SSi - state of play, January 2018

As some of you have pointed out, I let the monthly reports lapse - combination of business, natural laziness and some ‘bored with saying the SSiBorg isn’t ready yet’… :wink:

But a fair bit has been going on, and it seems like a good time for an update. If my memory works, maybe one every 6 months would be a better fit (hint, I might VERY WELL need reminding…;-)).

So, SSiW 2018.

What’s coming down the pipes?

The SSiBorg

Next step with the SSiBorg will be this year. In fact, it should be fairly soon this year. Ifan probably needs a couple of months or so (and I’ve just pulled him off the SSiBorg for one other thing).

Don’t worry - the very second there’s any sign of life from the SSiBorg, you will hear us screaming from the rooftops :slight_smile:

The one other thing?

It’s a brilliant idea from Iestyn.

A new approach to SSiW: the 6 Month Welsh Speaker course.

It’s not new lessons - but it takes everything we’ve learnt in the last year or so of doing insanely intensive residential courses - and it makes it possible for people to get through everything we do on the 10 day intensives (without having to pay £2000) - and without having to travel or book time off.

We’re going to be delivering it via a mixture of emails, the forum and live group video calls/broadcasts.

I think it fills in the gap perfectly between ‘Hey, here are some free lessons, fill your boots but figure it out yourself’ and ‘Fork out £2000 to come on a 10 day intensive’.

If I’m right, and even a small % of our learners want this extra level of support, it might make it possible for us to increase our levels of advertising and development very, very significantly. Fingers crossed :slight_smile:

Ifan is just kicking off the coding work on this now - I’m building the emails - and I’m hoping we’ll be ready to launch before the end of January.

What else?

The SSiW Pivot

After a lot of VERY helpful input from you lot, we are full steam ahead on changing how and what we deliver - so that we don’t just get you speaking, but we build a complete road through to genuinely comfortable fluency.

This isn’t going to happen until after we’ve launched the 6 Month Welsh Speaker course, and looked carefully at the numbers there…

But I hope that by the summer at latest, we’ll be ready for the big switchover.

The most important point

EVERYONE who is already subscribing will be grandfathered in at the same price - £3.95 a month - for life (unless they choose to unsubscribe, of course!).

We will NOT be strong-arming anyone into a price hike.

The opposite, in fact - we’ve already closed the doors to the Growth Club - and those wonderful people who kept us afloat during a very challenging couple of years will - before the end of this year - have their payments reduced to zero while retaining FULL access to everything we publish, for ever. :slight_smile:

Once we’ve pivoted, though, we are going to be investing every penny we can in creating new, useful, learner-friendly material for all our subscribers.

At that point, the price for new subscribers will be £10 a month.

And the more new subscribers we get, the more we’ll plough back into increasing the amount of content.

We hope, if we get this right, that we’ll be able to create a genuinely valuable extra stream of income for a range of Welsh creative artists - writers, singers, video and film folk, poets, journalists, all sorts of stuff… :slight_smile:

Those are the big things.

There’s other stuff going on, as always - I’m trying to grab a few seconds here and there to get to a full model for an ‘SSiW for kids’ - we’re talking about doing something specifically for medical professionals - and we’re hoping that the 6 month course will go well enough for us to put some supportive cash into pushing on with Manx and Cornish and getting started on Irish, Scottish and Breton.

But all of this stuff is secondary to the big 3 - the SSiBorg, the 6 Month Welsh Speaker course, and the pivot.

Buckle up - it’s looking like a lively year… :slight_smile:


By the way, any questions about any of this, I’m always more than happy to answer… :slight_smile:

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Any news about more spanish lessons?


Not in the near future, I’m afraid - we haven’t found a way to get any kind of income from our Spanish lessons, which means we don’t have the cash flow to put into building Level 3 for Spanish. If we get to the point where our 6 month course for Welsh and/or our monthly content for advanced Welsh learners actually gives us a financial surplus, then we might be able to look at producing more Spanish material - but our first priority is going to be giving a wider range of support to our Welsh learners.

Hi Aran
I’m definitely interested in the 6 month welsh speakers course.


It’s designed to guide people from zero to genuine conversations - you’ve already done that and more!

I’m hoping what you (and other advanced learners like you) are going to find much more useful will be the extended range of monthly content (including plenty of listening work)… :slight_smile:


My mum and her husband are now doing Say Something In Spanish after my recommendation and they say it is much better than any other online resource they have used. They have recommended it to some friends aswell


Diolch, Sam! If we can get the 6 month approach working for Welsh, we might be able to do the same for Spanish - we certainly get the same kind of feedback from our Spanish learners, just not the same general word-of-mouth…


Hiya Aran,

do we have a timeline for the release of the rest of level 3 northern material? I getting quite good at number 16, and started on course 3 again and doing it in more depth!

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Woo hoo! I can’t wait for the extended range. :grin: :black_flag:󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿


This is all so exciting! I’m enjoying SSIW so much I don’t want to get to the end of Level 3, so new and different ways of learning will be fantastic. Thank you!

I’m not in the habit of coming to the forum as often as I should, so apologies for sporadic posting. I have recommended SSIW to a few Welsh people I’ve met down here in the south east looking to relearn their second language too, I can’t recommend it highly enough!


Excellent review which demonstrates how dynamic and forward-looking the prime movers are. Llongyfarchiadau.

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Diolch yn fawr iawn, Scarlett - really appreciate that! :star2:

Hi Anthony! I believe we’re up to 18 published now, and we have another two or three going through post-production, so not too far away - and we should have more stuff built/recorded in the next month or so… :slight_smile:


This is all really exciting, so many great things in the pipeline! I’m looking forward to the new learning resources!

@aran I only just saw this today, thanks to the newsletter, even though I check the forum pretty much every day. This post has no category - it’s not in Welsh, or News, where I would have seen it. (Previous State of Play posts where in the Welsh/General category.) This is probably due to the fact that I look at the forum categories of Welsh, and sometimes Other Languages, and get notified if there is something in News - I don’t default to All Categories, because I’m not particularly interested in Spanish. So, I’m wondering if other people (who may not get the newsletter) missed it, too…which would be a shame, because it’s full of great news! :slight_smile:


Oh, good catch - I wonder how that happened! I’ll go fix…

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The forum is set so that “Undategorized” topics are not seen from any aspect of the search. If you click the “Categories” in the hamburger menu, you don’t get “uncategorized” listed so you don’t have it if you click Categories button on the general page so there’s no wonder the topic was not seen by any means. The proove is the first post by other member than @aran who posted their post only 4 days ago while the topic was created on 9th January.

And for you @aran maybe slightly embarrasing question … will video team have any work in the future? Thx.


Not embarrassing at all! Still very grateful for all the work the video team did… :slight_smile: But two things have happened - we’ve built a way to turn the lessons into video into the SSiBorg itself - so we’ll be able to automate publishing lessons as videos - and the software itself now adds pictures automatically, so it only takes a few minutes to do videos like: :slight_smile:

So you don’t even use Samurai anymore? If yes then it’s actually smart idea which will save you quite some money according to what I’ve seen exploring Samurai back in the days …

That video just published on FB was done with Samurai - we won’t be using it for building video lessons, but it’s even more useful for explanation videos, now that it does almost all the picture selection itself… :slight_smile:

Is there any news on the listening exercises for the newer/later levels at all? I’d really really appreciate them a lot :slight_smile:

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