Micro climate needed for Welsh language

Alun Ffred Jones says some celebratory wind is needed to steer the jewel in the crown of our heritage from the rocks

I drive down to Nant Gwrtheyrn on a fine summer’s morning. The village is in its best new clothes, shining like silver. A roomful of school headteachers have gathered to discuss how to ensure that Welsh is spoken outside the classroom, the dinner room and beyond. The conference is testimony to the vision of Gwynedd Council and the school heads’ commitment, but it also tells the unpalatable truth about the state of the language on our streets and in our homes.

What do you make of the last half century as regards our language? You could liken it to a sailing ship on a choppy sea. The wind has turned and filled the sails, seemingly blowing it towards the New World. But the currents are pulling it relentlessly towards the jaws of dangerous rocks. I can rejoice that I am sitting in the Parliament of my country listening to a Tory member asking a question (occasionally) and being answered by the First Minister in the language of Dafydd ap Gwilym (but not in cynghanedd). Most public signs from Anglesey to Monmouth are completely bilingual, if not always correct.

But at the same time fewer and fewer adults, children and young people use the language as a natural means of communication. Fewer workplaces,  villages and towns provide the opportunity or the need to speak it from day to day. Oh dear, I’m in danger of sending myself into a state of depression writing this, although, like the ship, I am trying to head in another direction.

Let us rejoice. New Welsh medium schools are opening their doors in many areas. And I don’t believe we realise – or wish to acknowledge – the achievement of the One Wales Government in setting up the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (the National Welsh-medium College), a Welsh-medium education strategy, a powerful Language Act, and a New Strategy for the Language – all of this in barely four years. Of course, these are not four Eureka moments. Perseverence and momentum are required to achieve results. That places a huge responsibility on the Government of the day, and on all of us who care about it’s future.

So there is an official wind in the sails of Welsh, by all accounts. It was interesting, nevertheless, to read the comments of Gerry Holtham in a recent edition of Barn, that Plaid’s commitment to the Welsh language is still a stumbling block to many of Wales’ voters, be they non-Welsh speakers in the Valleys or incomers. It’s a strange old world.

What can we do except look back longingly to the days when children in Rhosllannerchrugog and Brynaman spouted the old language full pelt and God was in his heaven? Back to Nant Gwrtheyrn. In my opening remarks to the conference I suggested that we needed a Blwyddyn Dathlu’r Gymraeg – a year of celebrating the Welsh language. A joyful year full of excitement to persuade the bulk of the people of Wales that the language is not only worth keeping but is a national treasure for all of us without exception.

Because of the disastrous failure of our curriculum, the majority of the people of Wales do not have the scantest knowledge of our history, let alone the history of our language. Without this basic understanding, without knowledge and background, it’s little wonder that too many Welsh speakers are insecure and lacking in confidence when using the language. And it’s little wonder either that suspicion lurks in the minds and subconscious of non-Welsh speakers.

Three years ago I had a revealing conversation with a Welsh member of the Westminster Government. I was trying to convince him that the ability to receive a service in Welsh was a basic right. His prickly and agitated reply was “English speakers have rights as well!”  Oh dear me! Where does one start?

But back to the celebration. It’s easy to imagine institutions like the Urdd and National Eisteddfod and the raft of cultural bodies joining in enthusiastically. Balloons as far as the eye can see! I would envisage an advertising and publicity campaign using our national heroes and heroines. I would wish to see statutory bodies like the National Museum, Cadw, and the Welsh Sports Council joining in. And not just singing, dancing and lemonade of course, but getting to grips with political and social arguments at grass roots level to try and understand one another better and banish the national neurosis that is still holding us back.

Who should be taking the lead? Not the Government, in my opinion – although its support would be crucial. The call has to come from the direction of the voluntary sector (Mudiad Dathlu’r Gymraeg), with an invitation for the private sector to join in the spree. Is it worth the effort? Well can we afford not to? We cannot place the responsibility on the shoulders of teachers alone, be they in Maenofferen or in Monmouth.

Back to the image of the wobbly ship. The worldwide climate isn’t favourable for lesser-used langages. There are plenty of nice and respectable pronouncements, but that is not the real world. Only by creating our own “micro climate” here in Wales, only by harnessing our national emotion, can we ensure that the wind is stronger than the pull of the current. And who knows? We may enjoy ourselves at the same time!

