Slow learner

I am incredibly slow learning. It is taking me about 8 days to work through one lesson at around 20 minutes a day. I go back about 5 mins and then go forward about 5 mins and the rest of the time is pausing and practicing. Once i get to end I have tried to restart the lesson and do without using pause but i just cannot get my brain to work fast enough to get phrases in before they are said. If i keep going over and over the same lesson (am on lesson 4) i get bored and disheartened but the end of lesson says shouldn’t move on until can do about 80 % without using pause. Any one else as slow as me and any helpful tactics, please?

1 Like

Don’t worry, there are lots who experience the same thing!
here are a couple of things to think about -

The 80% is old advice and doesn’t have to be strictly held to. It’s ok to repeat the lesson maybe a couple of times, but don’t go over and over it thinking you haven’t got enough right - as you say, this is boring and disheartening and doesn’t do any good. Move on anyway - you can always come back to the bits you were stuck on at a later date if you wish, but the material is repeated elsewhere in the course anyway, and often comes to mind easier then.

Using the pause is fine, but it’s easy to get too reliant on it, which is why it’s better to try and do without it. Having said that, everyone is different and it’s recognised that some will need the pause button more than others.

You don’t have to get every sentence 100% correct - this is not a ‘learn-by-rote’ method, instead, it gives you blocks to build with. As I said before, everything is repeated at various intervals and throughout the course, and over time the brain comes to recognise the basic blocks and gets used to varying the vocab within them.

If you come across a word and you just can’t remember what it should be, it’s ok to throw in any word that comes to mind rather than to stop and spend time trying to remember that specific word. if you do this and it’s the wrong word, don’t worry! It’s important not to think of this as a mistake - it will actually help reinforce what the correct word should have been once you hear the sentence again.

Best tips of all - 1) embrace mistakes, mistakes are good, they are things we learn from, 2) keep it fun - this is your journey, it’s not a competition to reach the finish line and 3) there are always people here on the forum who’ve been through exactly the same feelings and we’re all here to help, support, and encourage you. You’ve got this!


Thank you. This is really helpful advice. I get too caught up in trying to get things ‘right’ which is not how children learn languages so easily! I do enjoy SSIW and can see how i am learning structures and words to substitute and build up creatively.


I share some of your concerns. I tend to break each lesson in two and so do each three times during 7 days.
I also have a complete blank with some words/phrases that I share with the dog when walking but do the test and they disappear from my memory.
My big problem when replying without using the pause button is I have forgotten some of the English sentence I have been asked to translate.
There is a lesson coming up which repeats Lesson 1 and I was very pleased how much I had retained.

1 Like

Yes - I often cannot retain the English we are being asked to translate, let alone translate it quickly. Still, persevering even though i have to break each lesson down into about 6 chunks and keep going over!

I’ve been doing SSiW for about 2 years now and if I struggle (which I still do at times) I’ll use pause button, I tend to do the same lesson over a week but sometimes I’ll split it in half and do half in morning and half in evening, don’t worry about making mistakes as they’re part of the learning process, also if you can’t remember a certain structure don’t worry as it gets repeated very often, also don’t be hard on yourself as your just starting out

Thanks Stephen. The support is appreciated.

I don’t do it as much as I did when I started out, but I would put the audio files into a podcatcher that allowed me to speed up or slow down the audio. The first time through I would slow the audio down to 75% of full speed so I didn’t need to fiddle so much with the pause button (especially when I was listening while commuting or doing other household chores). Then I’d speed it up a bit each time until I was able to do 1.10 or 1.25x speed at which point the pauses weren’t long enough to get a word in edgewise. At this point I move on to the next. Be careful here though as on some of the longer sentences at the ends of some lessons, if you play them too slowly, you’ll forget what the beginning of the sentence was by the time they get to the end.

Based on a trick in my daughter’s dual immersion Japanese class which used the word “wakanai” (Japanese for “I don’t know”), I also formed the practice of saying “ddim gwybod” in place of words I couldn’t immediately remember so that I could focus on the ones I did know instead of getting too tripped up on the ones I didn’t. Eventually on repetition and revision they would slowly seep into my brain. Fortunately the kind and patient instructors on the tape never made fun of me or judged me for my mistakes and that made it much easier to eventually pick things up.

Sticking with it has become quite fun and it definitely gets easier with time. pob lwc!

1 Like

Great advice. Many thanks.

@jo-king have you given the new AutoMagic Beta a try? It’s available under ‘Learn’ on the website, and it might help with some of the issues, e.g. it displays the English prompt as written text and you can stop when you’ve had enough. It then carries on from that point the next time you use it.

This is genius! I can’t tell you how many times I have just stood there with my mouth gaping like a goldfish, unable to remember the word but not able to move past it.

1 Like

I love the idea of replacing dim gwybod for the missing word you don’t know that’s a life saver. I’ve just started the classes again and I’m fine at the minute as I’m going over old stuff. But i know there will come a time were i find it harder to cope with this will be handy for then lol thankyou for the tip xxx

I remember hearing of someone who said “rhywbeth rhywbeth” (something something) in the places that they couldn’t remember the Welsh. Anything like that is a good idea as it keeps the Welsh flowing.


I’m always forgetting what a whatsit is called (in English as well as Welsh) so I just use thingy instead.

When I first started the Zoom sessions I asked you for the appropriate Welsh word and I’ve used it ever since.

Felly, diolch am y be’ ti’n galw… :slight_smile: