I have some vacation time in October, and one option is to do the Uwch 2 course at Y Nant that runs October 20-24. I have a couple bits of hesitation.
The main one is what the overall experience would be like, especially because I remember people on the old forum saying they’d been on Nant courses that were very very empty (and best as I can tell there’s no one yet signed up for this one – 14 spaces left). And I’ve never had any classroom instruction in Welsh at all, so who knows how I’d like it. Anyone know the Nant’s policy for how many people must attend for the course to go forward, and how long before the course they make that decision?
A second concern is level, although honestly I’m more worried about seeming presumptuous than being so. I’m not even sure they’d let me on the course; ‘hi, I learned Welsh on the internet, please let me jump in to the next-to-highest level’? I’m confident I’d be fine on speaking/listening, thanks to SSIW, based on the videos on the Nant site of Uwch 2 students talking about their experiences. On writing, I’ve likely had less practice than others, since I haven’t done much of my Meistroli by Post course, so I would lag there. I read a lot, so that should be okay. I do like the idea of getting to spend a few days on historical and literary topics.
Basically, I am trying to find ways to use and/or improve my Welsh while on vacation. Any thoughts or comments would be very welcome!
Uwch 2 info
I’ve thought about and want to do this course at some point. My own measure of reading ability - I can follow most of Golwg, Y Cymro and Papur Bro’s…If they asked about my writing skills in Welsh I’d tell them it was o.k as I sometimes drop a line to Radio Cymru or S4C and have contributed in Welsh online - which you’ve done yourself.
Having done the Pellach and Uwch Wlpan courses your standard of speaking, listening, reading, writing will be well above the curve.
Every time I wander down to the Nant I see people attending the courses and the various groups always seem to be having a rewarding time.
The subjects covered in Uwch 2 seem very inviting. On the literature side I could bring something to the table as I’m a leading authority on the work of Dewi Prysor
Give them a call. I do not doubt they’d be happy to discuss the appropriate level.
I have done the taster and level 1 course there and am going back in October. They are approachable and I thought the course and venue pretty good. I knew no welsh before I started. I wouldn’t knock the internet either. I heard about Saysomethinginwelsh from the folk at the Nant.
So, for what it’s worth, I would suggest you give them a phone call.
My first thought, Diane, is that you are not really suitable material for Nant Gwrtheyrn. NG is aimed at learners, rather than fluent speakers who want to improve their written / grammatical / formal skills.
There will be no other students and possibly no tutors in the Nant who can write cynghanedd, for instance.
Don’t get me wrong - if you found yourself with an enthusiastic group of new Welsh speakers who were interesting and interested, you would get what a lot of what you want from the experience. On the other hand, it could all go the other way, and you would have wasted a week in Wales.
I know this is less than helpful, because I’m more or less telling you to get in touch with the Nant and say “Look, I don’t want to waste my time, because I’m very good, you know…” Joking aside, that is genuinely what you ought to be able to ask them, but I understand that both you and they might be embarrassed by the question!
I can’t help thinking that you would be better off meeting up with a couple of SSiWers around the place, and going to some museums and cultural centres. having guided tours, chatting with staff etc, writing about the whole thing on a “Week in Wales” blog, and generally “having a holiday in Welsh”, rather than trying to find a suitable course. That being said, there may be an element of this on the Nant course - I don’t know.
It’ll be interesting to hear other people’s take on the situation.
I went to the Nant for a week a year after I started learning with SSiW and it was a complete waste of time and money - I have to admit it was a supply tutor who was hopeless. The people at the Nant agreed we had all wasted a week and offered us a free course to make up for it but unfortunately it was the week before Christmas which was impossible for most of us. The problem was that even the people of the Sylfaen course wouldn’t or couldn’t speak in Welsh and we concentrated on grammar and games!! I noticed that the people in the uwch groupl were constantly writing and didn’t chat to each other in Welsh at other times. However, the biggest annoyance for me was that we were having to fill forms in twice a day to say what progress we were or weren’t making!!
