Having a hard time in Wales.

(86 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

oOlaurenOo Sat 22-Mar-14 20:43:35

I grew up in an English part of Wales and don't speak Welsh. As an adult I moved only an hour down the road for work.... to a much more Welsh part of Wales, where there is a high percentage of 1st language Welsh speakers, and all primary schools are 1st language Welsh (they say they're billingual but in reality they're not)

I have always been happy living in this part of Wales but now, since my son has started school in a Welsh speaking school, I am beginning to worry. I am not comfortable with his education being in a 2nd language. I ask him how school isand what he did but I just get "nothing"!! I try tosay phrases to him in Welsh but he tells me to stop. I'm worried that he just sits there and stares blankly at the teacher without a clue of what is going on. But I'm more worried that his education and potential will suffer due to him not learning in his own language.

Any ressuring words or advice? Thanks x

NigellasDealer Sun 23-Mar-14 21:31:28

I wonder which town you are referring to nocomet?
in our 'town' you do hear welsh spoken quite a lot by all ages.

LingDiLong Sun 23-Mar-14 21:48:21

How old is your son OP? Do you have concerns about the school generally? Whether your child's school is english or welsh you should be able to see your child progressing. If you are worried that they aren't picking up the language go in and see the teacher, they should be able to put your mind at rest. If their education is 'suffering' you will be able to see it. Can they do what they should be doing at their age? My children are in a welsh medium school and are thriving. I am a welsh learner and we are a mostly english speaking household. The kids are very reluctant to speak welsh at home with me but that's very normal.

Reassure yourself that it really is only in Britain that we have these bizarre reactions against a second language. In many, many countries around the world children are taught in a second language without their education suffering. They pick up languages so easily and quickly, there really is no reason why their education should suffer unless the school is generally not very good.

All this the Welsh language is dead from some posters really is the most incredibly arrogant load of bollocks. If may not be relevant to you personally but you must have an enormous ego if you think that it is therefore not relevant to anybody. That kind of close minded attitude right there is EXACTLY why I want my kids to grow up multilingual.

Nocomet Sun 23-Mar-14 22:13:40

Absolute dead centre, by some large water containers for a midlands city. Has a lot of pubs and is surrounded by a lot of sheep.

LostInWales Sun 23-Mar-14 22:21:26

<decides she likes LingDiLong and awful lot> <panics that she lives near NigellasDealer>

NigellasDealer Sun 23-Mar-14 22:26:28

<waves> grin

LostInWales Sun 23-Mar-14 22:43:05

Nos da grin

NigellasDealer Sun 23-Mar-14 22:44:22

nos da, d'win hoffi siarad Cymraeg

Nocomet Mon 24-Mar-14 00:00:30

Good bye ?? Like speaking welsh.

D'win is defeating my truely awful Welsh.

LingDiLong Mon 24-Mar-14 07:49:30

d'win is wrong that's why grin . Think she's attempting the contracted form of rydw i'n which would be dw i'n

NigellasDealer Mon 24-Mar-14 08:09:34

oh i put the apostrophe in the wrong place - boo hoo

LostInWales Mon 24-Mar-14 08:09:57

It was pretty close though, not a bad job really, nos da --> good night, dw i'n hoffi sairad Cymraeg --> I like speaking Welsh. You can't tell someone off for trying. Sweetie wink grin

LostInWales Mon 24-Mar-14 08:10:29

Bore Da Nigellas :-)

NigellasDealer Mon 24-Mar-14 08:11:18

grin bore da shwmae

LostInWales Mon 24-Mar-14 08:15:21

Iawn, diolch, i chi?

NigellasDealer Mon 24-Mar-14 08:18:51

da iawn diolch....
haha we should start a Cymraeg learners' thread....

LostInWales Mon 24-Mar-14 08:21:41

There was one, possibly still is, they were all way, way better than me so I quietly sloped off!

Dw i'n mynd ar y traeth gyda ci, laters :-D

NigellasDealer Mon 24-Mar-14 08:22:57

hwyl fawr!

oOlaurenOo Mon 24-Mar-14 16:28:53

Sorry, I didnt mean to start an argument. Just trying to get some perspective and decide what to do!

My son is in the meithrin x

LostInWales Mon 24-Mar-14 16:38:58

Wherever there is a thread about the Welsh language there will be someone who says it is a dead language and someone who gets chippy about that comment (Me on this one!). It was like this even back in the Mabinogion wink

Millyblods Mon 24-Mar-14 16:47:45

We live in the very Welsh speaking North Wales. Everything here is Welsh, the language, hospitals, shops, pubs, schools, government ,businesses, supermarkets, cafes, BBC, S4C.......everything and it is the day to day spoken language. English is spoken only to those who cannot or do not speak Welsh.

Millyblods Mon 24-Mar-14 17:01:37

Regarding your little one OP he will usually pick up the language very quickly as he is immersed in it nearly every day. It really doesn't take long. Its good that you can speak some Welsh too as you will be in a good position to help him with his reading and his homework. If your really not happy could you not find an English School nearby that would solve your problem rather than moving.

siilk Tue 25-Mar-14 07:58:25

<Lind di Long> I am pretty sure Ian very near you !!

Nocomet Tue 25-Mar-14 12:02:51

I'm afraid OP this topic always causes rows (and I don't help).

Those who can speak some Welsh, or who don't find learning foreign languages difficult, don't understand that Welsh medium education makes some parents feel very excluded.

Also that a large amount of Welsh in the curriculum of even English medium schools is a problem for older DCs who's families move into or out of Wales.

And finally as I guess you have already found, the total lack of understanding in Welsh speaking areas, that there are very loyal patriotic Welsh people in my area of mid Wales who don't see the language as a necessary part of feeling Welsh.

Weegiemum Tue 25-Mar-14 12:12:34

My dc are educated in Scottish Gaelic.

They're now 14,12,10, fully bilingual and yes, my dd1 is about to start exam classes in Gaelic - maths, physics, history etc all taught in her second language.

Neither dh nor I speak Gaelic (though I understand quite a lot) but they are still now as fluent as the children in their school who spoke Gaelic from birth.

The rate at which all of them have picked up French at school has astounded me and dd1 is now giving me a run for my money in Spanish, which I speak to university level.

They are part of a school community which is supportive and close knit, and I fully subscribe to the school motto which is "Da Chanan, Da Chultar, Iomadh Cothrom" (two languages, two cultures, many opportunities).

Millyblods Tue 25-Mar-14 12:16:34

So it then depends on the area you live I guess Nocomet. But although I understand that some may feel excluded, if you move to Welsh speaking Wales then it is another country so to speak and Welsh is the spoken language. So they should expect that they will not understand what is spoken or taught in schools and then choose to not move there if it bothers them so much. I have heard this a lot from English speaking people over the years and when they talk about how they feel excluded because the the Welsh language, it always makes me wonder why on earth they decided to move here knowing that Welsh is the first language.

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