I’m not entirely sure such comparisons are valid. I know I used SSiW along with an intense interest in and practice in reading and writing, and had previously attempted to use many “teach yourself” courses and otherwise based on reading and writing.
SSiW helped me, far more than anything, to achieve a degree of fluency sufficient to get people to speak to me in Welsh. But I do not believe that my interest and ability in reading and writing from the start was a disadvantage. I believe it was an advantage.
The most important comparison would be between -
- SSiW, which provides this intense and effective practice in spoken Welsh, and-
- A course which provides what SSiW does, and also encourages/provides for an interest in reading and writing from the earliest times.
I know of no courses in group 2! Simply because SSiW is the best course around (by far, I would say) does not mean that that is because it encourages people not to read.
The most important thing is horses for courses. SSiW is the best course around. But now even the new lesson guides seem to be being hidden from view behind a door marked beware of the leopard!
Now, the written word may not be as effective with everybody, I completely understand that. But I think that encouraging people to put off even a basic familiarity with the alphabet (which is what seems to be happening along with now even the easy availability of the new lesson guides being discouraged) could be doing more harm than good. [that particular aspect of SSiW, not the whole course!])
Just to say again, that though I do not think a SSiW is perfect (and who could ever be expected to think that!), I think it is easily the best course out there by a country mile. (And I should know, I’ve followed a few!) But I have to agree with h.d.lewis in the importance of encouraging those people happy with learning reading and writing for it to be available from as early as possible.
I do not think that our views on this will ever coincide, Aran, so just putting in my pennyworth to say I understand where the original poster is coming from, and taking the opportunity to thank you once again for this wonderful course!
And plenty of other places to learn to read and write, of course, as has been pointed out already. It’s not like Aran is following people round and checking to make sure they are not reading and writing until the end of the first course! Is he?..