Press Releases 2017

Welsh in a year - Significant investment by Welsh Government and a unique opportunity for teachers to develop their Welsh language skills

06.07.2017

Welsh Government intends to provide an innovative opportunity for teachers to develop their Welsh language skills in September 2017.

Welsh in a Year T4

In order to raise literacy standards in schools and meet the challenge of reaching a million speakers by 2050, the Government will develop an innovative scheme that will provide an opportunity for teachers to take a one year course to learn Welsh in a year.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David is one of three centres which will be piloting this innovative one year course. The University already offers professional language training courses for teachers, teaching assistants and further education lecturers through the Welsh Language Sabbatical Scheme programme. These courses are available at Entry, Foundation and Advanced level and vary in length from 18 to 55 days at present. The pilot course however, will be taught over three terms during the year, and will allow English medium teachers in primary schools to be released from their teaching duties for a year in order to develop their Welsh language skills.

This is a very recent development with space for only 14 teachers on the course at Trinity Saint David. In cooperation with the Regional Education Consortium, ERW, the course was filled in less than two weeks, with teachers at English medium primary schools in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot recruited for the pilot course.

Dr Lowri Lloyd, Director of the University’s Welsh Language Services Centre, which run the Sabbatical Scheme at Trinity Saint David, said, "The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is delighted with the opportunity to collaborate with the Government with this exciting initiative. The innovative course provides an opportunity for teachers to learn Welsh within a context that totally suits their needs in their work on a daily basis. It will extend their language skills, with the aim of nurturing teachers who can confidently lead English medium schools to raise standards in Welsh as a second language."

Catrin Phillips, a Welsh Second Language Advisory Teacher with Pembrokeshire County Council, works closely with a number of English medium primary schools of the County, assisting them in teaching Welsh as a second language. Catrin said, "As a county, we have benefited greatly from the courses offered through the Sabbatical Scheme at Trinity Saint David. A large number of our practitioners in Pembrokeshire have attended the 11 week courses and they return to their schools with enthusiasm, as well as the confidence and skills to use the language in a wide range of contexts to raise standards. The one year course is an exciting development for our English-medium schools. Undoubtedly, the term courses have a positive impact on teaching and learning Welsh Second Language within our county and so it is certain that an intensive course like this is an invaluable opportunity to develop the Welsh language skills of teachers in preparation for the new curriculum."

The course is fully funded by the Welsh Government, and the aim of this pilot is to increase the number of teachers who are confident in their ability to teach Welsh effectively within the English medium sector.

Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams said in a statement to announce an investment by the Government to boost the teaching of Welsh:

"Developing a teaching workforce to teach Welsh and deliver education through the medium of Welsh is essential in creating more Welsh speakers and will be a priority over the next five years.

This means planning to support the development of teachers and assistants and expanding the sabbatical scheme and other professional learning opportunities for the present workforce. Well crafted and delivered professional development is important because it delivers benefits to the individual, their profession and the public

“This investment aligns with our proposals for new teaching standards in Wales which will provide opportunities for teachers to develop their skills throughout their career to meet the needs of the education system.”

During the year, teachers will create weekly video diaries, and the public can follow the teachers at University of Wales Trinity Saint David as they take on the challenge of learning Welsh in a year, through following the Cymraeg mewn Blwyddyn – Caerfyrddin, Facebook page.

Further Information

 

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676663 / arwel.lloyd@uwtsd.ac.uk