Most prospective learners get pushed towards the various Welsh for Adults course. They have a poor record of numbers to fluency, for lots of reasons. You need to be committed to succeed. This is also true of SSiW, yet SSIW manages to keep people's motivation up, partly through an encouraging community.
The taking part is really important to put into use what we learn.You develop friendships and feel as though you are letting people down by not improving your Welsh and our encouraged. An interesting question is how much better do learners do who live in 50%+ Welsh speaking communities, with daily chances to practice without making a special effort to travel to them.
Stigma, stigma stigma. It's partly the UK media's negative view of Welsh, partly the idea that a lot of people grow up with that they are not part of the Welsh speaking community. A community may be very welcoming, but if you are on the outside, it doesn't always seem that way.
Perceived bias: We love it as learners when we are somewhere like a shop, and we are treated as a random stranger, until we start speaking Welsh and quite often, suddenly people's eyes light up and we are quickly out of our depth! However, often there are other people around who are not learners, all they see is special favour being given to the Welsh learner and this gets ingrained.
It's weird, you travel the world speaking English and no-one bats an eyelid. Yet walk down a street in Wales as a group chatting in Welsh and people check it, I've had dirty looks off people. This I'd like to understand. I used to clock Welsh speakers, but it was a jealousy thing and I don't think that's what it is for most people.
The English speaking world problem. As native English speakers, we can travel the world without having to learn languages for communication, everyone else is learning English, well thats how it seems
Solutions: Make it easier to learn and easy to find non-threatening chances to practice. SSiw does this really well. The problem with lessons is finding the time, when a lesson is available. No-one at my place of work speaks Welsh (apart from me and a Polish girl), but we could easily have a lunchtime lessons/ chat sessions in Welsh if there was enough people and someone fluent enough to lead it.
There are host of challenges, but most of them are social barriers. It's getting the balance right.