I am Mathawee Makhakul. Everyone calls me Yim. I am 24 years old and come from Chiang Mai, in the North of Thailand. I like swimming and surfing the net. I graduated with a BSC Humanities from university in Thailand. Now, I am studying in EU1 and my option is IELTS, Intermediate. I chose this course because I wanted to improve my academic skills, knowledge of global issues and needed more of a challenge.

My experience of the EU1 course

I had to do a lot of self-study and organise my time at the Learning Centre (LC) after class every day and at home. I spend time everyday on doing my homework and memorising new vocabulary. Culture and media issues were the most interesting and useful for me because these issues were near my life which I never knew before such as traditional ceremonies in different countries and influential advertising.

This course was more focused on the AWL, for instance learning word families and doing more research. Moreover, it was more serious and learnt subject specific. My responsibilities in regards to my progress were passing all assignments, keeping my portfolio up-to-date, revising my own vocabulary, doing self-study and continuing researching on class-based topic.

How to improve English skills

If you want to improve reading skill I recommend the reader’s digest and time magazines which are my favourite. These magazines contain news around the world and general knowledge such as health, scientist and culture. There are short articles which are not too difficult to understand.

For improving listening skill I recommend to listening news though BBC online and you can download podcasts from this website or in the LC. There are many topics such as discovery, documentaries and history. Moreover, you can feel the atmosphere of real classes, talk shows and speeches by accessing www.ted.com and www.academicearth.org . When you listen you should make short notes.

I think the best way to learn new grammatical structures and vocabulary is making and thinking everything in English. Also, playing vocabulary games on website is easy way to memorise because I can spend a long time on concentrate practising vocabulary longer than other ways. If you want any help, you can ask the teachers at the counter. They are very kind.

Advice to a future student

If your first language is Thai, you might have trouble using verbs in English because in Thai we use only present tense and verb is not changed. We just put time in sentences. This makes us confused when we use past or future tenses. For example, In Thai ‘I eat fish and chip yesterday.’ and ‘tomorrow I go to see a movie.’ but in English ‘I ate fish and chip yesterday’ and ‘tomorrow I will go to see a movie.’ Also, we have to memorise regular verbs and irregular verbs. You should work your way through the books of exercises in the grammar section of the LC and practise in the program.

Moreover, we might have problem with pronunciation. It difficult to read out ‘sh’ , ‘ch’, ‘r’ and ‘l’ . You can practise pronouncing by following the native speakers on the CDs or movies which you can borrow at the LC. Finally, English vocabulary is totally different from Thai, so we have to memorize all vocabulary not only the meaning but also spelling. I recommend practice though online games or programs at the LC.