Thanks for your warm welcome Tatjana!
As an update, I pushed to Lesson 7 (of Level 1) this weekend. Having completed Course 1, the lessons were not too challenging but there was still plenty enough of new material to keep me very much on my toes
Some things I was a bit surprised with (the lenghth of the lessons, the slower repetition by Aran,…) but it is just a matter of adjusting.
One thing bothers me (a bit) more. The course seems to have moved towards a more scattered introduction of forms and less explanations. By that I mean that we are given the isolated ‘liciwn i’ but not explained if this also applies to other verbs (is ‘triwn i’ possible for instance?). The same kind of thing happens with the past tense, ‘ddudesti’ (sp.?) is given alongside ‘nesti ddechra’ without explanations. From Course 1, I know that ‘nesti ddeud’ is possible but if I had done only Level 1 I probably would be looking everywhere for answers to questions like, “is ‘ddeud’ an exception? Is it only ‘dechra’ which has a past formed with ‘nesti’?”, etc.
It reminds me a bit of the Teach Yourself type of textbooks, where lesson 1 is ‘Greeting people’ and lesson 2 is ‘Ordering food and drinks’. Because of this framework, some verbal constructions are introduced very early but you cannot apply them to all verbs/words you know. This approach has always left me unsatisfied because I like to get the bigger picture rather than bits of information here and there. Course 1 did that rather well, and I think it is part of why it ‘clicked’ with me. We were taught ‘you can form the past by saying nes i + vb’ and that meant that I could instantly produce a whole lot of new sentences, without having to wait and see if this worked with other verbs or just with the one that was introduced at that time.
On a related note, the sentences in these lessons are all concerned with speaking, practicing, improving and learning Welsh. This also reminds me of the situation-based approach. I guess this is useful because this is likely to be the first kind of conversation learners have. And, of course, I don’t mind it because all of the vocabulary introduced is very common and will be useful regardless of the topic at hand. But after seven lessons spent discussing my Cymraeg habilities I have too admit I hope more diversity will soon be introduced
On the bright side, I feel that Level 1 successfully adressed the issue of Course 1 being a bit mechanical, i. e. the sentences were short and mostly grouped by constructions. This meant that at some point during the lesson I could kind of drift off and still produce the expected sentece. Level 1 mixes different constructions early on and this helps getting used to shifting from one to another. This I feel is immensely helpful!
Also very helpful is the fact that longer sentences are used from the start. In Course 1 most of the sentences were short and it has always felt a bit harder to produce the longer ones because they were not that numerous. With Level 1 this issue does not exist and I think that this helps a lot.
I hope these few comments don’t sound too negative Listening to a few Radio Cymru podcasts this morning, I’ve found that the material in these seven lessons has sticked rather well and proved too be useful
Now, onwards to the next lessons!