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Thai Oral Proficiency Guidelines



--Speaker may know a few high-frequency expressions such as: sawàt dii (formal greeting),
       khɔ̀ɔp khun (thank you), maˆy pen ray (never mind), dii (good), nít nɔ̀ɔy (a little), maˆy (not), taksiiˆ (taxi)
--May be able to name a few typical food items, e.g., names of common fruits, foods, transportation
--May be able to give his or her name
--May know some basic family terms: phɔˆɔ, mɛˆɛ, phiiˆ, nɔɔ́ŋ
--No real ability to communicate
--May repeat the question of the interviewer
--Pronunciation shows strong influence of native language


--Number of vocabulary words and semantic domains increase, although practical conversation is still extremely limited
--May know some terms of personal significance (such as own street address, or employment related
       terms such as ?acaan, prachum, sɔ̆ɔn, thiiˆ prùksăa, siì sìp haˆa nathii)
--Can name some objects in the surroundings but cannot describe (hɔˆɔŋ náam, suˆa, dinsɔ̆ɔ , rót mee)
--Able to name food items in a restaurant with memorized vocabulary and no variation
--Listing of items is common
--Memorized material and formulaic phrases of three or four words dominate: pay thiˆaw, maˆy
ɔˆɔp, maˆy pen ray, phèt maˆak
--Comprehension remains very weak and speaker often repeats question of the interviewer
--Memorized polite formulaic phrases: khŕap, khá, saˆap


--Partial control of baseline requirements for Intermediate--Low
--Utterances remain chippy
--Vocabulary remains limited to the speaker’s field
--Can understand some simple questions but has great difficulty creating an answer. Answer often takes
       a translated English form: chaˆy rather than the verb repeated
--Partial, inconsistent use of classifiers: sɔ̆ɔŋ phiˆi rather than sɔ̆ɔŋ khon
--May use inappropriate pronouns
--Partial control of adjectival verbs: bˆaan pen yày
--Begins to use polite articles
--Can express likes and dislikes but not very effectively
--Frequently resorts to English and/or interlanguage
--May be able to answer "A or B" type questions
--Can get into but not out of situations


--Conversation becomes interactive, participatory
--Can sustain conversation on familiar topics with sentence level discourse
--Can express likes and dislikes in relation to themselves
--Can discuss familiar topics: family, living space, personal items
--Consistent use of classifiers but not always appropriately: khon for ʔoŋ
--Most common classifiers are used regularly: khon, tua, khan
--Begins to use indefinites: khray, năy, ?aray
--Ability to connect sentences in sequence begins to appear, e.g., A lɛ́ɛw kɔˆɔ, tɛ̀ɛwaˆa, kɔɔ̀ŋ, although not consistently
--Sentences remain simple in structure often only with content words and no function words
--Uses lɛ́ɛw for the completive
--Uses S-V-O sentence order, yes-no questions but may give the inappropriate answer
       (chaˆy rather than the repeated verb), recognizes both máy and lŭu [rʉ̆ʉ]
--Uses noun-adjective order: baˆan sŭay
--Uses simple negatives: maˆy pay, maˆy mii
--Can successfully get into and out of a simple role play/survival situation: buying a bus ticket


--Can initiate within the context of the conversation
--Semantic domains greater
--Can ask for clarification, e.g., to see if the speaker is answering the right question
--Still has difficulty with the wide range of pronouns
--Can manage conversation about everyday social life, but cannot deal with complex social situations
--Can elaborate and modify conversation with strings of sentences. Topics include shopping, food,
       everyday concerns, other self-centered topics
--Language is concrete and anecdotal
--Syntactically appropriate responses to verb and maˆy and chaˆy máy
--Control pen, wăy, daˆy, wh- questions, comparatives
--Uses simple modals such as khɔˆy, tɔˆŋ, ʔaàt cà, phʉˆa, khuan
--Correct classifier placement but still lacks control of full range of classifiers
--Negatives plus limiters: maˆy + ləəy, maˆy + thaˆwray, maˆy khɔˆy
--Uses limiters: ʔiìk, ʔʉ̀ʉn, lék kə̀ən pay, mŭankan, duˆay, phɛɛŋ pay, naˆa duu, kùap
--Uses indefinites regularly: mii khray yùu máy, maˆy mii ʔaray
--Begins to use serial verbs: ʔaw. . .pay, ʔaw. . .maa, ʔaw. . .pay khʉʉn
--Begins to use the verb haˆy
--Begins to recognize and use pronoun/subject deletion
--Can get into and out of a situation/role play without complication: renting a hotel room