Alun Ffred Jones is Plaid Cymru's AM for Arfon. This article was originally published by Barn

27 thoughts on “Micro climate needed for Welsh language

  1. I have a question Alun Ffred; when you were anouncing all that extra money that went to Ysgolion Feithryn did you make sure that an equivalent amount went to non-Welsh medium playgroups? When you were giving added money to the Urdd did you make sure that the Boy scouts and Guides got an equivalent amount? When Plaid were pressing for a legal requirement on Councils in Wales with minority Welsh speaking populations to survey parental preference for Welsh Medium Education did you also insist that Ynys Mon, Gwynedd, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire survey parents to see if some Parents might want English Medium Education for their kids?

    And when you witness the inequalities of provision in Cardiff where each Welsh Medium Primary school is given an extra £21,570 to “buy” an extra half teacher and each Welsh Medium secondary school is given an extra £100,589. 90p to buy an extra two teachers for the benefit of their stunningly middle class pupils do you bridle with outrage that such discrimination is fostered in a country where all are presumed equal?

    Does it disturb your sleep at all when you know that the Welsh Medium class at Gabalfa school in Cardiff (AKA Glan Ceubal) gets £19,708 per pupil per year to educate its 8 pupils whilst the host (EM) school, under the same roof, gets £3,959 to educate each of its pupils? And why? Because Cardiff LEA are terrified of being called “Anti Welsh Language” if they do the essential task of rationalising school funding!

    And, Alun Ffred, when you know that a “Two Tier” Welsh society has been created where First Language Welsh speakers have an employment advantage and non-Welsh speakers are disproportionately forced to look for employment in England, do you see this as a cause for a “Celebration of the Welsh Language”?

    It occurs to me that when you had this “revealing conversation;”

    “Three years ago I had a revealing conversation with a Welsh member of the Westminster Government. I was trying to convince him that the ability to receive a service in Welsh was a basic right. His prickly and agitated reply was “English speakers have rights as well!” Oh dear me! Where does one start?

    You could have quickly replied; “NOT IN WALES THEY DON’T!!”

  2. I am fascinated by this Welsh MP. I had no idea children were beaten and made to wash their mouths with soap for speaking English or evicted from their homes because they tried to pay their rates in English. Even today, it is my understanding that everybody who wishes to speak English when working at Tesco or Thomas Cook let alone their local hotel, it quite free to do so. We do indeed live in interesting times.

  3. Sion, if you don’t like it, it’s simple, move. Go live in France, go live in Spain, and try pressing your old school English imperialist agenda.

  4. Sion

    “Two Tier” Welsh society has been created where First Language Welsh speakers have an employment advantage”

    Yes because they can also speak English. It’s the same as someone with a driving licence, having an advantage over a non driver – I.e. they have an additional skill.

    Can you name anyone (apart from perhaps some rural occupations) who is employed who speaks Welsh and is not also fluent in English?

    The solution would be to enhance Welsh Language education and create a bilingual Wales within 20 years.

    The sad thing is that Plaid, when sharing power in the last Welsh Government, backed away from increasing Welsh Language measures and failed to make Welsh totaly equal to English.

  5. “Dafydd Annwyl says:
    Sion, if you don’t like it, it’s simple, move. Go live in France, go live in Spain, and try pressing your old school English imperialist agenda.”

    Spoken like a true Plaidophile! I just love it………and this is why Plaid is going nowhere fast.


    “It’s the same as someone with a driving licence, having an advantage over a non driver – I.e. they have an additional skill.”
    The difference is that a Welsh speaking requirement is an entirely artificial one created by Welsh Language acts.

  6. Sion. Thank you for providing the various expenditures on Welsh language education in Caerdydd which comes as no surprise but is clearly scandalous. I grew up in a totally anglicised area of south Wales, with virtually no Welsh spoken and quite frankly have never considered that I have missed anything in life, and that sentiment is endorsed by virtually all my friends and aquaintances. I have now met friends from the west (and isn’t best) who are thoroughly Welsh in speaking and outlook as is their right, however I do not see why I should pay taxes to subsidise Welsh education in schools, particularly when in the old working areas that I come from educational attainment is pretty poor. Surely in these days of “equality” there should be standard expenditures on education for both English/Welsh,except where there is poverty of opportunity/aspiration. It is clear that Mr. Jones seems like most of PC to be travelling in a universe of “unreality” as the long term real future for Welsh is ZERO. You can forcefeed the language which only breeds great resentment, even if people are too polite to tell pollsters what their really think!! Just wait till S4C comes under control of BBC which is now having its budgets controlled “at last”, and as services deteriorate the subsidies for channel that nobody watches will become a really hot topic. The sheer facts are that the vast majority of Welsh people are perfectly happy with English, and cannot be bothered with Welsh, except where it costs them money. What was once a living language has now become a “racket” for the few and not the many. Just putting tin hat on and heading into the bunker!!

