Cardiff Signals Move to Universal Welsh Medium Education

News from the Welsh Language Society

In a stunning advance for the Celtic Tongue, the Welsh Education Minister, Huw Lewis,  in a meeting with the delegation from the education group of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society)  has signaled the government's intention to move to universal Welsh medium education. If implemented, such a plan would over time lead to the de facto primacy of the Celtic tongue of Wales for the first time in centuries. Lewis is quoted as follows on the Language Society’s web site linked below: “ The concept of Welsh  as a second language is a broken concept, so it makes no sense to have such a qualification'. He added: 'I learnt Welsh as a second language, and it profited me very little, I want to do away with it'.  He said it would be reasonable within 5 years to replace teaching of second language Welsh as a subject with a system which ensures every pupil speaks Welsh. He also said that teaching more subjects in English-medium schools through the medium of Welsh 'is part of the answer “.

In June of this year Transceltic reported on the momentum building in support of Welsh medium education: “A panel of educational experts added their voices to the growing chorus of ­­­­­Welsh language activists who have called for making Welsh a medium of instruction in primary and secondary schools in Wales.  The announcement came at the recent opening of the Urdd Eisteddfod. The panel calling for Welsh Medium education includes linguist David Crystal, Gethin Thomas who is current head of the Welsh Medium school ‘Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant’ and professor Christine James of Bangor University.”

In response to the Minister’s announcemnt Jamie Bevan, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, issued the following cautiously optimistic statement: "We are grateful that the Minister sees the need to ensure that every pupil, whatever school they attend, speaks Welsh fluently. Indeed, we are pleased that he intends to abolish Welsh as a second language, and instead ensure that more and more subjects in English-medium schools are taught through Welsh. We look forward to the Government's announcement about how they will implement….We hope that creating one new qualification, Welsh for all, will mean that every pupil has the ability to work and communicate in Welsh when leaving school."

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