High Intensity Language Training on Kindle

Our 3rd review has just taken us to #1 in a bunch of subcategories, and to #5 in the overall Education category.

Heartfelt thanks to our reviewers!

And ‘go on go on go on!’ to all our just-about-to-reviewers - I can’t over-emphasise what a startling difference every single review makes to our ranking and reach :sunny:

That’s interesting - my personal impression was that course 1 was more traditionally text-book grammar based and course 3 was starting to be a bit “freer”, although still following a fairly predictable path. I guess that’s a bit beside the point though.

Something instinctively bothers me about the idea of pushing on through lessons without having the feeling of “mastering” them. But then logically speaking, the percentage of language covered in any course that is actively available to the learner to use when put on the spot is generally pretty low. (And the active speaking element and formulaic blocks give SSI learners a huge advantage). So I guess the success of the idea is probably very much dependent on the design of the spaced repetition lessons, so that it doesn’t matter if it takes a good few lessons to get a particular construct etc bedded in.

I’d love to know if people who are ambitious to speak to a genuinely high level will find it a satisfying main resource. (As opposed to settling with just happily communicating, warts and all - oh dear, don’t I sound a snob, sorry… ). I unfortunately feel compelled to try and speak “well” if possible, although I know that’s not a sentiment that’s particularly encouraged here. When I was studying at music college in London, I was fascinated by the various attitudes of the multitudes of foreign students to speaking generally not very good English - and people’s reactions to them. A formative experience was when I once met a Japanese student at the beginning of term who could barely string two words together. I assumed she would remain sidelined with other Japanese people for the duration of her stay, as so many did. But I bumped into her again on a summer course 9 months later, and was bowled over by her near-perfect English, assimilation into the peer group, Norwegian boyfriend, etc. I never did ask her exactly how she did it, but I became a bit obsessed with learning a foreign language myself to near-native fluency. (Which I later did when I went to Germany for post-grad studies).

Sorry that was a bit of a long aside. I guess what I want to say is that I am wondering whether this kind of course can be designed to lead to mastery of the language? Is that an important goal? Or is it more likely to be destined to be an accelerated route to “getting by”?

Maybe I’d better go to bed now.

Extremely annoyingly, reviews in amazon.com and amazon.co.uk are not integrated. I can see two reviews in .com - and no mention of, nor an ability to link through to .co.uk, and I can see five in .co.uk, with a button to link through to both reviews in .com
I wonder if there are two independent rating systems?
Bring on this world wide internet thingy we’ve been hearing about, I say to Amazon

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Question please.

I have this on the iPad but is it possible to buy it as a hard copy which for me would easier to carry around and show tutors in Coleg Gwent and other learners in the classes?

Usually, when I’ve read the reviews on the UK site, I notice a link below which says “read the reviews on amazon.com”. But you are right, they are not exactly integrated, but I don’t really mind that (as a potential customer).

(Haven’t yet looked at amazon for this book, I confess, but I’ll soon remedy that (he said, hastily :slight_smile: ).

I kind of know what you are getting at Netmouse. You don’t want to end up speaking a kind of “pidgin Welsh”, with which you will get by, but which won’t win you any prizes for elegance.

I don’t want to put words into anyone’s mouth, but perhaps what SSiW might argue is that the fluency and confidence that the SSiW method will give you, means that you will enter far more conversations than you would otherwise ever think of doing. Therefore you will be exposed to far more actual living Welsh than you would ever otherwise, be exposed to. In addition, if you soak up all the Radio Cymru and S4C, and any other recorded material you can find, and take every opportunity to listen to Welsh as much as possible, and later, to read as much Welsh as possible, you will yourself fill in the gaps, and add more fine detail to the broad brush which the lessons gave you.

Well, it’s a theory… :slight_smile:

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Yes, it works .co.uk -> .com, but not the other way around. I find the whole set up rather archaic, I can’t buy from Amazon UK, but I can from Amazon US - the same item, so why? Income shifting?

I actually asked this from Amazon and they replied that I can’t buy from amazon.co.uk because my home marketplace is amazon.com (well, surprise, since there wasn’t amazon.co.uk when I started buying stuff from amazon). It should be possible to change this to amazon.co.uk.

Purchased. I’m looking forward to reading this. Congrats on the month in Cardiff too. That’s recognition well deserved.

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I agree! I can’t wait to start tutoring with the new material but I need to have more than one course.

Ah, good question. The answer is not at the moment - but if I get a little time I’ll have a look at setting something up that would let people order from a print-on-demand service… thanks for the nudge :sunny:

Thanks for another interesting post :sunny:

I’m not convinced that ‘mastery’ and ‘getting by’ are different journeys - I suspect (fairly strongly!) that they are different points on the same journey, and that something which takes you to ‘getting by’ faster will eventually lead more quickly to ‘mastery’.

One of my main drivers is how piecemeal and inefficient materials for strong intermediate learners tend to be - there’s a definite tend (perhaps largely market-driven) to ‘you speak it now, just listen to lots of radio and TV’ - which I think can be a hugely frustrating process.

I’m hoping that by the time people have got through our new Levels 1, 2 and 3 and are firmly into the listening work designed to get them to a passive understanding of the first 4000 most common words, we’ll see some really interesting examples of success. Fingers crossed :sunny:

@elizabeth_jane Diolch! And heard and understood about more than one course - not too much longer to wait, insha’allah…:wink:

Well, it’s a theory…

And a good one, I think! :smile:

Just want to quickly add too that I think the preview is a really good first page. The exercise metaphor is intriguing, challenging and instantly sets it apart from the usual language learning stuff that, as you say, tends to go down the “Come on! It’s easy!” route. Really makes you want to read more. Just bought it now and will hopefully get around to reading it when I get home. :slight_smile:


Good point.

I think ultimately the accuracy of any particular speaker is largely down to their attitude, and is a question of personal choice. We all accept the need to go out there prepared to make mistakes in order to make progress. But there is a difference between the encouragement of mistakes followed by “ouch” moments, as opposed to a general tolerance of mistakes, and different people will want to set the balance differently. (A lot of useful learning can take place in a reflection phase after an interaction, and retrospective “ouch” moments can be doubly effective!) On the other hand, an expectation and tolerance of mistakes in order to communicate can lead to “fossilization” of mistakes in adult learners, even in very fluent speakers - which may or may not bother them. I guess it’s personal, how far you want to go with the accuracy business, but I hope there will be some feeling of firm ground under the learner’s feet, so to speak, if they are that way inclined.

I fully accept that my instinctive worries about level 1, as opposed to the original approach, my be entirely unfounded. I think your logic seems to be sound, but in some ways it feels counter-intuitive! As I say, I’m really looking forward to seeing the continuation of the course, and watching the first beginners getting through it!!

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Here’s hoping! But even if they are, they’re still entirely reasonable and sensible. What I think I’ve seen, though, is that people will extrapolate from the structures they have, and that allows us to focus on broader brush-strokes which get to a wider range of communication earlier in the journey - but of course there’s a lot of tasting the pudding to be done yet…:wink:

I think it’s also relevant that while we encourage mistakes, that’s specifically in order to trigger faster iteration - and what we actually teach is correct (and/or standard colloquial usage) - so the bedrock we’re trying to give the learner should often come out more correctly at an earlier stage than someone who’s going down the rule-based approach from the start…

Sorry to bother you, but is thery a way to read that when I don’t have a kindle? I’ve got a phone (Samsung), so is there an app for that?

Thanks very much


Indeed, Pili-pala, there are Kindle apps for iOS and Android mobile devices, and one for your (Windows) computer too, so you do not need a Kindle to enjoy this book!



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Thank you so much!



I love people who leave reviews. :heart:

And I rather love that my mother actually opened and read today’s email, and texted me to say that I didn’t need to worry about letting her know :family: