Online Wlpan with Bangor university

I’ve been doing the SSiW challenges for a few years and am not really consistent with it. I’ll have a period of doing them for a week or so and then leave it for a while and have to go back to the beginning as I’ve forgotten everything!

I’ve seen that Bangor University do an online Wlpan course which starts in September. You have a one hour online class a week and I presume homework. I think having a weekly course might keep me focused.

Has anyone done the online course? If so what did you think? And is it very different from the SSiW Welsh? I’d like to carry on with the SSiW challenges but don’t want to get myself confused if the Wlpan is more formal.


Yes I did it but I didn’t stick with it - mea culpa. I must say that the material they sent and the feedback on the “Gwaith Cartref” was very good. I believe @tahl may be able to give you a better account.


How did the online classes work? I’ve only ever done classes with prerecorded videos not live ones.

Oh, sorry. Perhaps things have moved on. There were no online classes when I did it. I’m sure others can give you a more current view.

Can I suggest that after your next gap, you don’t go back to the beginning, but start again with the next new lesson, and trust the spaced repetition to bring the previous stuff back in due course? You’ll probably progress far more quickly/successfully if you do that (and if you accept a higher level of mistakes than you perhaps currently think is reasonable!)… :slight_smile:

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I think it’s a newish thing, for people who can’t get to a classroom.

I tried that but felt that I couldn’t remember everything so would start again. Maybe I just need to accept more mistakes and forgetting of words and just plough on!

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Almost certainly the case - usually, the first time (after a gap) you get a word you can’t quite remember, you get it ‘wrong’, but the exposure then brings it back very close to active - but because you’re already a long way into the spaced repetition pattern for that word, it will then be a fair while before you hit it again, and prove to yourself that it’s been activated (or close to it).

So expect significant extra levels of pain/frustration after a gap - but generally speaking, expect them to have returned to normal after two or three new lessons… :slight_smile:

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Excuse my ignorance, but what exactly does “wlpan” mean?

Here’s a good explanation. :smile:
Meaning of wlpan


The Hebrew word “Ulpan” is probably better translated as “learning”. It’s the classroom method in which Hebrew is taught in Hebrew, with the teacher using no other language, or as little as possible. It’s a method that’s proved itself. In fact, at my high school in Birmingham I learned French for 5 years, when the best year by far was that in which the professeur taught solely in French, no English being permitted.

I don’t know how the Welsh Wlpan is conducted. Can anyone answer this?


My only experience was of the Wlpan Awst at Aberystwyth University which was a four week course at various levels during the month of August. The Welsh-only approach was only used at the higher levels. Accommodation was available on site but participants lapsed too easily into English during meals etc.

The best no Welsh intensive experiences I’ve had personally have been the now famous Bootcamps where the full benefit of total immersion in Welsh reaped enormous benefits for me and many others.


Yes, Bootcamp sounds like the Ulpan/Wlpan I’m familiar with (does Bwtcamp include taverns?).

Taverns were indeed included - in fact they had a pivotal role. Welsh was spoken much more fluidly (if not fluently) after a session in the tavern. :smile:


Thank you, hewrop and Baruch (that’s Hebrew, too, isn’t it?) for your prompt answers.


Thanks for your replies.

@aran I gave it another go from challenge 11. I did bite sized 5 minutes per day and used the glossary and pause button when I needed. Surprisingly (or not!) I remembered a lot more than I thought I would!

I’ve decided to not to sign up for the Wlpan but instead persevere with SSiW but do it in bite sized chunks. I think it’s a bit easier to make it a habit that way and it should mean I’m more consistent. We shall see!


@nicolac. Find yourself a conversation partner pretty quickly as well. Nothing breeds confidence as much as speaking real Welsh with a real person, face to face, skype, however you choose. Even if you prepare a bit beforehand, not every word but a key phrase or three.


That sounds like a potentially defining breakthrough - well done, congratulations, and good luck! :star: :star2:

I’ve been on courses like that (in other languages, as it happens). It’s so easy to lapse and give in to English. One or two brave souls hold out, and are then sometimes considered as being “a bit too keen”, by the weaker majority (of which I confess to often having been a member).

The “Welsh Only” rule is a bit like “tough love”, but is necessary.