SSi Forum

SSiW for children?


#1

I searched and found an old thread on this topic, but it was more about home educating kids and older kids learning Welsh so I started a new thread as I feel this is relevant to the Million Speakers Project.

My kids grew up in North Wales and started speaking Welsh at nursery aged three and half. They ended up pretty much bilingual, though my daughter was always more confident than my son. Jump forward many years, they are both now married and living in South Wales in non-Welsh speaking communities. As they haven’t used their Welsh for years, they are now rusty, though son is using SSiW for revision and practice.

But this is about their kids…

None of them are in Welsh medium schools, though they do some Welsh lessons. I’m sure that Welsh teaching has moved on since people like Nicky left school unable to speak the language after supposedly learning it for some years, but I suspect it still lacks the focus on speaking the SSiW gives.

In terms of teaching methods, SSiW will work as well for kids as for adults, but my grandchildren are currently 10, 7 and 5 and the thought of my 5 year-old old grandchild wandering around saying, “I met your sister in the pub last night and she said to me…” Or discussing going to work or wanting to work for the council.

As far as I can see SSiW just needs re-recording with the same patterns but different, child relevant vocabulary, e.g. “I met your sister at the park yesterday and she said to me…” “The teacher said we had to spend less time working as a group.” The only other changes might be using younger voices for the recordings and perhaps making the lessons shorter but more of them.

Thoughts?


#2

Brilliant idea!! @aran and @Iestyn both have offspring. does this hint at a family business??? :smile:


#3

I’ve been working (when I have time) on an adapted framework for younger learners for a few years now - it’s non-trivial, and there are other issues beyond vocabulary - but I feel as though a fair amount of it is mostly ready, and we should be in a position to start building some of it in 2018 (fingers crossed)… :slight_smile:


#4

Hurrah! That’s excellent news! :slight_smile:


#5

I LOVE this idea!!!


#6

This is great! My kids (8 and 6) are interested in Welsh and know the odd expression … a dedicated course for kids would be very welcome. I’ll look out for it and we can do it together on car journeys :slight_smile:


#7

I think I would find a kid version helpful for me personally too. My main motivation for learning welsh is my children go/will go to welsh medium school and I’m sure I can’t be the only one. My 5 year old son is my main conversation partner and I sometimes feel like a lot of what I do in the courses is a bit irrelevant to me and him though I push on through knowing the patterns and everything I learn ultimately will be useful. When something comes up in the courses relevant to the kind of conversations you have with young children my heart jumps with joy. Or maybe (definitely) I just need to find adults I can practise with!!


#8

Or perhaps a ‘for parents’ version - which is something I’ve done quite a bit of work on, we just need to get to the point where we’ve got the time to record/produce/publish…:slight_smile:

But also yes to the practising with adults as well… :wink:


#9

There is also a need I think for something else for kids who can speak Welsh, but who socialise and play in English and where English is the language of the home.

I don’t know what that tool is, but I know there are kids who can speak Welsh, but speak English better and prefer to do so, because perhaps they don’t know a lot of the more colloquial, off-the cuff playful language that can only be picked up from kids of their own age - also fluent parents, friends and relatives.

An English to Welsh SSIW for kids is not going to be for them, but there is possibly a need for something and I wonder if these issues are often overlooked and it’s often assumed, well they can speak Welsh can’t they - yes, but there are lots of different registers in languages and it’s hard without socialising through the medium of Welsh to acquire those extra skills. Just a thought and a ramble.


#10

Yes I agree. My son has been learning only 2 years and is for the most part fluent (it astounds me!!) but a lot of the colloquial welsh I learn here and many of the kids shows on s4c means little to him.

I would LOVE ssiw for parents!!!


#11

Toffidil allows him/herself a useful ramble… and I think I’ll dare to ramble a bit, too. When might a challenge be listened to, and are parents/carers/animators and children going to listen together?

