I want to thank Somsak Pola for calling my grandson a “prodigy”, but I don’t think that is true. He is just a normal Thai kid.
When he was little, I often spoke to my grandson in English – to familiarise him with the language. But on the day he enrolled in first-grade at school, I stopped doing so, thinking it would be best to let his teachers teach him the language rather than his family.
I tell everyone in our family not to criticise or poke fun at him if he makes mistakes in his English. I ask them to let me alone handle the situation. I always praise him for trying to express himself in English, but at the same time encourage him to try using different approaches by saying: “that is good, but there’s another way to say it. Here, I’ll show you how.”
My grandson developed quite rapidly in English simply because he loves the subject – just like I do. Besides studying at school during regular hours, he also takes lessons at a special English school during the weekends. He has been doing this ever since he was four and a half years old. At this special school, he is now studying English taught at eleventh-grade level. This despite him being just a fourth-grader.
We always encourage him to read English as much as possible. Sometimes we spend a few thousand baht per month for the books and toys that he picks up at the local store.