Isata's online bootcamp

I’m at a bit of an odd point, having finished Course One and being halfway through the vocab units, which are horrible. And I also started working through Level One some time ago, firstly just to see what it was like, and then, because I really liked it I carried on, so I’ve ended up hopping about a bit between the 2 courses. So after a bit of thought I decided to start the challenge with the rest of the vocab units and move on to finish Level 1, which should just take up the 10 sessions nicely. I hope that will work.

Strangely, the first session of the run turned out to be the first ‘boot camp’ vocab unit, so it’s been quite appropriate with lots of talk about challenges. Speaking of which, I’m going to start my first challenge tomorrow, not because I’m putting it off, but because it came late in the day and I knew I wouldn’t be meeting anyone at all for the rest of the day, so it would have been a bit of a dead loss. Tomorrow I go to my tae kwon do class, so there’ll be a lot of greetings to run through. Plus, if it gets too embarrassing I can just kick people and run away.

I’m not expecting too much Welsh language come-back to my greetings, as I’ve had to come to Birmingham for a few days. I’m also not sure how the rest of the challenges are going to run because when I am at home, I’m in the middle of nowhere with no neighbours except for sheep, so speaking to people is proving a bit of a challenge in itself!

Excited to be starting, btw! (Though that might all change over the next few days…)

I have not done an online Bootcamp. I really admire the commitment it must take to do one. Good luck!!!

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Now that is a picture that will stay with me!

Welcome to the bootcamp, Isata, and congratulations on finishing Course 1. You’re right about the vocab units being a bit horrible. It’s because the vocab units have a very slightly different way of teaching. Stick with them, because they’re full of useful things, but don;t feel you have to finish them before moving on to course 2 - the vocab units aren;t essential for course 2 at all.

And have fun with the chanllenges of the bobsled run - using your Welsh with others is fun, and totally without danger if they don’t understand a word. Especially, of course, if they’re sheep!

Now that sounds like an ideal approach! :sunny:

Don’t worry about the mixing-and-matching with the courses - it won’t give you quite the same kind of cumulative effect, but that’s a small point - if we had enough Level 2 stuff ready, I’d encourage you to skip the rest of the vocabs, but as things stand right now I think you’ve gone for the best option :sunny:

I’ll look forward to hearing how it goes for you!

Ok, bit late, but feedback on the first challenge as instructed:

I didn’t meet anyone during the day as I work from home but spoke to some people by phone - all of whom I forgot to greet in Welsh until halfway through the conversation. I did greet almost everyone in my tkd class in Welsh, which prompted some interesting responses, including a Russian woman shouting ‘popty-ping’ at me (so I kicked her) and someone ordering a beer at me in Welsh (that’s what a few years in Aberystwyth University teaches you, apparently).

I found this challenge really hard to start with, but once you’ve made a fool of yourself a few times it gets much, much easier. One odd side effect was that, while I usually find teaching really awkward (we sometimes have to teach lower belts) I felt much more confident having just startled them with a Welsh greeting. I suppose there’s a kind of ‘how much worse could it get?’ effect.

I’m a day behind with my challenges because of the time of day the emails come (my fault), but I did 2 sessions today if that makes up for it. (Though if I’m honest, I might just be racing to get through the vocab units so I can learn some chunky new stuff)

Also, despite Aran saying that I’d gone for the best option, I’m now wondering whether to start Course 2 when I finish the Course 1 vocab units instead of completing the new Level 1, because I want to feel like I’m moving on. Or is that not a good idea?

A friend of mine once asked for ‘Dau Guinness plis’ in a pub in Aberystwyth - the puzzled student behind the bar said ‘Er, I don’t think we do diet Guinness?’…:wink:

And that particular realisation is worth its weight in gold - over time, you’ll get all sorts of ‘what the hell’ knock-on benefits like the impact on your teaching :sunny:

Please don’t figure that because Course 2 has a ‘2’ in it and Level 1 is only a ‘1’, you’re doing ‘better’ if you’re on Course 2…:wink: This is an inevitable clash - but the key perception is that Course 2 was written about five years ago, while I was still making it all up as I went along, while Level 1 is the fruit of five years of working with learners and writing (and sometimes throwing away!) at least another 6 courses - so it’s really been through the fire.

