PLANNING THE REGENERATION OF THE WELSH LANGUAGE CONSULTATION DISCUSSION POINT 4: CREATING WELSH SPEAKERS – DEVELOPING THE WORKFORCE

The latest discussion point of our consultation on Planning the Regeneration of the Welsh Language is Developing the Workforce.

As before, we would be very grateful to receive your comments, suggestions and any practical experience you may have. You are welcome to use the questions and template below or send your comments in any other format that suits you.

Below is a summary of Dyfodol’s demands in relation to the role of the workplace. If you would like to read the full text of Planning the Regeneration of the Welsh Language, a copy is available on our website, dyfodol.net

Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to our discussion. We look forward to hearing from you – do get in touch:

[email protected]

or telephone 01248 811798

 DISCUSSION POINT 4: CREATING WELSH SPEAKERS – DEVELOPING THE WORKFORCE

 Dyfodol believes that:

One significant challenge in education, and to which the response is at present insufficient, is developing the workforce, both teachers and classroom assistants, to undertake the work through the medium of Welsh and do so to a high standard. The only way of doing this is to release staff from their posts for extended periods, either to improve their language skills or to learn Welsh from scratch.

This is absolutely fundamental and there is no option but to invest heavily in this. Habe, the organisation responsible for this in Euskadi, has an annual budget of 40 million Euros. If we are serious about creating a million Welsh speakers, we need a comparable sum and to focus on two things:

  • Workforce development, particularly teachers and classroom assistants
  • Supporting parents whose children receive Welsh-medium education, particularly in the early years, who want to create Welsh-speaking homes to learn Welsh or develop their confidence in using it.

 The effect of such investment would be cumulative: creating new Welsh speakers who in turn would produce a host of new speakers through the education and care sectors.

In addition to the above summary, Dyfodol have also written a paper on the Welsh language among the public sector workforce and in the workplace. We concluded that:

  • We need to collect comprehensive data on the language skills of public sector staff.
  • We need a clear policy aimed at providing an appropriate quota of Welsh language workers and workplaces.
  • Establish a 10-year targeted programme for Welsh language skills within public sector workplaces.
  • 4 local authorities to work, or set out a programme for internal, Welsh-language administration: Gwynedd (who currently do so), Ynys Môn, Ceredigion and Sir Gaerfyrddin.
  • We must acknowledge the comparative strength of the language within different areas and set targets based on the percentage of Welsh speakers within these areas.
  • Where it is not practical to aim for Welsh language administration, public sector organisations in those areas should adopt and promote the principle of welcoming and encouraging the Welsh language as a working medium and elevate and appreciate the language as a professional skill.

 DO YOU AGREE WITH US? HAVE YOU ANY FURTHER COMMENTS ON THE ROLE OF THE WORKFORCE AND THE WORKPLACE IN REGENERATING THE WELSH LANGUAGE?

PLANNING THE REGENERATION OF THE WELSH LANGUAGE CONSULTATION DISCUSSION POINT 2: CREATING WELSH SPEAKERS (i) THE EARLY YEARS

The second discussion point of our consultation on Planning the Regeneration of the Welsh Language is the key area of the early years.

As before, we would be very grateful to receive your comments, suggestions and any practical experience you may have of this work. You are welcome to use the questions and template below or send your comments in any other format that suits you.

We also note that the Welsh Government is currently conducting a consultation on a National Policy on Welsh language transmission and use in families (closing date 5th May, 2020). Perhaps you may also wish to contribute to this, and if so, then you are most welcome to share your comments with us as well.

Below is a summary of Dyfodol’s demands in relation to the provision of Welsh during the early years. If you would like to read the full text of Planning the Regeneration of the Welsh Language, a copy is available on our website, dyfodol.net

We look forward to hearing from you – do get in touch:

[email protected]

or telephone 01248 811798

 DISCUSSION POINT 2: CREATING WELSH SPEAKERS (i) THE EARLY YEARS

 The Principle:

The early years are of key importance in terms of establishing both fluency and the habit of using the language.

 DO YOU AGREE WITH THIS PRINCIPLE? HAVE YOU ANY COMMENTS TO MAKE?

The Aim:

  • During these years, the transference of the language through the home and family is of central significance – currently about 7% of homes are Welsh-speaking. We need to encourage and support parents to transmit the language to their children, The Twf plan (created by Cwmni Iaith Cyf, but now administered through Mudiad Meithrin) shows how this can be done.
  • In parallel with this, the use of the Welsh language needs to increase within the childcare system – in nursery classes but also the whole range of locations which provide care for young children. At this age, immersion rather than bilingualism is the fundamental principle. Much excellent work has already been done and the results have been impressive, but major gaps remain.

