Would you like to get involved with the SSi project?

So, I’m probably a bit late suggesting this - and it may just be the result of almost complete exhaustion (Ceiri, our new puppy, appears to have no intention of letting us sleep any time this year) - but I have all my best ideas when I’m too tired to think straight…

I think it’s time for a new round of project sharing.

Volunteers have been absolutely central to everything that has happened with SSi so far.

Iestyn, Cat, Catrin and myself got the ball rolling on a volunteer basis (and I’m the only one of that group who is on a salary even now) - then we had enormously important contributions to growing the forum, and creating its unusually friendly tone, from our first set of forum Angels - Dee, SJ, Rob, Diane, Gary, Spenny, Al, Elin, Stefani, Sionned, Chris.

Spenny wrote us a custom piece of software which made the speaking and listening exercises possible - which made our original membership offering possible - Sionned took on the challenging role of maintaining the SSiW map - which has been a hugely valuable part of the community building.

Then we had a load of people get stuck in to make the SSiW Eisteddfod come to life - Dee (again), Terry, Dafydd, Jan, Sionned (again), SJ (again), Lisa, Ifanalban - and then all the wonderful people who’ve made local groups happen - who are by now genuinely too numerous to mention (I could run off a fair few, but I’d be bound to forget others!).

We’ve also had fantastic coding input from Stu, Tyger, Ifan, James, Jeff and Kev - James and Jeff have built our Android and iOS apps for Welsh, and are closing in on launching our Spanish apps.

Jon has done superb design work for us - for posters and books and covers and now the new site design itself (which we’ll be rolling out to everyone in the near future).

And then we’ve had our brave testers trying to recreate the SSi method in other languages - Louis with Dutch, MAGA with Cornish, Miles with Latin, Rebecca with Italian, Gaby (and Marissa and Pilar and Rosa) with Spanish, Adrian with Manx, Xose with Asturian, Stella with Russian…

Justin and Eirwen hugely kindly offered us use of their home in San Giacomo to run our Monte Carlo intensive immersion fortnight…

And our hugely important Importing Team - to help get the sound files into the Spennyware - wonderfully organised by Huw, with huge amounts of checking and importing work having been done by Brigitte, Dee, Gavin, Jeff, Joanie, Louis, Marie, Patricia and Stu - which has transformed our ability to get new material put together.

And, of course, all the members of the Growth Club - who by contributing £10, £20 or £50 a month have made it possible for us to invest a fraction of what Jeff’s time is really worth as our sound engineer.

As you can see, it’s a huge, huge list of involvement - and we wouldn’t be where we are now without it. [And I’m very sorry for the people I’ve inevitably forgotten - please let me blame the sleep deprivation!]

So - where are we now?

We’re one session away from finishing L2 northern - and we’re hoping to catch up with the southern in the fairly near future. We’ll then be starting to publish L3 Welsh within a couple of months, I hope. Next stop - the 4k vocab acquisition listening project.

We’ll also be rolling out L3 Spanish - and in the fairly near future, we’ll be publishing a bunch of Manx, Asturian and Russian sessions. The SSiBorg is shaping up excellently - and I’m hoping we’ll start work on another dozen or so languages once we’ve got our first set of feedback on the Manx lessons. And we’ll be able to start doing more specialised courses - a Welsh course for parents, for example, is very high on our ‘to do’ list.

I’m still knocking my head against the wall with advertising our Spanish course - but closer to getting it work, I think, than ever before.

I think I’ve managed to make myself a little braindead with juggling getting new material out and trying to figure out advertising - and I think I’ve been missing the fact that we could set up some new teams now that could drive the next stage for SSi - at what could turn out to be a very exciting time for us (which means I hope that we’re going to be creating new jobs this year).

Teams we’re looking for:

  • an Advisory Group (people with experience of building businesses, who can see what we need to be focusing on, or highlight opportunities that we haven’t noticed)

  • an Advertising Group (people either with experience, or willing to work with me to get the hang of the ins and outs of Facebook advertising and our landing page/funnel building tool - thinking of ideas, and implementing them)

  • a Video Group (people either with experience, or willing to work with me to get the hang of the new video producing tool we’re using at the moment - of which you’ll be seeing quite a bit more in the next few months - we’re not looking for people to shoot videos (although that would be great!) but to help put together content for the tool)

  • a Social Media Group (experience generating/sharing valuable content here would be terrific, but anyone willing to brainstorm and implement spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter, etc)

  • a Lesson Content Group (to begin with, this would be to help me generate the sentences we need for L3, using the SSiBorg - but before too long we’re also hoping to get writers involved building the dialogues for the 4k listening vocab acquisition thing - again, working within boundaries which will be set by the tool)

In terms of time commitment, I think it would be best if you were in a position to put an hour in every week - maybe an hour a month for the Advisory Group - generally, when it’s less frequent than that, projects start to lose momentum.

