Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Working out how to get off the plateau

I was going to do a detailed account of all my attempts to learn Welsh, dating back more years than I care to admit, but to be honest, it's not relevant, so I won't bother.

In fact my history of learning Welsh can be summed up as follows:

* Make an effort.
* Sail along happily for a bit.
* It gets hard.
* Trudge across plateau for a while.
* Lose heart.
* Give up.

(Rinse and repeat at intervals of 5-10 years.)

Each time I pushed on a bit further, so each time the plateau was at a higher level, but I could never actually get to the point where I used the language conversationally, so unless I was consciously pursuing the study in some way, by doing a weekly class or attending intensive study weeks, I made no progress and started to forget what I'd already learned.

I was hoping that the class that I'm attending at the moment (Llanllawen) would finally get me all the way to fluent, but I'm still plateauing and, because I've been focusing so much on the degree courses I'm studying, the Welsh has slid -- yet again...

However... The courses are done and the assignments handed in, so now it's the turn of the Welsh.

As I said last week, I found Benny the Irish Polyglot's blog and I've been following some of his advice. The first step was to decide where I want to be at the end of 3 months. As I'm not starting from scratch, I want to be able to:

* Speak Welsh confidently enough to have a 15 minute conversation about reasonably complex subjects. (In other words, more than just passing the time of day and talking about the weather.)

If I achieve that, I will then see about joining the Merched y Wawr (lit. Daughters of the Dawn) who are the Welsh equivalant of the WI. If I can get to the point of attending meetings and social events in Welsh, the rest of the learning will occur more naturally as I use the language regularly.

Something my Welsh tutor MB said last year struck home. If we really knew everything in the four books we've studied, we would have enough Welsh to communicate in every day life.

What she said is true, so my plan is to go back to the beginning and really learn the work. I have therefore been working on the first two stories from Books 1 and 2.

(More on the Llanllawen method in my next post.)

(Crossposted to LJ and Dreamwidth. If you want to comment, please feel free to do so at whichever site you find most convenient.)
Tags: welsh

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