The most important point is that with Level 1, you get the new accelerated listening exercises, which make a huge difference, and you’re leading in to (not long now) Level 2 and the listening exercises for that, and in due course to Level 3 and the mass vocabulary acquisition exercises that follow it. On Course 2, you’re on the old line, which comes to a clunky halt with Course 3.

Thanks. I’ll stick to Level One then. It does feel like you’re moving in a higher gear, especially when you suddenly realise that you can understand bits of the super-fast listening exercise that was gobbledegook a few days before!

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I know it sounds a bit overly dramatic, but I think this is one of the single most important steps in the entire learning process - and I know strong, confident speakers who have found it transformed their ability to take part in conversations - so it really is well, well worth the effort you’re putting in :sunny:

Oh dear. Wednesday to Friday got a bit out of hand so I’m way behind with my challenges. I’ve declared today Super Challenge Saturday and I promise to catch up over the weekend.

On the up side, I have kept up with my sessions and I’ve finished the vocab units! On to finish Level 1 over the next week now.

That’s probably the core issue…:wink: Although it would be great if you did manage to catch up with the challenges! :thumbsup:

All caught up!

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Challenge 14 L1 is a stinker! Banging my head on the table…

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Don’t worry about it - just be generous with the pause button, and then move on to 15 without feeling the need to repeat 14 :sunny:

Fair dos, 15 wasn’t too bad. Must have taken in more than I thought. I must say after doing 15, I went on to do the listening practice and then looked at the transcript, and some things make a lot more sense having seen them written down. I know you’re racing flat out to get the sessions online, so I’m not expecting notes yet, but will these come for all the sessions eventually? I only noticed them in some of the Course 1 sessions when I started listening through the app, and they were hugely useful. For me, seeing things written down sometimes helps me to understand and pronounce them better (though from experience it’s better to hear the phrase first through the sessions and then if needed check afterwards that I’m hearing what I think I’m hearing). Maybe it’s something to do with the speakers slightly distorting sound but I struggle to distinguish sometimes between a ‘dd’ sound and a ‘f’, or to work out if I’m hearing one word or two. Anyway, enough rambling…

It’s something I’m thinking of trying to do a general tidy up with in the not-too-distant future (and yes, all the vagueness you can hear in there is effectively the scar tissue of naive promises I’ve made about things in the past…;-)) - but the rider is that we’re entirely certain that accents develop far better if people hold off from reading (and writing) while they’re getting to grips with Level 1 - although there are some issues with certain letters, like dd/f as you’ve noted, so I’m still thinking about exactly what gets done :sunny:

And well done with 15! It’s tough (but valuable) to accept that you’re not trying to learn any individual lesson, just to carry on through the process that will (by the end of it) have you speaking Welsh… :sunny:

Having spent a couple of days trying to relearn how to say something my Mum spelt out to me a couple of days ago, I couldn’t agree more! It’s just certain little things that my ear can’t pick out I then stumble over. Maybe I just need to be patient and wait for it to click into place.

This is generally a good approach - where it’s not clear if something is dd or f, for example, it means that if you use the other one in speech, most people won’t notice! - but while we’re still figuring out exactly how we deal with this kind of issue, do please always feel free to double-check stuff on the forum :sunny:

So, things are clicking into place, usually a session or two (or three) after I think I haven’t a hope of working out what’s going on. (I hope this continues, because that dychrychidiegoffrindiau stuff in 17 was uncalled for! :wink: ) I already felt like I was coming out with more Welsh than I’d actually learned, but the last 8 days have really given me a shot in the arm, or a kick up the backside, or a clip round the ear or whatever metaphor suits, so thanks already even though I haven’t finished yet!

This has turned out to be hugely addictive and I’ve gone a bit faster than I meant to, so I’ve run out of my planned material, so I guess on with Course 2 (which I kind of feel like I’ve been warned off), or just listen to practice sessions, or waylay people in the street and force them to speak Welsh with me?

…Oh god, you’re going to suggest the last one, aren’t you?

You’re definitely getting the hang of SSiW…:wink:

You’ve clearly done phenomenally well. I don’t think we’ve had anyone run out of sessions on a Bobsled Run before, so that’s hugely impressive. Many congratulations! :star: Moving on to Course 2 until we have more southern sessions available for Level 1 is definitely the right thing to do - and it might be worth bearing in mind that although Level 1 is our new gold standard, we’ve watched a lot of people become very confident Welsh speakers by going through Course 2… :sunny: