20 April 2014

High speed Welsh

When I went to Welsh class with Stella it took us some 2.5 hours to attend a 1 hour course. We had to get there, find a parking space (I was by car that day), find the room, do the course, take advantage of being in town anyway (she sorted something with HR and I had my keys copied) and get back. That could be more efficient! And I had heard of a class taking place close to the school. The School of Ocean Sciences, aka Ysgol Gwyddorau Eigion, that is. And it was not a beginner's class, but it was something to aspire to. One colleague who heard that I was interested advised me to join; the more people are learning, the easier it is to practice with people of similar level! So I mailed the teacher. She said I was welcome...

It is rather daunting to join an advanced class after having only had one hour of training. So I was glad to see only the teacher when I came in! She could stoop to my modest level. I was hoping nobody else would show up and I would get private tutoring. But no! Soon a lady came in. She turned out to be a Canadian ecologist who had been in Wales for 1.5 years. Oh dear! But the teacher immediately made us have conversations together. My brain was working at top speed! I had to learn the words and the grammar on the spot. And I was stammering and inelegant, but I managed to get the sentences right. It was going well! And then a chap I had met on my interview day came in. He turned out to be an American who had lived here for a year. He joined in too! And my previous lesson had not ventured beyond "hello, how are you? I am Margot! Bye!" but now we were inquiring after the other's parents and sibling and cats, and their ages and jobs and colours and whatnot. Blimey!

 The island (peninsula?) on which the local course takes place

My vocabulary exploded. But I held my ground! When the hour was up my head was spinning. I was very keen on only speaking English for a while! This had been hard. But the stubbornly going through the phrases in the course material and the repetitively listening to the CD for the pronunciation had paid off! The day after the CD was back. The next Monday is Easter, and the one after that I'm in Vienna, but I'm determined to keep up the self-teaching and to keep going with the Island course... I want to get to conversation level as soon as I can!

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