--Emerging control of time period makers: cháaw, bàay, yen
--Partial control of baseline requirements for Advanced
--Begins to self-correct
--Begins to explain and offer opinion
--Able to answer questions with more information than necessary. Volunteers information
--Begins to narrate a sequence of events
--Repeats same information with different variations, but does not give detailed paragraph links
--Use of more complicated time expressions: muˆa kíi níi, phuˆŋ maa, weelaa
--Can ask for clarification and reassurance
--Begins to speak in paragraphs
--Emerging serial verbs: yàak cà
--Emerging ability to circumlocute to compensate for vocabulary deficiencies, e.g.,
       mii khruˆaŋ phuˆa mii sĭaŋ daŋ for khruˆaŋ dontrii


--Paragraph length discourse and complexity increase significantly;
       uses time markers: tɔɔn nií, lăŋ càak nán, tɔɔn rɛˆɛk, samăy mày, samăy kàw;
       uses other connectives: sŭan maˆak, lɛ́ɛw kɔˆɔ, kìaw kàp, kɔˆ ləəy, mii tɛ̀ɛ , kaan thiˆi cà, thiˆi cà hĕn pay, thaˆa cà;
       uses topic markers: nán, máay khwaam waˆa
--Can describe in detail
--Can compare and contrast
--Emergence of use of register changes: proper reference to monks, superiors, etc.
--Uses yùu following a verb to indicate continuous action
--Use of haˆy meaning ‘give,’ ‘allow,’ ‘for,’ causative tham haˆy
--Use of d.o. + i.o. + clf. structure
--Control of relative clauses; uses thiˆi, sʉˆŋ
--Control of modals: khoŋ cà, phuˆa, ʔăat cà, etc.
--Control of serial verbs, including directional modification: yók daˆy máy, yók khʉˆn máy, yaŋ maˆy daˆy
--Use of negatives with serial verbs: núk máy ʔɔ̀ɔk, mɔɔŋ maˆy hĕn, yók maˆy khuˆn
--Use of transitive markers: rŭu waˆa, khít waˆa
--Uses grammatical and mode particles
--Can get into, through, and out of a situation with a significant complication
--Appropriate use of maˆy daˆy + verb


--Partial control of baseline requirements for Superior
--Common elaborate structures begin to appear in narration: thúk sìŋ thúk yàaŋ , phɔɔ kin phɔɔ cháay,
ˆi la nít thiˆi la nɔ̀ɔy, khon lá loˆok, phuˆu thaˆw phuˆu kɛ̀ɛ , tham raˆay tham naa, hăa puu hăa plaa,
       pen ya
̀aŋ níi pen yàaŋ nán
--Emerging control of polite vs. common terms: chuˆay vs. karuna
--Structural accuracy compensates for pronunciation errors
--Begins to use high level discourse markers: mɛ́ɛtɛ̀ɛ , than than thiˆi, thaˆa phŏm cam maˆy phìt, khòŋ cà


--Elaborates and supports one’s ideas and opinions
--Able to comment and criticize in an appropriate manner
--Able to modify one’s speech to the audience
--Use of high-level discourse markers: cuŋ, kɔˆləəy, suˆŋ
--Use of the restrictor waˆa: cam maˆy daˆy waˆa khəəy pay rú plaàw
--Can use casual/colloquial expressions: ʔaray yaŋ níi, rŭ ʔaray yaŋ níi, kɔˆ ləəy, ʔaray tham nɔɔŋ níi
--Able to discuss any topic in generalist terms in a general discussion without specific terms
       such as ‘capital gains’ in economics
--Able to participate in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, professional, and abstract topics
--May not be able to discuss in-depth highly abstract or unfamiliar topics
--Sporadic errors may occur, particularly with low-frequency structures and some complex high-frequency
       structures more common to formal writing
--No patterned errors in evidence
--Errors do not disturb the native speaker or interfere with communication
--control of polite vs. Common terms; kin, thaan, rápprathaan; maˆy saˆap and may rúu;
ɛɛn, mia, phanyaa, phanrayaa, mɛˆɛ baan, thiˆi baan


--Specialized vocabulary vs. General term for same concept
--The full range of mode particles
--Decorated and elaborate speech

Revised: 5-21-90; 4-24-91; 4-18-92

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