SSi Forum

Course 2 lesson 9


#1

I’m really struggling now. I remember getting like this toward the end of course one and pushing through but this is taking a lot more time. The pause button is becoming too much of a friend. Also ‘they don’t want’ became a different thing from the vocabulary list. I should also confess to not swapping sentences as I’m not able to find someone and would struggle to get the time. Am I losing my way? Is it natural? I’m putting about 30 mins a day in and watching S4c Cefn Gwlad and Pobwl y Cwm instead of radio Cymru. Do I suck it up and power through or keep going over it for another extra week.?
Any help appreciated. Not much Welsh spoken around Pontllanfraith either.
Clive Geraint


#2

No, you’re not losing your way and yes, it is natural!
There are always going to be ‘sticking points’, but these are just bits that take your brain longer to process and not a sign that you’re doing anything wrong.
The way the course is built means that you’ll go over things again in a later lesson, so don’t worry if you’ve found a particularly sticky bit - whilst going over it two or three times is good, going over it much more than that can just make you feel disheartened, so if you feel you’ve reached that point, move on. You can always go back to the lesson later after you’ve done a few others and doing that often shows that things you couldn’t get at the time did actually go in!

You are doing fine with watching S4C, and I would suggest you have Radio Cymru on whenever you can but don’t actively listen to it - have it on in the background while you do something else, because it will make a difference. You don’t have to be telling your brain to absorb stuff, it’ll do it on its own!

Even though there is not much Welsh in some areas of Wales (tell me about it - I come from Monmouth! :wink: ) if you start every - and I mean EVERY! - conversation with “shwmae” or “bore da”, even if you carry on in English, you may unearth an unexpected Welsh speaker, or at the very least nudge someone else into learning Welsh (who you can then chat with!). It’s worth a try!
Conversations don’t have to be long - even a 5 minute here and there will make the world of difference. You should be able to find someone online on our Slack Welsh Speaking Practice group who will be more than happy to help.


#3

Diolch yn fawr. I’m just getting a little frantic. Concerned that I’m not getting anywhere. I suppose, on one level, I wanted reassurance that I’m ok. It is nice to hear that.
I’ve got the tv on s4c constantly but will try to have radio Cymru on as suggested. The idea of not listening is strange though. The listening exercises are the same for me … I have to try and listen out for something I understand.
Right, time to press on and I think I’m going to do my 30 mins a day and move on whatever at the end of the week.
Once again ,unwaith eto…diolch :grin::+1:t3:


#4

Yes, do try the radio. Because it’s non-visual it’s easier to not concentrate on it, and although it does seem counter-intuitive it really makes a difference to hear rather than to listen! What you’ll probably find is that you’re merrily going about things while it’s on and suddenly a word or phrase will jump out at you. Over time these increase until you find you’re actually understanding quite a lot of stuff without making a conscious effort. And at that stage you’ll be able to listen rather than just hear!
There’s a tendency to rely on our eyes far more than our ears, but our ears are more important in language learning so taking the visual stimulus out really does help (even though it’s a hard habit to break!)
You’ve got this - just let the magic happen! :slight_smile:


#5

I’ve been learning with a friend, so we keep each other going, but one thing I’ve noticed is that even though we are very much at the same level in terms of what we have learnt through the course, and how much we can talk to each other, he has moments, quite frequently, when words just pop up out of his memory - things he never knew he knew but he heard when he was a child. For me, growing up in the east of England, I never had that of course, but it does demonstrate how things do go in without us learning them - he will have ‘heard’ those words without counsciously ‘listening’, 50 odd years ago …


#6

Now that’s amazing. I’m so glad you took the time to respond to my post. I must try to switch off and have the radio on in the background. Amazing how the brain works.
Diolch yn fawr


#7

I’m a bit cautious (shy) of trying to find someone via slack. Hmmmm . I’m sure it must really help but a bit scary to step In to that.
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my post. It really has given me a shot of hope. :smiley:


#8

Yes, it’s scary - it scared me at first! (and I’m a 2nd language speaker for 20 years!) Although I’m not on it much at the moment for various reasons, when I was, I made such good friends and it was lovely to see what people from the forum looked like! I also noticed huge improvements in the speech of learners I was talking to regularly.
Remember, talking to people is not to do with the level of your Welsh, it’s everything to do with the level of your confidence, and I’m afraid there’s only one way to improve that - you have to talk to people! The less confidence, the less you’ll talk but the more you talk, the more confidence you’ll have.
Even so, I know it’s not for everyone, but have a think about it (but don’t overthink it!) and maybe give it a try. You don’t have to jump into a big group chat, you can arrange 1-to-1 chats and they don’t have to be long ones either, even a couple of minutes will be something to build on. :slight_smile:


#9

I was on Level 3 before I got onto Slack and I wish I’d done it earlier. I feel more comfortable about speaking now and hopefully when I can get back to Wales (soon, I hope!), I’ll be more confident and relaxed about talking to my cousins and friends and people in shops and pubs… You could always start by introducing yourself and then if you want to join a group chat and mostly watch and listen at first, people will know that you’ve just started. Everyone’s very friendly anyway - no one minds if you don’t understand or you’re not sure what to say. I’d recommend giving it a go!