SSi Forum

Diving back in


#1

I don’t really do new year resolutions, as my track record with them isn’t great and my motto is something like “if at first you don’t succeed, limit further psychological damage by making a virtue of your fecklessness.”

Nevertheless, I’m tentatively thinking it might be time to get back to my Welsh learning.

Back story: I did the 6 month course back in 2018, and although I didn’t stick to all the extra tasks well enough to reach the competence most others would have at that point, I was more or less capable of keeping up at the weekly ‘Clwb Clecs’ meet up in Llanelli, and made a start on Level 3, getting a few challenges in, before a dramatic change in circumstances put total halt to my learning and practice. I became a foster carer to two, at the time, pre-school siblings and just didn’t have the time or energy for anything else. Initially it was expected they would be with us for only a few weeks, but they’ve just had their third Christmas here, but will hopefully move onto adoption sometime in the coming months.

Anyway, even though, for the time being they are still with us, I think it’s time to try and get back to my Welsh.

Any tips, especially perhaps from anyone who has successfully navigated such a break in learning, on the best way to get back to it? I have continued paying monthly subs throughout so still have access to all levels and advanced content (never used any of the latter).

Should I just try and pick up from where I left off as if the break never happened? Go back and repeat earlier levels? Do level 3 and repeat earlier stuff for revision? Mix in some Duolingo?

What about chat practice? Finding time for that will still be tricky to do consistently but not impossible. If ever the schools reopen, during the day might be best for that but I think I could squeeze an occasional evening in, but I’m not sure what to look for as someone who isn’t a ‘beginner’ but feels very much a novice still and has long since lost touch with how Slack is organised.

Any advice (and encouragement!) welcome.

Oh, and blwyddyn newydd dda i chi gyd.


#2

I’m sure someone will be able to suggest a good way of doing a quick ‘revision’ of the levels you’ve done - I think it would be a good idea to do some, but I’m pretty sure you won’t need to go through them all - which will get you feeling a bit more ‘up to speed’. (I haven’t done the course myself - I’m a second-language speaker who lurks here to help out - so I’ll leave that advice to others who have been in a similar ‘pause’!).

In the meantime, one of the best things you can do is “get your ear in” by listening to as much Welsh as you can - S4C/Radio cymru/podcasts/etc - and DO NOT panic if you don’t pick up much, it’s more about tuning into the rhythms than remembering vocabulary (although I’m sure you will still be able to pick up some of it). Also, yes, get back into Slack chats. There are a lot more regular group chats going on now than there was in 2018, so try and sit in on those - even if you just prefer to listen to start with - whenever you can.

The biggest tip I can give you is don’t doubt your ability - getting back into your stride at this point will be as much about building your confidence again as anything else. Things will come back to you, you’ll remember far more than you thought you would, and - very important - mistakes don’t matter right now! :slight_smile:


#3

@siaronjames, no way are you a lurker. More like a lifeline for us!


#4

I would suggest repeating level 2 for revision and also to get back into the habit of doing challenges before moving on to tackle Level 3. I’ve just done something similar with the SSi Spanish. I had reached Challenge 10 (Level 1) then lost heart due to the lockdown and there being no prospect of travel. Then, towards the end of November, the positive news about vaccines gave me my motivation back and since then I have sailed through the challenges I had done previously and I’m now onto new ones, where obviously I’ve slowed right down because I need to repeat them, but everything I learned before has come back, much to my surprise!


#5

Thanks. The listening thing is a good reminder. I occasionally put Radio Cymru on but it needs to become a habit that I attach to something I think. Most of my listening now is to audiobooks, but there are some tasks (like cooking to a new recipe, or trawling emails and messages) that I can do while listening to radio but that require too much periodic attention to avoid disrupting the flow of a book. Those would be perfect Welsh radio times I guess.


#6

Thanks Margaret. Yes, I think I do need to do some revision and consolidation before moving on. I’ve just gone back into the app and seen the speed slider so maybe I can try going over level 2 at double speed (or whatever speed turns out to be stretching but doable).


#7

Hi Ant. (John from Skewen, here). Great to here from you.
Wow I can’t believe you just started in 2018, you always seem such an accomplished speaker to me. Welcome back to the grindstone, proper :smiley:

Yes, revisiting Level 2 or the 2nd half of it at a leisurely pace sounds good. I revisited a couple of challenges and it really helped me. I wouldn’t have been able to cope with double speed mind. It was more satisfying at normal speed and actually beating Cat to the responses.

I’d say def get back into the Club Clecs Slack meetings, just to be amongst friends.

Or find someone on Slack to bounce off a couple of sentences with. I’d be happy to do it with you, as I’m sure many more members would be.

Also not forgetting the many regular meetings on Slack. As you know, there are usually enough people on them, so you only need to speak for the odd minute to give others a chance.

Best wishes
John.


#8

@ant I suggest go back to Level 2, primarily as a confidence-booster to kick off your resumption of learning after a long break, a method that has helped me. If you find that Level 2 isn’t really much of a challenge, you could skip to (say) the last few challenges in it and then continue to Level 3. Ultimately, it’s important to know how to assess your own learning. And certainly get some chatting in, even if it’s only once a week at first. Good luck!


#9

@ant I’m in exactly the same boat. I tried doing this before, but life got in the way massively, and now that a New Year has rolled around, I’ve decided to make this the year I finally get this done properly, and signed up again last night.

Cannot wait to start on Monday all over again!


#10

Yaaaaay!!! Croeso nôl Ant! Welcome back Ant, I am so pleased to hear of your want to return to your Welsh. Clwb Clecs Is still going strong with Karen, Mary and John at the helm now, as I have been quite caught up in work since the start of covid. Obviously, they meet online at the moment and I hope you know you will get the warmest of welcomes if you do decide to return.
I want to wish you well Ant, it is so wonderful to see you on here again.
Blwyddyn newydd dda. :black_flag:󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿


#11

Croeso yn ol / welcome back Ant.

What an incredibly inspiring story!

We were once on the adoption journey ourselves many years ago, after being led to believe that we wouldn’t be able to have children. Then whilst in the throes of being assessed, the unexpected happened, and our eldest was born nine months later - I have and always will be in total awe of anyone who fosters or adopts. I congratulate you on your success with your two little ones and wish you all a future full of joy.

All the very best with the adoption process and with the next step if your Welsh journey. I have no doubt at all that the supportive members of the Clwb Clecs and this forum will provide you with all the encouragement and advice you need to carry on and progress further.

Keep us posted! :slight_smile:


#12

Thanks for the warm words, encouragement and useful tips. Of course I should have realised that I was probably choosing just about the worst time to think about this, with home-learning starting up. It turns out that being a qualified secondary teacher isn’t much help for home-schooling a four and five year old! It’s been a fairly torrid week, but I’ve just watched Bryn Terfel revisiting his old haunts in North Wales on S4C and understood more than I thought I would.

I came to the conclusion today that there is no point even trying to get through everything set for the children, so I reckon we’ll have their school in the morning, then I’ll stick a film on and do a bit of my own learning in the afternoon while hoovering and washing and stuff which hasn’t been done this week!

Chwarae teg to anyone who’s dealing with young kids at home and trying to work from home themselves. That really must be a killer.


#13

Shwmae Ant! I can’t believe yours was the first post I saw after coming back from a 2 year (is it really that long?) absence! Horrified to find that I couldn’t remember the end of Level 1 summary. We will have to do some conversations together … once I’ve got back up to some kind of speed!