Today, (Friday, 2 February 2018) the Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan, visited the University of Wales Trinity Saint David campus in Carmarthen to see an innovative Welsh-medium course for teachers being taught.
The Cymraeg mewn Blwyddyn – Welsh in a Year course is a unique programme for teachers from schools that teach Welsh as a second language. Provided by specialist lecturers from the University’s Welsh Language Services Centre – Rhagoriaith – teachers on the course have been released from their teaching duties for a whole year to receive language training.
The course is part of the Welsh Language Sabbatical Scheme provision within the University and is funded by the Welsh Government. The Sabbatical courses provide opportunities for teachers and classroom assistants to be released from their teaching duties to receive language training for specific periods within a term, ranging from three to eleven weeks. However, the Cymraeg mewn Blwyddyn – Welsh in Year course, runs over the three terms and is part of the Welsh Government’s programme of reaching the target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
During the year, as well as receiving language training, teachers have the opportunity to visit Welsh-medium schools to experience and view lessons being taught through the medium of Welsh, together with the opportunity to return to their own schools to strategically plan the progress made in Welsh. At the end of the year, the aim is to see teachers return to their schools with the ability and confidence to teach through the medium of Welsh.
Dr Lowri Lloyd, Director of the University’s Centre for Welsh Language Services, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister to the university to see the course in action. It’s an investment which shows the Welsh Government is serious about reaching one million Welsh speakers by 2050 and contributes directly towards implementing the new curriculum. It was also an opportunity and a privilege for the teachers to show the Minister the progress they have made so far.”
Eluned Morgan said: “Education is vital if we are to reach one million speakers, both in terms of increasing the number of Welsh medium schools and in improving and increasing the teaching of Welsh in English medium schools. The sabbatical scheme plays a very important role in this by improving the ability of teachers already in the system to help meet the increased demand.
“It was very interesting to watch some of the session and to speak with the participants, in Welsh, to learn about their experiences on the course and their plans to implement strategies to raise standards in Welsh on return to their schools. I thank them for their commitment to the language and I hope this course gives them the confidence to make a difference once they’re back in the classroom.”
Having started the course at the beginning of the current academic year as a pilot scheme, the University has now received confirmation that the course will run again next year, with the strategic process of identifying teachers having already started in conjunction with ERW, the local education consortium local.
Mr Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor at UWTSD said: “The University is grateful to the Welsh Government for entrusting us to lead this innovative scheme, Cymraeg mewn Blwyddyn. We are very proud of the tremendous progress that the teachers have already made under the guidance of a team of inspirational tutors. The future looks extremely promising.”
For more information on the course, and all the Welsh Language Sabbatical courses available with the University, visit www.cyrsiausabothol.cymru
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