Just use it … I phoned the police yesterday to report a matter (not 999) and did it in welsh, just started the conversation with do you mind if I use welsh that will be far from perfect.Both the people I spoke to were happy and helped when I got stuck.
Everything up to here added to the Trello card…
I had a quick brainstorm and came up with 5 things that I think contribute to success. I’m sure these could be broken down further but it might be helpful in generating specific ideas.
- Ability. The actual amount of Welsh one knows.
- Confidence. How confident one is to try using Welsh.
- Opportunity. How many different places to try one’s Welsh out.
- Frequency. How often one uses these opportunities.
- Reception. How well received one’s attempts are.
Each of these are interdependent and an improvement in one are would help in others.
That’s a great extra layer of thinking. I think I’m going to have to add extra columns to the Trello!
That an really interesting structural way of thinking about it.
So, instead of posting in this thread any more, please use Ian’s sections:
If you have an idea that you can’t for the life of you fit into any of those sections, about how we get more learners to succeed, then, okay, add it in this thread…
I don’t think this fits into any of the sections above (please feel free to move if it actually does!)…
SSiW wins because the course is self led, so you can go at whatever speed you like. Learners in a classroom are either led too quickly or most often too slowly through material.
So my suggestion is that courses change their role into helping people teach themselves. Some basic learning could still happen in the classes, but focus could be on helping people help themselves with mp3s, other materials, access to IT etc.
I’ve squeezed that into ‘ability’, on the grounds that ability covers general stuff about learning…
@Nicky made this point on Taro Post a while back. Essentially, your Welsh (or any skill) will only be as good as the effort put in.
You’re right… And I was listening in the car!
That’s really encouraging that they were so helpful to a learner. Have a ‘da iawn’ for giving it a go and succeeding.
We could possibly learn something from weight loss companies/groups. Groups such as Slimming World and Weight Watchers take slightly different approaches, but both have some core elements, that can lead to some very positive outcomes. I admit these groups don’t work for everyone, but I just thought it was worth considering some of their methods, and how they could be used to help people succeed in learning welsh;
Support groups - share experiences in a safe environment with people who understand your challenges. Provide a focus during the week, and a point to aim for as this is when you get weighed.
For WELSH: All levels could come to a group and share (in English - keep this a safe env, no pressure, works for all levels) what Welsh interaction/learning/practise they’ve done that week.
Full colour magazine - this is full of inspriring stories and recipe ideas. Shows you what can be achieved.
For WELSH: Magazine full of stories of learners who have succeeded, and of ideas on where to go to practise. Majority of text in English - this is about inspiration, not learning the language.
Food diary - recording what you’ve eaten helps you keep track of your efforts. This can be done on paper or on an mobile app.
For WELSH: Interaction/learning diary - number of Welsh conversations that day, number of lessons done, number of books read, loads of other measures could be used. Helps track level of Welsh learning activity, and will encourage finding more opportunities to interact. @leiafee @Bobi @jamesmahoney Could work well as part of a gamification app.
Reward system - Badges, stickers, ‘slimmer of the week’. Although small, they are nice to collect, and provide clear milestones.
For WELSH: Badges etc could work well as part of a gamification app.
Financial incentive - once you reach your target, you no longer have to pay to attend. Pay in advance for set number of meetings. Pay even when you don’t attend, to try and disuade you from not going if you’ve had a bad week.
For WELSH: Bit controversial this one, but financial incentives could help motivate people. If we were looking to set up actual groups, then being volunteer run on a weekly basis is a big ask, so having an income could be useful.
There are obvious problems with the anaology of losing weight and learning Welsh. You have to eat, you don’t have to learn Welsh. There is also the issue that if you are doing Welsh lessons, you may not have time or money to spend on a support group. Perhaps Welsh lessons could take up some aspects of this model.
Some excellent ideas in here - diolch o galon!
If no-one else has by the time we’re back home (next week) I’ll add these to the Trello board then…
How to get more learners to succeed?
