My language learning method

I wanted to share my lingo learning method with you. I speak 6 languages and have learned and forgotten another 5 on top of that. I generally get to about B2 level within a month.

First of all I get a decent book and read the WHOLE coursebook (or notes) through from cover to cover without trying to learn a single thing. Like reading a novel. Mostly they are more interesting than real novels.

This creates a space in my mind for that language, and gives me an idea of what is there.

Then I make a list of what general things the book covered, for example, I list of grammar, functions and lexical groups etc, still without trying to understand anything.

Then I start writing basic stories. I don’t shy away from anything. I know the book will teach me how to descibe the past, for example, because I saw it there. Some of you saw my story on here. I know it was faulty, but it’s a start.

Then I use the book as a reference and copy sentences into the story, modifying them if I remember any grammar rules, like with Welsh, I wrote a short story and I said Dw i’n dod o Lanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyndrobllllantisiliogogogoch, and knew to modify the Ll to L. This knowledge came from a video in fact, but it’s the same principle. If you have gone through the whole book, when you need things, it triggers your memory and you just refer to the relevant page. By and large you stop needing to, you learn it soon enough.

Then I re-read the stories until I understand them, get them checked where possible, and then start using what I have learned in speaking, always keeping my notes to hand so I can refer to them to complete sentences. Sometimes I need them to start sentences, but if I mess up, what of it?Obviously, I would feel bad to get it all wrong, but some errors actually make me go back and want to get it right for next time, so I pay more attention to those areas than to the things I got right. So in truth, when I send people stories, I actually deliberately get things wrong in areas I want more help in :wink:

Then after a few weeks’ cramming, I start speaking, keeping my notes to hand for what we call scaffolding in the ESOL industry. What is scaffolding in Welsh? :smiley:

The problem is with Welsh, where I live, nobody speaks it, so this method is redundant. I can do the stories etc, but not practise using the new stuff. not yet.

Anyway, my method is not for everybody. I am an ESOL teacher and I would not dream of subjecting my own students to this approach.

Hmmm …

Your method is highly interesting but … for Cymraeg you’ll definately need SSiW method unless you want to pronunce things (sometimes even too much) wrong. All those "ll"s and "dd"s and “u” being spoken as “i”, “th” being one letter in alphabet etc … are not so very familiar to us, non-native Cymraeg speakers, are they?

I was all about reading and writing (ohh, read my posts elswhere, arguing with @aran about that) at first but the more I want to speak properly the more I have to admit SSi method is the best method to learn that. This is especially essential if you live in the country/area where there’s no one in the wild speaking the language.

I’m not even close to meet anyone who would speak Cymraeg in Slovenia - not even the learner as I’m the only one in the whole country (to my knowledge) that learns the language. So, here we have the same problem or mine is maybe even bigger then yours, who knows. :slight_smile:

So, if you’ll try and carry on with the SSiW aproach, I’m curious about your progress. I bet it’ll be speed-running :slight_smile:


Hwyl! :slight_smile:

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I can’t use the usual technique here, as I have nobody to speak with. But I will learn as much as I can and then hopefully find an outlet :smiley:

Since you asked, the literal translation of “scaffolding” seems to be “scaffaldau” (as a plural noun).

However, one online dictionary (Bangor) also offers “sgaffaldiau” (as an adjective), and “sgaffaldio” (as a verb-noun).$scaffolding
(that one needs (free) registration).

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I think consistent with your approach you could do two to three SSiW lessons a day of Levels 1 and 2. That way your conversational ability will keep pace with your knowledge of the language.

There is no reason given your intense focus that you cannot end up after one month or so SPEAKING Welsh quite well which is what the SSiW dialogues almost unfailingly assist with.

Given that you do not have a Welsh speaking community around you and (it seems) you have only periodic access to the internet, then downloading the SSiW dialogues when you can is ideal. It really is your guaranteed route to exposure to conversational Welsh and your opportunity to practice it OUT LOUD (WHICH IS ESSENTIAL)…

Good Luck,



Well, to make myself clear at the very beginning, but why not? I’m using it too. OK, I’m doing Skype, that’s true but what would be language for if you one day won’t have a chance to speak it at least online?

Writting is handy, yes, very handy. I’ve learnt all my English (I don’t count school because that was a bulr of what I’ve learnt) writing - writing in chats on messengers, writing my own texts, translating kids books from English to Slovene and vise versa and … I can say I can write English prety good (don’t mind my misstyping please, I’m jsut typing too fast) but if you’d hear my aweful Slavic accent when I speak? One would say I can’t speak English at all. I sound like those foreign politicians who had just quickly learnt some handy English not to appear totally “out of date”. So I’m wondering: If you are determined in your belief that you can’t find anyone to speak with now, where would you find one later? Yes, you’ll go to Cymru, what is already your advantage in comparrison to me, but it will come only in Summer. So, you see, there’s no way around as you’ll eventually once have to start speaking with other people too not only with yourself.

And yes, I second what @JustinandEirwen had written here. You don’t even need Internet that much to do the “usual” SSiW technique. You can download lessons and do them when and where is handy for you.

Wnes i siarad! HOWK! - :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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I think there is probably a Welsh speaker in Kazakhstan somewhere, there are a lot of ex-pats, and the Walsh lads took over the bar when they played England in the Rugby WC, and won. But being off Facebook now means I have not been able to search for them. It should fall into place.

I can get online every day, but choose not to where possible. Ironically, internet in Kaz seems to be faster than in the UK, although I am only comparing with internet cafes and libraries, which are notoriously slow. But I have downloaded a load of stuff, will get to it, for sure. Diolch!

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You didn’t say you’d quit twitter or even Clecs so there you go. :slight_smile:

:smiley: Never had Twitter, VK, Weibo, MySpace nor anything else. I only joined FB to promote my website and got drawn in. Why not do it here, apologies of course for the plug :smiley:

Whatever you find either way. :slight_smile:

The down side is that this site was updated almost 2 years ago … :slight_smile: and the latest, as much as I can see was posted in 2015 … ahhhh sorry, it was 17 december what is not so long ago though. It seams I’m already deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep into 2016 but it’s only January. I wonder if I’ll at the end of this year count 2015 as “three years ago”- hehe :smiley:

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I hardly bothered with it after joining Facebook, which is another of the reasons I quit FB.

Ahh, so, this is your site. I’ve took a look but didn’t quite botherred with ownership. Now I’ve read a bit more and cruised around. Interesting. Should be continued.

Gee, you mooved so close to my country you could touch it with your finger … :slight_smile: but obviously never peared in. :slight_smile: (or I’m wrong?)

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Closest I got to you would be Trieste, I think.

HOW VERY CLOSE!!! :smile:

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It’s “ysgaffaldau” in Christopher Davies’s “The Welsh Pocket Dictionary”. I can’t look it up in the Geriadur Mawr as I’ve left it in UK:

Thanks. I see Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru ( ) has that form plus several variations. Goes back a long way, apparently.

(Hope this comes from a long tradition of building, rather than one of executions… :slight_smile: ).

If you’re still around, if you have access to a smart phone (or just an mp3 player) you can download the entire course and then not actually need to be online to actually use it. Here, your scaffold will basically be a completely internalised version of basic Welsh grammar. After that, a copy of Gareth King’s grammar reference book will give you a better formal knowledge of the grammar, while some level of reading and writing will improve your vocabulary. You’ll still either want access to Skype or semi-regular trips to either Wales of Patagonia in order to come across large numbers of people who speak the language.

I think in the latter case it would be “crogbren”.

I share your opinion but “crogbren” is at least pure Welsh whereas the other suggests look like anglicisms to me. Still, under current legislation it’s all academic.