So it is over, my first 20 hours of learning Thai at AAA Language school. The school is approved by the government in 2004. It costs 7,450 Baht for a 60 hours course in groups, but I took private lessons. The reason was that I wanted to focus on learning and not getting distracted (or pushed or slowed down) by others. I was also expecting more flexibility.
What I liked:
The tuition fee is reasonable, compared with other school. No complain about this. Included is a book and a CD. The location is also very convenient just 5 minutes walk from the BTS Chitlom. My teacher was very friendly and helpful, so was the overall experience with the staff.
What I did not like:
The school sticks with a certain system, that is pretty old. My biggest complain is that they don't refer to English. So the teacher wants you to figure out what the word means. I can understand that they might do this because of students from different nationalities, but for me it was a waste of time. I am not sure if they ever changed the books since they opened. One of the first words I learned was rubber eraser and ruler. Not sure if this is up to date.
Since I have some knowledge, in particular with vocabulary, from my time in Laos, I was hoping to learn Thai by speaking and reading/writing. But they stick with phonetic language, and that is quite an outdated system (although it might be helpful as a addition).
So, yes, I learned something, but not as much as I expected. A bit strange was the moment when I was leaving: Neither the teacher nor the receptionist/sales women even tried to sell me another course or asked about my experience. So it seems they just don't need more customers.
Now, I will try to go back to books and learn more reading and writing, and extend my vocabulary. And of course I need to practise.