Dysgwr y Flwyddyn (Learner of the Year) 2016

It’s time to think about having a go at the Dysgwr y Flwyddyn competition for 2016! Closing date - March 31st.

You can read about previous years if you search on the forum for Dysgwr y Flwyddyn, but there is also information here from the Eisteddfod organisers.

How about it? Anyone want to have a go?

If you have any questions post them here. Lots of us have participated in previous years, so you’ll be sure to get plenty of help and support.


Would someone who’s been through the process be prepared to share some information about it - e.g. how much preparation time it took up, what kind of evidence they needed to put together, and so on?

Hi Sara,

There is quite a lot on the forum already from previous years that could be helpful, e.g. Dysgwr y Flwyddyn/Learner of the Year 2015 and not a lot has changed apart from the location of the first round.

Here is the link to all the learners’ competition categories https://www.eisteddfod.wales/competitions/learners

and here https://www.eisteddfod.wales/competitions/learners/welsh-learner-year is information specific to this year’s Dysgwr y Flwyddyn including the forms to download.

I must say I’m impressed with the Eisteddfod website this year. They’ve done a lot of work on it and it’s a lot easier to navigate and find things.

I’ll be mentioning this in the email this week, so I’m sure some that have entered before will be happy to pop by and answer any of your queries.

From my own perspective -

I think I sweated more over the written entry part than I needed to as it’s not really important. Look on the Eisteddfod website and it gives an idea of the kinds of topics they want to know about, so just address those and you should be right.

Once that’s sent in, see if you can have a few practice interviews with others that have done it before. Usually there are a number of people willing to help you out over Skype, and that’s all you need really. The main thing is to go along and enjoy the day. You never really know from one year to the next what they are looking for. It seems to vary with the panel and the range of candidates they get on any particular year, but I think enthusiasm and a demonstration of how you use Welsh in the community help in a big way.


This is all brilliant, Dee - thanks very much. Not sure if the competition’s a fit for me, necessarily, but useful info here for anyone who’s considering it.

I’m sure you would fine to have a go Sara. It’s actually just a good experience to participate in. One of the activities last year was an acting session with Llion Williams and I loved that! Heaps of fun!

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Hi @sarapeacock. A couple of years ago the Eisteddfod was in Llanelli, just down the road from me. A couple of days after the closing date for the competition I had a phone call from the county organisers of Welsh classes. Would I be willing to be nominated? I wonder if not enough people had entered, or been entered.

They asked me the questions that go into the nomination background information and sent off the form. I never actually saw what they wrote about me, but it must have formed the basis of the interview which is the first round of the competition. This interview took place at the National Botanic Gardens during a day of activities for learners (not just those who had entered the competition) at the start of May. I was asked by email to chose the best time of the day for the interview and I chose to go first. My friend chose to go last and thus arrived in the Gardens at about 3.30 or 4pm.

I was interviewed by Nia Parry just before the 15 minute interview with the panel (3 people, one of whom I knew, slightly) and then again afterwards. Everything was filmed, which wasn’t as scary as you might expect. There were papers to sign beforehand to give S4C the right to film me and broadcast the results. I think it was the year that @elizabeth_jane was interviewed by Skype. Four years ago the winner was someone from Patagonia whose initial interview was on Skype.

We, the local eisteddfod committee (I think), some musical entertainment, friends and family, and the cameras gathered together at about 4.30, to hear the results. These were delayed quite a long time until the interview panel made their decision.

As I wasn’t one of the four finalists I can’t really say what happens next, except there was more filming.

This time I’m nominating myself, a perfectly acceptable procedure. This means I can keep a copy of what I have written about myself so I can prepare a bit better for possible questions.

Somewhere I’ve also seen who the interviewers are, so I’m going to be able to do some research on them also, beforehand.

While being able to speak Welsh to a reasonable standard is of course a pre-requisite, it’s not a requirement to be “expert”. Someone in the area made the final four three or four years ago with a “sylfaen” level. I think they look as much for contributions to Welsh society and for how good an ambassador for the language the winner will be as how good any mutations or grammar may be. (Sorry Sara for that rather clumsy sentence.)


Thanks very much for this, Margaret - it’s all very helpful.

I consider myself to be a pretty selfish learner (I am really doing it for my own benefit, and I don’t think that I particularly contribute much to the community), which is why it’s probably not for me :slight_smile:

But it would be great to see a strong SSiW presence, so I hope lots of people do enter!

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You should enter anyway Sara. It’s great experience and the more SSiWers the merrier on the day. You will all give a boost in confidence to each other.


@sarapeacock You should definitely enter! Anyway, you go to meetups and help loads of people on here - I’m sure you can talk that up!

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pure pegigree SSIW winner for a change?! (So no pressure then!) :grinning:

(And no, before you return the complement out of politeness, I’m not really feeling up to it yet…)

Well this week I’m deciding whether or not to enter the Uwch exam … so I’ll save this decision for next week.

I have a quota - only one decision a week is possible :wink:


Very same thoughts just that I’m not being able to contribute anything to the (Cymraeg) community at all. Here in Slovenia that community doesn’t exist and would not in 1000 years no matter how I try. Even that one John (the Welshman) who is Co-author of “The Slovenia Book” (In English and only English) and I believe lives in Slovenia, I presume does not speak Cymraeg at all.

And my knowledge is way clumsy and (not in the “Mindset” spirit though) it probably won’t improve to that “participating” level in 1000 years. (and (to make things clear at the very beginning) I’m not saying that out of any frustration and determination not to succeed, this is just pure FACT which I’d try to override in time but the success is unknown (yet).)

But yes, I know reading the forum here are many of you who could and SHOULD go for it. I’d like to see SSiW-er win it too. It would be like I won it to me.

All the best and good luck every single one who decides and participate! Crossing fingers for you all!

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That’s not true Tatjana! You contribute heaps to the forum so you are supporting the learning of Welsh. You’re always helping people with questions, so you contribute to the growth of Welsh worldwide.

Every year there are participants that are interviewed by Skype, and if nothing else, it helps to show that there is international interest in Welsh. Just demonstrating that fact is a contribution to the Welsh community and helps to create a positive attitude towards the language!

So no more excuses - get your application in. It will knock their socks off to get an application from Slovenia!


Haha! Come on! I can’t speak that much! Not yet! I won’t denie I had a second thought - more like daydream - to go for it one year, but I believe I’m not ready yet … I wonder if I’d be able to get on with application itself in the first place …

Thank you. This, I have to admit (but not praising myself), is true.