  7. The fastest growing demand for WM education is I believe in Grangetown – Middle class? The demand is also from many locals and not just ‘Welsh incomers’ as you would no doubt describe people Sion and many are from ethnic minority backgrounds, just to cut you off on that particular line of nonsense. I actually feel sorry for you, as it must be difficult to walk around without bumping into things with blinkers so firmly fixed.

  8. Sion, would you like to explain to us why those able to speak two languages should not have an “employment advantage” over those who speak just one? The ability to use a language is a skill; it is something you learn, not something you are born with. Are you suggesting we should positively discriminate for those lacking in skills? Perhaps you think we should have illiterate librarians and innumerate accountants.

  9. You miss the point Rhys; you can make any “Skill” an employment advantage if you change the law to make it so. In Wales 70% of households have not one single Welsh speaker in them. Just 12% of the population is fluent in Welsh and about 10% have Welsh as a first Language (ie. come from a Welsh speaking home). 4% of those who can speak Welsh never speak Welsh.

    Bearing this in mind how reasonable is it that the Welsh Assembly should provide every public service in Welsh? How reasonable is it that large companies should be obliged to employ Welsh speakers to give a service which is taken up by 2% of the population. Welsh language requirements in employment are little more than a state organised scam to benefit an influential and vociferous Nationalist minority.

    As for your statement that Welsh is something you learn not something that you are born with…unsurprisingly the evidence is against you. Overwhelmingly fluent Welsh speakers come from homes where the first language is Welsh. Few learning Welsh who don’t have at least one fluent Welsh speaking parent attain fluency in Welsh.

    Ian, your statements are a bit vague have you got figures for Grangetown as the fastest growing Welsh Medium schooling area? What are the names of the schools in the area? How many ethinic minority pupils have the EM schools got and how many have the WM schools got? What are their relative language competences?

  10. Sion,

    The Grangetown stats can be found from published Council documents and in terms of the number of ethnic minority pupils in EM schools, it really depends which school you choose to look at. Of course, there is also large and growing demand from many Council estates across Cardiff; again areas where your ‘Middle Class’ label may not fit.

    I am interested in your use of stats in many cases, there is additional funding required where WM schools are placed in temporary accommodation or in cordoned off areas of existing EM schools – to make up for a lack of facilities. Also, there is always a bias when looking at what are termed as ‘bilingual schools’ where pupils are taught through both languages rather than one or the other. I would personally like to see one choice or the other, as long as there is a choice for both. One question I would like to ask you is how would you feel if you had young children and were passionate about them having a WM education (whatever their ‘class’), but were refused because there was no space? Do you think that is an acceptable situation for any parents to face? I don’t think that any of the political parties do, so why are you so against WM education?

  11. Ian; I’m not sure which Welsh Medium schools you want me to compare with which English Medium schools in the Grangetown area but I’ve used Grangetown Primary and Ninian Park Primary for EM and Tan yr Eos and Pwll Coch for WM schools…..If you come up with a preferred comparison I’ll look at those.
    School……………………………Free School Meals…………..Ethnic Minority%
    Grangetown 43%……………………………..82%
    Pwll Coch 7%……………………………….10.8%
    Ninian Park 18%………………………………60%
    Tan yr eos 14%……………………………..3.6% (number less than 5 not recorded taken as 3)

    “I actually feel sorry for you, as it must be difficult to walk around without bumping into things with blinkers so firmly fixed.”

    Save your sympathy, take the plank from your own eye before seeking to remove the dust speck from mine.

  12. There is something interesting in the tone and tenor of many postings against people being allowed to learn Welsh in Wales through the medium of Welsh as well as the feeling that somehow people who can speak Welsh enjoy special advantages. As a non-Welsh speaker who supports Welsh medium education, I find this all pretty dismaying. All I can say is that it was never an issue when I was involved in local politics and certainly was not an issue with Plaid. Without wishing to be sound alarmist, the best analogy I can make is that there is a fear expressed by a majority over a minority which is perceived as a hermetic society which is somehow bestowed with intangible privileges. This is the logic that was used to persecute the Jews in a number of countries ruled by both the far left and the far right. My friends and colleagues in Continental Europe are utterly dismayed that such attitudes can prevail here.

