Thailand: Thai language and culture resources is an information-rich website that is useful for a wide audience. Because of the complexity of the site, a few words on how to use the site are in order. New users should read the guide on where to begin in an the overview page, which is located in the left hand side column, in order to avoid getting lost in this website. Before clicking on its links, users have to download Thai fonts from the Fonts link, which is located in the homepage. On subsequent visits to this site, users simply go to the left hand side column, which is called an angel-decorated door, and select topics that they want to review. This site classifies users into two main groups: the casual visitor and the serious novice learner. For the casual users, this site provides general information (i.e. food, travel, news, basic phrases, and cultures) to stay in Thailand. For the serious novice users, this site provides language learning in detail. However, their links on the homepage do not relate to the main purposes of this site.
Type of Material:
Tutorial/ Reference Material
Materials available on the site are written information, pictures, audio files, quizzes, and vocabulary drills and practices, and dictionaries.
The computer that can read Thai language
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The site provides useful information for users who want to learn the Thai language and Thai cultures. While one of the primary learning goals of this site is to impart information about the lifestyles and customs of Thailand, its activities and contents serve to improve users' language skills as well. Users can also improve their speaking and listening Thai language through the use of following links: Thai classifiers, language, and spoken Thai.
Target Student Population:
The site is directed toward learners of Thai language and/or Thai cultures.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Users need to download Thai fonts from the homepage in order to view Thai language and need to have the RealPlayer program in order to hear the sound files.
Evaluation and Observation
The site provides good general information about learning the Thai language and Thai cultures. The exercises are of adequate variety and depth, the directions are adequate, and the organizational principle is clear. External links on the second page are relevant to the site.
This site is slightly difficult to understand due to its organization. New users should start from an overview page. There is some learning section that is unnecessary for novice users.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This site is a good resource for teachers and users who are looking for Thai authentic materials and exercises for their classroom and their learning. Teachers can integrate these materials immediately into their teaching. Users can practice the Thai language by using the materials provided in this site. Teachers and users can easily find specific information that is needed from its internal and external links. The attractive presentation of materials and straightforward organization of each page make the site engaging and informative. Users have options foe testing his/her knowledge, with answers only a click away. The authors have given thoughtful consideration to making the answers easy to find and readily accessible.
As stated earlier, this site is slightly complicated and users can get lost. Teachers should provide clear directions for using the site. However, there are many ways to link to the same internal pages. The authors should separate language learning materials from information about Thailand or should rearrange the order of the information. Users who want to learn the Thai language should try to start with Thai Classifiers, Language, and Spoken Thai before visiting other internal links.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
It is slightly difficult for new users to use this site. However, if they understand the structure of the site, they can get very useful information.
The authors should not put external links on the middle of the homepage because it makes users understand that these external links are the main theme and it makes users get lost. Buttons and labels are not consistently and logically applied throughout the site. Moreover, the authors should provide a link to the home page at the top or the bottom of all internal links.
Other Issues and Comments:
Users have the option to make suggestions about the site (via a simple online survey) for review and inclusion. However, the online survey is a dead link.