Well, the time has come to wrap up my Bobsled Run challenge and here is my final update.
I am currently arranging at least one Skype chat with an SSiWer in Australia, but for the 1 hour chat for Challenge 10 I’m going to count yesterday’s Ysgol Undydd. The class was much smaller than usual, only four of us plus tutor, and we spent the whole day speaking Welsh, even through the tea breaks. As almost all the activities were designed to get us talking, I must have talked for at least an hour during the day, so I’ll consider that task ticked off.
Regarding the final review. Because I’ve been doing more than 1 challenge a week, I calculated that at the start of the 10 weeks I was probably at around Challenge 13 of Level 1, so I did the final ten minutes of that challenge to see what happened.
My first thought was how much slower it seemed. When I first started with SSiW, everything seemed too fast. I’m still blanking on the occasional sentence as I forget what the English was, but when I do get the Welsh out in time (which is most of the time), I’m speaking quickly and fluently.
The point I’ve reached now is Challenge 18, but that hadn’t gone well and I’d already decided to step back and repeat from 15 onwards, so I considered Challenge 15 to be the final challenge I’d done on the Bobsled run. This time through I did much better than the first attempt. There were a few stumbles and a couple of moments of blankness when I (yet again) forgot the English, but overall a much more satisfying feeling on finishing this time.
So to sum up, I have enjoyed the Bobsled Run and I will definitely do some of the activities again as part of my Welsh learning and study. In particular:
- Translating some of my blog posts to pick up the sort of vocabulary I normally use and then make sure that I know the Welsh equivalent.
- Listening to Pigion to pick out useful vocabulary.
- Thinking about things in Welsh to help me spot gaps in my vocabulary.
- Recording myself speaking Welsh about random topics and listening to myself to spot mistakes.
Obviously I will also continue to take part in as much conversation practice as I can, both in the weekly class I attend and the Wednesday morning informal chat group.
So thanks for the challenge, @aran, it has been useful. I will now carry on with the normal SSiW challenges until the end of Level 3, but I am starting to feel more like a Welsh speaker and less like a stumbling learner.