Evening classes in Cardiff

Two things are fast approaching: we’re going to be buying our house in Cardiff (everything crossed!), and I’m going to get to the end of Course 3 (on lesson 21 atm). So I’m thinking about next steps, and I want to go to an evening class.

But there’s a hitch - once the sale goes through we won’t be able to live in our new house for about a month (October, probably) because it needs a lot of work doing, so I’m going to go up to stay in my in-laws’ place on the Pen Llyn in North Wales and won’t be able to go to class in Cardiff. I’ve just been on the phone with the learners’ centre, and they suggested the blended course (one class a week in the classroom, one online class); that way I’d still be able to keep up the online classes throughout October. I will, of course, be looking for every opportunity to speak Welsh while up in the Gog :slight_smile:

So, two questions: 1. Has anyone done the blended learning course? What did you think? 2. Does Canolradd seem like a sensible level to go in at? (As well as SSiW, I’ve been working my way through the Gareth King ‘Basic Welsh Grammar’ and ‘Intermediate Welsh Grammar’, so I’m not coming cold to the writing side of things.)

I’d love to hear what people think.

Um … I’d love to read what people think! (Oops…)

If you think you could cope with a whole load of vocabulary learning, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t go straight into Uwch. You’ll just find Canolradd boring if you’re comfortable with Course 3.

Don’t forget that some (not all) people entering the Uwch course in September will just be going through the motions and will probably have less Welsh and will certainly have less confidence than you. And from that point of view, I’d encourage you seriously to investigate other routes such as Ffrindiaith to bypass formal learning altogether and just launch yourself into the Welsh-speaking community in Cardiff.

Well, that’s given me something to think about, Rob! Thanks. The tutor I spoke to on the phone asked me if I’d done the online self-tester and what did it suggest - I said it had come back with Uwch, but I wasn’t sure. She suggested Sylvaen!

I’m thinking now about trying to do one of the one-day revision days for Canolradd to see how that goes, in case that will give me a bit more confidence.

And I thoroughly intend to launch into the Welsh-speaking community - living so close to the Mochyn Du will help here, I think! I’m going to try to start any new friendships in Welsh from the get-go (rather than having to change later on … which is always hard). But I love learning languages, and would really like to get stuck into literary Welsh once the speaking side is fluent (which I aim to be within another year).

Possibly, you’ll meet, Aran and Catrin when your in Llŷn so you’ll get a good chance to have advice from them.The tutor suggesting Sylvaen…Hmmmm!!!

Wouldn’t that be wonderful!

I’ve been doing a bit of Googling, and the only day the Cardiff centre runs the one-day, preparation-for-the-next-stage courses is on 13 September, which I absolutely cannot do. Damn. I can’t seem to find anything similar at any of the other South Wales centres. Hmmm… more thinking necessary.

(Also, they don’t seem to do a blended-learning version of the Uwch course.)

Given that the logistics aren’t falling into place smoothly for a class, why don’t you concentrate on things that you can do, at your own pace, in your own time, and in your own home (if you want to): lots of listening, viewing, extensive reading, and active vocabulary-learning.

(And of course speaking whenever and wherever, as already mentioned above).

SSiW gives us the structure of the language very firmly, and the confidence to open our mouths: what it doesn’t do (because no course can do ) is give us a massive amount of vocabulary, and it’s up to us to build that. And in turn that will make listening, reading, viewing, and speaking easier, and so it goes. :slight_smile:

Moving is stressful enough, so remove the stress of worrying about a class for now, and just enjoy your Welsh in as many informal ways as you can think of. Classes will still be there in a year’s time (I imagine), if you really want one. :slight_smile:

You’ll just find Canolradd boring if you’re comfortable with Course 3.

I strongly suspect this is right on the money.

PM me when you’re up here, and if we’re around and somewhere near sane (after the holidays is better!) you could come round for a coffee and a chat…:smile:

Isn’t the course material for the classroom teaching available to buy, or even borrow, to judge the level?

I did a blended Canolradd that met once a month or so (Thursday & Friday, from 9-4). The online material was really dreadful at that level (Was better at Sylfaen & Mynediad) and mostly just drills.

Canolradd is more or less a review of both Mynediad and Sylfaen. And even at Uwch, they haven’t introduced a lot of new material.

You can buy the texts that the Canolfan uses, but they’re quite expensive considering what they are.
Hopefully I can figure out how to send you a PM with some more info.

@annie: Click the envelope next to someone’s name to send a PM.

I think I’ve been successfully dissuaded from the course idea! :wink: I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing (finish Course 3, keep working through the Gareth King grammar book, do some more modules on Memrise, read Lingo Newydd, have a stab at Golwg360 and perhaps the first Hari Potter, and find every opportunity to speak Welsh), until we get ourselves established in Cardiff. Then if I’ve still got the urge, I’ll try to take a week off and do one of the intensive one-week Uwch courses instead. Could do with starting to write in Welsh more - any bright ideas for that one? Perhaps I need an email pen-pal…

One of the reasons I was so keen to do a night school was that it was what I had kept promising myself: "When we move to Cardiff I’ll … " I thought it might be a really good way to meet some new people and start to get involved in the community. But there are plenty of other ways to do this, so perhaps I just need to be a bit more imaginative :wink:

Thanks to all of you for your comments and ideas (and internet passwords!) You lovely people, you!

do one of the intensive one-week Uwch courses

That sounds like an excellent idea - based on experience, I’d strongly suspect that what you need right now more than anything is one extended block of time in which you use virtually no English - and if there aren’t any Bootcamps available, than an intensive Uwch sounds like a great alternative…:smile:

Theres loads of Welsh speakers groups in Cardiff, if you download the Canolfan I oedolion app “Y Digwyddiadur”…it tells you with use of a calendar what is happening where and when. Grwp siaradwyr Cymraeg, grwp darllen etc…

Thanks, Chris - I think I might have that app, but I thought it was for Swansea (!) I’ll look a bit more closely…

I downloaded the app this morning but the sections for Cardiff and Glamorgan were pretty empty (or perhaps I was just using it wrong). I had more luck in Gwent (which looks like it’s got an exciting programme, but is too far from me). But I did find this web page:


Which I guess has the same kind of information.

Just out of interest, which self test is this?

I think this is the one:

Sara will correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing it’s this one:


It’s 10 multiple choice questions of increasing difficulty and it tells you the level you’ve achieved based on the point at which you select a wrong answer. A bit of a blunt instrument, but fun to try.

Huh. It reckons I should be doing the Uwch course too. I got question 11 wrong; the one about literary forms…