    The IWA blogs can be some of the most civilised and engaging forums for discussing Wales and the Welsh. I urge everybody to keep it that way. The ‘tyrrany of the majority’ needs to be considered here.

  13. I agree that the ‘tyranny of the majority’ needs to be considered here, however to many people we have the reverse in Wales, i.e ‘the tyranny of the minority’, and that needs to be considered as well. The IMPOSITION of the Welsh language where it isn’t needed, is a bone of contention for many reasonable people and does lose good will that in the end will work against the long term interest of the Welsh language. Like all “fanatics” they cannot understand indifference in the majority, hence the creation of a Welsh language “police”, out of public funds when vital services are being cut to the bone.

  14. “The ‘tyrrany of the majority’ needs to be considered here.”

    I think that if you count up the posts then the “Tyranny” is from supporters of all things Welsh language. How odd, too, that where non Welsh speakers are the minority there is not a word of support for the idea that they may like their children educated through the medium of their home language….English. Elsewhere in Wales it is enshrined in law that parents wishing to have their children educated through the medium of Welsh are catered for…to the point where a LEA like Cardiff creates a school for 8 pupils to be educated through the medium of Welsh.

    “I am interested in your use of stats in many cases, there is additional funding required where WM schools are placed in temporary accommodation or in cordoned off areas of existing EM schools – to make up for a lack of facilities”

    The additional funding which I have mentioned, £21, 570 is allocated to all Welsh Medium primary schools in Cardiff. Since several are “Small Schools” (5) they also receive another £32,354 each. None receive split school allowance this year but 4 receive £1,430 to £2,214 in respect of lack of play area.

    If you keep track of the growing economic status of parents who send their children to Welsh Medium schools you can see a remarkable movement taking place; using benchmark statistics for GCSE results between Welsh Medium secondary schools and English medium:-
    Year………Welsh Medium less than 15% Free school meals…………EM less than 15% FSMs

    As the job losses mount up all over Wales it’s easy to see who is unaffected by them and where the middle classes are sending their kids.

    You can wring your hands and bleat about the tyranny of the majority Non Welsh speakers over the poor downtrodden Welsh speakers all you like; and I’m sure you’ll get away with it since no political party dare stand up for the majority in Wales, but in reality Welsh Medium Education is still dominated by those parents occupying “Welsh essential” jobs and living a comfortable and secure existance.

    I see that now I have shown myself to be on a par with the Nazis…..nice move David Lloyd Owen. That should shut me up on these;
    “most civilised and engaging forums for discussing Wales and the Welsh.”

  15. The elected government at various levels supports opera companies and symphony orchestras. It does not put equal money into supporting pop or rap groups. Some people complain that they don’t see why “their” taxes should go to support a cultural facility they don’t use. And some complain that subsidising Bach but not Snoop Dogg is ‘elitist’ , perhaps even ‘divisive’. But such people are generally recognized as philistines. We simply do regard some cultural pursuits as of intrinsic value even though they are practised only by a minority and we support them rather than more popular activities which do not need so much help. The key is that minority persists through generations confirming the activity has enduring value. Why cannot Welsh be seen in that way? It is a language with a significant literature in poetry and prose, which is still being produced, and it is unique to our country. What kind of people would we be to simply let it go? There are only about 1 1/2 million Estonian speakers; they all had to learn Russian and many speak English. So their language is redundant if you like, as is Dutch come to that. Will they abandon it? Not on your life. Do you want to live in a utilitarian country with purely commercial values and no reverence for history and tradition? Maintaining Welsh has a cost, like maintaining symphonic music has a cost. So what? Get over it.

  16. Sion,

    You use free school meals to perpetuate your ‘Middle Class’ theory to bash WM education, so how do you explain the relatively high figures for free school meals in Ysgol Plasmawr, the very successful comprehensive fed by Pwll Coch as well as others? Tan yr Eos is primarily an overflow school for Treganna, so the statistics relating to it are not relevant, as well as out of date. There is certainly a bias for children from ethnic minority families to initially choose EM education, as English is often the second language in these households. However, there is a growing interest in these communities for WM education and why not, as they are just as Welsh as anyone else?

