09 December 2019

Welsh session

In autumn, I registered for another Welsh qualification. And I had a meeting with Siân, the woman in charge. She also gave me an old exam paper so I could practice. And I fully intended to do that paper! And prepare my presentation! But then life happened and I never got around to it. And sometimes I got emails from Siân mentioning practice sessions but these were never compatible with my teaching commitments. But then I got one about a day so later in term that I didn't have any teaching! So I went. I thought it would be all day.

It was very windy so I drove in. And I found the room. Only Siân was in it! But later a lady joined us: Sioned. As the name suggests, she was actually Welsh. And she was a native speaker! Blimey I am in that league now.

Siân started with a general introduction to the exam, and the resources we were allowed to use for it. Most of that I knew, but she showed us some very nifty tricks you can do with a Word add-in! Taht will come in handy. I struggled a bit to keep up though; I didn't manage to log int the qualification website, and I could get the dictionary app or the spell-check app on my screen. I wondered if it had something to do with me having two screens in my office; maybe this computer was showing these windows on the second screen I here didn't have. So I ended up Googling how to make your computer not do that! And I couldn't read the screen from where I was sitting. Oh well. I still had half my brain on the session! And I did manage to sort out the screen issue.

When we got to the actual exam we started at the start: doing a task in which we had to find mistakes in a Welsh text. I find that very difficult! There are so many sneaky traps in this language. Sioned found it easier. And then time was pretty much up. The other sessions would start at two! So I had time to go to the office and do some 'normal' work. And then come back.

When I came back Sioned was there again. And then another person appeared: a chap called Dylan. Another native speaker! And now we would do the translation, and free writing. We didn't have time for the actual tasks, but Siân talked us through what the marking criteria were, and gave us some tips for translating. She also showed us some examples. And then we did some free writing; the same sort of approach. We were encouraged to finish the work and send it to Siân for feedback. I have two sets now I should send her! But we cannot send her unlimited work. But I can ask her later if I can send her both old exam papers!

It took a bit bite out of my day, but I am glad I went. I really hadn't done enough practice recently! And I still hope I'll pass. We'll see in summer!

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