I fully agree with Iestyn’s suggestion of having a holiday in Wales and would suggest myself that you go into the Welsh speaking areas ie Ceredigion and particularly Bala where very little English is spoken.
Please feel free to PM me for more information about Nant Diane if you wish.
If you do decide to go for a “tour and talk” option, Maureen and I hope you will take in Ystrad Meurig / Abertystwyth where we’d love to feed and converse with you (albeit in De Cardi rather than biblical Welsh )
Please PM me if you think you may be able to fix a dinner date chez nous. I’ll contrive to invite a native speaker friend who’ll be able to engage you in “tidy” Welsh like wot you speak.
And there’s always Llandysul - that thriving hub of all things Welsh - where I happen to know of someone with accommodation
You wouldn’t believe it. I’ve just had a phone call from Nant Gwrtheyrn to say that I’ve won a 3-day residential course there from a competition I entered at the Eisteddfod. They’re going to send me the information so I can choose when I want to go. 3 days of intensive Welsh learning might not be everyone’s idea of a great prize but it’s right up my street!
da iawn Dee, i can see it now, at the end of day two they will ask if you are ever free to teach.
(can i be in your class)
I would love to be a Welsh tutor actually and I would love to learn more about nature. There’s a thought - we should set up some kind of rambling Welsh classroom where John can teach us about the natural world and we could have impromptu Welsh lessons as we go.
Oh yes, that sounds like sooo much fun…
Oh, this does sound oh so good.
One good place to start with peth natur is a pond.
and Iestyn did mention how productive his pond is.
At the moment i don’t know how many tents would fit in that garden.
Camp natur, i can imagine the fun and laughter already.
Welsh is a big subject and i seem to be slow at leaning.
Nature is a big subject, nature in welsh well you can see
where this is going, gess i’m in for a long haul.
I hope to be at plas tan y bwlch in February to try and increase knowledge of sea birds.
meanwhile i’m struggling to get my tongue around words like. (llysysydd).
I certainly add my congratulations to Dee but, is it possible in this new forum to transfer the subsequent discussion to a new thread so that Diane’s original enquiry gets a proprer airing?
Llongyfarchiadau, Dee. The double meaning of “dysgu Cymraeg” in Welsh is tailor made for you.
Yes, sorry Diane, your thread went a bit off on a tangent there :oops:
Does anyone have any other comments on Diane’s original question back at the beginning? I can’t comment on Nant Gwrtheyrn until I’ve been there, but I’m trying to get more information on a Graenus online course that is being offered by Prifysgol Abertawe through Cymraeg i Oedolion Sir Gâr which I’ll pass on to Diane as soon as I get a response.
Diane, Dee, I won a competition for a free week’s beginners’ course at the Nant not long after moving up here in 2012 (it was a local paper competition). I was already working on level 1 SSiW at that point.
Overall, I’m afraid I didn’t really enjoy it. the tutor was fine, but it was the method I found dull. Lots of repeating the same dialogues over and over, and it was v distracting to have 8 learners in the same room repeating the same dialogue at various speeds and abilities! I got some useful vocab out of it, and a realisation that it didn’t work for me (!), but as Carolyn says, no one was at all interested in speaking Welsh in the breaks, and some of the people in the class just really struggled with even the basics, which was quite frustrating for the rest of us (though we were sympathetic, honest!). It is a lovely setting though and the village pub is incredibly friendly, so there are positives…
Diane, I do think that you’d be better staying somewhere and just chatting to the locals. I’m biased but Snowdonia is a great holiday destination for Welsh learners. The Galeri Caernarfon often has Welsh language events which would be interesting to go to, and I have the details of a guy who does walking tours of Caernarfon in Welsh which given the local accent you might find a challenge Do PM me for details and/or tell me when you’re around and about - I’d be up for a panad & chat if you fancy that. You’ll have loads of practice opportunities pretty much anywhere in Gwynedd, tbh…
I would hope that the people doing the higher level courses would be willing to practice their Welsh in between classes - I mean, if you’re going to spend that much money to go to a week long intensive course, you want to be getting as much out of it as you possibly can, surely…