Welsh for Adults after level 2

I’ll be moving to Cardiff soon and was thinking about the possibility of enrolling on a formal Welsh course, so I am looking for advice.
since finishing the available SSiW courses, I’ve been gaining confidence speaking, improving my vocabulary, listening and reading slowly but I just feel I would benefit from something more formal to speed up my sentence structures and find opportunities to keep using my Welsh regularly.
I’m thinking about the Canolradd (Intermediate) course, I can’t believe SSiW has got me to a level above Mynediad and Sylfaen. Then again some people even seem to suggest Uwch. I don’t have much experience of the Welsh for adults courses anymore (I just wish Level three would come out soonest)


My advice (I’m currently doing the Uwch after doing Sylfaen last year, I started SSiW last August which was the first Welsh I’d ever learnt), would be to go on a bootcamp. Uwch teaches more formal Welsh which is useful, but bootcamp was the most useful step I’ve taken.


Wow…you’re clearly doing very well

It’s the effect of the right method :slight_smile: I’m also lucky that I’m marrying a Welsh speaker.


I was in a very similar position 2 years ago - had just done SSiW (courses 1-3) and was about to move to Cardiff. I spoke on the phone to someone on the Welsh for Adults service, who suggested Sylvaen, or maybe Canolradd, if I fancied a challenge (!) In the end, because of details I won’t bore you with, I didn’t sign up for a course. I got a subscription to Lingo Newydd, I bought Gareth Kings Basic and Intermediate Welsh Grammars, I joined the chat group at Chapter, and I basically grasped any opportunity to use and practise my Welsh (oh, and of course bootcamp - completely agree with Anthony about that). I also had a handful of private lessons from a tutor (which we mostly spent chatting, actually). At the end of that first year (i.e. last September) I signed up for a course - the Gloywi Iaith course for fluent speakers. I decided during the year to take the Uwch exam (so that I could have a piece of paper), which I did in June (I got an A). I’m about to start an MA in the Welsh department at the university here.

I’m not just doing this to toot my own trumpet :wink: If I had gone into that Sylvaen course I would have been dreadfully bored - don’t take the advice of the Welsh for Adults people, because I really don’t think they understand quite how well SSiW works. By all means do a course (perhaps Uwch, with the understanding that you can move if you really do feel out of your depth - I bet you won’t), but don’t feel that it’s necessary.


PS Welcome to Cardiff! It’s a fantastic city - I’m so pleased we moved here :slight_smile:


People such as myself and others on this thread, having a readily available social outlet in the Welsh language- whether through having a Welsh speaking partner, or simply having a number of close Welsh speaking friends who you naturally spent time with before learning, are at a distinct unfair (:wink:) advantage. I have always realised this, and always felt grateful for my luck, but have come to realise just how important it is when struggling to give advice to people on how to manufacture more opportunities to speak Welsh socially as part of their life.
SSiW gives a good feeling of it, of course, and is good in bridging that gap, but there were other things I found helped people.

Going to local events or Welsh centres run by menter Iaith can be very useful - they normally run at least coffee mornings or similar for everyone including learners.

Useful for talking to Welsh speakers, increasing your confidence so you may get the chance to people you find more interesting elsewhere :wink:

Going to lessons links you in with a number of other people who are learning Welsh, introduces you to local Welsh speakers through introducing you to the teachers, and gives you a bit (not enough in the time, but more than nothing!) of practice in speaking in Welsh with someone else.

Unfortunately, they aren’t the best things purely as lessons, I have found - but I had good teachers and enjoyed them. There wasn’t a lesson I went to where I didn’t come away with something new, and when would meet the teachers and any other pupils outside the classes (in Welsh events or not), we would speak Welsh to each other.
But after having done a small amount of “teach yourself Welsh” stuff through ‘books and stuff’ (even before SSiW) there was not a great deal I didn’t know.
Like I say though, it was good to hear them again, use them in practice, and if you have a good teacher (which I usually did) I found them useful in all sorts of ways.

Having said that, it depends if you have the time to do them, and the money to spare! As for what course, after you have been learning Welsh for a bit, in my view it doesn’t really matter which course, as the benefits are a as above, as it were.

Depends what your boredom threshold is!

I, personally, found the Welsh for Adults people in my area to be quite helpful and realistic about the courses and what you should be doing if you talked to them in Welsh and just had a chat with them about it.

Like teachers, it depends on who you end up with though, and I certainly have no experience with the situation in Cardiff. (Which is, indeed, a lovely city! Was just in there on Saturday for the Owain Glyndwr day Welsh Independence Rally, and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening there. There was pleasant company and pleasant beer there as well, so the city looked particularly fine :relaxed:)

But I’d say sarapeacock’s advice is good - if you do want to try it, go for Uwch but ask if you can change if you really want to. I’ve seen people change about lessons if they are still available. Just ask about it.

Anyway, hope you enjoy whatever it is you do next, and may some of it be in the Welsh language!


Some great advice for you here!

