We could aim a project at parents with kids at Welsh Language primary schools. This ‘group’ of people already have awareness of the Welsh Language and probably good attitude towards it. They have a good reason to learn, and have a potential support network around them already - the school and other parents. Also if they do succeed, they go on to support their child and make Welsh a living, used at home language.
Useful thread and great idea @warrendavies. Related to your idea, I believe, is my post yesterday which suggested that we target young (especially) people who have learned Welsh at school and who “believe” that they have lost it. This applies not only to the young lady in the following story but also my son who keeps surprising me with his hidden Welsh talents.
Here’s the story - finally. Unlock your inner Welsh
I think Health Care Support Workers (HCSW) would be a good target group. They are the support staff on wards and on the community. They are “non-qualified”, in other words you don’t need a degree to be a HCSW. They largely do the continuous contact with patients (help them go to the toilet, help them dress, help them eat, take their blood pressure, some take blood etc.). They’re the cement on wards. They help everything run smoothly so that “qualified” members of staff can complete the more complex tasks of drug rounds, discharge planning, escalating care when necessary.
HCSW are, therefore, the ones who get the chance to have longer conversations. If this group can speak Welsh to the Welsh speaking patients (many already do) then the patients will feel more comfortable and at ease. It would help wards in particular develop an atmosphere of Welshness.
I was discussing something similar with my partner. He learnt some German in school and would like to pick it up again. However, lessons from scratch are too easy, but intermediate lessons assume a knowledge of vocabulary he’s forgotten much of.
I think that’s a problem that SSi helps solve (although not for German right now) - it’s surprising how quickly people with ‘a bit’ of a language start to struggle (valuably!) with our stuff - I’ve watched people who’ve done a year’s worth of evening classes start to make mistakes in Challenge 2… in general, I’d be very confident telling people that once they’ve got through the first 5, they should be getting a useful workout…
Another high potential group could be dormant SSiW users. These are people who clearly have an interest in learning Welsh, and enought knowhow to get online and find a good course. We already have their contact details - which is a great start. But we’d need to identify who they actually are that have stopped learning, find out why where possible, then look to engage them again.
If we can turn their experience around, and get them learning again, then they may feel like joining the SSiW ranks in supporting others.
I’m not very good at selling the course (SSiS or SSIW) to my friends. I’m enthusiastic but after listening to a 5 minute pitch from me many go back to using Duolingo or never actually try the first lesson/
Perhaps we could work on an informal “sales pitch” that we could use with friends for those of us who struggle to concisely sing the course’s praises?
In the little bit of work I did for @aran, there were three main groups that came out from the ‘Reasons for learning Welsh’ comments:
These are comments that came from people learning/who had learned with SSiW (from the forum/facebook threads). Perhaps these are the people SSiW should target as some of them may not be attracted to formal lessons for a variety of reasons (means and opportunity!). That way we could work in alongside Welsh for Adults and others.
There is a lot of stuff that sits under these comments (hope it’s ok to put this up here @aran, if not delete it).
Just my $.02. I started with the new version of SsiW and am about up to date and I’ve been going back and doing the first version and I have to say that, though I find the first version HUGELY valuable, the newer version is much more accessible, more gradual… not sure what the right description is. So I’m thinking, maybe there are some people who tried the first version and for whatever reason couldn’t stick with it… but might find the learning curve of the second version less steep.
Is there a way to mine the SsiW data to identify these contacts and send them a “Come back in the water, it’s even better” type of note?
This is an issue. While a lot of people ‘get hooked’ on SSiW from the start, because they find out how quickly they can start to ‘siarad Cymraeg’, there are those that don’t keep going with it. I was talking to someone a couple of days ago who said they had tried a lesson, but ‘couldn’t get on with it’. I suspect, as someone who speaks a number of languages fluently as a result of more traditional methods, that she would prefer more formal classes.
The first time I tried SSiW I didn’t like it. I went away and used the BBC Catchphrase series to build my understanding of Welsh. Once I’d done most of that course, and felt more confident about the language structure, I came back to SSiW. I used SSiW to help bring the language to the front of my mind and to develop more natural sounding language.
Not trying to criticise (SSiW is ace! - the forum is an amazing place - and contacts made through SSiW have had a massive impact on my life), just wanted to share a personal story.
True, it could be. But perhaps we could start with basic tracking functions. Tick a box once you’ve completed this lesson type thing. Or maybe, do this simple multiple choice test to confirm you’ve done a lesson.
Once you’ve got some feedback mechanism, you can build on it to automate sending well done emails or awarding badges etc. If that’s the way we want to go of course!