My name is Aran Jones, and together with Iestyn ap Dafydd I founded SaySomethingin.com.  We started with a Welsh course, and have since expanded (via a mix of volunteers, partners and part-timers) to the beginnings of Spanish, Dutch, Cornish, Latin, as well as Spanish for Welsh speakers and English and Welsh for Spanish speakers.

As we’ve gained more experience about how people use our materials, we’ve begun to focus more and more on accelerated learning, and trying to find out how fast functional new language can be acquired.  That is what this blog is all about…:-)

I’m also just starting to publish some content on Kindle and Amazon, so if you’ve come here from that, hello!  I answer comments on this blog fairly quickly, but Twitter is probably the best way to get hold of me: @aranjones

24 responses to “About

  1. I’ve been enjoying the say something in Cornish course but as I’m on lesson 8 it is going to come to an end shortly .When will other lessons become available?

    • Hi Paul – I gather that lesson 10 will be up before too long – we’re continuing to work on more lessons, although it’s a fairly slow process – however, we’re also working on a new course creation tool which we hope will allow us to produce more material much more quickly – that should be ready in the next few months, at which stage we hope we’ll be able to accelerate significantly! 🙂

  2. Thank you for your reply Aran. I would invite you and your readers if they sincere to learn Welsh in accelerated timescale to contact Helen Prosser University of Wales and Prof. Sioned Davies Cardiff University and ask them why they refused my work. I would also them to write to their local A.M.s.
    Anyone on W.L.P.A.N. and deSuggestopedia course are entitled to have their money back because not teaching is taking place on their courses.

    • What a startling idea. How would writing to these respected academics to ask them why they refused work that our readers have never seen help our readers to acquire Welsh any faster? And why on earth should they write to their AMs?!

      I have very little knowledge of Desuggestopedia, but the idea that no teaching takes places on an WLPAN course is one of the most absurd statements I’ve seen on the entire internet (up against some stiff competition).

      If your ‘work’ is so good, Howard, why not publish it and let us all decide?

    • Hi Tricia – yup, we’ve spent a lot of the last two years building a piece of software to let us take the SSi Method into other languages – it’s not as straightforward as just translating – and the alpha tests have gone very well. We’re hoping to kick off a new round of testing (I think we could legitimately claim it’s beta testing by now!) in the new year, and French will be one of those languages… 🙂

  3. Dear Aran,
    I have just picked up your Welsh course again after a break of many years, and after having had to learn quite a few languages the slow way, I am truly amazed at what you manage to teach in just one lesson – thank you so much for your work!
    If I may add a language to the wish list: Please consider making a Danish course! So many people (amongst them my Welsh partner) struggle to learn this language.
    I don’t know if I can be of any help with any of your courses seeing as I live in Denmark (can’t see where you are based), but feel free to contact me as a first-language German speaker (or a second-language Danish/Dutch/French/Hebrew speaker)!
    With kind regards,

    • Thank you so much for your lovely words, Anna, and such a kind offer – we may well take you up on it at some point next year! We’re hoping to do another round of new languages in the early part of next year, and then branch out further depending on how that goes…:-) [We’re based in Wales, but almost all our work happens online].

  4. i would advise you that should when you write fictional books that you should at least consider ‘looking up’ the definitions of the words that you use. I have documented all your work. You cannot go around making things up.

    Pob lwch i chi.

    “Before proceeding further, we need a working definition of formulaic language. There is none that is theory- or method-neutral, and there is not even consensus across domains of investigation about how open one should be to other definitions alongside one’s own. Keeping focus on the issues most relevant to language teachers and learners, a plausible entry point is that ‘formulaic language’ refers to sequences of words that are in some regard not entirely predictable, whether on account of a meaning that is wildly or subtly different from the words they contain, a function that is only achieved with the whole expression,
    or features of structure such as morphology or word order that are non-canonical. For as long as language learning is construed or practised as the assemblage of single words using repeatable rules, formulaic language, under this definition, will be inherently troublesome to

  5. Just to let you know. Alison Wray is only a linguist in Cardiff University. I can answer the problem she is researching. Unlike you I am real educationalist. The problem with ignorance is that you do not know what you do not know.

    • I wonder why you’re not cited in academic works, Howard, or invited to speak at international conferences – since you believe yourself superior to widely respected academics.

      • Please can you kindly confirm that you informed Leighton Andrews, Education Minister, that you were marketing your website at children and that he advised you that literacy was important in language learning. I will obtain a Freedom of Information Act from the Welsh Government if necessary,

        Please will you kindly explain why you were claiming to have a relationship with Agored Cymru when I have a letter from them informing them that you did not. They rejected your work.

        Please will you kindly explain why you have been repeatedly misrepresenting, lying to the Welsh Public and in the Isle of Man that communicative language capabilities in around seven hours?

        Please will you kindly explain why misrepresenting an issue you do not understand, formalic language ‘a laugh’?

        Please will kindly explain why you are so personally abusive and contemptuous of English speaking professional teachers?

  6. Oh, great snakes alive, you’re tedious, Howard. But since I always answer your questions (while you always refuse to answer mine), very briefly:

    I presume you’re talking about the fact that we were asked to make a submission to the Task and Finish group on the teaching of Welsh that Leighton Andrews set up? I recall his comments about the importance of literacy in the final report – I can’t imagine you’ll need an FoI request, just ask for the report. It’ll probably be on their website somewhere.

    We’ve never marketed specifically to children, and I’ve never told Leighton Andrews that we did, either then or when I served on his Task and Finish group considering the future of the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol.

    We don’t claim to have a relationship with Agored Cymru. We spent some time trying to work out a framework for assessments with them, attending meetings and so on, but we didn’t really have the time to push through what was a moderately complicated process, and eventually the project lapsed. They did not ‘reject our work’, and that is a libellous statement (not your first, of course!). We might talk to them again at some point, but we’re doing fine without external accreditation at the moment.

    Your claim that we have told lies about our Manx project is also libellous, and you really ought to seek legal advice (or alternative forms of professional support) before making such dangerous assertions. As you know, we have published two videos of my first two intensive days studying Manx – the first day is available almost in full (over 8 hours of recording), so the idea it is somehow faked is pretty laughable.

    You say ‘formalic language’ – I presume you’re trying to refer to formulaic language? I have a working understanding of what is meant by the term, gained in part from interesting conversations with Professor Wray – where do you suggest that I have ‘misrepresented’ the concept of formulaic language? And what do you mean by saying it is ‘a laugh’?

    I am neither abusive nor contemptuous of ‘English speaking professional teachers’. I do, however, have an extremely low opinion of you, because you’ve told so many lies about myself and about SaySomethinginWelsh, and have written so many obnoxious (and extremely poorly proof-read) letters to us and to our partners.

    Get a hobby, Howard. Your attacks on me and on SaySomethinginWelsh are pointless, ineffective and a waste of your time and ours. SaySomethinginWelsh is now widely recognised as one of the leading providers in Welsh for Adults education, we have thousands of satisfied and successful learners, and our new 6 month course is proving extremely popular.

    Go and climb back on Rocinante and find some different windmills, for heaven’s sake.

  7. Thank you for illustrating that you appear appear to be a very ignorant person in terms of intelligence and behaviour. Personally abusing people in a attempt to win arguments is childish, immature behaviour. You cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube of how you behaved. You must know the truth.
    You have no legally recognised teaching qualifications. The problem with ignorance is that people do not know what they do not know. You
    demonstrate a lamentable lack of understanding of the most elementary priniciples of teaching. Your legal teaching status is that of “Tom, Dick and Mary”. Ignorance of the law is not excuse.
    I have reviewed you Kindle Book. You must be aware of the honest reviews that your received. if you want to play at being a teacher and researcher then you must face the consequence. I remind you there is an issue with the authorities, which I about to address, the questions, which you answered are helpful
    The reason why I challenged you since 2010 is that I am professional teacher who cares about learners interests, especially children’s. I have the understanding know the consequences of ill-informed and ill-conceived advice. You must know the truth Aran. Would you tolerate your children be treated by an unqualified nurse or teacher?
    Your response was predictable. Your are answers to my questions are feeble. Your only interest innocent Welsh learners is to take mo ney out of their pockets. I not going to apologise to you if the truth hurts,
    I accept that there has been a lot of ‘Fake’ news disseminated about Welsh language issues by people like you, but that is now all over. The problem is Wales has never had a top authority on language learning.
    Thank you for answering my questions. You explain to me in ’16 that you would welcome the opportunity for your work to be featured in Media Wales. I am hoping to be able to offer you that opportunity shortly.

    • ‘Personally abusing people in an attempt to win arguments is childish, immature behaviour.’

      Oh, the irony!

      Sorry, Howie – which Kindle book? The one about learning Welsh, with 47 x 5* reviews and 2 x 1* reviews, or the short primer on our methodology (more of a booklet than a book) with 53 x 5* reviews and 15 x 1* reviews (including yours!)? I’m working on the full version of the booklet – it’s going to be called ‘Brain Shock Welsh’ – let me know if you’d like a review copy… 🙂

      Can’t wait. You were fibbing the last time you said you were going to get us in the Western Mail, so I hope you’ve got a bit more up your sleeve this time..:-)

  8. You appear to possess personality problems. Your conduct is very childish. I have photo-graphed you responses. I will allow those who read them reach their own conclusions about your conduct.

    I would advise you for the sake of your family to take this issue seriously.

    Please be aware that when you go around abusing professional teachers that you will be taking on the NAS/UWT. i will also be taking legal advice about your very personally abusive conduct towards me. This not a threat, it is promise.

    This issue is closed.

  9. Ah, yes, back to your bullying behaviour again – stalking us online, commenting aggressively on our websites, sending nasty letters, leaving malicious reviews, and now threatening my family.

    Your behaviour is poisonous and unacceptable, Howard, and I request (again) that you cease entirely from contacting us.

      • You don’t like it when people point out how disgracefully you behave, do you, Howard?

        In fact, several people who have previously been the target of your nasty vitriol have complimented me on maintaining my patience in the face of your deliberate and tedious provocation.

        I gather that you make something of a habit of attacking people who provide Welsh for Adults education, and of plaguing academics who have better things to do than look through work riddled with errors – and I gather that a great many emails and letters are available as evidence if we decide to bring either a civil or a criminal case of harassment against you.

        You are a charlatan, sir. You have no qualifications whatsoever in the teaching of languages (indeed you have failed yourself to learn any languages) and, unsurprisingly, you have provided NO materials to help anyone else succeed where you yourself have failed.

        You entertain yourself by attacking people engaged successfully in helping others learn – which is particularly disgraceful behaviour for a retired teacher. Shame on you, Howard Gunn, shame on you.

        Now get off this blog, find something worthwhile to do with your life, and leave us alone. I will delete anything else you post, since you have nothing of value to contribute.

      • [Howard is currently spamming this blog, and his comments are, as I promised, being deleted. In the meantime, here’s a link to a collection of spam posts from Howard on our YouTube channel, to show that this behaviour is sadly repetitive: http://wke.lt/w/s/yxO5i ]

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