I’ve just launched a brand new feature over on useyourwelsh.com that aims to put Welsh learners in touch with more experienced/fluent Welsh speakers in a sort of more formalised “Adopt a Learner” program.
The idea is that using things like shared interests, preferred methods of communications - we’ll pair up learners with a more experienced Welsh speaker, who can be a valuable source of practice time, guidance and friendship - forging friendships that will grow through the medium of Welsh.
This may be something of interest to people here, as we have a lot of people that would fall into both boxes of people that we are looking for, i.e not only people who are just starting out with the language, but also experienced Welsh speakers who can get by on a day to day basis with the language (and there are more than a few here!).
If you are interested in playing either role, head over to useyourwelsh.com and check it out.
It is something I am trying to push. On the forms I have put 4 potential methods of communication: Email, Skype, WSP and Face to Face. It’s encouraging to see that generally everyone who has selected more than just Email has also selected WSP. More people have picked WSP than Skype so far.
Also, about 3/4 days after the initial intro email, another email will go out with some tips on how to maintain a friendship online and so forth. I will include further details of WSP on that mail
Thanks to those who have offered to be the “more experienced partner” in this program. I’m incredibly proud to say that the vast majority of those who’ve offered to help are SSIWers.
If anyone else does want to adopt a new learner, you’d be very much more than welcome. We’re currently operating at a ratio of about 1 Experienced speaker for every 3 learners. I’ve tried not to give more than 1 learner out to each adoptee, but I have given a few people 2 adoptees - only because they’ve had more than one person who has been a good match up etc.
There are lots of people on the list who are looking for email contact only, or WSP contact only - and lots of people who have only recently started learning (our newest learner has been learning for 11 days apparently!!), so if you’re worrying about whether you’re “skilled enough” to be the more experienced partner, you really need not worry.
The interests that people have listed so far is so wide and varied it has actually shocked me. Looking at the database now, we’ve got interests like rugby, cooking, football and travelling - but at the same time vikings, fountain pens, crystals, home improvement, climate change and pre-Beeching railway infrastructure listed as interests!
So there are definitely a lot of interesting people out there!
Thanks all! I look forward to welcoming lots of new learners - and lots of new experienced speakers soon!
I saw my old mynediad lefel teacher on Saturday and was telling her about this and sent her the information and link yesterday. Below is what she sent back: Did you know that the National Language Centre were thinking of doing it too?
Mae hwn yn syniad ardderchog ac yn un y mae’r Ganolfan Iaith Genedlaethol yn bwriadu dechrau. Diolch am ddod dydd Sadwrn i Rhiwlas.
Hi Amanda, I had not - but to be honest I must admit that I hadn’t even heard of the National Language Centre.
I don’t know why it hasn’t been done before, because the initial setup just took an hour or two - the hard work and time is the matching up of learning partners.
We’re well over sets of 100 partners matched at the moment, and have a queue of about 20 learners waiting for a partner, so if anyone does know or a more experienced speaker (or even yourselves) who would be interested in taking part, send them my way
me neither. I had to google and it looks like its whoever organises the learn welsh courses. I was hoping to involve her as a first language speaker and spread the message. Could you do a leaflet that I can download and put in the local library? Could probably do with some SSIW leaflets as well if there is such a thing.