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Clashing colours: Thailand's political crisis 2005-2010

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For English language learners (and anyone else). Based on real news stories from the Bangkok Post 

Currently available at the bookfair at the Queen Sirikit Convention centre and soon to be available in bookstores country-wide.

Not your typical language-learning book

It’s a lot more exciting, for one thing.

I admit this is not your typical language learning book. There is little focus on grammar, none on conversation and the readings cover only a single subject. There are some big advantages in that, however.

First, the subject – the Thai political crisis over the past five years – is obviously an important one. In fact, it is something you need to know about if you want to understand what is happening in Thailand today. Pick up an issue of the Bangkok Post and you will see what I mean. Many of the issues in today’s newspaper had their origins in this period.

You will notice that once you start working your way through this book, you will quickly learn the vocabulary necessary to read about and even discuss this important topic. The very first lesson will be more than enough to get you started.

You will also find that reading within a single topic area is an excellent way to improve your reading skills. What you learn from one text will be immediately useful to understanding the next.

Finally, taken as a whole, the book tells a remarkable story – certainly more dramatic, more emotionally involving than the nightly dramas you see on your television screens.


The book is based on dozens of real news stories and editorials that appeared in the Bangkok Post from Thaksin Shinawatra’s landslide election victory in February, 2005 to the end of the red-shirt protests in May, 2010. You will get all sides to the story, helping you understand the anger, frustration and determination of those involved in the political struggle.

The activities at the end of each lesson are designed to help you understand and think about what you have read.
You will be encouraged to consider the views of the conflicting sides and you will learn how to express your ideas in English. You will also get ideas on activities you can design for yourself or your class.

There is a lot of vocabulary in this book. It is explained in both English and Thai in a lengthy glossary at the end of the book. There is also a vocabulary section at the beginning of each chapter which focuses on the core vocabulary for the main topic of the book, the Thai political crisis. This is the vocabulary you are most likely to see when you read stories within in this subject area.

The first chapter focuses exclusively on core vocabulary and it contains the most essential and frequently-used vocabulary found in this book. I suggest you spend some time with it before you begin the main part of the book.

The CD

Reading is one thing, really understanding and remembering what you read is another. That’s were listening to the texts can be a huge help. All the texts have been recording on the CD. They are in the popular MP3 format so you can hear them using many different devices.

I have recorded them at normal speed, so you may want to listen more than one time. Slowing things down makes the language sound artificial and it is little help in learning to understand English as it is actually spoken among native speakers. Since you have the written text, understanding will not be a problem.

When I was learning Thai many years ago, I used to have my students record texts for me and I listened to them over and over again. I found it to be a dramatic help, not only for understanding spoken Thai, but for remembering new vocabulary. I think you will have a similar experience with the recorded texts accompanying this book.

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