Struggling to complete lessons in one sitting

So to just cut to the chase, I’ve got ADHD and have a hard time focusing on lessons long enough to get through them in one go. I’ll maybe sit through ten minutes before getting distracted and wandering off, though I do always come back eventually and pick up where I left off.

Will this be detrimental to my ability to learn (aside from taking longer)? Like, will I have a harder time retaining the information if it’s not all done at once?

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I have ADHD as well. Sometimes I complete the lessons all in one go. Other times I break it up into 10 minute increments and keep coming back to it later in the day or even over a few days. I’ve found that walking around my house while going through the lessons helps me to focus. The lessons are good about bringing up previously learnt words. If I forget how to say something then I just listen to the Welsh, it jogs my memory, and I’m fine after that.

All that to say. I don’t think it’s a problem to start and stop a lesson. The key is that you’re still going back to complete it and thus moving on to the next one.


Certainly it’s quite common, even for those of us without such a disorder, to find out difficult to learn for a full lesson. Our brains need time to deal with the new information and then regular short refreshers to commit new information to long term memory. For me that’s one of the great things about the 6minutes course of SSiW. I quite often listen to the whole challenge in one sitting but it takes about 4 or 5 goes before it’s close to being lodged in my brain. And as there’s lots of repetition anyway I think it helps us to learn quicker than a standard language course.

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I don’t think you will have a harder time retaining the information if you don’t do a lesson in one go.
For me it works best to split the Challenges into nice and short parts of about 6 minutes a day. At first I thought I might have problems to find my way back into the current lesson after 24h, but that’s not the case at all.
Of course it takes a bit longer, but I actually remember the information better than when I tried to do a Challenge in one go.

I’m sure you’ll find “your” way of doing the lessons as well :four_leaf_clover:

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Me too! Fully fledged member of the ADHD family… though not doing the lessons. Do you drive? If so have you tried doing them in the car? Even if you’re just parked up somewhere? Or how about in the bath or shower? What about listening whilst wearing an eye mask? Reducing distractions works for me, especially with reading - oh my goodness reading is so difficult! So reading in bed is easier. Reading on a train/plane/bus/beach - impossible.

Or how about… oh and then there was that time that, oh look a fly, it landed on the sofa, those cushion covers need washing… I need the loo, no I don’t… we all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yell… tarragon, that’s what I need tarragon… green green tarragon like little trees… mini trees… min… min… mind the gap… what were we talking about again?


Crummy dorms in the middle of London here, so shower and car is out! I might just have to try the mask thing, though I can’t promise I won’t get distracted that way still. :rofl:

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One important point, which has been made before but I believe bears repeating, is that the SSi method seems to feed the subconscious brain first. So if you wait until you fully consciously feel you understand a lesson, you may well be holding yourself back

Of course people learn differently, but I found, after some initial doubt, that ploughing on ahead through the lessons did work for me - though it takes some “out of your comfort zone” time when you have done lesson 16 and feel you understand only up to lesson 6 or whatever. No need to panic, the conscious mind will play catch-up, in its own good time.

If you have done the material and it hasn’t “gone in” yet - it is almost certainly in there, just still being filed in the right bit of your brain, in the background.


I agree with @Bob. I just ploughed on even though it felt like folly and madness at the time.

I also can’t do challenges in one sitting, I usually do them in two or sometimes three. And it’s perfectly fine.
I’ve also been diagnosed with ADHD as a kid but personally I feel that the way how ADHD brain works is more a blessing than a disorder. It is not the majority way, that’s a fact, but our brains can do amazing things, we just need to find our ways how to learn best and how to do things.
Focusing on one thing for a long time absolutely isn’t needed for learning a language. A brain can pick up pieces and put them together, any exposure is good, even if it is composed out of tiny pieces of various kind.


Just remember that you are already fluent in one language, otherwise you would not have been able to describe the issue to us.

So there is no problem in you actually being able to learn a language with your condition.

Just carry on in a style and pace that suits you.

Few of us find it easy, but all of us find it worthwhile.

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Thank you for this little gem. As a fellow ADHDer these words mean a lot to me. :heart:

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I planned to post something on the forum about this, and did a quick search to see past posts. I just want to thank you for sharing this, and those who’ve responded with helpful suggestions.

I, too, have been struggling with this method of learning due to several learning disabilities, ADHD included. Auditory learning has always been a challenge for me, and my perfectionist tendencies have made it tough to just trust the process and not master a lesson before moving on to the next one. This thread has helped boost my confidence that I’ll find what works for me!

I’d love to hear an update from any of you on what your experience has been like since this thread a few years ago, or hear from any new learners on what they’re doing to cope with learning disabilities while in the course. Thanks!

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I’ve started this month (just done Level 1 Challenge 8) and just wanted to add my voice as another SSIW leaner with ADHD! I do tend to lose focus/feel my short term memory dwindle a little bit about halfway through each challenge but haven’t tried splitting them up so far as then I’d be more likely to forget things in the break between each section I think.

Doing stuff while listening helps me a bit, but I find it hard to get the balance between doing something that occupies me enough to help me complete the challenge, but doesn’t need so much attention that I can’t engage with the speaking/replying part. For example, I think driving while doing the challenges would be a bit of a nightmare for me because the two tasks would compete too much for my attention (driving is v mentally draining for me), but doing them during “down time” at home I end up pacing around in circles muttering yn Gymraeg to myself because I need some movement/stimulation to focus :laughing: It’s an interesting challenge for sure!

Some people who enjoy handcrafts such as knitting have found doing something like that while working through the challenges helps. I once saw a photo of a beautiful quilt that one woman had completed while doing her SSiW challenges.

Personally, while I don’t have ADHD, I found doing the ironing or washing up suitable mindless tasks to keep me a little physically occupied, but still leaving my brain free for learning.

Or borrow a dog :grinning:. The hour or so spent walking the dog every day is perfect Challenge time…

Mind you, people do look at you funny when they come across you in the woods in the dark mumbling “O’n i’n meddwl bo hi’n sothach llwyr, i fod yn onest.”

Ask me how I know.


Ooh I do cross stitch/embroidery so might have to try this! I’m currently working on a big but quite monotonous cross stitch piece with lots of big blocks of the same colour stitches - it would be easy enough to do the challenges while stitching that I think :slight_smile:

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Sounds ideal @charlotte-41 and will give you something physical to show as proof of your Welsh-learning achievement as well!