I am struggling a little bit with remembering everything in each lesson. How long does it take before you gain enough knowledge and confidence to be able to converse a little bit with people? I have just completed lesson 5 but I don’t believe I can remember everything I have learned! I am not lucky enough to have any Welsh speakers to be able to call on easily or regularly I’m afraid so practice is limited.
As my father says, ‘How long is a piece of string?’
From my experience confidence isn’t really a matter of knowledge, or length of time, but is a bit more a matter of personality. But to gain confidence can I suggest a couple of things that might help?
Firstly, go back and do lessons 1-5 again, in order, quickly. You will be amazed at the things you do remember, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the present. And you don’t have to remember everything you’ve been taught before you move on. That’s what spaced repetition is all about.
Secondly, elsewhere on the forum mention is made of Slack, and I’ve copied and pasted the info about it below. Yes, the first time you speak Welsh to a real person, it is terrifying, but this is a way to do it online. So you can do it from home. Just practice a sentence in your head, and say it to the group, and you will have got over that first hurdle. There may be more hurdles, as your expectations of yourself grow, but the first one is always good to get over and done with.
Slack is an online communications platform and SSiW have a group on there called Welsh Speaking Practice (WSP). The group is open to anyone of any level.
The slack community is lively, fun, warm and welcoming. As well as being a place where learners can practice their Welsh with other learners and members of the SSiW team either via audio, or audio and video links, it also has all sorts of interesting online events going on, such as singing sessions, quizzes, question and answer sessions, noson lawen evenings and many more.
You can get slack here .
If you would like to become a member of the Slack WSP community, you need to be ‘invited’ to the group - to do this you simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with WSP in the title and you’ll be sent an invite.
Once you have Slack/WSP open on your device, down the left hand side, purple coloured navigation bar, you’ll see a list of headings/places you can go to called Channels . This is where you’ll find all the events and activities listed above.
In this thread @nia.llywelyn will be regularly posting updates on what’s happening next in WSP. So from now on, all future WSP events and activities will be advertised here - wach this space!
@w4tpa not to worry about learning everything, you will have the patterns in your head. Come join us on group chats newydd on slack as soon as possible. They’ll give you extra confidence in speaking hopefully.
If you have trouble with slack contact admin as @margaretnock said and check with them if you have access to the daily chats on 6/6 support
Diolch pawb. I have sent the necessary email to become a member of WSP. I started off on the old version of SSIW and got to lesson 5 before switching to the newest version which is much harder and faster. I have to say I am struggling somewhat with the length and speed of the sentences and consequently I have had to redo the first two lessons many times to get anywhere near being able to complete the answers before they are spoken online!!! I am just trying to plough on though but it can become a little disheartening.
I remember struggling with the first five challenges too because Welsh was nothing like any other language I spoke. I used the pause button a lot and kept writing the difficult words again and again to muddle by somehow. Following rules and trusting the process comforts me in such situations so I think this is what got me thru these first weeks.
Then I realized that we only need to get about 80% right to move to the next challenge, so I became a bit braver and the inbuilt repetition helped me a lot. Going back to challenge 1 after having done challenge 5 gave me a boost of confidence too. I think my short-term memory improved somewhat later but the long sentences became actually manageable at some point.
The meetings on Slack were the other key. I tried to attend from very early on, and hearing the same things (the basic ones that I was able to recognise) helped me put the challenges in context. I also got a chance to plug my hard-learned sentences and it felt amazing Being around other learners is a bit scary but extremely effective. I think it wouldn’t have worked for me without Slack.
It’s been almost two years now since my last challenge but Welsh keeps popping up in my head so it feels like it’s there for good. I completely trust this method. It’s the only one that allowed me to speak a language without living in the country where it’s spoken.
You’re doing your challenges and you’ve signed up to WSP. I think you’re on track Good luck!