I am just wondering whether recording children’s voices for children to work with, recording teenagers for teenagers’ recordings, at least to help vary the tonal range, might be useful. Also wondering whether involvement of an improv group, youth theatre or school drama department(s) might help you get even closer to what young people say to one another, even if their voices were never used on recordings. Perhaps a child’s eye view may give (us) adults an extra dimension

What reassurances do nervous kids get about daunting social situations, what mental & linguistic preparation goes into mealtime talk, sleepovers, walks and picnics, seaside and camping trips, school concerts, plays and sports days? What talk goes on about illness, accidents, birthdays, shopping, relatives, neighbours and pets… The currency of the playground is?.., playground games, jokes, dares, lies and tall stories, challenges, boasting, swaps and trading, crazes, idols, taste and style…Safe spaces: bedrooms, dens, hangouts…

Adults in SSiW get a fair way without too much context or storyline. What will hold the interest of children? Story? Interaction with adult or other children listening alongside? How long would a challenge last?

The little sayings that parents have developed (sometimes over generations) to bring a light touch to parenting and motivation is also an interesting area. A Mumsnet type forum in Welsh must exist… but informally appreciating each others’ strategies, those often dealing with youngsters have a wealth of quirks and ruses, to avoid being bossy.

Use of the first language (in a disembodied voice) for prompts is standard for SSiW adults… would it have to be for the things you plan for youngsters and or their parents/guardians/carers? What about youngsters whose mother tongue is not English anyway?

I hope I have not annoyed with much off-piste exploration. I expect it’s worth knowing what has to be dismissed out of hand. Seeing also what 6mthers and bootcampers and 2yearsers come up with in forums and hangouts by way of tradition may inspire. e.g. Nia likes a quiz, sometimes.


#12

It occurs to me that a board game I appreciate, called Journey Home, is playable by all ages from 12 up. I’d love it to be available in Welsh and Irish, instead of Monopoly, but so far it isn’t. However it has situation cards for four main phases of life, childhood events, youth events, prime of life and the rather endearingly named vintage events for the vintage phase. I am giving it a plug inadvertently but I do think it could have something to offer by means of opportunities for reflection. I have two copies and am happy to lend one… :slight_smile:


#13

…instead of JUST the ubiquitous Monopoly…


#14

Another source of inspiration… Keeping Faith dialogue in scenes with children (only encountered so far in English) and even the English dialogue in Outnumbered, which though extreme did have some improvised input from the child actors…


#15

It came up anyway when Nia asked about gem bwrddau in a Hangout… https://www.bigissue.org.uk/news/2014/january/16/journey-home-game-launched


#16

Polite enquiry - very ignorable if inapproprate, ill-timed etc- about this post of yours.

Thinking about the Peace Bytes Project and Welsh/Geilg beyond Wales/Man.

@Deborah-SSi knows A little of where I might be going in my thinking.

Just leaving this here, hoping anyone interested (Pawb on this thread) in what this topic of
“coming home to sanity and peace” might mean.

For children under 12 perhaps we could model our own version…

There are ways round the literacy element by attaching language dots and supplying mp3 player pen - no change in printing necessary.

Anyone interested, I have contact with the devoser of this game.


#17

Aran, did this idea get shelved in the end or is it out there? It is an excellent idea and I know my son (and I) would benefit from it!


#18

Oh, gosh, I did hoped we’d have had time to move on with it - but we just haven’t - some steps in the right direction, though, and I’m still testing some different stuff out with my own kids - the main problem is that there seems to be a switchover point (at round about 8ish) when kids starting playing with sentence structure more - before that, even apparently complex sentences seem largely to be operating as single chunks for them, so the SSi approach is less effective/playful.

Over in America the year before last, I started working on a possible visual interface instead - which I think is probably where I’d like to for children now - but it’s going to take a lot more resources than we have available right now…


#19

Shame. But understandable I suppose.


#20

Some adults would be interested in such a visual interface, too, I suppose… :eyes: :wink: :innocent: