Questions about listening & speaking practice for old course, plus enjoying SSI Spanish!

I am on challenge 2 of the new Southern Welsh course, but also going through the old course out of curosity (I’m about halfway through now).

In a way I actually prefer the old course for learning the structure of the language. The new course is great too, of course, but just my preference. I’m finding they compliment each other nicely, even if they weren’t intended to.

I’ve been doing the listening practice from challenge 25 of level 1 (new course) each day, but I see there are also daily and weekly practice sessions for the old course, for both speaking and listening. Do I still need to do these, bearing in mind I’m rapidly moving forward about a lesson a day with the old course as well as progressing steadily with level 2 of the new course?

Also, what is the difference between the daily and weekly practice sessions and do I need to do both?

In addition to the Welsh course, I’ve been doing the SSI Spanish challenges too (I’m now up to challenge 10). I actually already speak Spanish, however I wanted to see what the SSI Spanish course was like. I’m finding it’s helping me consolidate what I know in Spanish, as well as build up longer sentences and be sharper on instantly producing them (that’s the beauty of SSI…it ‘forces’ you to say things quickly, thus making you a much more fluent speaker). I have a feeling it will help improve my listening skills a lot too. I’ll write more about SSI Spanish in a future post.

I also bought Aran’s book ‘High Intensity Language Training’, which sums up nicely the methodology /principles behind ‘SSI…’ and effective language learning. I’m applying these principles to my language learning from now on.

My language learning regime is not for the faint of heart, as you can probably tell, but I’m totally committed to this journey and reaching fluency!


I did the original ssiw courses followed by the new challenges. I agree that they complement each other nicely. I know that, without having done the earlier courses, I would have a lot of questions and puzzles about the language, mostly grammar related (e.g. why do only some nouns mutate after ‘y’, and why do we sometimes use the long form of verbs and sometimes the short form …). A child learning a new language would not think to raise these issues, I guess, and would be more inclined just to accept them. But we adults are different!


Thank you, this post of yours helps me a lot in my circumstances. You cannot know how much.

Diolch yn fawr, @neil-kendall

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@aliC I think Rebecca and Neil are articulating something important for me, a beginner who has no trustworthy guiding voice, in terms of shaping my sentences in the wild…

I wish more people would join us on the Welsh hour practice everyone, wouldn’t we @lornarhodes ( not too familiar with the forum) :slight_smile:


@nia.llywelyn What and when is the Welsh hour practice? Do you mean on the 6mws course? If so, that’s not accessible to everyone if we’re not doing that particular course (even if we’re on Slack).

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Yes, that’s correct., i do the 6 month one. But there are hangouts on the general welsh speaking practice slack. @Deborah-SSi will advise you better than me when they’re on, thanks. Nia


Diolch. Yes I’ve done a few of the Slack wsp hangouts but find they attract the more confident learners and are a little too challenging for a ‘hen ddysgwr araf fel fi’! I’ve also watched one or two of your 6-month chats @nia.llywelyn on google, and wish now I’d registered for the course (I’m a bit betwixt and between as a learner). Anyway, I’ve also had a number of 1-to-1 chats via Slack and find overall they suit me very well.

I’ve also had one chat with @neil-kendall on Skype - I am convinced he is on the way to becoming one of SSIW’s star learners! Hope I’ve not knocked the discussion too far off course, Neil…


Diolch i ti, Alan achos dw i’n nabod a dw i’n gwybod sut mae’n bosib i deimlo am y SSiW Forum…

Warmest greetings & Thanks to you Alan, ‘cos I recognise and I know how it is possible to feel about the Forum…

…and the Slack workspaces/Speaking practice space, too.

Understanding how to make use of all that is available on here - in the SSi complex - is a matter of “mutual self-apprenticeship”, and guiding each other, signposting each other through the Aladdin’s Caves…


Thank you @lornarhodes, this is developing into an interesting discussion in its own right - but I’m very conscious that it’s not necessarily answering Neil’s original questions about listening and speaking practice. I’m just wondering whether @Aran might think it worthwhile hiving this discussion off onto a separate thread, leaving space for others to answer Neil’s questions?

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I have tidied my postings up a bit. I am still interested in how the Old Course blends and complements the newer bits and how people are using them, so thank you for calling to my attention the lack of focus in my postings, Alan.:slight_smile:

No it wasn’t directed at you Lorna, I went off-piste in my postings too. Just hoping others will have some advice re listening and speaking practice sessions.


Diolch yn fawr, Alan. Roedd hi’n braf i siarad gyda ti :slight_smile: Ti’n siarad yn dda iawn.

Thanks for all the replies so far even if they don’t directly answer my questions. It probably is just down to the individual as to which practice sessions they feel they need to do I guess. The main thing is to keep progressing and never give up!


To give a little more information on this one - the open Welsh Speaking Practice is available free to anyone who wants to improve their spoken Welsh. There are some regular group hangouts organised by individuals, e.g. @siaronjames often runs one on a Friday evening, but anyone can declare themselves ‘online’, in the #online-now channel, or can start a hangout for others to join by typing /hangout on an empty line in the #hangouts channel.
Ex-6MWSers tend to hang out in the #6mws-long-convo channel where they arrange longer chats, but I’m sure they’d be happy for others to join in.
If anyone wants an invitation to join the open Slack group, just send an email to with WSP as the subject, and that will be sent to you.

When those were first developed, they were the only extra practice sessions we had. Now, in a way, they’ve been superceded by the new listening practices and the opportunities to have real conversations online with other people, but every little piece helps when you’re learning a language, so if you have the time and find them useful, you’re welcome to keep using them. I wouldn’t put any priority on them though.

To be honest it’s so long since I listened to them that I don’t remember any more, but if you listen to them yourself, you can decide which, if any, are most useful for you.

Once we get a few more people learning Spanish with us, we’ll have to get some online groups going for that as well. I have friends in Spain that kindly chat with me online most days, so that keeps my Spanish up, but I’m always happy to have more opportunities to speak Spanish!


I didn’t know about the Slack groups, I’ve just sent an email to get in invitation - thanks @Deborah-SSi! I enjoy meeting up and chatting with my fellow Oxford learners but I’m unable to make most of the meetings, so an online chat would be really useful :slight_smile:

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Invitation on its way @rebecca

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No, I wouldn’t bother with them - focus on the Level 1/Level 2 listening exercises instead - the old daily/weeklies are on our list to discontinue… :slight_smile: