‘Intensive sessions’ seem to be spreading before I even get the chance to nag…!

I always think that one of the most important signs that an idea has got potential is how the first ten or twenty people respond to it.

I usually expect that those ten or twenty people will actually need to have the idea presented to them, and to have the good points flagged up a bit, though.

That’s not proving to be the case so far with the ideas we’ve got swirling around intensive sessions using our materials, though – in fact, quite the opposite.  I’ve been inspired and excited to see that even before I get the chance to give more detailed and consistent feedback about the different experiments we’re trying and/or working towards, people on the forum have been reading very brief details about the idea, and then immediately hurling themselves into their own ‘intensive’ experiments!

In just the last couple of days, Justin and Rushelle have both thrown themselves into the idea, with enormously encouraging results.  Rushelle was struggling to get through to the end of Course 1, but after reading about what other people were trying with this, she finished it off in a day and a half, and not surprisingly says she felt ‘awesome’…:-)  You can read more and talk to her about it here:


Meanwhile Justin really went for it big time – he’d taken three and a half years to get to Lesson 6 of Course 2 (which is a fair bit more leisurely than what we usually see, although as always the only really important thing is that you don’t stop doing it) – but then, after seeing these ideas, he did the next 11 sessions of Course 2 in just 3 days!

More importantly than that, though, is the impact it’s had on his learning.  He says for the first time in his life he’s speaking Welsh to people – in fact, to ‘just about anybody’! – and that he ‘didn’t realise what a powerful effect it would have, both in terms of my confidence and competence… I’ve been waiting for a watershed moment, and here it is!’.

You can read more about Justin’s experience, and ask him about it, here:


It’s heady, exciting stuff.  When the new version of our Welsh course is available, which has been designed to fit much more successfully with this kind of intense approach, we’re going to start running some 2-day tests, and seeing what kind of results we get.

If they’re as positive as the stories we’re hearing on the forum, I think it’s almost certain that we’re going to start encouraging all our learners to try and find the time (as early as possible in their journey) to do one or two intense days.

How about you, dear reader?  Are you inspired to give it a go yet?  If you are, I’d love to hear how it works out for you…:-)

8 responses to “‘Intensive sessions’ seem to be spreading before I even get the chance to nag…!

  1. Okay, confession time – I’ve taken about three and a half years to finish Course 1 + vocabs, though I will say that I sped up greatly toward the end. I’ve just started Course 2 and am seriously considering trying to do a “crash run” through as many lessons as I can. Problem is just finding useful blocks of time to do it. (Which, in hind sight, has been the problem all along.)

  2. It’s the ‘not stopping’ is the important bit…:-) But it would be fascinating to hear if you manage to dig out the time for an intense day. One of the things I think is interesting about it as an approach is that for a lot of people, it can be easier to make the effort for one, single day than to find a regular half an hour…

  3. The best thing is to come across an unexpected block of free time that you didn’t think you were going to have. That’s how I ran through course one back in the day – it was one of those Januarys when we had loads of snow and I couldn’t get into work for a few days, so I just stayed at home and did SSiW all day. Then even after I started going back into work, the momentum was already there 🙂

    Definitely agree that it’s easier to do a day than a regular half hour. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of weirdo 🙂

    • Very interesting. How many sessions a day did you peak at? Was it similar to language learning experiences you’d had before?

  4. Can’t remember exactly, but the most distinct lessons done in a day was probably about five or six ish. Obviously there were repeated ones (and half-repeated ones) too. Depended on the difficulty of the lessons…

    It was quite different to previous experiences because I did quite a lot of course 1 lying down on my bed with headphones on and eyes closed 🙂 And it was my first audio-only course – I’d always taken a fairly text-heavy approach before, at least in the early stages. (Not that I ever got beyond the early stages with anything except French, mind.)

    I’m still quite a text-oriented person generally, but following my experiences with SSiW I’ve been giving listening a lot more prominence recently when trying to improve my Spanish 🙂

    • It’s a pity I didn’t know you were going so fast at the time, or I could have tried to persuade you to write a diary about your experiences…

  5. I’d do it with SSiS only I already have some Spanish so it wouldn’t be a fair fight. Maybe I could try out one of the other languages when ready 🙂

    • That’s my plan too – I was going to do it with the Dutch, but now it looks as though we’re going over to see Louis in Holland in August, and he’s got five (or maybe six) new lessons available, so I don’t really see how any reasonable person could expect me to resist that temptation…

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