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My first day at (day) school

Dyma gyfweliad drwy e-bost gyda Gareth Williams a aeth i Ysgol Undydd wedi ei drefnu gan Coleg Gwent yn Nhŷ Brynglas, Casnewydd. Mae Gareth yn 22 oed ac yn dod o Gasnewydd.

Here'n an interview via e-mail with Gareth Williams who attended the Welsh day school arranged by Coleg Gwent at Brynglas House, Newport. Gareth is 22 years old an comes from Newport.

What time did the day start:
We started about 9:30AM and finished about 3:45PM. Lunch was included in the full price and there was an excellent bookshop present.

What level class did you go in:
Went in with Anne, beginners. Which was quite funny actually considering there was a good 25-30 people in one class! Apparently this is the highest number they've had in the Newport area.
Not sure how true that is. I like to take it as a good sign?

Where did your 'classmates' come from and what sort of people were they (age, occupation, were they more/less fluent than you)?
Most were from Croesyceiliog, Newport, Cwmbrân and Cardiff areas, one or two spoke with distinctive English accents (southern mostly), and one was from Ireland, who knew some Gaelic. Statistically, I was probably the youngest in the class, there was one other classmate who was in her early 20's. Most were middle aged, and one or two quite old. (In my class in Newport theres only one other classmate of mine in the same age group as me 20-25. She's from Wigan!), It wasn't really a turn off by any means, but it would have been "nice" to have one or two people in their early 20's. Some people were at my "level", and there were some light years ahead

What did you study?
Primarily we learned how to show "possession of things", such as;
"Mae car gyda fi" - "Oes cyfrifiadur gyda chi?" (i should hope so! :-p)
The numerous ways of saying Yes/No (Nac oes/oes, Ie/Nage, Ydi/Nac Ydi, Ydw/Nac dyw) were probably the hardest to get to grips with, at that time I had only really confronted "Ie/Nage", but had heard of Oes/Nac oes. But really had no idea in what respect you would say it. Funnily enough we covered the entire spectrum of Yes/No in my Welsh class today, Perhaps it would be beneficial to coincide Welsh day schools with Cwrs Mynediad?

Did you feel a bit out of depth - did tutors help you along?
Yeah they were very good, Even though I havent been learning that long (since mid September) I found my main obstacle was vocabulary. I often found myself able to understand the beginning and end of a sentence, but one integral word would throw me completely. This is down to me being so new at this, rather than a reflection on the teachers themselves.

What did you do for lunch, did you chat with people of other levels or where they to busy practising their Welsh?
A great many of Welsh learners I spoke to were very interested in Cwrs Mynediad. I had found out that I'm basically on the newest course, which came into effect this year. There were many questions, such as "what do you think of it?" and the like. Since the vast majority are on the other two courses "Wplan" and "Opec"?.

Was it more of the same in the afternoon or did you do something different?
For the most part yeah, we played a 'board game' for a long period of time in the afternoon, with a dice with "Nhw","Fi", "Chi" (Us, Me, You) etc.. and once rolled we had to talk about the people in the two pictures, using the whole "gyda" (with) thing.

How did you feel at the end?

Tired/Wedi Blino! But good, It's very important to hear Welsh, especially living in such an Anglicised part of Wales.

Would you go again?
After I've learned more vocabulary, definitely.

When's the next one?
In Newbridge on the 14th of January 2006

Diolch yn fawr Gareth.

Fel soniwyd uchod bydd yr ysgol undydd nesaf ar y 14eg o Ionawr yn Nhrecelyn. Fel y gwelwch mae'r ysgolion hyn yn hynod boblogaidd gyda 25+ ymhob lefel (allan o chwech lefel), felly rhaid archebu o flaen llaw.
Os hoffai unrhyun aral rannu eu profiadau o ddysgu Cymraeg yma, anfonwch e-bost ataf neu gadewch sylw.

As mentioned above, the next day school is at Newbridge on the 14th of January. As you can see these schools are very popular with 25+ on each level (out of 6 levels), so advance booking is essential.
If anyone else would like to share their experiences in learning Welsh here, please send me an e-mail or leave a comment.

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