SSi Forum

Should I Not be Doing This?


I just read my Day 3 email which tells me not to look back at the practice sessions from previous days, as it will evidently make things harder. Go figure.
This is good timing because that is exactly what I was thinking about doing. But it raises another question: I have been writing down the vocabulary as I go along. Should I not do that?


I gather it’s discouraged on the principle that notes act as a crutch and actually slow down your ability to use the language in a practical setting.


Writing down vocabulary as you go along and looking at it while you do the lessons does slow you down as Alan says. However, you can use written vocab to help in other ways - for instance, writing words or short phrases on post-it notes and sticking them around the house. But do try to do the lessons without visual references if you possibly can. There are people who have extreme difficulty learning without visual references, and that’s fine, if you really can’t do without notes, but for those who can do without notes - and it does feel odd because it’s not the traditional way most of us are used to learning - it is by far the more productive way to learn a language.


I’ve written down the vocabulary for every lesson. I’m currently on Level 2 Ch 12 and I still do this. I’ve been glad to have the written reference - it has helped to keep me on track when sometimes it is not clear what is being said, and has certainly helped me to progress with writing and reading Welsh. I sometimes also make a very short note during/after a lesson, if there is something I’ve noticed and want to come back to/find out about.

I can understand the idea of learning completely aurally - after all, that is how we start to learn our own first language from our parents; however, as grown ups we have more idea about how we learn best - and for me, an small element of visual reference is invaluable.


I am willing to try this new approach to see how well it works. Sometimes, due to my less-than-stellar hearing, things are unclear, so I like to look at the words to have a better idea of what is being said. I have also noticed a mild difference in pronunciation of certain words between the male and female speakers. I assume it is a regional issue, but the written word helps there, as well.


Hi Craig, I did just that at the beginning, but just for the words which weren’t sinking in. I realised, after just a couple of weeks, that as the vocabulary is repeated so often, I wasn’t referring to my notes any more. I’m on week 20 now and I can honestly say that i have only written one phrase down in the last 15 or so weeks. Best of luck. Stick with it. You’ll be amazed by how much you will learn, and how quickly.


I always write down the vocabulary…and I also add the words phoenetically as they are introduced. I’m sure it’s frowned upon but doing that means I can ‘see’ the words in my head. I rarely have to refer to them again after the lesson. I know it’s SAY something in Welsh but the ability to read it too is a bonus.


The vocabulary is already there in the Challenge, so no need to actually write it. I listen on my phone app and its just underneath where the challenge number icons are. Click on ‘vocabluary’. I tend to listen to the dialogue a few times, then click to vocab if I am stuck.


I’m with sylvia-walter on this: I find it much easier to remember the vocabulary if I know what it looks like. I’ve just finished level 3 and I’ve written down the vocabulary for every challenge; I rarely look at them but I do think it’s helped me learn. I suppose I always learned things by taking notes - maybe it’s just my age!


I suspect it’s about whether writing things down helps or hinders you in actually processing it. If you write it down after the lesson as an active act of remembering then that’s helping your brain build connections so it helps in the long run. But if you end up constantly referring to the written word then it gets in the way of you dragging the word from your memory so it slows you down at creating that connection.

Kind of like how when we walk through the woods we create little paths through use and we find new place, but if we panic about are there stingy nettles and will we get lost so we stick to the laid path, we can’t create our own routes and can only follow the existing path.


Good analogy.