Does anyone have any experience of these? I’m thinking of the sort of thing that Cardiff University runs 9.00 to 4.30 for two weeks or more. Would be interested to know how much progress people who’ve done one thought they’d made. I remember chatting to a couple of people years ago who said they went from minimal Welsh to fluency after doing such a course. Think that might have been at Lampeter.
What level will you be starting from?
I’ve done them a couple of times. I did Mynediad 2 in a fortnight back in 2008 and Uwch 4 in 2014, and I do remember being somewhat frazzled by the end of the first one. I think that if you do them earlier in your learning career then almost everything is going to be new and thus give you a headache while later on your general exposure to the language might mean you have come across the concepts before even if you don’t understand the nitty gritty.
What are you expecting from a course? And if you are prepared to fork out for a course, but haven’t been to bootcamp and think that a fortnight will make you ‘better’ at Welsh, go for the bootcamp. Some intensive courses are residential and some aren’t, and that must make a difference too.
And there’s a whole different argument to be had about what fluent means as well!
I actually quite like the education experience. I’ve done a couple of summer schools (non-language) before so don’t have any problem with a classroom environment. I know there’s a whole argument over ‘fluent’. For me, I would like to get to a point where I might not be perfect but I feel I could carry on a reasonable conversation beyond the usual learning basic topics. I’m fairly rusty at the moment but know it’s one of those things that I’ll start picking up quickly again when I start going through my textbooks.
If you’ve completed level1 or course 1, I would suggest going for boot camp. You don’t get ‘taught’ anything new but by golly do you learn how to use what you already have learned. And I can imagine few experiences as intense as bootcamp. I hope fellow bootcampers can confirm this.
I can confirm this, wholeheartedly! And I would add that you learn new stuff as well, but without conscious effort, just by hearing other people speak
I agree with what’s been said here already but wanted to add my “bit”. First of all, where are you up to with SSiW? Would a week long intensive push through this course benefit you more? If you think about it just 5 lessons a day will get you through one of the courses in a week and only take 2.5 hours a day … so a lot more is possible. SSiW takes you well beyond the “usual learning basic topics”. I also agree with the bootcamp theory. It is intense and forces you to find ways to communicate that you would never have thought you knew, and may even be cheaper (and definitely more fun) than a classroom.
To add to this thread, i waded through 2 new levels of northern and the majority of the last 2 old courses in about 10 weeks.
I havent been on an intensive but i know someone in a local chat group who went on one fairly recently.
I would say that from a written or grammatically correct point of view that they are more advanced than i am which is hardly surprising. But i am pretty sure i am already ahead conversationally and i find that very challenging as @gruntius and @margaretnock can probably testify to! Um’s and ah’s are part of the welsh language you know!
Don’t get me wrong i think i’m pretty good for a beginner but i think you’d benefit more from the SSIW approach than a formal course.
Of course, having taken account of everything said so far, you have said that you like the classroom situation and the social company that comes along with it is a big difference. After all, learning with SSiW is best done alone. There’s no reason that you can’t do both at the same time … learn how to converse with SSiW and then polish off the intricacies with a classroom course. Whatever you do, make sure that you enjoy it, if you don’t you are more likely to see it as a chore and give up.
I wouldn’t call Peter a beginner, and yes, he’s very good.
Margaret thats very kind of you.
In terms of level I’m not sure at the moment because I haven’t been doing anything for a while. However, I know I’m one of those people who pick things up again fairly quickly if I’ve done them in the past so I’m sure I’ll find out where I am in a few weeks.
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do a combination of various suggestions that have cropped up in here - depending on what your goals are for the process - if you did a 2 or 4 week intensive courses with one of the universities, you could prep for it by doing 4 or 5 SSiW sessions a night for the week beforehand - tough but doable, and would mean you’d hit the ground running on the intensive course…
I would be interesting to know which of the summer university courses has the highest rating. I know years ago people used to swear by the Lampeter course. When I was living in Wales, I knew a couple of people who went on that with minimal Welsh skills and came out at what seemed like an impressive level at the time. I wonder if any particular course is rated as top dog these days?
One thing I think I would definitely look for is where the majority of learners are going to be residential. I did a summer school years ago at the University of Glamorgan. The teaching was good but the trouble was that the majority of people in the class were all travelling in each day so there wasn’t anyone to socialise and practice Welsh with beyond the class.