Welsh Language Wars - Welsh Language Society Condemns Government Plan - Welsh Is Not a Second Language

The notion of Welsh medium education enjoys wide support amongst the electorate in Wales. A poll released in late 2014 sponsored by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society) showed that  63% of the people surveyed agreed that schools “should teach all pupils to communicate effectively in Welsh” thus ensuring graduates enjoy a command of the Welsh tongue upon graduation.  Studies have shown that bilingually schooled students academically outperform monolingually schooled students.

News From The Welsh Language Society - Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg

The following was posted to the Website of the Welsh Language Society which is linked above:

Language campaigners have claimed that a review of the Government's Welsh-medium education strategy published today (March 10, 2016) highlights 'major failings' which call for radical changes to the system.

The report confirms the Welsh Government has certainly missed a key target to increase to 25% the percentage of 7 year olds received Welsh-medium education by 2015. Researchers Arad also predict that the 2015 target won't even be met by 2020.

On the basis of the report's figures, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg estimates that it would take over 800 years for every single 8 year old to receive Welsh-medium education on present growth levels.

Referring to teaching Welsh in English-medium schools, the report commissioned by Welsh Government states: "The evidence suggests that the weaknesses in Welsh second language provision across Key Stages remain, and that no significant progress was seen in terms of implementing the key recommendations [of Professor Sioned Davies' report]."

Commenting on the findings, Toni Schiavone, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg's education spokesperson said:

"It's clear from the report that there are serious failings. We can't afford to wait over eight hundred years until there is Welsh-medium education for every child. The present administration is far from meeting its own key targets, and the situation in some counties is terrible. The next Government needs to take radical steps to solve all this so that the language thrives over the decades to come.

Speaking about the teaching of Welsh in English-medium schools, Mr Schiavone added:

"The report’s findings are as damning as they could be considering the Government commissioned the research. The concept of Welsh as a second language needs to be abolished, and a single continuum of learning Welsh introduced instead, as quickly as possible. We are pleased the First Minister has agreed to this, but there is a real risk that officers will drag their feet. Urgent changes are needed if we are to avoid more and more failure.We are calling for Welsh-medium education for all: the time for fiddling at the edges of the system is at an end."



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