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Thai students struggling to learn foreign languages now have two good role models for getting the job done right. Thais scored top marks in the recent Cambridge International Exams (CIE) for Chinese and English.
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Ayaka Sato, left, and Tanyawan Chaidarun, two students of Satit Prasarnmit Demonstration School’s international programme, won the top scores in Chinese and English respectively in the latest Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). LAMPHAI INTATHEP
Thais can learn languages: Here's proof
Thai students struggling to learn foreign languages now have two good role models for getting the job done right.
Two Thai students in Satit Prasarnmit Demonstration School’s international programme have topped the latest Cambridge International Exams (CIE) for second-language studies, one topping the world rankings with a 100% score in her Chinese exam.
The story of Ayaka Sato, a 17-year-old Thai-Japanese student, is quite remarkable. She said she had learned the language from scratch and achieved her perfect score after only two years of study. She prepared for the examination by studying previous exam papers from the past 10 years.
"The key [to learning] is making the best out of your limited time," Ayaka said.
Ayaka said it is also important to find the right learning style for the individual. Some people learned by reading, listening or speaking, but she found writing to be the most effective method for learning Chinese, as it helped her to remember the language's many ideograms and their meanings.
"Many Thai students have learned a lot but then fail to gain good grades," she said. "So we have to concentrate on studying with understanding, not only reading tonnes of books.
Tanyawan Chaidarun, who topped all Thai test-takers in the English exam, admits to having a slight advantage. She took part in a student exchange programme with the United States.
That was no guarantee of a high exam score , however, and she attributes her success to working hard to use the language.
"I am surprised as I never thought of [being the best in the country]. I just tried to get a good grade," she said.
Asked what the most difficult part was in learning English, she replied: "There is a lot of vocabulary and the spelling is quite hard. Thai students should practise speaking a lot more because once you can speak, you will be able to write and listen better.
"You have got to practise outside the classroom and when you are at home. Just try to talk in English to as many people as you can."
Adapted from a story by Narak Dhanajivit in today's Bangkok Post.
You can read the full, much longer story, here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/373320/thais-ace-cambridge-language-tests
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advantage: a condition giving a greater chance of success - ความได้เปรียบ
attribute to: to believe that something is the result of a particular situation, event, or person’s actions - ถือว่าเป็นของ
concentrate: to give most of your attention to one aim or activity - เพ่งความสนใจไปยัง มุ่งไปที่
effective: producing the result that was intended - ได้ผลดี
exchange: giving one thing and getting another - การแลกเปลี่ยน
from scratch: from the beginning; without any previous preparation or knowledge -
guarantee: a promise or certainty that something is correct, will be done or will happen - คำรับรอง, การประกัน
ideogram: a symbol that is used in a writing system, for example Chinese, to represent the idea of a thing, rather than the sounds of a word - ตัวเขียนแทนความหมาย / ความคิด (เช่นของจีนและญี่ปุ่น)
individual: a person considered separately rather than as part of a group - บุคคล
key: the most important thing - สิ่งที่สำคัญที่สุด
limited: not much or enough; not very great in amount or extent - จำกัด
previous: happening or existing before the event or object that you are talking about - แต่ก่อน, เมื่อก่อน
proof: information, documents, etc. that show that something is true - การพิสูจน์
ranking: the position of somebody/something on a scale that shows how good or important they are in relation to other similar people or things, especially in sport - อันดับ
remarkable: unusual or special and therefore surprising and worth mentioning - ไม่ธรรมดา
respectively: in the order in which they were mentioned - ตามลำดับ
role model: someone whose behaviour is considered to be a good example for other people to copy - ผู้ซึ่งมีลักษณะควรค่าแก่การเป็นแบบอย่างให้กับผู้อื่น
slight: small in size or amount - เล็กน้อย
struggle: to try hard to do something that you find very difficult - พยายาม; ต่อสู้