    I am concerned about where your arguments are leading to with WM education, as the demand in Grangetown is in fact so large that even when the new Treganna school and expanded Pwll Coch come on line in September 2013, there is projected only to be half a class spare between the two schools-based on 6 forms of entry. As the Council has consistently underestimated the growth in demand for WM education over the last 10 years, this may mean that there will be no space for more pupils at this time. So what would you do? Would you do all you can to meet demand or refuse parents their choice of WM education? I am genuinely interested in what your solutions would be.

  17. The “micro climate” seems to be providing some amazing “growth” in Welsh economy and is to be applauded, except when when one looks at who’s paying for it. The new head of Welsh language job creation scheme has a really “proper” name, and salary to boot of £95,000 per year and with the normal add-ons probably equates to a total cost to the public purse of £150,000 which in todays world is SCANDALOUS. This could be the straw that broke the camel’s back and surely all English only speaking tax payers must “organize” and bring an end to the taffia fixing the world to their satisfaction at our expense.

  18. Howell,
    The Commissioner’s Office is replacing and not in addition to the Language Board, so as an ‘English only speaking taxpayer’ (although a Welsh learner), what concerns should I have exactly? If you do insist on being monlingual, I would be grateful if you spell “organise” with an ‘s’.

  19. Ian, you say;

    “You use free school meals to perpetuate your ‘Middle Class’ theory to bash WM education, so how do you explain the relatively high figures for free school meals in Ysgol Plasmawr, the very successful comprehensive fed by Pwll Coch as well as others?”

    The easiest way to explain the “relatively high” free school meals in Ysgol Plas Mawr is to say that they are NOT “relatively high” either for Cardiff or for Wales as a whole. Plas Mawr has 7.6% of its pupils eligible for free school meals which puts it at number 41 in the list of 222 secondary schools in Wales.

    As for;
    “Tan yr Eos is primarily an overflow school for Treganna, so the statistics relating to it are not relevant, as well as out of date.”

    I don’t quite see how the fact that it is an overflow for Treganna is relevant. Treganna is, as with other WM primaries in Cardiff one of the least deprived schools in Cardiff; it has just 3.4% of its pupils eligible for free school meals and has 7.9% of its pupils from an ethnic minority background. As for your confident assertion that my statistics are out of date, apart from the obvious fact that all stats are obsolete as soon as they are collected, I assure you that they are the 2011 PLASC figures from January this year. If you have more up to date figures share them with me.

    You can’t keep snatching at your preconceived notions as if they represented “Fact”; English Medium secondary schools in Wales have more than 17% of their pupils on FSMs and Welsh Medium secondaries 9.8%. Unless you can come up with any statistic that suggests that WM schools are not overwhelmingly more affluent and middle class than EM schools you are floundering.

  20. The reason why the Treganna overflow factor changes the perspective of the stats was because I was talking about Grangetown. I notice that you did not respond to my question about what you would do if in charge, when there is a likely requirement for further space for WM education in 2013, even after the new Treganna and the expanded Pwch Coch are open. Would you look to meet parent’s demands or deny them WM education? Also, do you support the siting of a new WM comprehensive in Cardiff and do you support provision for an increase in WM education in Ely, Rumney, St Mellons and other percieved ‘working class’ communities if/when they request it?

    I suppose my problem is that I do not understand your apparent disdain for WM education and for anyone who you perceive as Middle Class. Of couse, many who you would consider in this grouping may well require free school meals in the coming months due to job losses. Does this dreadful consequnce of the current economic climate make them ‘working class’? I live in a terraced house in Grangetown and am an trade unionist who has never voted Tory in my life, but we are fortunate to have two full time jobs so do not qualify for free school meals. Am I working or middle class and and if I was the former rather than the latter, would that factor give greater or less justification to WM education?

    Please just be clear about what you think of WM education and stop hiding behind the ‘class’ label.

  21. The problem of catering for expanding demand for WM schools is an easy one to answer….as long as the number of pupils overall is not going up there is no need for separate schools. Spare capacity in Em schools is merely rationalised to cater for a Welsh stream within the school. There are dual stream schools in Wales….why not in Cardiff? I’ll answer that for you; firstly the Welsh Medium lobby don’t want just Education through the medium of Welsh they want segregation from pupils whose first language and language of play is English….or Urdu….or Arabic…… Secondly there are great financial incentives in Cardiff for designating a school “Welsh Medium” its worth £56,000 to a starter school and the WM movement needs to have extra money to provide intensive education…..to get the results that will attract other Middle Class parents to WM schools. Middle class kids are the Holy Grail because they achieve…. and so the cycle of growth of WM goes on.

