…I was thinking about the Million Speakers Project from a practical level – ‘if this was a business’ how do you maximise the growth?
Of all the routes available e.g. Duo Lingo, SSIW, Funded courses, Literature – how could you maximise the number of speakers getting through?
Not just the more obvious things such as ‘how could each bit be more effective’ but looking across those components - which bits are good at getting people started, which bits actually get people over the line…what bits are ‘glue’ which hold other bits together and keep people going.
Also, more parochially from SSIW’s point of view …how could we use the strength of other components to our advantage - grab onto coat tails, potentially collaborate, line up initiatives so that they all benefit from each other’s momentum.
So, I had already seen the article in the press in English about Duo Lingo having reached a Million people having started the course….
…that is a very interesting indicator of success…(but)…
I would wish to make clear that I am a fan of Duo Lingo in what it does, I still use it daily, have finished both the previous courses and am finding the newer versions increasingly useful, as they are developed….
…however, I know from the ‘My Club’ feature in Duo Lingo ( the users are now chunked up into groups of 50 per club - each user is automatically made a member of 1 ) that about 10 people are somewhat active, of which up to 5 are very active….with people come and go.
So…a million have started but how many are still going? A million starters is good but what does Duo Lingo need help with to get the starters, to the finishing line?
So the question in this context, is how many people go on to learn it to be able to speak.
However, you have to be careful about the answer ….(whose success are you measuring?)
….based upon the people I have spoken with so far doing SSIW, a very healthy majority use Duo Lingo too….
….they have also, as I have done, swelled Amazon’s coffers, also Routledge and hopefully, deservedly, @garethrking (!)….as we have scoured books to identify and understand what is said and how to re-use these pieces elsewhere.
….no source of learning is an island in this context……and for me this is something which presents an exciting opportunity.
( Aside: I think there is a special case/ boundary condition where SSIW is used in a welsh speaking environment where one source is possible…but my thoughts are focused on getting numbers up here – this doesn’t apply for ‘most’ learners. )
SSIW has a proven capability to get people through to the point of speaking…
…what would be good for it – more people through the process?..more people in = more people out in SSIWs case…
…how do you maximise the chances of people getting through the SSIW course?..……I think the use of Skype just being introduced massively increases the chance of people to speak – that would be a major one……apart from that, the principle difficulty I found when learning was the differences between any book, any other book, Duo Lingo, what is said in SSIW, Google Translate, Trinity Geiriadur, any other dictionary, to just get things nailed down (e.g. what is the word I am saying in Level 2, challenge 19 I can’t find it in a dictionary?). Actually the fact that these things are different is only really a problem for people getting started. I see the same questions as I had appearing on the Forum, several times in a 6 month window e.g. past tense for want versus past tense for run…(+ many more)
So, I was thinking of something along the lines of:
• What if you could take Duo Lingo’s market draw and feed those people into…
• SSIW’s ability to see people through to being able to speak…
• There was documentary support for the exercises…cross referencing existing literature to the benefit of publishers….maybe addressing the ‘usual suspect’ questions….absolute basic explanation of the ‘why’ (extreme balance with content required).
• …possibly some support from the Welsh Government (even for a pilot in one area)…around e.g. a Say Something In Welsh headline….
• It would be fascinating to understand whether there could be exercises in Duo Lingo which cover the same material as in SSIW……(could there be specific lessons made available for Duo Lingo, for the @aran SIW North & @Iestyn Southern courses)? Obviously on the face of it this sounds tricky….however the size of the prize is HUUUGE in terms of market reach. I read with interest that the content for Duo Lingo is provided by volunteers – who must be part of the Welsh speaking community……could there be ‘conversations had’ to see what the options are? Imagine if Duo Lingo (Welsh) provided a natural path into SSIW ….and could be incorporated into their ‘good news’ story……’Duo Lingo helped achieve the 1 Million Speakers target for the Welsh Language’….imagine if a decent chunk of the next Million starting Duo Lingo started SSIW with kick start of the knowing some content.
• That there is an accompanying workbook to the Challenges – almost a ‘turn the page’ booklet - with the lessons. The content of this work book would be extremely light – capturing what is said, in written form – the simple meaning of the words, basic ‘why’ (with references to other literature on where to find it). It would suit those whom it suited. This wouldn’t have to be a ‘Routledge production’ but it could certainly reference many. On the other hand it could be a publisher led initiative – Routledge in pole - to their significant benefit in terms of pull-through sales.
• Could this not be presented as some sort of potential ‘route to success’ for a Welsh Government target which could do with a plan?…….rope in a few celebrities – Rod Gilbert plus a few others. You only have to explain the Welsh Not on national TV and you’ll have 250,000 signed up by the next day!
Does any of the above may any kind of sense or are these crazed ramblings?