SSiW and the Big Change - brace yourselves!

It’s turning into an interesting year…

I am delighted to be able to announce that we’ve found someone to take on the very serious amount of work needed to provide our strong intermediate and advanced learners with a priceless new resource:

A weekly 30 minute conversation - with interesting people - with a TRANSCRIPT and a TRANSLATION.

For many of you, this is going to be the final piece of the jigsaw - it will condense what would otherwise have been months or years of listening to Radio Cymru into a far more intensive and speedy journey towards absolute proficiency.


It’s just the beginning.

The person we’ve been lucky enough to hook - Beca Brown - has got a HUGE breadth of experience as a journalist in Welsh and English, as a writer, and as a maker of TV programmes - and we simply couldn’t have found ANYONE better to start building what we hope is going to turn into a gigantic collection of advanced-learner-friendly content.

I’m pointing Beca towards setting up an account on the forum so that she can come in and say hello to you all - and as she gets to know you over the coming months, that will help inform her choices about the kind of conversations and then - in due course - the kind of extra content that will be most valuable and interesting for you… :slight_smile:

And now…

This triggers some other changes.

As most of you know, our current set-up is that Level 1 is free, and then continued access costs £3.95 a month.

We’ve always been conscious that we’re not doing as much as we’d like for our advanced learners - but now we’re going to be providing a 30 minute chat/transcript/translation EVERY week, that’s changing.

And so will the price. To £10 a month (plus VAT - we’re over the threshold now).


NOT for YOU.

If you’re currently subscribing at £3.95 a month, we’re never going to change that. We refuse, point blank. It doesn’t feel right to us. We’re not even going to add VAT to it, although many of our longest-serving supporters and closest friends will tut loudly at us about that.

Beca is starting work about the middle of August, and we’re going to give her about a month before we start publishing (so that she can build up a bit of a backlog).

Anyone who subscribes before the end of August will also be on the £3.95 a month rate - for ever.

We’re going to do our best to reach everyone who is considering subscribing, and to let them know that jumping in before the end of August will save them almost £100 a year.

If you could help spread the word - tell any friends you know are thinking about it, sharing on social media, that kind of stuff - that would be absolutely fantastic…:slight_smile:

[More news coming soon: we’re going to be switching the ‘free Level 1’ model over to a ‘subscribe or scholarship’ model - which we think is going to help us provide more to ALL our learners, while also giving MORE free learning to people who really can’t afford it otherwise. I’ll post more details next week… :slight_smile: ]


Sounds great, Aran.

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There’s still more we want to build, to fill out the road from A to fluent - but this feels like a genuine completion of a kind - every step catered for, even though we can and will add extra and faster options over the next few years… :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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Wow wow wow, super excited for this!!! Exactly the kind of learning resource I’ve been wishing for! Diolch yn fawr iawn! :relaxed:


Sounds exciting!

While we’re on the idea of new stuff. The often-talked about Level 4…

…is there any legs in doing more of the instruction and teaching through Welsh? Or perhaps being Welsh lead? I think this would really give learners that sort of “oh wow… I am actually doing this. I’ve arrived” kind of experience :slight_smile:


Maen swnio gret Aran. Diolch yn fawr iawn! Bydd y Brain Shock pobl yn cael mynediad hefyd?


This sounds like a really interesting and attractive evolution of SSiW’s work. :smile: Can I ask for a few points of clarification?

  1. What form will the weekly conversation take? Will it be someone like Beca talking to someone else? (I guess it can’t be interactive).
  2. I currently have an old membership which, I think, entitles me to all languages (including Klingon when you get your act together :slight_smile: ) and I make a monthly Growth Club contribution. What would I need to do to take advantage of your new initiative?
  3. Is it still planned to complete the Level 3 (South) Challenges in due course?

That goes for me too (apart from the Klingon).


My hope is that the 30 minute conversations will provide exactly that kind of experience… :slight_smile: [But we’ll never rest on our laurels - so once all this new stuff is up and running, we’ll always be happy to chat about other ideas…:slight_smile: ]

We’ve always given full access to all our lessons to our courageous Brain Shockers - with the extra material, I think it will work better for everyone if Brain Shockers come in as subscribers on the old cost, before the price goes up, and help us get to the point where we can put more money into producing more content as soon as possible… :slight_smile:

Yes, that’s right - kind of Beca a’i Phobl… :wink:

Ac mawr, mawr ydi ein diolch i ti… :heart:

You don’t need to do anything - the old membership will include all the new stuff - and we’re hoping to start phasing out Growth Club payments by the end of the year - at which point, if you’d like to stop all payments, as a Growth Clubber we will still give you access to the whole caboodle… :heart:

Yes, very much so. Holidays are always a challenging time chez ap Dafydd, and Iestyn is getting a lot of extra juggling as we learn to cope with the faster (and faster-moving and swinging to and fro) cash-flows from the structured courses (a steep learning curve for all of us) - but I think the autumn will bring a good collection of new L3 south stuff… :slight_smile:


apart from the Klingon

Yes, to be honest, I’d only accept a course delivered by a native speaker. :smile:


Will this one do???


WHAT ARE YOU AND CATRIN ON? (And can I have some?)


Where on Earth (or in the Universe) did you find that picture of me? :laughing:


Umm, well, you’re famous! Didn’t you know that? :slight_smile:

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Wow, this sounds excellent! :smiley:
All Klingon-based jokes aside, just to make sure I understand correctly, I am hoping to ‘branch out’ and learn some other languages when I have got a really decent grasp of Welsh - I currently pay the basic rate just for Welsh, but should I up to the higher ‘all languages’ rate before the cut-off point?
Diolch yn fawr iawn!

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I have the same sort of membership I think. You used to call it something like a Polygon subscription (no doubt in honour of a dead parrot).

Anyway, I also find this development very interesting, and am glad that we apparently don’t need to do anything to take advantage of it.


If you trust us to get there with a wider range of languages (which should indeed be starting to move much more quickly by the end of this year), then yes, that would lock you in with the ‘all languages’ access… which will mean not just the lessons, but also access to the 6 month or 2 year structure for every language we roll that out into… :slight_smile:


Diolch! I know it’s early days and anything could happen, but can I just ask if you have any idea which languages might take off in the future? - I ask as making this decision includes a lot of unknowns and it depends on which particular languages. No worries if it’s too early to say.

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The only fair response is that it definitely is too early to say…

But we’ll certainly be looking to add a bunch of larger languages (say German, French, Italian for starters) as well as some personal to-do-list smaller ones (think Irish, Scots Gaelic, Cornish, Breton, Basque). I’d hope to have a decent amount of stuff up for all of those by the tail end of next year… :slight_smile:


Diolch eto! As a previous adventurer to the Scottish Isles to try and learn Gàidhlig, it makes me particularly happy that you mentioned that beautiful language :slight_smile: I think I’ll probably try to up my subscription and wait and see what happens!