Hello Mark. I’ll be glad to answer your question.
Actually, I finished the old course before the new course was written.
Now, I had been following other Welsh courses- reading teach yourself Welsh books and going to classes before doing SSiW, and also whilst doing SSIW.
Now, I have Welsh conversations with Welsh speakers most evenings a week- my social life is pretty much 50/50 in Welsh. I would certainly be less far down the road in that way if it were not for SSiW.
I did find both the classes and the books on Welsh to be of a great deal of help along with SSiW, and of course the lion’s share of succefully learning Welsh is getting out and speaking it with people! But SSIW is always the course I recommend.
It’s through talking to people in this area that I know that understanding the short form verbs would be important, for instance, and I (personally, for what it’s worth!) was very glad to see it introduced in [edit- “in level one of” I meant to say] the new course.
Are you in a position to do that? Get out and talk to Welsh speakers, I mean?
That might be an odd question, but I sometimes think that though most people studying SSiW are in Wales [assumption on my part, come to think of it!], the majority of people active on this forum seem to be outside Wales!
If you are not, though actually having conversations with fluent speakers is some thing difficult to reproduce, would chatting over the Internet on Skype with someone be a possibility for you? Ffrindiaith might be a way to go there.
Television, radio in Welsh, all things which will open you to new vocabulary, other ways of saying things and a familiarity with the language.
If you are in Wales- get out and use the language as soon as possible! There will be somewhere for you to do this, wherever you are in Wales! Some more than others, but there will be somewhere- maybe even an SSiW group somewhere!
Thank you for your queries, and always ask if you have anything else you wish to know.