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Thai language courses at University of Hawai'i at Manoa are offered by the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures, College of Languages, Linguistics and Literatures. Courses relating to various aspects of Thailand such as History, Anthropology, Economics are offered in various departments at the university, and are coordinated by the Center of Southeast Asian Studies, School of Pacific and Asian Studies.
First-Level and Second-Level Thai courses may be used to fulfill the foreign language requirement for all bachelor's degrees on the Manoa campus.
Thai 201-202 and 301-302 are designated as "Writing Intensive" courses and satisfy "Writing Intensive" Focus Requirement of UH-Manoa.
About the language
Thai, also known as Siamese or Standard Thai, is the official national language of Thailand, a country located in the center of South East Asia sharing common borders with Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. It is spoken by about 60 million people in Thailand.
is a tone language belonging to the Southwestern branch of the Tai
language family, which includes languages spoken in Assam, northern
Burma, all of Thailand including the peninsula, Laos, Northern Vietnam
and the Chinese provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou(Kweichow) and Guangxi(Kwangsi).
distinctions in the sentences are either determined by context or by adverbs
and expressions of time.
Thai has its own script, which is basically alphabetic in nature, i.e., the script corresponds with pronunciation.
For a sample of Thai script and pronunciation and other information relating to Thai Language, please visit The Thai Language Page.
Degrees and Language Certificate Program
Students can major in Thai and receive B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (with concentration in Thai) by completing a minimum of 36 credits of courses on Thai language and culture beyond the 200 level Thai language courses. Each student develop a program of study in consultation with advisors from both Interdisciplinary Studies Program and Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures. Click here for the 2010-2011 general IS program sheet.
This is part of the UHM Undergraduate Certificate Program. On recommendation of the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures, UH Manoa confers "certification of achievement" in a number of languages, including Thai. A student can apply for a certificate for Thai if s/he completes 15 credits of Thai language or literature classes beyond Second-Level (200 level) Thai language classes, a minimum of 6 of which must be in continuing language study. A GPA of at leat 3.0 must be maintained in the language courses leading to the certificate.
For more information, see UHM catalog.
The Language Certificate can also be awarded to graduate or post-baccalaureate students.
The awarding of certificates to graduate students are limited by the following:
1. All UG certificates are to be clearly labeled on the students’ transcript as “UG Certificate in (subject)".
2. The award of UG Certificate is posted to the term in which the certification requirements are completed.
3. The student must be registered for credit in the term in which the certificate requirements are completed. No UG certificate will be awarded “in absentia.”
(This policy was established in spring 2001.)
Course Description in UH Catalog
*THAI 103 Conversational Thai I (2) [co-requisite with Thai 105] Course Description & Syllabus
Development of basic skills (listening, speaking and grammar) of spoken Thai. Regular online lab work and review of audiovisual materials. Not open to students who have taken THAI 101.
*THAI 105 Reading and Writing Thai I (2) Course Description &Syllabus
Development of literacy skills in Thai for those who cannot read or write in the language. Focus on Thai script reading and writing. Not open to students who have taken THAI 101.
*THAI 104 Conversational Thai II (2) [co-requisite with Thai 106]
*THAI 106 Reading and Writing Thai II (2)
THAI 112 Intensive Elementary Thai (10)
*THAI 201 Second-Level Thai I (4) (Writing Intensive)
*THAI 202 Second-Level Thai II (4)(Writing Intensive)
THAI 212 Intensive Intermediate Thai (10)
*THAI 301 Third-Level Thai I (3)
*THAI 302 Third-Level Thai II (3)
THAI 303 Accelerated Third-Level Thai (6)
*THAI 401 Fourth-Level Thai I (3)
*THAI 402 Fourth-Level Thai II (3)
THAI 404 Accelerated Fourth-Level Thai (6)
THAI 415 Thai Language in the Media (3- repeatable)
THAI 461 Readings in Thai Literature: the Short Story (3- repeatable)
THAI 462 Readings in Thai Literature: the Novel (3- repeatable)
THAI 451 Structure of Thai I 3)
THAI 452 Structure of Thai II (3)
IP 499 Directed Studies (V)
Courses marked with * are offerred regularly.
FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Fellowship
Thai is one of the languages for the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships. FLAS Fellowships are available to both UH classified graduate and undergraduate students who have US citizenship or permanent residency and combine modern foreign language training with area/professional studies. The fellowships are administered by Asian Studies Program of the School of Hawaiian Asian and Pacific Studies. In 2019, an academic year fellowship provides a graduate recipient with a $15,000 stipend and tuition for up to 9 credits per semester and an undergraduate recipient with a $5,000 stipend and tuition support up to $10,000 for up to 12 credits per semester. Stipends are usually disbursed in ten monthly installments.
Application deadlinefor UH FLAS is usually end of January.
