Hi - I think that I am progressing quite well through the challenges. I have just finished Level 3, Challenge 21. I have not been using the pause button for quite some time now but I often go over the challenges at least once and I use the vocabulary to to make sure that I have understood the pronunciation of some words that I hear. The only thing I have some difficulty with is constructing the longer sentences (in the short time allowed). Generally I can understand the longer sentences when I replay the challenge and listen carefully to what is being said. I try not to dwell too much on trying to become ‘word perfect’ in the longer sentences and when I am happy that I have understood and correctly repeated the majority of the challenge I move on to the next one. I believe that this is the recommended approach (am I correct?). I have plenty of time and motivation to go at the challenges and I expect that I will very soon be completing all the challenges in Levels 1, 2 and 3. My question now is how to move on. I have been thinking that I may move on to ‘lessons’ on the Old Course. Would this be recommended? I have also been very reticent (due to lack of confidence) to get too involved with one-to-one or group peaking practice sessions. I will resolve to to do this more often now.
I am about to complete Challenge 15 Level 2 and I find I cannot repeat the longer sentences in the time allowed. When I hear the sentence though I understand the answer. I find now that even when I make a mistake such as leaving out a word as I am in a hurry to say the sentence, or just screw it up. I understand where I went wrong. When this occurs I move on to the next sentence. If I truly don’t understand, I repeat the sentence or refer to the vocabulary. I have relatives who live in Gwynedd, and they are all first language speakers. I talk with one of my nieces at least three times a week and try to speak Welsh with her. I am still very slow and often times have to ask her to repeat what she said. I am not confident at all in speaking with anyone else though. Dwi’n byw in America. Mae fy mrawd yng nghyfraith deud bo fi’n siarad “Yankee Welsh”. I am planning a trip to visit them in July (Covid permitting) and my goal is to complete all three levels by then. I also need to get in more speaking practice.
Brilliant - not far to the end of Level 3.
The best thing I did in terms of learning Welsh was to join a local SSiW group. I did this at quite an early stage when I couldn’t understand much and could say even less. I was lucky to find a very active and supportive group in my area of England. Even through lockdown we have been meeting every week by Zoom. I would recommend doing this most highly if you possibly can.
Then there is Welsh Speaking Practice on Slack. I enjoyed Siaron’s show and tell sessions until my laptop played up and decided that it didn’t like Slack. Trying to show and tell without a working microphone was not ideal. Lots of people fix up one-one chats, which can be less alarming than big groups at first.
Yes, do the old material. There is extra vocabulary and a fair bit on verb tenses - short form past and future.
Try the advanced material. Don’t start with the oldest material (Beca a’i phobol), which is the fastest, longest and most difficult. Better to start with shorter and more approachable pieces. Try " Dyddiadur Bethan Gwanas" or “Dyddiadur Daniel Glyn”.
Read books and magazines. There are plenty of books for learners to get you started.
Watch TV and listen to the radio. Never mind if you don’t understand at first.
In short, there’s loads out there. Find something you enjoy - I think that’s my best suggestion. Above all - talk!
All the best with it.
Diolch Sue. Thanks for your tips and advice.
I definitely recommend looking at the old course. I’m doing exactly that after finishing level 3. I’m finding the method of teaching very useful as it addresses past, present and future tenses very deliberately with each new piece of grammar. This really works well for the way I learn. Maybe it’ll do the same for you. There’s no harm in having a go.
Thanks Gareth. I will definitely give the Old Course a go