The problem exists across the English-speaking world is that there is the notion that
new languages are easy to learn. Hurd and Murphy (2006) of the open University stated:-
as learners, we set out with unrealistic assumptions, some of language leaming,
along the lines of ’Learn a language in three weeks’
Dr Margaret Newcombe (2009), Cardiff School of Welsh, claimed that:-
“Exaggerated claims by publishers, and titles such as Welsh in three months means a learners become taunted early on when their experienced does not much to their expectations.”
Professor Sarah Eaton said that:-
“The reality is that language acquisition is a complex process that involves communication, grammar, structure, comprehension and language production along with reading, writing, speaking and listening, just to name a few of the simpler aspects of language learning.”
There is a misguided notion that all learners need to do to learn a language is to memorise phrases like 'parrots'. Learning a language through attempting to memorise phrases is a very mundane and unproductive way of learning a new language. It cannot yield longer-term learning success.
Dr Margaret Newcombe, Cardiff School
of Welsh, in her 2009 book described the 1950s Skinnerist Wlpan
behaviourist method of Welsh Language learning as an early
communication method of language learning. What occurs with this
approach is that learners will become able to regurgitate well-practiced
phrases from long term memory, which does not involve working memory. This gives
them a sense of early tangible progress, but predominantly for
all learners, there will be no later.
There are Welsh language speakers like Aran Jones S.S.I.W., who are giving Welsh lessons, who claim that new languages can be easily learnt through pouring phrases into the brain is like pouring petrol into a tank. What was referred to as the Feed the Duck method of learning by Confucius in 848 B.C. The brain is very plastic. New languages are not instantly learnt.
Research clearly illustrates that it takes 10,000 hours to develop native-like fluency in a new language. The figure is notional. The time it will take will not be equal for all learners because the learning potential of all learners is not equal. It illustrates the scale of the task.
The Welsh for Adult service requires adult Welsh language learners to ideally reach G.C.S.E. English-Welsh language proficiency in four years. Heini Gruffudd a respected Welsh for adult tutor, course writer, claimed that Welsh cannot be exclusively learnt in classrooms. He claims it will take 1,500 hours to develop basic Welsh language fluency. The claim was not sourced reference.
The notion that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to create mastery in a range of disciplines, including developing fluency in new langauge, is accpted by a range of educational authorities. Although professional teachers being intensely trained, Professor Dylan Wiliam refers to the fact that it will take professional teachers to take 10 years of practice to become pretty good teachers. He was being provocative. Well developed teaching skills are needed to teach a second language effectively.
What Learners Learn
It may be a surprise to the Welsh public, but Welsh adults are not taught the Welsh. They learn no artificial form of Welsh language, which is called Cymru Byw.
The problem with Welsh language is that there are a range of different dialects. The wrong five different words for common things across Wales. Unlike in English, the dialects has distinct grammar, and there is no such thing as standard Welsh that is equivalent to standard English. A lot of speakers are speaking slang.
The greatest divide in the Welsh language is between North and South Walian Welsh. They border on being separate languages. Dr Margaret Newcombe, refers to a Welsh learner would socialise with friends in Welsh in Pembrokeshire, but he struggled to speak to his wife who spoke a different dialect.
Dr Margaret Newcombe admitted that adult learners could not be taught every dialect. Gareth King, who is an authority on Welsh language and language generally claimed in 2000 that Cymru am Byw was failing to prepare learners to speak the Welsh dialect. The Welsh language is a parochial language.
There are many English speakers in Wales, who would really like to learn and succeed in speaking Welsh, but notion that they will save the living Welsh language is a myth. Colin Miles in a very open and honest Welsh Institute of Welsh Affairs in 2012 lamented that it was virtually impossible for an adult to learn proper Welsh.
Dr Margaret Newcombe goes fast suggest that even when develop basic Welsh language speakers develop basic fluency that most speakers will insist on speaking English to them. The whole theme book is that when develop a fluency that they will fight a war to become able to actually use it with speakers.
Although the Welsh language has been portrayed as being easy to learn, the realities are very different and evidence as those that are bleating that English speakers should learn Welsh do not have any proper appreciation or much time and work is needed to even develop basic fluency in any new language.
There are far too many Welsh language learners in Wales, who are being encouraged to learn Welsh, or are being compelled to learn Welsh, because a must to obtain employment opportunities of who have no appreciation of what is involved in a new language. The Welsh language is rarely heard on streets of Welsh. It is virtually impossible Welsh learner to successfully learn Welsh unless they are living in Welsh speaking home.
A language needs to be live through either permanently or for extended periods of time for learners to develop anything resembling new language fluency. Professor Sarah Eaton in Canada, who is an authority on new language learning, went on residency to learn Spanish in Spain. Many mothers who choose for their children to learn so they can educated through the medium of it offer voluntary services to Welsh medium primary schools so they can live working environment when the Welsh language is all around.
Welsh speaking politicians are claiming to be learning Welsh, but the harsh reality it will be virtaa virtually impossible to do it. The rate that learners learn new languages is very diverse. This is because working memory has a profound influence on learners learning success. Adults of average and below average and below average earning potential will find learning very difficult.
Emlyn Hughes, who was described by Dr Margaret Newcombe, as being experienced Welsh for Adult Tutor, quoted him as saying , "It takes gut to learn Welsh". The 1950s Wplan Skinnerish behaviourist tutoring methods that have been applied in the Welsh is recognised by professional teachers are being a braind dead method for tutor and pupil. Learning Welsh does not need to be in an unnecessary endurance test, but there cannot or will there ever be an easy means of learn Welsh.
There have been so strange ideas posited about Welsh for Adult learing. In reference by Dr Margaret Necombe book, recommends in her book written by Jen Llewellyn, a historian titled “Welsh in a Year”, where she claims that he has been a lot of research into how people learn and implied that professional teachers don know to teach.
She claims she would have learnt maths in school if she ha listened Baroque music. It must be a great disappointment that in the five years took to research and compiled his report into mathematical education in one the most researched subjects in the world. The Mozart theory was blown decades ago.
As for poor Jim, because could not learn his tables because
it is an audial per I could not see the pattern in them. It appeared reasonable
to suggest he must blind. Visual learning in the strongest sense there is. I
may be stronger in certain persons than others.
Jen appears not to understand that children go to school to learn, not to run around class not aware of any schools giving maths lessons while children running around the yard.
A Little Learning can be a very dangerous thing.
Language Learning Myths