I would just add, if you want to attend the occasional class without the whole commitment and financial outlay, watch for the Sadwn Siarad one-day courses that all the different Welsh for Adults groups hold. When I lived in Cardiff I found it useful to go to those a little further afield, e.g. those run by the Gwent Welsh for Adults, or Morgannwg. For one thing, they’re cheaper than the Cardiff ones, but they also allow you to meet a wider group of learners and tutors, and you can dip your toe into different levels and see where you feel comfortable.


There’s a new yoga course starting with a woman called Mari (in Welsh £50 or £80 can’t remember which, for 10 weeks). Run by the menter iaith group.

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I was at Saith Seren last night and was speaking with someone about this. I’ve also spoken with @margaretnock too. Anyway it seems that people unfamiliar with SSIW will frequently advise lower lever courses. In July I was advised initially to try mynediad, then i bought the sylfaen materials which whilst a little useful was a waste of money, and subsequently i was advised to try canolradd. In the end i just cant find anything at a suitable time.

Anyway i think people find that the rapid progress you can make using SSIW very surprising. I frequently manage to speak with people who have been doing traditional classroom courses for years. Sure i make plenty of mistakes and i may not know the grammar but i’m told that conversationally at least i more than hold my own.

So my advice. Aim high. And if its too difficult drop down. I’m sure though that your conversational welsh will see you through and the formal grammar and spellings will then develop.


I think this is excellent advice for any classroom-based approach, whether or not you’re doing SSi as a supplement… :slight_smile:

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SSIW as a “supplement”? Surely not!

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Thank you for all the advice.
The problem is that SSIW is just too good. At the end of the course, Aran tries to convince us that we can now speak Welsh and this is true. We can speak Welsh, albeit not fantastically well and there is still much more learning to do, but speak and get by certainly. So it is then difficult to conveniently drop into another course.
I’d love to just wait for Level 3 and see how much further SSiW could take me, but I’m now just too impatient to keep improving.
I’m hearing Welsh in the streets in Cardiff. The locals seem to drift between Welsh and English in alternate sentences, or even mix the two languages in a single sentence (which dw i’n kind of doing yn fy mhen ta waith). Sometimes you can catch people doing this on Radio Cymru and I’m beginning not to notice! I have a 2 hour commute into Cardiff until i find a place, so I get three hours of Radio Cymru pob dydd (there are actually a few reception blackspots, surprisingly not by the Storey Arms!)

I love the ‘aim high’ advice. Often people just perform at the expected level of the class rather than push themselves as far as possible.


I’ve finished the framework, and will start building the sample sentences by the end of next week. Should have the first few published sessions within two or three weeks from that… :slight_smile:

But the truth is, at the level you’ve reached, three hours of Radio Cymru every day and one or two hours of conversation per week (more, of course, if you can) will get you to the ‘Hey, when did this stuff get so easy?’ level in pretty short order - maybe 3 to 6 months…


I completely agree with you here! 3 hours of radio Cymru?! I’d love that!! I get about an hour and it’s made a massive difference!

Listening is so much the hardest part of a language for a multitude of reasons (ar fy mharn). the more you do the better.

Iestyn describes learning as a spiral, as you learn you, at times, have your back to the bits you know and see what you “don’t know” ignoring how much you’ve acquired. You understand the “simple” sentences and only notice the words you don’t understand. So eventually sentences about international politics and diplomacy are easy but you don’t understand conversations about molecular physics. Oh wait, that’s what we do in our mother tongues too…wow we’re Welsh speakers. We can stop worrying about the words we don’t know. It’s a bit of a ridiculous example. What I’m trying to convey is that listening and not understanding is incredibly useful! It improves our ear!

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Indeed, with ‘Post Cyntaf’, sadly, most of the news is about the appalling situation in Syria and people shooting each other in the US at the moment. I only understand a little of this material, though I have learnt the word ‘ymladd’. The ‘drivetime’ period in the evening is better for me really. The great thing about listening whilst driving is that it is the same process as in English, you can’t devote 100% of your attention to the radio. With driving the amount of concentration you need to devote to driving varies with every corner, driving also always takes priority over anything else, so you kind of dip in and out of listening. The advantage of this is your brain already knows it can’t pay full attention to anything else, even when a really interesting topic crops up, and you have learned that you don’t have to to understand everything that is said.
If what you are hearing is complete gobbledegook, that’s fine, but then, sometimes, I will understand a string of sentences almost as easily as if they were in English. It’s like your mind is receptive to receiving information but not actively seeking this information. It’s the same when you are driving and listening to the ‘Today’ programme. This kind of passive learning is great, it takes the frustration out of listening by having the distraction of the road. I am noticing the improvement in my listening skills. however I hate the idea of burning 4 hours worth of petrol everyday, so am keen for this period to end quickly.


To save on data, podcasts from Radio Cymru are available. My favourite at the moment is Beti a’i Phobol, which has a big back catalogue.


Did you hear the interview with Tommo recently? Really really interesting

I’m still in 2001!

Worth skipping forward for that one