I’m not new to the saysomethingin system, having previously studied the Welsh (Cymraeg) course, but the SSiS ‘challenges’ have taken things to an altogether new level!
I’ve only recently started and yesterday I ‘completed’ challenge 2, which would have left me a floundering mess without the intervention of the pause button.
Whilst understanding the scientific ethos behind the high intensity language learning method (e.g. the value in making mistakes), I have to say that I’m not convinced that soldiering on regardless is the best way, at least for me. Without using the pause button I would have been left in the far distant wakes of the challenge ‘ships’, trying to construct the responses at all, let alone incorrectly.
Another problem I have (also with the Welsh course) is that I simply HAVE to know how words are spelt if I’m to progress with any clarity of thought. For example, I was pretty sure that ‘boy a’ (I’m going to…) is not actually spelt with a ‘b’. Once I knew that it’s actually ‘voy a’ I was fine. Maybe it’s just the way my brain works and maybe I’m holding myself back, I’m not sure. Time for challenge 3… eek!
I too am a vetran of both the old and new Cymraeg courses, and for what its worth, I would say, use the pause button! Personally I do not, but that is my choice - for everyone else it is there to be used if it helps you. Sure the High Intensity method nudges you in the direction of not using it, but hey, if it is causing you so much stress, and you may give up because of it, then just go ahead and use it guilt-free. The last thing the method wants you to do is give up or make you a frustrated mess!
By the way, did you take a look at Aran’s video of him trying to learn Manx in a day? It is instructive and inspiring, but also reassuring. Manx in a day. Be warned, its the best part of 8 hours long, so probably best not to try and watch the whole thing. There is also a follow up, where Aran has a conversation with a Manx speaker after he finished 18 Challenges in the day.
Regarding seeing the words written down, the best advice I can give is not to look at them before you do a particular challenge. I look at them afterwards. What I don’t do however, at this early stage in my Spanish experience, is try to work out how to say the words just from the written context. The method will give you an authentic accent. Trying to pronounce words from the written form before you have a good grasp of spoken Spanish and have begun to develop your accent, may be problematic. Then again, lots of people will have had some exposure to Spanish prior to beginning SSiS, but I did not.
I know Aran can provide much better advice than me on all this, but this is my tuppence worth!