UH-CSEAS Summer FLAS Fellowship
Starting in summer 2007, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at UH offers THREE or more Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships for Summer. These will provide stipend and tuition for U.S. citizen or permanent resident graduate students at UH-Manoa who will enroll in a formal program of intensive language study. Summer FLAS requires either 120 contact hours in advanced language or 140 hours in intermediate language over a period of 6 weeks or longer. Individual tutoring is not acceptable.
The applicants are responsible for selecting the language program to attend and must clear their program choice with UH language instructor who will assess the overall merit of the program before full fellowship application will be considered. A summer fellowship consists of a $2,500 stipend and tuition cost up to $4,000. Intensive in-country language training is strongly recommended for summer Southeast Asia FLAS.
Application deadlinefor UH Summer FLAS is usually end of January.
A list of Intensive Thai Programs approved by UH Thai Language Program
Boren Awards for International Study
As NSEP initiatives, the Boren Awards focus on countries, languages, and fields critical to U.S. national security but are less frequently studied by U.S. students, i.e., areas of the world other than Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Thai is a language supported by Boren Awards.
For local (UH) information and applications contact Dr. Chizuko Allen, School of Hawaiian, Asian, & Pacific Studies, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822, tel. 808.956.2210.
Boren Graduate Fellowships
Boren Scholarships for undergraduate students
Blakemore Freeman Fellowships are awarded for one year of advanced language study (= A minimum of three academic years of regular language study at the college leve) in East or Southeast Asia, including Thai, in structured language programs or private tutorial programs where the primary focus is on study of the modern language. Blakemore Freeman Fellowships are for one year of full-time language study. Grants awarded for an academic year program may be extended to include summer study preceding or following the academic year program, if approved by the Trustee.
Study Abroad program/ Exchange programsThere are many opportunities to study Thai language and other academic subjects in a variety of Thai universities through study abroad programs and exchange programs, where UH students can study and get UH credit.
exchange programs, students study at a university in Thailand while paying tuition
and fees and receiving credit at UH. Thai Studies courses are taught in English,
and Thai language courses are also available. For program availability and further information, visit Manoa International Exchange Program website.
In addition, in consultation with UH Study Abroad Center, students can design a study abroad program different from those programs mentioned above. The following are Thai Studies programs offered at various universities in Thailand:
|In Bangkok|| Pridi Banomyong International College, Thammasat
(Thai Studies Certificate Program)
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Click here for Intensive Thai course description.
For additional information on study abroad opportunities in Thailand, visit Global Learning website.
WHY STUDY THAI?
For Professionals, Scholars or Enterpreneurs:
Currently, there is still a need for U.S. professionals and scholars with expertise and knowledge in the Thai language and the country. The following are some reasons:
For future visitors of Thailand :
Come visit Thailand, a land of smiles-- land of golden temples, superb cuisine, pristine beaches, world famous fabrics and gems and more. Knowing Thai will enable you to better understand and experience Thailand.
Yuphaphann Hoonchamlong is an associate professor of Thai who coordinates the Thai program drawing upon her 20-year experience teaching Thai as a foreign language. She has a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is no stranger to the University of Hawai‘i where she received her Master’s degree in Linguistics. Before coming to Hawai‘i, she taught Linguistics at Thammasat University in Thailand. In accord with the University’s mission of positioning itself as a distinguished resource and leading institution in Asia-Pacific affairs, Hoonchamlong hopes that the Thai program will gain international recognition for its language instruction, as well as for its cultural teachings, which are invaluable for communicative proficiency. To achieve this goal, she is determined to develop effective instructional materials and employ innovative instructional methodology; attract more students and increase community access to the Thai program; strengthen the relationship between students and the local Thai communities/businesses; and increase collaboration between other relevant departments and schools at UH.
Chintana Y. Takahashi has taught Thai at UHM since August 2000. She has experience teaching Thai language for Japan-Thai Cultural Association, and Japanese language for NHK in Japan. She also taught the first Japanese language course ever offered at Rutgers University, New Brunswick Campus, and continued teaching there until the program became established. She keeps current with innovative approaches to language acquisition by attending workshops regularly, and applies the acquired techniques to her knowledge to maximize the efficacy of Thai language instruction. She attended Mahidol University, Tokyo University of Education, University of Tsukuba, Princeton University, and Rutgers University (New Brunswick).
Starting in 2006, Thai has been added to a list of strategic languages that receive funding from the Department of State’s Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) program which bring in young native speaker instructors from their home countries to U.S. educational institutions to establish a native speaker presence in the language program.
The Thai language program at UH is in the group of US institutions participating from the first year of the Thai-FLTA program (academic year 2006-2007), hosting one FLTA from Thailand. The presence of the FLTA adds an energetic and up-to-date cultural component and dynamic to our Thai language classes and enables us to offer more courses.
For Thai teachers of English interested in applying for this FLTA program, contact: Fulbright Thailand's FLTA program.
List of Thai FLTAs at UH