SSi Forum

What I'm loving most about the Speaking Practice section so far


#1

…Is that it reminds me of the earliest days of SSiW all over again… :slight_smile:

Right now, 78 people have put their hands up to say they’ve done the 5 minute test, 17 have recorded and shared the evidence, 10 have recorded a question and 7 real trend-setters have answered someone else’s question.

It reminds me of when we were excited to get 100 people joining the Facebook group… :heart:

Which means everyone who’s playing in this part of the forum now will, in a couple of years, have that rare and rather lovely feeling of ‘Oh, yes, I was there right at the beginning with that’.

Making you a pretty special group of people… :slight_smile:


#2

I’ve really enjoyed it for a few reasons:

it’s getting me back into speaking more Welsh with Emma. We slipped off a bit because we had someone staying with us who didn’t speak Welsh. Now we’re getting back there which is wonderful.

It’s getting me thinking about topics off the cuff

I enjoy the pressure of having to think on the spot. I don’t prepare my recordings so it’s all just flow.

I also feel like it’s giving me that extra interaction with people on the forum I havent spoken to yet (like Siaron, Geraint, Milla, Margaret, Andy and Philip) which is a lovely feeling.


#3

Yes, it is fun to make a tiny bit of direct contact with people you have met at the various levels of forum / skype / real life! And I think this section will be a really useful step for people, between talking to yourself and having a real scary conversation!

Just a couple of thoughts though…

One thing that’s niggling me is the permanence of it. I wonder if it would be worth considering a Snapchat-type model of retiring messages after a certain amount of time? (Or retiring them to a less obvious ‘archive’ area.) A couple of times now, I’ve recorded something fairly random off the cuff and then thought of all the things I should maybe have said differently, or dodgy bits of Cymraeg I probably said - and had the thought that I might not be leaving that on line for ever for anyone to see!

The other thing is, are you going to clarify the instructions for the whole thing? Currenty it’s not very clear at all, unless you have been following developments this week. Will there be one single explanation thread, pinned at the top of the Speaking Practice section? If you decide to keep the model of red/pink badges as a first stage, that would need explaining in the same place. Then maybe the two existing 5 minute test threads should be moved / pinned into this section too?


#4

Yup, this, ten times this. I think this might end up being a new norm, that gets more people ‘talking’ to each other, which then makes the step of Skype/some-other-video-thing seem much less scary.

Except, of course, that hearing advanced learners making mistakes and Not Getting Hung Up On It is great motivation and support for earlier stage learners - and all these extra opportunities to listen to little snippets of Welsh in a completely non-threatening environment are going to be absolute gold dust to early stage learners…

Yup, good call, that’s on my to-do list… :slight_smile:


#5

Happy to help with that! :wink:


#6

I agree with @AnthonyCusack and @netmouse about having a bit of interaction with others. I think this is a super resource. I’m really enjoying listening to the questions and answers, and I just posted an answer, which was totally scary for me, being shy and having terrible performance anxiety (much more so than doing the 5 minute challenge). Especially because it’s going to live on the web and not disappear right after it comes out of my mouth. But I’m looking at it as an opportunity to push myself, and it’s great to be able to do so in a tiny bite of recording, which is a lot less of a commitment than an hour on Skype - although I’m trying to do that, too!


#7

oh my goodness - now I’ve figured out an easy way to record and post, this has got rather addictive!

Even though I speak Welsh everyday and have been doing so for some time, believe it or not, I still found it daunting initially to do this, so full praise to everyone just starting for jumping in!

My hope is that those who’d rather not do the recording side of it will still be able to gain a lot from listening to the questions and answers, and have a go at answering out loud themselves “off mic” - I love that the range of abilities, accents, vocab, speeds (and even the mistakes/hesitations/english insertions, certainly in my stuff anyway :wink: ) are so much closer to what you’d hear ‘in the wild’ that hopefully by practising listening to these, that first actual step to speaking Welsh to a stranger won’t be such a psychological obstacle.

I suspect that the coloured tags were just a ‘distraction method’ of Aran’s ultimate goal to get us doing this - and chwarae teg, we fell for it! :smile:


#8

Or we might call it a step-by-step approach, which are known to work better than just saying ‘Jump in at the deep end and start having conversations with each other!’… :wink:


#9

you might call it that - I’m sticking with ‘distraction’, although ‘dangling carrots’ would be equally appropriate! :smile:


#10

Loving it for all the reasons above. It is really nice to be able to actually hear people who I have conversed with on the forum over the years. :slight_smile:


#11

Yes, I think that this is a great idea. Great to hear peoples voices and accents. Also great that its like a sort of conference call without the need for us all to take part at any particular given time.


#12

I am loving the question/answer/recording activities, for all the reasons already mentioned.

It occurred to me also that at the end (is there one?) of this, SSi will have a great corpus of linguistic information, a collection of natural Q&A conversations from a wide variety of Welsh learners covering all manner of topics. I imagine that this will be gold for the 1,000,000 Speakers project (already mentioned by @aran ), but also for educationalists, linguists, sociologists…


#13

I like the fact that it was a manageable way to push myself. I’ll be having my first Skype chat soon, and I’m pretty nervous about it (more so after seeing how much I ummed and errrred on my 5 minute test recording, and how few of the questions I could understand), but this wasn’t as scary, despite the fact that even more people will hear it :scream: I’m not as advanced as most of the other speakers and I could only understand a few of the questions, so it’s shown me how valuable more listening practice would be.

Plus its great to hear the variety of voices and accents :slight_smile:


#14

Just a thought - if people are identifying themselves with ‘level 1’, ‘level 3’ etc, would it be an idea to have an additional category of something like ‘veteran SSIW-er’ for people who finished most of the lessons ages ago and have had a significant amount of practice since? A lot of the earliest adopters are people who would fit this description, and it would be a shame for any genuine level 3 learners to feel at all intimidated. Anyone agree?


#15

Or there are people like me. I’ve been learning for years and have done every course under the sun, but I’m currently doing SSiW to sharpen up my verbal responses. I am currently on Level 3 but I know a lot more than someone who is doing Level 3 but who has only recently started learning and has only used SSiW.


#16

It seems to me that the most important issue is the clarity of expectations between Level 1, 2 and 3 - particularly for new learners, who I think are the most likely to be scared off. I would expect the vast majority of our Level 3 learners to be experienced enough with the rough and tumble to deal with having very fluent sounding stuff coming from other Level 3 learners, since the range of ‘other stuff/experiences’ is always going to be huge…

Maybe we just differentiate between ‘doing Level 3’ and ‘have finished Level 3’…?


#17

Just to say a big thanks for this, Aran and also to all who have posted and replied. I will try to reply to my conversation thread via Soundcloud tomorrow. Sorry that I ran out of time today.

Also just to say that this has built up my confidence to the point that I was able to have a couple of conversations in the wild(ish) with Welsh speaking friends today.

Cheers,
John.


#18

I think that’s a good idea - even though for a while it may be a bit approximate, as finishing level 3 is still a bit of a moving target!


#19

Awesome! And thank you SO much for telling us… I thought we’d see that kind of shift happening, but I didn’t expect actual examples so early in the process… :star: :star2:


#20

I think this is a good idea, if you are Currently doing Level 3 you are less likely (probably) to be scared off, so ‘Finished Level 3’ seems to fit the bill nicely.