I’ve just finished Level 3 and I’m repeating some lessons and thought I’d go over the old course. And I’ve started doing duolingo again. I’ve been reading books for Welsh learners.
I’m thinking about doing a formal course, not sure what level but I’m wondering if it’s worth it since I’ve already learnt a lot. Will I benefit from it or should I just carry on as I am?
What did you do after level three and the advanced content? Did you feel the need to do a formal course or can you just pick up everything else you need as you go?
There’s no courses listed at the moment for Bridgend. The intense summer one sounded great until I realised you have to do lessons every day which is impossible when I work.
I’m just thinking about it and wondering people’s experiences and thoughts. It takes me ages to decide these things anyway.
Jen, not an easy question for anyone to answer except yourself. But ask yourself some questions before you decide.
- Can you hold a conversation with a native speaker?
- Can you understand at least 95% of what other people say?
3 Do you watch Welsh tv and how much do you understand?
- Where do you think the gaps are in your Welsh?
There may be other questions which you need to consider. Only then can you decide where you need to go next. There will be many evening classes come September at all levels. Mynediad, Sylfaen, Canolradd and Uwch. Check out https://learnwelsh.cymru/learning/find-a-course/ and see which course suits your level. Others may give you different advice, but only you really know your current level and where you need to go next.
Some great comments from Rob there - I’d just ask one question - what’s the longest amount of time you’ve ever spent without using English?
Well done, Jen!
I had been wondering what to do after Level 3 myself, as soon as I finished.
From my experience my first advice would be: list as many options as you can find, see what inspires you and try as many as you can.
That will help figure out what works best for you and what you enjoy and can manage, at least in this specific moment.
And then you pick one/some and carry on with that for a while.
From my experience I can tell I tried in chronological order:
- old SSiW courses (just a few lessons cause I didn’t enjoy them so much, maybe I’ll try again later)
- keeping on listening to songs and reading/translating lyrics more and more in detail
- SSiW Advanced Content: it’s quite a jump from Level 3, even though the newer material is way more accessible and worth a try for anyone finishing Level 3 I think. The older material is very interesting too but very challenging as well.
- WSP and on-line sgwrsio : me personally I’m really not a fan of on-line chats but it’s a great resource and at least from time to time well worth the effort (even though in non-lockdown times and if I lived in Wales I’d rather practise by meeting other people in person!)
- watching programmes on S4C (with and without subtitles)
- reading books for learners (like the Amdani/Y Lolfa series)
- listening to the radio
- Duolingo (I couldn’t keep more than a week streak before SSiW, and found it very confusing going ITalian-English-Welsh and back. But now I’ve found a way to make it work)
- trying classic courses: Mynediad once in an actual class while I was in Cardigan, and Sylfaen on-line a few weeks ago (didn’t get the chance to try Canolradd and I don’t even consider Uwch at the moment cause I’m sure that would be way too advanced).
It is interesting from time to time, and very nice people, and very good teachers - but I guess my tests confirm I’m a bit allergic to courses!
Regarding this, I can check if there’s an on-line class where you might just pop in once to see how it feels (well, after speaking to the teacher of course not as a creepy lurker! )
Just a few things on top of my head, then of course you’re in Wales and you can go out and speak without having to plan things in advance or wait for the restrictions and crazy situation to settle down to travel there (as long as you just keep the basic distances etc) so I guess I would go out and speak more often if I were you!
Diolch. I don’t live in a Welsh speaking area of Wales so it’s not as easy as just going out and chatting. I’ll keep an eye on the courses couldn’t see any yet. I am enjoying learning the way I am at the moment. I’m just always looking for ways to do more.
Probably an hour to two hour chat on Slack. Might not have been a full 2 hour.
I’m hoping this won’t come across as facetious, but when you do go out in Bridgend, do you start every - and I do mean every - chat in Welsh? Even if it’s only “shwmae”/“bore da”/“pnawn da”? That’s all it would take to unearth some hidden Welsh speakers who maybe also think there’s no one else about who speaks Welsh - it’s well worth a try
Ummm I don’t go out and randomly chat to people in English never mind Welsh.