DO YOU AGREE WITH THE ABOVE AIMS?

WHAT HELP AND SUPPORT DO PARENTS AND CARERS NEED TO TRANSFER THE WELSH LANGUAGE IN THE HOME?

HOW CAN WE PROVIDE COMPREHENSIVE WELSH-MEDIUM CHILDCARE FOR PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN?

HAVE YOU ANY EXPERIENCES OF PROMOTING EARLY YEARS USE OF THE WELSH LANGUAGE THAT YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO SHARE WITH US?

HAVE YOU ANY FURTHER COMMENTS ON PROMOTING THE WELSH LANGUAGE DURING THE EARLY YEARS?

 

PLANNING THE REGENERATION OF THE WELSH LANGUAGE CONSULTATION DISCUSSION POINT 1: DISSEMINATING UNDERSTANDING OF THE WELSH LANGUAGE

Over the coming months, Dyfodol i’r Iaith will be conducting a consultation on its new policy recommendation which can be found in the publication, Planning the Regeneration of the Welsh Language, which is available to read on our website. We would welcome your opinion on its main headings. Which we believe to be central to the growth of the Welsh language and which need the immediate attention of the Government and politicians.

We will be concentrating on different subjects over the coming weeks, starting with Language Awareness – how to encourage enthusiasm for the Welsh language and win new support for its use and growth. The full details can be found within Planning the Regeneration of the Welsh Language and below is a summary of our recommendations regarding disseminating understanding of the Welsh language and some related questions which need to be addressed.

Our aim is to present a series of robust recommendations to each of the political Parties as they prepare their manifestos for the Assembly elections in 2021.

These are uncertain times, but in such difficult periods, strong priorities become more of a necessity than ever before.

We very much hope that you will contribute to our discussion and will be most grateful to hear from you.

Do get in touch:

[email protected]

or telephone 01248 811798

 

DISCUSSION POINT 1: DISSEMINATING UNDERSTANDING OF THE WELSH LANGUAGE

 The Principle:

It is essential that the whole nation understands what creating a million welsh speakers means and that it supports the venture. This means that we must demonstrate the significance of the language to the nation, why its regeneration is so important and exciting, why it is advantageous to speak it , and how all of this can be achieved. It entails explaining how bilingualism actually works, giving the Welsh language prestige and raising the confidence of its speakers through its promotion and through marketing.

The first step is therefore to initiate a comprehensive programme of Language Awareness , which would promote the language to all at all levels.

 DO YOU AGREE WITH THIS? HAVE YOU ANY COMMENTS TO MAKE?

The Aim:

Ensure that everyone in Wales (Welsh speakers, non Welsh-speakers, learners of the language) receive positive, practical and proactive messages regarding the value and significance of the Welsh language. We would suggest a comprehensive Welsh Language Awareness Strategy.

  • Although the message would essentially be the same for everyone, we need to consider how to tailor the message to different people and what media would be best to convey the message.

DO YOU AGREE WITH OUR AIM AND THE NEED TO TARGET THE MESSAGE?

Matters for discussion:

We would appreciate your comments on the following recommendations. We would also be grateful if you could share any experiences you may have of raising Language Awareness.

  • We need a national programme for raising Language Awareness; a Government-led campaign targeting the media, social media and public spaces.
  • The message need to be shared with families (parents, parents-to-be, carers, grandparents) with an emphasis on the importance and advantages of speaking Welsh in the home and passing the language on to the next generation.
  • The public sector. Bodies who are required to conform to the language standards are asked to provide Language Awareness to their staff. We need to look at how to get the best out of this statutory requirement.
  • The private and voluntary sector. What resources and guidelines need to be developed to ensure that businesses and organisations (both large and small) are aware of their contribution to the regeneration of the language?
  • Young people. How can we encourage young people’s enthusiasm for the language? We believe that social media and leisure activities are of key importance.

WHAT OTHER GROUPS NEED TO BE CONSIDERED?

HAVE YOU ANY IDEAS OR EXPERIENCE OF RAISING LANGUAGE AWARENESS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US?

HAVE YOU ANY FURTHER COMMENTS ON HOW BEST TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THE WELSH LANGUAGE?