Free Online Thai Lessons: TCU Open Courseware

TCU Open Courseware

This article was originally posted on

  • Get your FREE Thailand Cheat Sheet ​by entering your email below. The ​Sheet, based on ​our experience with living and working in ​Thailand for 10+ years, shows you how to ​save time and money and ​gives you the tools the thrive in Thailand.

Chiangmai University Open Courseware…

TCU’s Open Thai Courseware: What a brilliant find by Kokesat, a member of the ThaiVisa Thai language forum!

Quoting SoftWater: I don’t think I’m overstating the case (?) when I say this is the BEST beginners material I have ever seen. This is going to be my first recommendation to anyone who asks me how to start learning Thai. It’s got it all. Thai script, activities, animations, sound (with excellent quality and crystal clear pronunciation). A truly superb resource. If it wasn’t free, you’d buy it!

TCU’s Open Thai Courseware has now been added to WLT’s Learn Thai for FREE page.

TIP: For downloading advice, please read the comments below.


16 thoughts on “Free Online Thai Lessons: TCU Open Courseware”

  1. Catherine, my Conversation Exchange partner suggested the TCU site, so I joined today. So many lessons I don’t know where to start 😉 I also downloaded all of the PDF files and was excited to find that they too included audio. The site that Steven m points out is good, as you don’t have to register (and easy to navigate), but only a small portion of the lessons are available from what I could see.

    PS. I found your post after I’d done all of the above 🙁 Kris’s instructions would have been very handy at the time.

  2. Hi Asher, no prob on old posts. They are mostly about available resources, so will never be locked down.

    I believe the problem you might be having is the size of the file. Chapter six is 20 mgs. I’ll upload it to a file server and you can get it down from there.

  3. Hi Catherine,
    I know this is an old post but you said you downloaded the pdf files. Just wondered if you happen to still have the chapter 6 of reading and writing. I keep getting an error when trying to download it and there’s no contact email address for the webmaster.

  4. What a great resource! And I agree the main website is pretty confusing. I bookmarked

    Also this blog is amazing, thanks for all the work you have put into it!

  5. While I don’t always enjoy the experience, I’m mostly used to the colours (it was my job to combine British with Asian). My main dislike would be clunky navigation and sites that make it difficult to easily find what you need.

    Oh, and the use of blue. After working corporate, I have a dislike for corp blue. And while I am at it, sites in corp red, white and blue.

    I have a long list actually…

  6. It’s true, it is poor design. But more than that, I’ve noticed that different cultures do have a common set of styles. Sometimes, these can jar with our way of doing things.

    Chinese web sites can be a riot of confusion to my eyes, but I often see similar uses of colour or graphic cues, so there is thought going into it.

    Thai sites do often have this love of colour & movement. And where we would simplify a page layout, they love adding just that little mountain extra… It’s just this one seems more overwhelming than most. It was a bit hard to handle before my morning coffee 🙂

    (Of course, I’m commenting on what I perceive as general trends – there are beautiful, elegant Thai web sites as well)

  7. Jeff, I used to be particular before I started looking around for Thai resources. But with so few decent ones out there, I’ve gotten used to sites that don’t put a lot of thought into design. It’s a pity really, as good design does not cost that much more and tends to keep users on the site.

  8. Kris, thanks for the navigation guide. This has to be one of the worst Web sites I’ve ever seen for front page layout. The ocean of blinking, flashing & scrolling makes me ill 🙁 I know a lot of Thai web sites do tend to love the 1997 web look, but this is ridiculous!

    If I had seen this monstrosity without having read the recommendation, I would have run away fast!

    But I’ll take Catherine’s word that the content is worth it & persist. It’s always good to have more learning resources.

  9. I’m just now downloading the pdf files. Wow. When you click on the Thai script in the pdf’s (sentences or vocabulary list) you get sound!

    In lesson one, they have the Thai script separated out and the talking is slow. Further into the lessons, the Thai script is as you will normally find it (all running together) and the talking is faster.

    I’ve always said that a beginners Thai program without sound is useless. This one has sound and more. Nice.

  10. The website is:
    The websites I gave before sometimes redirects you to a different place.

  11. This would be the official way the access the course:
    – Go to
    – sign up
    – Choose course
    – Choose self-paces learning courses
    – ID: 2549052 (search)
    – Register
    – Classroom
    – enter class
    If you go this way the layout of the page for accessing the course is also nicer.

  12. Sweet find Cat. Once again you are the supplier of my Thai language dreams. With the few resources I have paid for and all the free resources you conjure up I might be able to actually speak the Thai language well one day.

    It’s all downloadable too which is awesome.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.