's dreamed about that already), Does he have disturbed sleep, nightmares, maybe bed-wetting? He's too little to be able to defend himself at present - you might be already moulding a time-bomb that will shock you in later years.. What alternative does he have to escape except to switch off or shut down when he's far too young to handle a very scary reality? In his eyes, every time his parents drift into conversation about the English language they turn into maniacs threatening or inflicting physical harm or punishment he doesn't understand. The fact that you're probably repeating the dreadful mantra that such terror is "for his own good". To justify such terror in a child's understanding is cruelty; destroying the sense of security.any young child needs and deserves for their psychological wellbeing. You aren't the first. nor will you be that last, well-intentioned parents to confuse an innocent child with such illogical behaviour. But you've got to be smarter if you want a happy, well-adjusted child who'll grow up confident in dealing with challenges or opportunities. The more you threaten and denigrate, the more convinced this little boy will be that English language is somehow connected with danger and unhappiness - hardly a positive learning environment.. Did you learn anything useful whenever your parents turned into crazy monsters, other than realising distance meant safety" Learning is meant to be a gift, not a punishment or justification for violence and intimidation. As a first step, lighten up. Stop denigrating the local culture, it's half your son's life and heritage now. Think about what your attitudes infer about your boy's perceptions of his own worth as a human being. Seek advice from a professional - a thoroughly qualified ESL teacher or a psychologist. A one-hour session/discussion is relatively cheap in Bangkok, and far more valuable than simply hiring someoine to take over what should really be a family first priority responsibility if you want to achieve worthwhile results for the boy. Ask for guidance or advice on language immersion principles and strategies . Parents can be powerful, positive tools for change in a child's life. You could expect a lot of satisfaction from your involvement as well providing a much more constructive environment for your child's development. Support and resources abound on the internet - Google ESL and start swimming. The more you know and understand, the more in-control you'll feel. Everyone around you should also benefit from a positive. harmonious environment. Programs like Sesame street are available. I like it, even tho research shows it can promote fluency in only about a third of young viewers, but it does no harm and encourages and reassures children's sense of self. I would also encourage access to comics, kids 'magazines, cartoons, age=appropriate movies etc Reading fairytales and stories (children's classics) and illustrated children's books (The Cat in the Hat series really suck youngsters in).provide non-threatening, enjoyable (even addictive) learning experiences. Bribery, or food rewards, for instance might only produce a fat, gluttonous child who only knows enough to order at a Macdonald's. Another powerful tool is instituting a reading stories at bed-time schedule - this is something you should undertake yourself. Don't leave it up to anyone else. That in itself will give your child very important messages about, language, reading and learning. You might even end up finding yourself in great discussions with.your child that you never dreamed you could enjoy so much. These adventures might even progress to games like charades or simple word games,or even draughts, chess scrabble etc the whole family could enjoy. If you can show your son you believe in such commitment to learning simply for the pleasure it provides, you've given your son a great and lasting gift. Good luck.