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Benjawan Poomsan Becker was born in Bangkok and spent her childhood in Yasothon, a small province in Northeast Thailand. Her family is ethnic Laotian, so she grew up speaking both Thai and Lao. She recevied a B.A. in English with first class honor from Khon Kaen University, Thailand. While obtaining her M.A. in Japan, she gained extensive experience teaching Thai to foreigners at the Japan Thailand Trade Association and the Berlitz Language School. In the United States, she taught Thai language at Stanford University, at several Thai temples, and in private classes. She operated a successful Thai and Lao translation business and is a registered Thai and Lao court interpreter in the state of California. She now resides in Berkeley, California where she continues to write and publish the leading learning books on the Thai and Lao languages.