SSi Forum

What next after level 3?


I live in Sheffield but originally from Swansea so not a huge number of opportunities to practice speaking. I have not reached the advanced content yet but like many contributors it is listening skills that I need to improve significantly. Recently tried to speak Welsh in Llandeilo and I started each conversation by explaining that I was learning. But no quarter was given so that replies sent me into a state of bumbling shock.
Out of interest I am learning through SSiW and a U3A improvers group run by Steve Clements. A few weeks ago he set up a new beginners group and 16 people have already signed up.


Ive flown through the new and old courses in four months…just a few more lesaons of old course level 3 to go. I can speak fairly well now and I love the language and want to use it as much as possible But my ability to listen needs the most work!
I’ve come to North Wales this week to practice and have managed to speak welsh the whole time.
So maybe a handholding tourist lesson as there is in the Spanish course? Booking a table or q room. Ordering meals “steak well done” etc. And maybe things that have idioms rather than words that can be looked up in the dictionary?


For people struggling with listening; have you tried the accelerated listening tracks again? These are worth doing regularly.

Also, listening only comes with…listening, so the advanced content, you’re not going to understand every word. It’s about getting used to the syntax and hearing the language. It’s well worth setting aside the time to listen-read the welsh-listen-read the English-listen. (Note though, reading the Welsh is NOT about understanding every word, so don’t sit there with apgeiriaduron, just read and re-listen, then when you read the English other bits will fall into place).

Last thing, listening in a conversation is lightyears easier than listening passively. You’re engaged and the context makes sense. You’re also more in control during a conversation. Listening as a third person is tough.


It seems a lot of people struggle with listening but I think there is a lot of material already available to practice with. If SSIW are investing in more advanced materials, I would suggest creating more advanced listening in the southern dialect. There really are only a few and much as I have enjoyed listening to Becca’s material it would be nice to have some additional content where the interviewer was also from the South, because I found when I was working on listening getting to know someone’s voice and accent helped the process along.

Vocab-wise, I have a system which seems to be working well for me - there is a flashcard app called Anki, which uses spaced repetition and I add in new vocab when I come across it, mainly from what I am reading. Anki is free for desktop but I also forked out for the iphone app and it’s been well worth it. (I think the phone app might even be free for android.) I think this is good for building up vocab after you get to the stage where you’re working on more obscure words which don’t come up often in conversation or on Radio Cymru.

Personally, though, I feel that my listening is pretty good and will naturally improve. But I still regularly feel completely tongue tied speaking, and this is why I think level 4 lessons would be great, for two reasons. Firstly I think it is possible to plateau in conversation once you’re reasonably competent, especially if you speak mainly to other learners. What’s great about doing a SSIW lesson is that it can force you out of your comfort zone, trying to get a complex sentence right, rather than working working out the easiest way to say something (which is a valuable skill in itself of course). I think the type of sentences @gisella-albertini suggested above are spot on. I have struggled with condional and future tenses, and how to say things like “It would have been a nightmare if …”, “It could have been worse” and “They would have needed a bigger boat”. Focused sentences would be another one to practice. In general I’d like to see included things that you can get by without doing, but which make you sound more welsh, eg tags at the end of sentences. I would also like maybe one or more whole lessons focussed on talking and socialising using chi not ti. I find this difficult and a real source of tongue tie when I (all too rarely) I get the chance to practice with a first language speaker. I know we shouldn’t worry too much and people will give learners the benefit of the doubt. But it has knocked my confidence when I realise I’ve got it wrong and I’d like a few more ‘niceties’ using chi which came out naturally because I’d practiced them the SSIW way.

The other reason I think that the lessons are worth continuing with at least every now and then, is that it gives you immediate pracitce and feedback on accent. Just last week I tried a level 3 lesson again for the first time in months and I was pleased to find I remembered a lot of the structures, but was conscious that I was paying more attention to “how” I said things.

So as far as I’m concerned, I would really like a level 4!



I agree with you. There is plenty to listen to in the media and websites and with Becca. What about going through the examples in a grammer book. ee. Gareth king’s comprehensive one or the red and blue books by tony ellis available through lulu and written by a learner from hertfordshire who taught adults in N wales… Of course, just doing the paterns not previouly covered in the old and new SSIW courses. … Maybe, give this a try for 1 lesson and listen to fedback? Maybe something like this could also be tageted at former welsh speakers who lack confidence in speaking.


One thing I struggle with is how to structure my response to a question, particularly the correct form of yes and no. So I would be interested in a Challenge that focuses on answering questions - the prompt would be a question in Welsh, and we would have to answer that in Welsh.


Time, weather, holidays, careers, poetry, describing landscapes, wildlife names…


one of the things I’ve loved living in Wales for twenty odd years is working out what all the place names mean - so many of them are landscaped and wildlife based… I think it would add a richness to everyone’s vocab if we all knew nant, rhaeadr, pistyll, ffrwd, gylfinir, pioden y mor, gwenci…etc etc :slight_smile:


Oh and emotions