So far I’ve reached Level 2 Challenge 18 but have hit something of a brick wall. I have to admit my enthusiasm has drained away! I’m now a couple of weeks behind - should be on Challenge 20 now - and I’m beginning to wonder why I’m learning!!?? I have no Welsh speakers in my circle of friends and family and am not keen to link up via the computer. Where do I go from here, I wonder? I’ve read some encouraging messages over the past months but I wonder what the “give up” rate is?
Oh yes, when I listen to Welsh being spoken on radio/tv I understand hardly anything!! Maybe more Welsh into English may help?
Perhaps listen to part of a level 1 challenge to remind yourself how much you have learnt
It sounds as if you have hit one of the notorious killer challenges where your best bet is probably to press on regardless and later go back and find that you could do it after all.
Did you struggle with the notorious Level 1 Challenge 13? I expect that it would be OK now. @JohnYoung’s advice is good - go back and see how much you know.
If being behind bothers you, you could e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be put back a couple of weeks - or more if you like. Sometimes we just need a bit of a rest.
The pandemic has really been a blow for groups who meet and talk. With luck they will revive soon, and there may be one in your area. The general newsletter (not specific to a course) used to have a list of live meetings and will do so again one day. My area group retreated to Zoom, but are starting to go live again. I had no Welsh speakers in my circle of friends or family, but now I have new friends who would be surprised if I spoke more than the odd word of English - and we live in England. I think that Zoom or Slack or whatever is easier if you have met the people in real life, but the computer is the only option for those who live in some parts of the world.
Radio/tv are difficult. I can only pick out words here and there, and that’s after Level 3.
I don’t know what the drop out rate might be, but I strongly suspect that the drop out rate from traditional classes is much higher. If you are unlucky then they can be boring beyond belief. I can say for certain that SSiW has never bored me.
I hope that things improve soon.
Just take your time. If you are learning for fun, have fun! Maybe join WSP - it is a great community where you will make new friends and be able to practice speaking too.
Going back over lessons (I do that loads) does reassure you that some things have sunk in.
I still struggle with radio and TV. The thing with TV is you can use subtitles. You learn a lot about Welsh culture, which makes tje language learning easier. It is motivating to want to be part of keeping the language alive.
And if you take a break, you can pick up where you left off and continue learning.
Being a slow learner is fine too. It can be a bit off-putting reading about those people who race through the challenges. They amaze me! I am one of the stop-start slow learners who has taken years to get to the end of level 3. If there was a test I would probably fail it. But I can speak way more welsh than I ever thought I would, which gives me a warm glow!
Many thanks for taking the time to write such an encouraging reply. I feel that I really do need to collect my thoughts at this stage so asking to be put back a few weeks would help.
And, yes, I have tried the traditional ways of learning - they are certainly not as much fun as SSIW.
It’s good to hear your learning history. I may emulate you in taking a break and coming back refreshed. My “talent” for languages is not good, but stop-start may suit me better.
Greetings from Australia. I’m in a similar position, and have decided to carry on regardless. It’s as fun as you make it. Enthusiasm never happens in a straight line.
At the moment, I’m taking the lessons a bit easier and not putting too much pressure on myself to remember it all.
I find that when I watch a Welsh TV show (with subtitles on SC4 for instance), or read a Welsh book, or listen to some Welsh music, that often restores my enthusiasm to learn.
A wise and famous person once said to me ‘never give up’, and he was right. Otherwise I wouldn’t have achieved some of the things I did!
If that all doesn’t help, try eating some chocolate, and let me know how you feel tomorrow!
Ah, never thought to mention. It’s good to keep dipping into this forum for a taste of the culture for extra encouragement. Also there are some nice WhatsApp and Telegram text and voice recording/video groups, which you could join and just read or contribute as you feel. These are mainly bilingual and membership is of all levels of ability starting from zero.
Just say if you’d like details.
I know exactly how you feel. I’ve just got to level 2 challenge 24. I have lost momentum the last couple of weeks and I too am behind by about 6 weeks. But someone said it’s not a race so I’m doing a little bit each day but not everyday. It actually doesn’t matter if you are behind as Aran says “I’ll see you in the next challenge…when you are ready” I breath a sigh of relief each time I finish a challenge but I don’t remember all of it and I’m still using the pause button. When I finish I am going to level 2 again and then hopefully go into level 3. It takes as long as it takes, the people at SSiW are not judging. You haven’t failed. Take care.
Thanks for this. This is exactly like my situation. So, yes, I’ve decided to take it a bit slower, let the weekly challenges pile up and get to the end of level 2 in my own time. Cheers.
Hi Sebastian, I like the chocolate idea!! Thanks for your suggestions. I’ve decided to take more time over each challenge from now on. As you rightly say, enthusiasm never happens in a straight line so I’ll just enjoy the curve for the time being!
Learning a language is a perpetual Marathon; not a sprint or a race that can be won. I am way behind where I should be on SSIW as I also do Dysgu Cymraeg. Just keep on doing little bits. its better to do 10 mins per day that 1 hour a week. Even 10 mins per day can be broken down into 3 mins 3 x per day. Small steps consistently and you will catch up.
If its any consilation I should be on week 52 but currently only on about week 36!
I like the chocolate idea as well - very similar to something I did a while back when I needed to get up much earlier than normal (well, than the week previous - I haven’t got much normal for now!) for something unpleasant and I made an alarm entitled “Siocled!” to remind myself to begin the day with a delicious square of the stuff.
Very much reccomend this. Cymraeg (and sweet treats) make alarms much nicer parts of life, and you can embed your life just a tad little bit inthe language.
@nigeledwardjones in all honesty you will hit a few brick walls in any language journey so please don’t beat yourself up about it. The thing about brick walls is that they initially seem like a complete road-block, but eventually you find a way over them. Either by taking a long run-up (so go back a bit first) then jumping, or just ploughing on with climbing them - don’t be afraid to use a ladder to help you! The smart people do that! So whatever your ladder is, use it. Brick walls aren’t meant to keep everything out, after all. Put on your wings and fly over if you have to. Nothing is impossible, so don’t give up. It just takes some of us longer to ‘get it’ than others. I place myself firmly in that category! But I’m happy going at my own pace. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and I’m not running against anyone but myself. So I’m happy!
I wonder if there’s a siocaholic group!!!..
or should that be siocledaholic?
I fully sympathise with you. I hit a bit “the wall” with Level 2 Challenge 17 and I know it will take several weeks for me to move forward. I remind myself learning Welsh is not a race. When I hit difficult challenges I tend to go back several challenges and this gives me more confidence and I realise how much I have learned. The Group Chats are an excellent way to learn Welsh and gain support from other learners as well as the great help from Nia and Deborah. I have thought on several occasions that I can’t do any more and perhaps should give up but I am so pleased I haven’t as Welsh is a wonderful language and I have met so many interesting and great individuals in the ssiw community. I hope you feel encouraged to carry one.
Many thanks for the encouragement. Yes, I think I’ll take the pressure off and look back at some previous work. Diolch.
Words of wisdom. Diolch yn fawr.