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Beautiful Thai from a Myanmar student

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The 12-year-old winner of the Thai Language Day handwriting competition is of Myanmar nationality and he didn't learn to write until he was ten. 

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Yasa shows off his winner's plaque and a sample of his beautiful handwriting. ONNUNCHA HUTASINGH

Myanmar student tops handwriting contest

A 12-year old-boy of Myanmar nationality, who was born and raised in Thailand, won the Thai language handwriting competition for primary school level to mark National Thai Language Day yesterday.

Yasa, a Prathom (Grade 3) student at Arunmetha School in Tak’s Educational Zone 2, was among the award winners announced by the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) yesterday.

Obec secretary-general Kamol Rodkhai yesterday said the commission held several contests under the "Raksa Pasa Thai" (preserve Thai language) activity and presented plaques to teachers and students who achieved excellent Thai language proficiency.

The contests were aimed at encouraging young people to preserve the language and raise awareness of the value of Thai language.

The students were urged to read, write and use the language correctly.

Saeng-arun Sonsaen, Yasa's teacher, expressed her delight that her student won the award, saying he concentrated on classroom learning and had beautiful handwriting.

The boy had been chosen to represent the school at the contest, she said.

According to the teacher, about 30% of students at Arunmetha School, which is under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, come from poor families living in border areas and they pay more attention to Thai language learning than other Thai students.

She said Yasa was born to Myanmar migrants working as hired hands at a crop plantation in Tak’s Phop Phra district.

"Yasa earlier studied at a Myanmar learning centre in the compound of a Thai temple in the district before enrolling at Arunmetha School. The boy was 10 when he entered Prathom 1 at the school. At the time, he could not write Thai. His Thai language skills have significantly improved after studying at the school. He is determined and concentrates on his classroom learning, particularly on Thai language,’’ said Ms Saeng-arun.

Thongsuk Yoosri, director of Tak’s Educational Zone 1, said he felt proud after learning the Myanmar student won the Thai writing contest. This shows that children of any nationality and religion are able to develop their potential, he said.

Mr Kamol said the Obec was looking into the possibility of using Thai language in social media, such as Facebook and the Line application, as part of the curriculum to help boost its appeal and usage among teenagers.

Learn from listening

Click "play" to listen to Beautiful Thai from a Myanmar student and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.

Vocabulary:

aim: to have as your purpose or goal - มีเป้าหมาย มีจุดมุ่งหมาย

appeal: a quality that causes someone to like or want something - ความดึงดูดใจ, ความน่าสนใจ, ความเย้ายวน

application (app): a program designed to do a particular job; a piece of software - โปรแกรมใช้งาน, โปรแกรมคอมพิวเตอร์

attention: interest, especially interest that the public has in a person, event, situation etc - ความสนใจ

award: a prize or a sum of money that is given to someone following an official decision - รางวัล

awareness: knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing - การรับรู้, การทราบ, ความตระหนัก

boost: to increase; to strengthen - เพิ่ม; ทำให้มีกำลังมากขึ้น

border: the official line separating two areas, regions or countries - เขตแดน อาณาเขต

competition: an organised event in which people try to win prizes by being better than other people - การแข่งขัน

compound: an area in which a group of buildings stands - บริเวณ

concentrate: to give most of your attention to one aim or activity - เพ่งความสนใจไปยัง  มุ่งไปที่

contest: a competition - การแข่งขัน

crop: a plant grown for food, usually on a farm - พืชผล

curriculum: the group of subjects studied in a school, college, etc - หลักสูตร

delight: great pleasure, satisfaction or happiness - ความปิติยินดี, ความสุขใจ, ความดีใจ

determined: wanting to do something very much and not letting anyone or any difficulties stop you - ตั้งใจจริง, ซึ่งมุ่งมั่น

encourage: to cause someone to want to do something - กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน

enrolling: putting yourself onto the official list of members of a course or college - ลงทะเบียน

hired hand: someone who is paid to work for a person or an organisation - ลูกจ้าง

improve: to get better - ดีขึ้น

level: a position or rank in a scale of size or importance - ระดับ

mark: to celebrate something - เพื่อเฉลิมฉลอง

migrant: someone who travels to another place or country in order to find work (an immigrant is someone who comes to live in a country from another country) - ผู้อพยพ

nationality: a group of people who have the same race, language, or culture - สัญชาติ

Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC): a Thai government agency, founded in 2003. Its responsibilities include the management of education from primary school until high school - สำนักงานคณะกรรมการการศึกษาขั้นพื้นฐาน

particularly: especially, or more than usual - โดยเฉพาะ

patronage: a system of help or protection given to people, often in return for their support   - ระบบอุปถัมภ์

plantation: a large farm where crops such as tea, coffee, cotton, sugar or, in this case, trees, are grown - ไร่ นาขนาดใหญ่

plaque: a flat piece of metal, stone, wood or plastic with writing on it which is fixed to a wall, door or other object - แผ่นจารึกตัวหนังสือหรือภาพ

potential: qualities that exist and can be developed - ศักยภาพที่จะพัฒนาได้

preserve: to keep something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed - ทำให้คงอยู่, สงวน

primary school: a school for young children usually between the ages of 5/6 and 11 - โรงเรียนประถมศึกษา

proficiency: the ability to do some task or work correctly and efficiently; skill, knowledge, competence - ความช่ำชอง, ความเจนจัด, ความสามารถ, ประสิทธิภาพ,ความเชี่ยวชาญ, ความคล่องแคล่ว

proud: feeling pleased and satisfied about something that you own or have done, or are connected with - ภูมิใจ

raise: to increase the amount or level of something - เพิ่ม, ทำให้สูงขึ้น, ส่งเสริม, ยกระดับ

raise: to take care of children while they are growing up - เลี้ยงดู

represent: to act, speak or be present officially for another person or people - เป็นตัวแทน

sample: an example of something - ตัวอย่าง

secretary-general: the person who is in charge of the department that deals with the running of a large international or political organisation - เลขาธิการ, เลขาธิการใหญ่

significantly: in an important way - อย่างมีความหมาย, อย่างสำคัญ

skill: the ability to do something well, usually as a result of experience and training - ฝีมือ, ทักษะ

social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์

urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น

zone: an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed - พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต

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