Help them find the SSiW course! Do this by by improving the position of SSiW in Google search results.
If I search on Google for ‘learn Welsh’, SSiW comes up on results page 5. Before that I am shown a myriad of links to some good, and plenty of mediocre/poor resources.
There are many different approaches to doing this. Whether buying keywords (probably not an option), optimising key words on the SSi webpage, increasing links to the page, writing many reviews on 3rd party sites, getting content onto 3rd party site (e.g. YouTube or Google Play store, search ‘learn welsh app’ and the SSiW app is the first google play link, appearing in 3rd position on the first page of results). Or even creating our own Welsh resource review site.
P.S. This doesn’t really belong here, but thought that the trend shown was interesting (worrying?). This link shows the usage of ‘learn welsh’ in Google since 2004… https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=learn%20welsh
Oh, that’s a surprise - we used to be in the top 5 results on that… I would have thought we’ve got quite a few links from highly rated sites… what do you think would be the single most efficient way to have a bit of a push here, if we were to ask our users to lend a hand?
Sorry I can’t get this down to one thing we can do.
There are a number of ideas;
The first thing to do might be to add some meta tags to the SSi homepage. Google relies heavily on these to categorize/rank a website.
For example https://learnwelsh.cymru/ has the following tags, notice in particular the ‘keywords’;
<meta name="keywords" content="Learn Welsh, Welsh courses, Welsh classes, Welsh night classes, Welsh beginners, Welsh improvers, Welsh daytime classes, speak Welsh, practice Welsh, Welsh conversational class, Welsh language, history of Welsh, find a Welsh course, Welsh courses near me" /> <meta property="og:title" content="Croeso - welcome" /> <meta property="og:description" content="If you'd like to practice or improve your Welsh, or if you're looking for a beginners' course for a friend or relative, you're in the right place!" />
The SSi homepage appears to have no tags at all at the moment (that I can find - maybe they are hidden away!). Adding tags especially keywords WILL have a positive impact.
Add more information about the course on the homepage, and other pages to increase the ‘keyword density’. This can improve your ranking. Currently the SSi landing page is beautifully sleek, but this may not be helping the ranking.
- Google Analytics. Connect the site with this service from Google, to get info on how people are finding the site already, and what keywords you may want to target. This will make implementing ideas 1 and 2 more scientific.
Some ideas people could help out with, [NB; It’s worth doing the above two ideas first]
Ask users to search for, ‘learn welsh’, or another chosen set of keyphrases. Then ask them to click through to results page 5 and click on the SSi link. If enough people do this, it could improve the site ranking as it will be seen as a popular selection for people with that query. I’m not sure how effective this would be having never done this. It also feels dodgy, and if Google found out this was happening, it may not turn out well at all.
Ask anyone who has a blog to link to SSi permanently. Also ask them whether they could write an article about SSi and then link to SSi.
Write interesting articles and get them on the SSi site, encourage users to share them, thus drive traffic to the main SSi site, and hopefully improve the ranking by increasing page visits.
Ask users to write articales about SSiW for news website, that can then link to SSi.
Get content on other platforms, especially ones that Google own. e.g. YouTube and GooglePlay. For example if the search term changes to ‘learn welsh app’, then SSiW comes up in 5th Place due to the GooglePlay listing.
Buy more domain names, which host simple one page sites that offer some info on SSiW and direct users to the main website.
All else fails; buy keywords/phrases from google, i.e. get in the sponsored results.
Diolch, Warren - that’s a really comprehensive set of points, and I hugely appreciate you taking the time to go into such detail. I’m sure we can get some of those things done - maybe starting with Google Analytics so that we’ve got a clearer picture of what’s happening at the moment…
SSiW is recommended by a couple of sites that come higher in the search than SSiW itself, but I found it via word of mouth a few years ago. I have no idea how the friend found it originally.
Yes, SSiW was on page 5 of Google results for me too. Have clicked through in case it helps. Hope you can do some tweaks to push it up the rankings a bit.