I don’t mean accosting complete strangers , but even “shwmae, how much is this please?”, “bore da, could you tell me where you’ve moved the pet food to?”, “pnawn da, have you got change of a £10 note?” etc,etc, could prise a tiny conversation out of someone which would benefit you both!
…and even if it doesn’t do that, it might subliminally encourage them to learn Welsh themselves, then you’ll be helping to turn a generally-non-Welsh-speaking area into a more-Welsh-speaking one!
I understand, maybe when things get back to normal.
If you’ve finished level 3 and you’re wedded to the idea of s formal, night school type of class, the people who offer the courses will be happy to assess you and your level. Make sure it’s an oral assessment. You will probably find they put you in a higher class than you expected. And you might find the technicalities of the grammar a bit bewildering but still be able to speak both better and more confidently than any non SSIW fellow students. You could always sign up with the proviso tjat you could change levels if necessary. I met someone who completed the old course level 1 in about 4 months, then went to bootcamp and the following September started on the second half of the Sylfaen course to be learner of the year in his county.
Not a formal course but still in the SSIW world, once some sort of normality is resumed, is Bootcamp. And other people set themselves challenges. To speak Welsh, for half an hour every day, for a month, with a different person. To cycle from notth to south Wales without speaking English. Personally, I’ve invested more recently, in a couple of hours a month with a private tutor, having gone through the exam system. More expensive, but I’m much more in charge of my learning. There is little more soul destroying than working your way through a poorly designed on line course or really boring grammar heavy course, both of which I’ve suffered from.
Diolch. I don’t know I’d love to do a bootcamp but as with courses it’s depending on how to get there and if I can get time of work. I like the idea of setting challenges, I’ve already got one in mind.
I was able to try formal courses, recently, thanks to the fact that many “standard” classes became on-line classes during lockdown- therefore I could participate from Italy as well!
I don’t know if @margaretnock’s tutor’s on-line or “in-person” - but I’m pretty sure that there will be some next year.
If time/location can be a big issue for you, maybe you might consider on-line lessons?
I chose a tutor who lives locally and who had taught me once, just for a day, and who I know, slightly, socially. I approached him, he didn’t advertise. Because I wanted to improve my written skills I would send him a few hundred words, once a month, and he would correct it before we met up for a couple of hours about a week later. When I realised that 50% of the mistakes are ‘repeat offenders’ we changed to him highlighting the mistakes and me correcting them, as that is the purpose, so that I can recognise, and if I’m lucky, avoid the mistakes.
While we probably could do this on line via Zoom, I’ve been in London since March, under lockdown, with my parents, looking after my terminally ill mother. I can’t commit to a 2 hour period of time, and while there’s a lot of Welsh grammar available on line I do use my books as well , which are at home. So my Welsh tutorials are on hold for a while.
If you decide to do either Mynediad or Sylfaen, they both have a fast track version, i year instead of 2, and so doing it that way would be rather like a rapid revision course for you.
It appears that that route is popular with latent welsh speakers to get back on track.
I omitted to mention that next year the mynediad and sylfaen classes are via Zoom, so it will not matter where you live.
There’s nothing available on the website yet
After finishing Level 3 I moved onto the advanced material, I’m still plodding on with that but slowly. I’ve done some online Zoom courses with Cardiff and Swansea too and joined a reading group aswell. I’ve recently signed up for a 6 week zoom based Uwch summer school with Dysgu Cymraeg. Then had an e-mail that they wanted to chat with me to make sure it was the right level as I wasn’t on their radar so to speak. They were happy with my “telephone interview” so I’m on the UWCH level course. In a year and 4 months to be classed as UWCH was amazing for me, so maybe have a look into that? there are still places on it I believe. I’m trying to keep at it and a friend is kind enough to send me links and info on courses she finds.
Sadly, I can’t do that one because it’s a few hours everyday monday to friday and work is in the way as usual If it was one morning or one day I could get time off maybe but not 5 days LOL I’m probably going to back in work very soon. I’ll have to wait a bit to see what’s happening
They do a Sadwrn Siarad on zoom 9.30-12 if that’s any help? I remember a friend in work saying to me once “work is a major inconvenience” he was so right. Best of luck which ever route you take next