Agored Assessment

S’mae pawb,

Just finished my Agored Assessment with Iestyn, and what a lovely experience it was! Iestyn was relaxed and enthusiastic, and that put me at my ease, and we rattled through the 2 part assessment in what seemed the blink of an eye but was in fact about 20 minutes. Covering Challenges 1 to 12 of Level 1, the first part of the assessment involved producing the Welsh to prompts given in Saesneg, in true SSIW style. That was followed by a series of questions about myself, given and answered in Welsh. Its a really great process which plays upon the strengths of the SSI method, and I would encourage everyone to get involved. I really want to thank Iestyn for making the whole thing so enjoyable; I loved the pre- and post-assessment chat, as I have yet to meet Iestyn in person! Hopefully, that will be rectified cyn bo hir.




Thank you very much, Stu!

I don’t really want to comment on people’s assessments online, for obvious reasons, but as this was the first, and carried out with someone who is obviously an experienced speaker, rather than an early stage learner who would have found at least something challenging, I will…!

Thank you very much for your help in this first pilot. I’ve already learned loads to put into place for the next one, and it was a pleasure speaking to someone with a lot of interesting things to say (and the ability to say them so well!). Diolch yn fawr iawn!

For the avoidance of doubt - the assessments system is still in “pre-register” stage, as I test out the workings, but if anyone else would like to join the “pre-registered” guines pigs, then take a look at the assessment page (link at the top of the forum page).

I must say, I got a lot of enjoyment from the assessment, so I’m glad you enjoyed as well. I guess it’s a bit like bootcamp - I’m likely to meet a whole load of positive “get up and go” people with a real enthusiasm for the language, because they are the people who will have succeeded, and got to the point of wanting an assessment. The only problem I can see for the future is that I could have chatted with Stu for ages, but we’ll have to restrict the assessment slots to about 20 minutes, or we’ll never get anything done!

Diolch eto, Stu, and definitely - cyn bo hir!


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Really exciting to see this getting off the ground! I know there will be many people who don’t feel the need for an ‘assessment’ and are happy enough just to be able to use their Welsh in natural conversations and get heaps of enjoyment from doing so, but for those that like to pit themselves against some kind of ‘standard’ this sounds like a very relaxed and fun way to do it.

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The assessments and Agored link are going to make all the difference in my ability to push for it at work!

I sit on the bilingual working group for the company I work for in a consortium of ten training providers, and while the other members are very positive and keen to promote Welsh, none of them are actual learners (Most are first language Welsh speakers and there’s one or two monoglots) and most are somewhat wedded to the reading, writing and gap-filling model of language learning. They’re hard to sway to informal learning because everything we do has to have “evidence”. (No - the fact that people can actually talk isn’t evidence - only bits of paper are evidence…)

There’s a real risk that they’d deliberately chose an ineffective course with a certificate at the end of it over an effective one that doesn’t. And it’s because inspectors and auditors count bits of paper not learners who are down the shops actually speaking Welsh.

To some degree it’s not their fault, the education inspection system is entirely unfit for purpose in that respect and they have to compete against every other training provider playing the same numbers game.

But it drives me mad and I’ve been making a nuisance of myself being a bit of an evangelist for SSIW in the group. So being able to throw a certification “brand” like Agored around is going to help a lot.


@leia: I have a very similar problem at work. Ssiw is a very unfamiliar way of doing things and people are nervous about investing in the approach regardless of individual successes . I’d be really interested to hear how you get on in trying to convert your organisation.