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Lowri did her item for Wedi 3 quite comfortably and confidently but I don't think she'd learnt the Welsh - she'd obviously learnt parrot fashion instead.
She's a very able person. If she had a real incentive to learn she'd have grasped Welsh quickly. She lives in London in a really English environment which hasn't helped at all. All the others hear some Welsh conversation around them.
To be honest I don't think Lowri got as far as she wanted and I wonder whether in six months she'll be able to remember any words. I did hope she'd have learnt more Welsh by the end of the year, but what I hope is that it's given her an even better understanding of her roots and that one day she might move to Wales and then I'm sure she'd decide to really make a go of learning Welsh.
20th December 2007
After helping Lowri prepare for her final challenge - presenting a feature for the S4C magazine programme, Wedi 3
I noticed a light come on in Lowri's eyes when I told her about this challenge. It's one she really wants to do. She has to research for the piece for Wedi 3 and include a voiceover, an interview and a piece to camera.
Lowri made the decision to do something on fashion and I helped her get hold of Huw Rees who's a Welsh fashion guru. He narrowed down her options. She wasn't sure whether to speak to fashion outlets or a young Welsh designer. Huw couldn't think of a suitable designer so she's going to focus on fashion stores.
We went through some vocab for items of clothing like trousers, skirt, dress and so on and I explained to her that we don't have the same variety of words for colours in Welsh - for example, "scarlet" and "red" are both "coch".
Lowri has a very limited Welsh vocabulary but her pronunciation is good so I think she'll do alright if she can write her voiceover phonetically, prepare her interview and rehearse a piece to camera.
She hasn't had much time to prepare for the first two challenges and it's even more difficult because she doesn't live in Wales and she doesn't have Welsh speaking friends. This will probably be the challenge Lowri will find easiest because she's interested in fashion - the only problem is she has to do it in Welsh!
17th September 2007
After helping Lowri to prepare for her third challenge, which involves solving a mystery
I think this next task will be fun for Lowri. She's got confidence, she's got the pronunciation and she's got an aptitude for Welsh. I think she'll need a good vocabulary too and that may well involve a lot more homework.
Lowri is doing very well. I'm extremely proud of what she's achieved. What does put her at a disadvantage is the fact that when she leaves these sessions she goes back to London and she hasn't got anyone to work with on her language or a close Welsh speaking friend who can help her.
As I travel around Wales it's heartening to see how many learners meet and greet me in Welsh. I met a girl on a charity walk who lives near Monmouth and she's learnt to speak Welsh through listening to Radio Cymru and watching S4C. If she can learn in an area with very few Welsh speakers then anyone can. I know it's not easy but hopefully those who do it get a real sense of achievement and a whole new group of friends.
15th July 2007
The second task with Lowri turned out to be something of a shock - calling out moves to a Welsh folk song at the famous Pineapple Dance Studios in London. Where John Travolta, Darcey Bussell and Wayne Sleep learned their moves, Iolo Williams and Lowri Turner were now to strut their funky stuff!
On his partner, Lowri:
On her first challenge (to sing Sosban Fach in front of an audience):
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