If any of those sound like something you’d be interested in helping with, sing out in here or send me a private message - and if not, but if you know someone who might be interested, do please point them at this thread… :sunny:

And now I’ve managed to get all those thoughts down in black and white, I’m really quite excited to see who’s going to end up getting involved, and whom I’m going to be working with over the coming months (and years, insha’allah!)… :sunny:


HUGE thanks to everyone who’s reached out so far - looks as though we’re going to have some superb teams in place in the fairly near future - meanwhile, I’m going to keep bumping this up from time to time, since it’s clear that this is a subject where people feel more comfortable chatting via PMs… :sunny:


Oooh… This I WILL be interested in following! :smiley:


@Aran I know you aren’t really looking for suggestions for new languages at this point, but if it ever becomes a possibility, Norwegian would be of great interest to me. Would also be happy to test out Swedish or Danish. (I realise you have to find actual experts in those languages first though…).


I have some Scandinavian friends who are foodies and love to participate in language and cuisine exchanges. I think the Swedish one is about to retire and have some time on his hands.- happens to be a good jazz and bar pianist as a hobby too.

If and when @aran is ready we could go fishing for volunteer experts,


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Yup, very much not - we’ve no shortage whatsoever of language suggestions - but we really need to build the teams that will (insha’allah) get the company to the point where it will be possible for us to start to take on many more projects in many more languages.

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I guess, but I may be wrong, from a business perspective, it’s trying to see opportunities for raising revenues from associated or peripheral things that can feed back into the development of more language courses.

It’s not my place, but for a bit of fun I have been racking my brain on that one and you certainly have lots of links into other things, via the comments on this forum (which has real value). I can see that you have actually explored this quite a bit and this has the potential to be much more than a language learning platform. I guess the real revenues are in business and travel, or things related to offering the cultural experience of the countries where the languages are spoken. Jazz and Swedish cusine in Stockholm for business travellers learning Swedish and Manx!


Jazz and Swedish cusine in Stockholm for business travellers learning Swedish and Manx!

Where do we sign up???



I’m not sure that I completely understand what you have in mind with that, but it might be of interest to me. (However I believe you have already many more much more expertised people at hand then me …).

And if you ever need help with Slovene (if it ever is of any interest to anyone at all) I’m here (if you want me of course). Yes, I know it’s not about the languages you want to hear right now but anyway …


Brilliant, diolch! You’re signed up into the Video Group, too late to escape now… :sunny:

I’ll be in touch to set up our working patterns (Slack, Trello) for the Video Group in the next couple of weeks… :sunny:



Diolch. Iawn! Dw i’n aros ar y neges … :slight_smile:


Happy to be involve in the social media aspect. I have a feeling, I may already be involved informally. :wink: I’m also intrigued by the idea of writing dialogues. I quite like putting pen to paper (you may have picked that up) and if I can extend my own vocabulary in the process, that would be great.


I may be able to help with the video side of things, I’m a filmmaker/academic researcher with 25 years experience, worked in TV for 15 of those & am an experienced trainer in media production. I couldn’t make a regular weekly commitment but could offer some video production &/or training in one or more short blocks (say up to a day at a time). I’m in Machynlleth so that may be relevant in terms of travel.


@Aran, could you explain a little bit what the content group would be doing? Is that for fluent speakers of other SSi languages?


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Liz, diolch o waelod calon - I’m particularly delighted by this offer, because it’s clear how well you know those ropes! You’re the first person to offer specifically with regards to social media - so I’ll give it a week or so, and then if we don’t have other people interested in that side of things, we can maybe have you on the same comms stream as the content->video people… :sunny:

AnneMarie, that’s such an incredibly generous offer - thank you so very much! It’s probably a step ahead of where we are right now (our first set of ‘video’ stuff is going to be pretty simple - backgrounds, text, voiceover, rather than real video - but once we’ve done the first set of things there, we definitely will want to move in the direction of some real video - at which stage, with your name now on my (first ever!) actual list of volunteers, I will definitely be in touch… :sunny:

@joanie - I’ve realised there’s a little bit of overlap - with Lesson Content, we’ll have two things - one will be sentence building (which will require fluent or very strong Welsh speakers), the other will be dialogue building in English working from a largely fixed set of content… and then the overlap is that wider content generation is going to be really useful for what we want to do with instructional videos and interviews/articles for social media. [Er, hope that’s a little bit clearer, but as I write it I’m conscious of not feeling particularly brilliant!]

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@Aran I can help with this. :slight_smile:

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Hi Aran,

I’d be delighted to try and help with this and maybe the social media side of things.


Well, I thought of Social media too since it’s full of me everywhere, but i’m not sure if I’d really be proper for such thing. One should know how and what to publish (with less typing mistakes that I tend to do) but (many of you here can tell) I mainly just blurbing things out and sharing posts when I see something …

So, I’ll stay at Videos (if I’d be any good at this at all too reading a bit what you have in mind …)

It seams people only now god awareness of this topic (yah, sure, newsletter went out) so you’ll have a crowd of people in any fild prety soon what is actually good.


I’ve just DMd you @aran but I’d LOVE to help out with the social media side of things if you still need volunteers :slight_smile:

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Yup! @Cath2 is good one @aran! I’ve seen this … (oh you know that better then me anyway …) :slight_smile:

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