So you're an Adult - But can you DO what the child Does?


We know that adults are different in many ways from young children.  But in what ways are they deficient?  Is it true that children are better at language learning because they have some ability that we lose as adults?  At ALG World we believe, and have been demonstrating since 1984, that adults DO NOT lose the ability to acquire a language in much the same way as young children – and with much the same results! In fact, the problem is exactly the opposite.  Adults have GAINED capabilities that simply get in the way of the natural, and perfect acquisition process.  Get those things out of the way, and we see the results that were never before dreamed possible!

Hi. I am 21 years old. I know I am not that old but I’m not exactly a child either. I am planning to go to Thailand this summer, mainly for June, I might stay for July. Anyway I was raised in Thailand so I know how to speak conversational Thai but I do not know how to read and write. I want to know while level I would fall into. Also I want to know about registration. Is there a deadline? Thank you
Thanks for your question. As in native language acquisition, each person progresses at an individual pace. There are a few things that make an ALG Program unique, and may not necessarily fit your personal goals or desires.
First, it is based on an “un-assumption” that adults can indeed acquire a new language using natural means, as a young child does – the un-assumption here is that adults haven’t lost this ability. What adults have gained however, is the ability to analyze, transfer from another language, etc. This will get in the way of the natural process.
Second, the natural process always produces better results than any adult method of practice and memory. Language is too complex and needs to be used too effortlessly to ‘create’ it in the way language programs generally try to do.
Third, man hasn’t found a way yet to acquire a language faster than nature does already – however the adult methods do show some results from day one, that nature doesn’t try to do – such as speaking.
Because of these differences, the expectations of a student must ‘fit’ with that natural process. In three months of 30 hours per week, your understanding of Thai language would be at about 25% – You would not be able to make any sentences at this time. Perhaps the best way to think about all of this is to imagine (or find) a foreign 4 year old, who had just moved to Thailand from an English speaking country. In three months time, of playing with Thai kids on the street, and being cared for by a nanny, he might be using a few basic words, but still would not be able to communicate much. The advantage that this child has over his parents who go to a traditional language school for example, would also not be evident, but they are there. The child is forming the foundation for native speech ability.
Jeff Berry
Hi, I am an older, mature, senior citizen type at 65 who plans to go back to Bangkok with my wife this summer for three months. I would like to use the time to take the AUA Thai program. Assuming 6 hours per day for the three months how much progress is reasonable to expect?
Hi jberry1, I will blog soon, on how we measure progress in a general sense. For some general idea about our perspective, take a look at I will also write you an email to open discussion for your personal requirements as well. Thanks so much for your question.​