Just some thoughts for Aran and the team after finishing Level 3 material:
I came to SSi because I Googled ‘Michel Thomas Welsh’. I learnt French and Italian (and Spanish) through the Michel Thomas (MT) method and know how much quicker that is compared to traditional learning. After 16 hours of tuition I used Italian as a working language in Italy. It was nice to get something similar, but a bit different with SSiW.
I grew up in Wales and did GCSE in Welsh as a second language, but that was 20 years ago and no way could I use it conversationally (despite learning it from primary school through to sixth form) - such is the effectiveness of traditional language teaching! It’s laughable to the point of being criminal.
What I really liked with ssiw:
the high speed listening- nice to see research-based methods being used in language learning. This helped me get an ear for the language that I didn’t get with MT courses in other languages.
- the connection based approach to forming sentences, really worked the brain, and that has paid off in a very subliminal way I think. I can listen to Radio Cymru and get what they are talking about. It’s hard work, but I also suspect my neural connections are stronger than in other learning approaches.
What I had mixed feelings of: The ‘we are not going to give you any rules’ approach for me was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I think it has given me a bit of ‘intuition’ for the language about what ‘feels’ right when spoken, but on the other I know I really value understanding the principles of the language, and I really struggled making sense of some of the sentences we were saying. I kept wanting to know why. After Level 3, my next move was to go through the Gareth King’s grammar books. After only 2 exercises I knew I wish I had got those books at the beginning of the course. All the confusion about ‘that, this, those’ was put to rights in 5 mins with the book - if only SSiW had given me the same clarity!!! Perhaps you should recommend the books for us ‘principled-based’ learners, they would be a great complement. A more extreme example: after 11 months speaking welsh I have only just worked out that the ‘chi’ form of you is for you (plural), I assumed it was similar to polite / impolite like in French. 11 months~!!! Again, something the grammar booked helped with.
With MT as it is also audio only, he spells each word out the first time it is used, I found this very helpful and wish SSiW did the same as I struggled to visualise the word when heard the first time and found it difficult to work out sometimes if it started with a f or dd for example.
Thank you though, it has been a great experience and I am ready for next stage in learning the language of continuing to have my welsh chats, and listening, and reading to now build up vocab and subject matter knowledge.
Just wish I’d seen those grammar books last year…