    Now THIS is my beef…not an attack on WM education per se but on the end result of the pushing of WM schools; falling standards in EM schools and in education across Wales.

    As for the schools whose stats I looked at; I invited you to name any Schools in the Grangetown area, WM and EM so that I could compare them and see if your theory that pupils receiving Free School Meals were flocking to WM schools was correct. I ask again; which schools?

  22. “The ‘tyrrany of the majority’ needs to be considered here.” I hope you’ll be coming back to discuss the Tyranny of the majority in relation to this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-15267415 David Lloyd Owen!

    Interesting isn’t it? It’s “Cost effective” to have a Welsh Medium “School” of 8 pupils costing £20,000 a year each to educate in Cardiff but not “Cost Effective” to have a handful of kids being educated in English at little extra cost in a school in Ceredigion.

  23. Sion,
    I am surprised at the level of ethnic minority pupils in some of the Grangetown primaries and am happy to concede your point on proportions, although I believe the prime reason for this is the lack of English as a first language. I agree that there is a significant problem in terms of meeting the growth of WM while at the same time having to reduce spare capacity, as this inevitably leads to conflict between EM and WM. The example of Landsdowne for example is a good one, where a good local EM school was threatened with closure to allow for expansion of WM in Treganna-thankfully avoided. Unlike other areas in Cardiff, there was no clear under-capacity in the local EM schools, However, there are other examples such as Ysgol Yr Wern and Cefn Onn Primary, where the numbers entering reception at Cefn Onn became so small that the school was no longer sustainable as an EM.

    The reason why mixed schools are not popular or chosen in Cardiff, is because unless you immerse the pupils in Welsh during their education, then it simply does not work effectively as a WM education establishment. It is a real challenge to make WM education work in areas like Cardiff, where the communities surrounding these schools predominately work through English only. Having the WM rather than bilingual policy is seen as a success and is supported by all political parties. I have not seen any coherent argument to link the funding of WM education with the unsatisfactory standards of education in Wales and frankly, there are numerous factors already recognised as being linked to this, such as the Barnett formula due to the fact that Education is such a large chunk of the Welsh Government budget.

    The Ceredigion story is an interesting one, but it would not be fair to comment until I knew a little more about it.

  24. “The Ceredigion story is an interesting one, but it would not be fair to comment until I knew a little more about it.”

    Indeed, Ian, very wise. I can tell you something about the cost of education in Ceredigion however; it has the best funded pupils in Wales at an average of £4,335 per pupil per year. Easily better funded than many English school pupils. The fact that the English medium stream in Cardigan Community school is so prohibitively expensive is a bit of a mystery however. This school gets £3,410 per pupil delegated budget and is one of the most economical primaries in Ceredigion.

    If the LEA are a bit strapped for cash I could point out that the 13 pupils in Ysgol Bronnant cost £8,706 each per year and that the 19 pupils at Ysgol Blaenporth cost £8,100 each per year. Much cheaper are the 23 kids at Dihewyd coming in at a miserly £6,235 each per year Ysgol Syr John Rhys? £6,040 Ysgol Capel Cynnon… £6,552. In short these are some of the most expensive pupils to educate outside Cardiff Welsh Medium Schools.

    Still… what do I know? Maybe there’s something about English medium education costs that just can’t be tolerated in the Fro Cymraeg.

  25. Re David Lloyd-Owen’s post “There is something interesting in the tone and tenor of many postings against people being allowed to learn Welsh in Wales through the medium of Welsh…”

    Where on this thread has anyone indicated that they don’t want people to speak or learn Welsh?

    This is just an attempt by DLO to mis-characterise the argument made by those campaigning for equality and parity in education.

    While DLO is quick to remind us that children were once punished for speaking Welsh, I would like to point out to him that children in Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire can be chastised for speaking English in the playground.

  26. I am afraid that any such a campaign would result in you being deluged in an avalanche of vitriolic hatred from the many seasoned Welsh Language pressure groups. The largest of which is Plaid Cymru of course. Even parents whose children have suffered as a result of “Submersion” primary school education in the Welsh speaking areas would be reluctant to sign up for fear of experiencing the sustained nastiness of the language zealots.

    I can think of no more certain method of dividing a country and breaking down social and ethnic cohesion than the Welsh Medium/Englsih Medium system of schooling.

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