About the Author Benjawan Poomsan Becker was born in Bangkok and spent her childhood in Yasothon, a small town in Northeast Thailand. Her parents are ethic Laotians so she grew up speaking both Thai and Lao. She graduated from Khon Kaen University in Thailand in 1990, with an honored B.A. degree in English. In April 1990, she received a scholarship from the Japanese government for a sociological research project on Thai people working in Japan. She received her M.A. in sociology from Kobe University in 1994. During that time, she worked as a volunteer interpreter and translator for Thai and Lao workers in distress. Benjawan gained extensive experience teaching Thai to foreigners while working with the Japan-Thailand Trade Association and Berlitz Language School. She is proficient in four languages: Thai, Lao, Japanese and English. Benjawan married Craig Becker in 1994. They reside in Berkeley, California where she continues to write books on the Thai and Lao languages. She also has a translation and interpretation business and owns a publishing company.