SSiW and the Big Change - brace yourselves!


I hope you can qualify for scholarship or find a solution!


I’m only a fellow SSiWer, but I’d say: Please hold fire for a couple of days until the admin staff return from their day off.


The UK to US converter I used last night had it at about $3.50 originally and then about $13.50 (though hey, 13.07 this morning), but that is with the dollar today. My “pay bills” job is international imports, so I know the dollar is weakening against the pound, so 5x is not 100% accurate, but it is closer than double. If the price had just doubled, I actually could have still managed that. I don’t know about tax. Tax law is crazy confusing. LOL

But anyway, sadly it does put it out of my reach for now and I do wish they had thought of the poorer learners and implemented a tier system rather than just a straight out increase.

I will still stay though and keep learning as I can and just hope in 2020 things are better since part of the hit now is I am pregnant and in the US, we don’t have paid maternity leave, so my family is bracing for 3 months of no pay, but if I don’t keep paying my medical insurance, we loose medical coverage, so it makes this year even tighter than usual!

2020 hopefully I can free up so money. I am gonna hoping so I have a reason to keep going.

PS: I hate that this seems so negative. I do love the course here and I have been happy to be a part of SSIW. It really has been an amazing amount of fun learning. That is just part of why I was so sad to loose the ability to continue.


Sorry to hear that - US mat leave (&, y’know, costs of healthcare generally) clearly suck, but I hope all goes well otherwise. I would check the tax situation with someone who actually knows, though, as I think you may not be liable for it & that could help make things more affordable in the future.


I think you will agree that SSIW is an incredible resource but you seem to be under the impression that the wonderful team are making money from the people who use it.
Most of the work has been done on an unpaid basis and the very reasonable expectation that years of development should be rewarded by at least a revenue to support the continued improvements should be expected. The costs really don’t compare to other resources. I don’t think you would find many people who would put in so much time for nothing.


Actually, I am aware this is mostly volunteer run and I was not under the impression this was any kind of get rich fast plan or something.

I certainly do not expect something for nothing and in fact expressed that I wished there had been a tiered system, so clearly I am still willing to pay what I can because I do understand the work that goes into this. I just expressed I can’t pay this and no amount of guilt can change financial relaity. Others too have expressed the new price point would be a no-go if they were not grandfathered in.

Also, if I can, this feels a bit of an strawman attack as you are defending the site against truly awful accusations I never made.

As I said before, I do like the site and I do appreciate what they do. I am sorry now I said anything if it gabe peoole thr impressiom I expect them to change just over me. I don’t. Nor do.I think I should get somrthign for nothing.

However, at the time I did think the position of a poor learner now blocked from advancing should be heard.


I offered my comments as information, if you were aware of this already my apologies.


Hi Kathryn,

I’m sorry you missed the cut-off point - and I assure you that over the last 10 years, we’ve tested a whole range of ‘donations’, ‘pay-what-you-can-afford’, ‘tiering’ and just very low prices - and what has finally shifted our thinking on that front is a combination of two things - that with more realistic pricing, we’re seeing about 15x more people complete the courses, AND we’ve become capable of investing more in advanced materials.

So it looks to us as though we’re going to be able to help a LOT more people become Welsh speakers this way, which has to be our most important measurement.

But, as others have said, it’s always been very important to us to find a way to make sure that no-one is prevented from learning because of cost issues - which is why we’re working on a scholarship approach for the structured courses. While we’re still getting the online application set up, if you’d like to join the 2 year course as a scholarship entry, just drop us a line at and explain why (why it matters to you, why it’s difficult, that sort of stuff). We’ll be making scholarship decisions on a case-by-case basis, rather than having a fixed number, so you won’t be taking an opportunity away from anyone else… :slight_smile:


@aran Not sure if this has been suggested before, but would it be worthwhile setting up something like a ‘scholarship fund’, which some of us might like to contribute to occasionally to help out others?


This is a really nice idea. Perhaps when the Growth Club comes to an end those people might be persuaded to maintain a small contribution each month to a scholarship fund. The money all goes towards developing the course anyway.


Lovely thinking there, Alan & Emma - and in fact, we’ve already had someone get in touch to offer to contribute towards Kathryn’s costs, which just shows what a fantastic community this is.

I’ll be turning the offer down - as long as we know someone is acting in good faith, we’re quite ready to run/fund the scholarship side of things ourselves - and with the work we’ve got coming up to try and build the Dragon app, and get the course available through the medium of as many languages as possible (and to build courses for as many other languages as possible!) we’re never, ever going to be short of worthwhile projects for us to look meaningfully about at our kindest SSiWers… :wink:


As a Growth Club member, I will be happy to carry on contributing to a scholarship fund, as and when the Growth Club payments end. If enough other people also contribute, then hopefully there can be enough funding to cover all the needed scholarships without impacting on SSiW’s financial balances adversely.


Diolch o galon, Bob! :star: :star2:

Brace yourselves for when we start muttering and whinging endlessly about the Dragon app… :wink:


As a Growth Club member, I’d go along with @AlanP, @emmamartindale and @Bob if that leads to increasing accessibility to the SSiW resource.


Is the dragon app anything to do with the voice dictation application Dragon?


I must admit that I’d not previously looked closely at the Growth Club - with its 736 posts it’s the sort of thing I wonder whether I’d still be alive by the time I finished reading it! And I get the impression that quite a few joined in 2015? But from @aran’s reply above, maybe this is still the best way of helping increase accessibility to SSIW? Does the Growth Club need flagging up again for newer members or those that might have overlooked it - or am I just out-of-date?


In the interest of quickly clarifying the relative increase, let me mention that no currency conversion is necessary since the units cancel out in the ratio. So if we include VAT we have a factor of 12/3.95=3, while without VAT it would be just 10/3.95, basically a factor of two-and-a-half (2.5x).

That $3.50 looks like it would correspond to something more like £2.95 (or even £2.59) rather than the previous £3.95, which would have been roughly $5 per month. Unfortunately this doesn’t help—the current price is as high as it ever was, even though the previous price was not quite as cheap as it may have appeared.


Nope, although speech recognition is part of it - it’s the idea we’ve started talking about here:


A kind thought, but the Growth Club is closed now - it got us through the tight squeeze we were in at the time, and as soon as we can (hopefully imminent!) we’re going to be offering Growth Clubbers the chance to switch off their contributions and keep full access to everything for ever…:slight_smile:

We may also offer them the option to switch it over to supporting the Dragon app, if we’ve got a working model to show by then… :wink:


Dragon app?? Whats a dragon app.


It’s when a dragon has 40 winks! :smile: