Pause button or repeat lessons?


In the lessons, I’ve noticed that we are encouraged to not use the pause button, but also encouraged to not repeat lessons and to keep pressing on with the lessons. I’m at Level 2 lesson 10 (I haven’t repeated any lessons yet) and I’m not treading water any longer. I’m finding that I can either get one or two words out or I have to use the pause button and think about the sentence to get it all out. Should I just keep on and use the pause button or backtrack a bit and redo a few lessons?

Many thanks,


¡Hola Amanda!

I don’t think that SSi actively discourages use of the pause button, using it is absolutely fine. Personally, I have trained myself never to use it (simply by doing lessons whilst I am actively engaged in doing other things like driving or walking or whatever), but I don’t suggest that is for everyone. What I do think is that “no repeat, no pause” provides the greatest brain-melting challenge to learners (and perhaps the most significant neurological benefits as far as language-building is concerned), but it all has to be balanced with how brave you are and how resilient you are to self-doubt and giving up. Again (personally) I do repeat lessons, often for the sheer pleasure of so doing, but never more than 2 or 3 times at most. Recently, I have found benefit in not repeating particularly hard Spanish lessons (#13, I’m looking at you) and just cursing Aran instead, which is very therapeutic.

The “no repeat” route will generally give the fastest progress (I personally am not looking for the quickest possible progress here, I have no pressing need to learn Spanish other than my own challenge and enjoyment), and is a great way to prevent people getting stuck in a “repeat-the-lesson-until-perfect loop” from which they never escape because they get frustrated and give up. Just moving on stops that and what we find is that the difficulties of the “problem” lesson melt away if you do push on, as demonstrated by going back to that lesson and listening to it again once you have progressed say 5 challenges beyond it. This type of repetition is there to show that the lesson will now seem much easier that you originally recalled, and serve to convince yourself of your progress.

So my advice would be to use the pause button rather than backtrack. If you have got to Level 2 Challenge 10 and have never repeated, why start now? However, Aran will answer your query personally very soon I am sure, and anything he says should override anything that I have written, which is naturally from a personal perspective, not from the mouth of the actual designer of this method!

It sounds like you are doing brilliantly to me Amanda. :star:

Hasta luego,



As Stu says, this is mostly about the emotional side of the journey - if you want to push yourself as far as possible, I’d recommend you carry on without repeating AND without using the pause button - let yourself go through the pain, and give your brain the chance to adapt to life without the pause button…


If you find that the amount of mistakes/incomplete sentences that leads to makes you feel like packing it all in, then using the pause button is certainly a better option than giving up!..:wink:

And I’d agree with Stu - better to use the pause button and press on through to the end before revisiting material than get stuck in multiple repetitions of lessons… :slight_smile:


Hello Stu and Aran,

Many thanks to you both for the advice. I started using the pause button and found that it helped. I think next time, I would do like you, Stu, and go through a lesson once to introduce the new material and a second time to reinforce, then move on to the next challenge.

By the way, I am rather new at this forum-stuff; I was using the “like button” as a ‘message received & thank you’…perhaps that was wrong of me. If so, I am sorry.

Thanks again for your help,

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Exactly he right way of using Likes Amanda! :slight_smile:



Oh, what a relief! Thanks.

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I’m having the same issue/question in Welsh. I’m not discouraged, and I find that toward the ends of the sections where things are repeated from longer ago, I can finish the sentence before Catrin. But with the new content, I just can’t keep up. Sometimes it takes me a couple of listens just to figure out the crazy long sentence that Aran wants me to say.

Psychologically, I’m fine with the “no pause/no repeat” policy, but then I hear “you can repeat this lesson if you’re not getting about 80%”. Without pausing, there’s no way I’m at 80% the first time through. Probably 50-60%(?). So should I repeat or not?


No, push on - you’ve clearly got the self-confidence to live with it - and the 80% figure is a stab in the dark from a long time ago - since then, I’ve seen people achieve impressive stuff even at round about 10% perfect accuracy… :slight_smile:

If you get hit by one of the ‘too long’ sentences, just ride with it, and say anything you can, and then listen carefully to what it was in Welsh - and that will do you fine… :slight_smile: