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Re: 2 day course - 3 and 4 January 2014

Postby dinas » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:14 am

That sounded great, Steve! Was there a lot of Welsh spoken by the people who took part?
Also, any idea what level one would go in on if they'd finished course 3, done a "Bootcamp and could read a bit?
I might try to fit in one myself as a long weekend....
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Yes I hear it!... Hiraeth - the link with the long-forgotten past, the language of the soul, the call from the inner self. Half forgotten - fraction remembered. It speaks from the rocks, from the earth, from the trees and in the waves. It's always there.
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Re: 2 day course - 3 and 4 January 2014

Postby catflap » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:08 pm

The tutor adjusted her level according to who she was speaking to - just Welsh with the more accomplished people, a mix with others. The learners at Foundation level mostly switched to English after a few sentences.

I've no idea what would be the right level for someone as far on as yourself but, there were certainly a lot of people moving between levels (some up, some down) as they found / stepped out of their comfort zone, so I'd suggest giving it a go and finding out for yourself - or checking with a tutor beforehand.

The main challenge was converting the spoken forms in my head into the written forms the tutor was mostly looking for. (The format was mostly A4 sheets, fill in the blanks, write a few sentences, then read out to the tutor). Also there was a lot of repeating of rules around the class (soft mutations after this or that, this type of mutation precedes a negative, or some such ) which SSiW gives you instinctively but not in the grammatical way that formal courses teach it. I think what I'm getting at is that it would be worth browsing a formal grammar as a way of acclimatising yourself to one of these courses. Given your experience I can't imagine it would take you long.

Good luck!
In the midst of Course 2 southern, just reach lesson 25, but am going back through a few earlier lessons and taking a run-up at it.
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Re: 2 day course - 3 and 4 January 2014

Postby dinas » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:12 pm

Diolch, Steve!
"Two windows on the world are better than one...." Helena Jones

Yes I hear it!... Hiraeth - the link with the long-forgotten past, the language of the soul, the call from the inner self. Half forgotten - fraction remembered. It speaks from the rocks, from the earth, from the trees and in the waves. It's always there.
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Re: 2 day course - 3 and 4 January 2014

Postby karengo » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:52 pm

We just had the same kind of thing - Ysgol Ionawr - from the Mid-Wales Centre. I really like these kind of short events. They're intended as enrichment activities for whatever courses people are following but I think they work even better for SSiWers, with the proviso that, either you've got past the point where you've started reading or you get a tutor who wants to focus on speaking/listening.

In Dolgellau, besides Ysgol Ionawr, there is Ysgol Pasg (Easter) and Ysgol Haf (Summer, which is usually 5 days), and in between there are several one-day events called Sadwrn Siarad, held (believe it or not) on Saturdays. They're all pretty cheap and informal. All the ones I've been to have been well-planned, with the tutors obviously wanting people to have some fun practising what they know.

Dinas, we're at similar levels in SSiW. Uwch-level events are working well for me at the moment. Yesterday the main challenge was to give short presentations on pictures we'd brought along. There was some poetry reading (Waldo Williams), and watching/discussing a bit of a documentary. Friday we did a lot more deciphering of song lyrics. Depending on the tastes of the tutor, discussion from songs can get quite political! The focus at uwch level is a helping hand with transitioning to real-world speed and increasing confidence, so that might be what you're looking for.

Steve, I'm glad you were able to find a level where you got a lot out of it. It isn't easy as SSiW learning follows such a different path. <soapbox> I think there is a sinister side to going to classes like this before SSiW C3 or so, fun as they are. The problem is that the conventional presentation tends to make the mass of stuff you still have to learn seem a bit daunting. There is a tendency to think "They know what they're doing, they've got this whole educational structure...." and it's very easy just to slip into it. Everyone will praise you for doing so. In fact the conventional system does not have a great record of producing fluent speakers*, outside of the intensive courses, and for those that stick with it, it is appallingly slow. Once you're signed up for it, it's very hard to speed up again, as you've always got books-worth of stuff-to-learn stacked up ahead of you and they are designed to take a certain number of hours to complete. If you manage to progress as quickly on a course as you could have done with SSiW alone, I will be delighted for you, but quite surprised. My advice (unasked for, I know, but I really care about this) would be to use SSiW to become a confident speaker as quickly as possible, then use higher-level classes to fill out your knowledge later if you want to. Let meet-ups and Skype provide the social side of things while you're learning the basics. On the social side, sure, there will be some fun and interesting people in any regular class you sign up for, but there is a much larger, even more fun, Welsh-speaking community out there just waiting for you to get your training wheels off.</soapbox>

Karen
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Re: 2 day course - 3 and 4 January 2014

Postby Gruntius » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:09 pm

karengo wrote: <soapbox> ...</soapbox>

Karen

I agree with this 100%, well put too.

I did a short, 3 day course last summer and found it really useful for fluffing up what SSiW had already done. There were a few "Eureka" moments when something I hadn't completely understood from SSiW had been explained, demonstrated, written, etc. but apart from that it was just vocab and social with a trip to a gallery thrown in for good measure. :roll: I would do one again but would never replace SSiW for a classroom.
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Re: 2 day course - 3 and 4 January 2014

Postby catflap » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:34 pm

dinas wrote:My advice (unasked for, I know, but I really care about this)


Thanks Karen, I really appreciate your thoughts and I see your point, thanks for taking the time to make it. I'd be really interested to hear what other people think as well (thanks Gruntius :smile: ).

I've been umming and ahhing about how I'm going to fit in an evening class, SSiW and the rest of life and it's not going to be easy. I'm also pretty conscious that I've got a lot further with SSiW than I have with any other learning method, so I've not about to be completely seduced by the bright lights of academia. The reason for signing up for the Foundation level is because I already had a free course credit (long story) which was otherwise going to waste.

But is it a good thing? I'm not sure myself... :-? :-? :-?

Steve
In the midst of Course 2 southern, just reach lesson 25, but am going back through a few earlier lessons and taking a run-up at it.
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Re: 2 day course - 3 and 4 January 2014

Postby Gruntius » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:28 pm

catflap wrote:But is it a good thing? I'm not sure myself... :-? :-? :-?

Steve

It's not a bad thing if that's what you mean. Enjoy. :wink:
Doing the Gog thingy.

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Re: 2 day course - 3 and 4 January 2014

Postby DavidHT » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:22 pm

catflap wrote:What an interesting two days! In general it was a great, but tough, two days which has reminded me of the benefits of the SSiW learning style, but also made me appreciate the team spirit of a formal class - so much so that I signed up for Foundation evening classes which start tomorrow night (eeck!)


Sounds like you had a really good experience Steve. I'm sorry to have missed it. It's the second year in a row that I've missed Cardiff's two-day January course. I definitely won't be missing the next one.
David HT
I reached (southern) cwrs 2 gwers 18, and struggled. Went back to the beginning of course 2, by way of revision, and light relief! Currently revising gwers 9.
Please feel free to correct my Welsh, and if you can explain why that's even better!
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Re: 2 day course - 3 and 4 January 2014

Postby Aran » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:37 pm

That's a fascinating piece of input, Karen - diolch o waelod calon. Maybe our accelerated learning ideas will fit in more easily with classroom teaching - in that doing a refresher/improver weekend with SSi would help keep the spoken side galloping along for people who did move more towards a classroom approach... very useful food for thought, diolch eto...:D
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Re: 2 day course - 3 and 4 January 2014

Postby Tahl » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:54 pm

karengo wrote:If you manage to progress as quickly on a course as you could have done with SSiW alone, I will be delighted for you, but quite surprised. My advice (unasked for, I know, but I really care about this) would be to use SSiW to become a confident speaker as quickly as possible, then use higher-level classes to fill out your knowledge later if you want to.

Extremely interesting commentary, Karen. I have a possibly alternate suggestion, which was what I was more or less forced into because there are no Welsh classes available in my area: Once I was well into SSIW Course 2, I got the standard Welsh for Adults Mynediad coursebook (the yellow one) and started working through it on my own, not going too fast (I did one or maybe two a week, over a cup of coffee at the local bookstore).

This approach did three good things for me:
1. Made me feel proud because of the surprising amount of material that I already knew from SSIW;
2. Expanded my vocabulary and knowledge of things like how to tell time in Welsh;
3. (Most important) Gave me the basics of the short forms.

I think this approach -- SSIW plus independent study of the WfA coursebooks -- would be enough to let somebody go into weekend course at a level that would be fun, and maybe to go into standard courses at a higher level than would otherwise fit, even while he/she is moving through the SSIW courses.
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