Plough on or slow down?

Hello, I know Challenge number 3 is very early to start whining/panicking, but it’s just not going in. I can’t get my bods and wedi’s sorted at all. I gave up towards the end and just shouted out any of the random words in the sentence I knew. If I get any more desperate I will be shouting Gwyneth & Mair & names of other girls I grew up with, just to say something. Also, I can’t think that fast, & the words I do remember I pronounce very badly, at speed. I felt I had a bit of a handle on 1 & 2 before I moved on. It feels
counter-intuitive to move on to Challenge 4, tomorrow, when I haven’t got a grip on 3.
I really don’t want to blow this opportunity, any advice, please?


First things first - you’re not going to ‘blow this opportunity’, because whatever you do, you’ll still be able to go back later on if you need to… :slight_smile:

Without listening to you, of course, it’s hard to know if this is usual ‘it’s tough’, or something a bit more serious - but certainly don’t worry about pronounciation at this point!

Are you using the pause button? It’s great if you can survive without it - but you really need to make sure that you are saying something in almost all the gaps - so if you’re missing any entirely, give yourself a second or two extra with the pause button.

Otherwise, the right thing to do here is definitely to carry on, and when you’ve done Challenge 5, revisit 1 and see if it feels easier. If it does, you’re winning…:slight_smile: Worst case scenario with this approach is that you end up having to repeat 3 and 4 - which is what you’re considering doing anyway, with 3 - but best case scenario is that you find that the spaced repetition is working for you, and although it feels out of control, you discover that you can actually go faster than you thought… which is always worth finding out… :wink:

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Hi Moira!

Aran’s given you the advice you need, but just to say, I certainly could never have done the course without the pause button. My tactic was to keep going with no repetitions of lessons, but I used the pause button all the time.

I am now going through some lessons for the second or third time (only after completing all the new and old lessons first) and can do them without pausing, and even, gasp, while walking to work etc. I think the very hardest lessons for me were the first five. I was getting used to the method and also very confused by my old school Welsh, which differed from some of the southern uses.

Keep going, it does work!


Thank you, Aran.
What seems to have worked for me over the past 10 days ( and I hope you approve ) has been playing the challenge once each day ( sometimes twice) and moving on after 3 or 4 days. I am also playing Radio Cymru and I have printed off the vocabulary lists and my husband reads out the English & I reply in Welsh. I’m having a go at making up sentences, although I don’t know about sentence construction/ word order.

I find it harder to think as fast in English, these days, and Ch 3 today has been a bit much, but I think SSIW is brilliant and I love your supportive and creative approach.
I will take your advice.

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If this gives you the confidence to carry on, then that’s fine - but you don’t need to be doing it - it’s coming from your (entirely normal) urge to have 100% control over the material before you move on - but this whole approach is based on letting go of that control…:wink:

So what you’re describing is playing each challenge between 3 to 8 times? I think you’re aiming for perfection, and that’s going to make the process much longer and slower for you.

When we say move on straight away, we really mean it - that you go through each challenge just once (making sure you say something in almost every gap) - and then move on.

The only thing is - we do need to check this, and to make sure that you’re not what we call a Higher Repetition Learner. And to do that, you need to do a run of 5 lessons with just one go at each lesson - and then revisit the first of the 5, and see if it feels easier.

Since you’ve done 1, 2, and 3 multiple times already, you’d need to do 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 just once each, and then revisit 4, and see if it feels easier. If it does, the approach is working for you, and you can carry on cheerfully with 9. If it doesn’t, then you’re probably a Higher Repetition Learner - but even then, I would strongly recommend working in batches - so, repeating 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, revisit 4 - until 4 does feel easier. As soon as 4 feels easier, carry on from 9 - but planning on repeating a batch of 5 however many times it took you to feel the improvement in 4…

Sorry, I know that’s a bit long-winded - but if you get the hang of working in batches, you’ll almost certainly end up moving faster than if you do multiple repetitions of each lesson before moving on (and if you turn out not to need batches, or not many of them, you’ll be going MUCH faster)… :slight_smile:

Thank you very much for that detailed reply@Aran.
I will go for it, with 4-8.

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Thank you for your encouragement, Kate. It was kind of you to respond & helpful to know that it got less tough for you after the earlier lessons. I’m really glad you are enjoying it now.

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One other point - possibly the single most important thing - is something you’re already getting PERFECTLY right… :star: :star2:

Yup - coming on to the forum and asking for help.

Lots of people don’t have the nerve to do that - but everybody who does, everybody, gets help and support and fine-tuning and, what was it? Oh yes, help:slight_smile:

I don’t think I know of anyone who has asked for help on the forum consistently who hasn’t ended up speaking Welsh confidently… :star: :star2:


That’s a very interesting insight - that our need for control can slow us down when trying to learn a language. Something to think about and internalise. Mmm… thanks for the thought.

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