Learner support idea

Hello, had an idea for support for learners at the stage I’m at, so (with a bit of encouragement from @aran, diolch!) am sharing it here. I know that code doesn’t grow on trees but if enough people think it’s a solid enough idea it might be possible to bid for funding or crowdfund or something??

So it starts with learners who want to use their welsh in conversations, a bit like Aran suggested in a recent thread . I think the SSiW approach is really strong in getting people speaking and that it’s through a long series of conversations that one gradually makes the transition from being a learner to being someone who really uses welsh.

It would require some kind of sign up and each learner is prompted to identify people they already know who are willing to have a five minute chat with them in welsh. Could also be asked to put in the person’s contact details, just for their own use, and what that person likes (cake, coffee, a pint, small donation to a favourite charity or whatever!). Encourage them to rank the people in order of how easy it is for them to have a short chat – so the easiest/most encouraging person they know is red, the next easiest is orange etc.

The software prompts the learner to set up a time for a conversation, aiming at one five minute conversation with each of their nominated contacts each week, and the software asks people to confirm when they have done their chat. The learner can move a slide to lengthen the conversation time they are using up from five minutes when they are comfortable doing that.

The social aspect of it: each contact the learner identifies is tagged with a colour – starting with red, then orange for the next person, yellow for the next and so on. As the conversations get longer the colour gets brighter or maybe deeper. Each time a learner confirms they have had their next chat a coloured dot appears on a webpage which collects all the learners’ feeds. So the idea of that is people can look at the page and see the mass of learners’ conversations appearing and hopefully becoming more colourful and brighter/darker as it goes on, without giving out anybody’s details. It ought to encourage learners that there are lots of people out there doing just the same as them and climbing the ladder to using their welsh confidently. And if it doesn’t, there’s immediate feedback – the dots are not appearing, it’s not working, so anyone can ask ‘why not?’

Maybe it could be game-ified with reaching ‘level two’ with two conversations a week and so on, recording people’s streaks where they have managed to have a conversation every day or week for several days/weeks.

Anyway just putting it out there. It obviously doesn’t address the level of needing to find people who are willing to have a chat. I think there are other ways to do that. But my current challenge is getting on and doing the chatting with people who have already said they are happy to help by having a chat. Anyway, what do you think?


Well, I’m a (former) developer (just got a new job… Linux admin (so excited to start Monday)). Anyways, I do write code, and often. I’m very happy to help, if not writing code, helping organise and implementing architecture, writing tests, documentation, testing, etc. etc. etc.

I’m happy to help. Cool idea!


Thanks Naltun, glad you like. I’ve just edited the title of the thread in case ‘software’ was putting anyone off reading it. :smile:

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Well, maybe just you and me and a few others like this idea so far Naltun, but I had another little part of it drip down to me today.

I wondered how the use of language questions are phrased on the census or other surveys about language use. As in, are people asked if “you use welsh every day” for instance? This app could potentially show people that they do use their welsh every day – could show people crossing the boundary from learners to speakers. If a person is having a conversation in welsh or partly in welsh every day and reporting it with a click, this app would show it. I think it could be really exciting to see the screen lighting up with people making that leap into bilingual life.