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AIBU to relocate so my DD will sing "Little Donkey"

(63 Posts)
farmerswifey Sat 31-Aug-13 16:51:03

We moved to Wales from England almost before we had children. We've tried to learn Welsh but it is so bloody difficult and as we so rarely need to use the language, we only know the basics. DD will start school next year, the main problem being ALL of the schools in the area have recently become Welsh language schools. For the first 3 years DD will learn everything in Welsh.

AIBU to be upset that I will not be able to help her more with her education? I am sure she'll be fine, and growing up bilingual would be good, but I feel I will miss out on so much. AIBU to want to move house and up-route our family just so I'll understand her reading books and school plays.

themaltesefalcon Sat 31-Aug-13 17:07:43

It's not that great a carol.

I'd pick bilingualism, even with a relatively low-prestige language, over what passes for a standard education, any day. It does good things to the kids' brains.

Welsh is fascinating and I'd be taking the opportunity to learn along with her. Why don't you take classes?

chebella Sat 31-Aug-13 17:08:23

Lots of sympathy for you but she will be fine and will pick up the language annoyingly fast - but you should redouble your efforts at learning especially as you have a very good reason to now.we live abroad and I do feel sad that my children miss out on 'traditional' things like singing carols I know but we do them ourselves, in the car, at home etc.

slightlysoupstained Sat 31-Aug-13 17:14:14

YANBU to be sad about wanting to understand her reading books, but tbh themaltesefalcon is right, bilingualism is such a fantastic advantage for her that you'd be daft to uproot everyone for that. I really envy you, am in England and it's going to be an uphill struggle to get DS any Welsh exposure here.

Also, the first books are going to be really simple - if you've done a few classes you can puzzle it out together, given that unlike English, Welsh is pretty consistent once you know the pronunciation. By the time it gets beyond you, she'll be bringing home some English reading books too - and you can read her bedtime stories in English anyway. It's being snuggled up with mama being read to that she'll remember, not homework.

Be warned though, the last few times I've seen a thread like this on MN it got descended on by rabid anti-Welsh haters and all went a bit to poo.

everlong Sat 31-Aug-13 17:20:43

Seems extreme to me.

Other than the things you've stated do you like your home, the area, the neighbours?

hobnobsaremyfave Sat 31-Aug-13 17:28:17

have a look at this, old naff recording but you could have your song in Welsh, apols for the poor clip (ignore most of it!!!)

DustBunnyFarmer Sat 31-Aug-13 17:29:36

My kids are in English medium, but learning Welsh at primary. I think I'd find it hard the other way round, but I'm pleased that they are learning another language from the get-go as it's already opened their minds to the fact that English is not the be all and end all. The previous posters are right - you can speak English and read with her in English at home, but you would all benefit from you improving your Welsh as a lot of the socialising you'll be doing around school (kids parties, Christmas shows, class assemblies setc) will be Welsh-medium. Also, my neighbour's daughter is at Welsh medium and didn't start learning English phonics etc until year 3 and was struggling (had to borrow my sons' Oxford Reading Tree box set last Christmas), but your daughter will have the added benefit of English at home as well as immersion in Welsh (which is properly phonetic/phonemic) at school.

hobnobsaremyfave Sat 31-Aug-13 17:29:40

Oh and we speak English at home and the DC's speak Welsh in school, DH does not speak Welsh. It works fine and DC1 is also studying another language to GCSE. Languages - the more the better grin

breatheslowly Sat 31-Aug-13 17:32:16

I think it is great that people who want their children to go to a Welsh language school have that choice, but I do think it should be a choice, rather than the only option. I would certainly consider moving to ensure that I could be fully involved in my DCs' education.

mamas12 Sat 31-Aug-13 19:00:45

Op you will not be excluded I. Your child's education there are marvellous schemes involving English speak welsh parents to help. It'll be great
The advantages far outweigh anything
And to those who say they would move then go nothing is stopping you but remember this if you were in any other country and sent your child to the local school you would expect them to learn in the countries language
Good luck op I've been where you are now and I got round the nativity thing by doing it with my mum grin

bababababoom Sun 01-Sep-13 00:08:47

I grew up in Wales, my education was in Welsh and my parents do not speak Welsh. It was never a problem and they were always involved in my education. How about learning Welsh alongside your daughter? There is a course "Welsh for Families" specifically for parents who want to help their children through school. TWF (taking Welsh to families) has a lot of information on the benefits of being brought up bilingual.

Doilooklikeatourist Sun 01-Sep-13 00:16:57

My children went to a Welsh medium primary school .
It was the worst decision I ever made
I came out of my first Nativity Play in tears as I hadn't understood a word
Most people in Wales don't speak Welsh
We moved DD to a school in town that wasn't Bilingulal , and she made so much more progress , she blossomed .
Still kicking myself

Fairyegg Sun 01-Sep-13 00:19:35

Being in Gwynedd I will miss my dc singing little donkey too :-(. Up until year 1 I was fully prepared to move back to England as I seriously felt my dc were at a disadvantage being in a Walsh medium primary (the only option in Gwynedd). A year later, ds is fluent, I have learnt loads by going on a 'welsh for the family course' and I think my dc actually have the advantage now of not only being bilingual but also having English as a first language at home. I stil shed a silent tear at natvity and school assemblies though when I can't understand what's going on.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 01-Sep-13 00:23:10

I'm Welsh and definitely sang Little Donkey at school!

I can understand you being worried that you won't be able to help her with her work if she's going to a school that teaches on a language you do not speak. Is it possible you could take lessons? I'm welsh and if I ever had a child going to a welsh school I'd have to take lessons (or ring my mum as she's fluent).

breatheslowly Sun 01-Sep-13 00:25:24

I appreciate that this may be about to offend - but what is the advantage to children of English speaking families in being bilingual in Welsh? I'd love for my DD to be bilingual, but I would want the second language to have either a meaning for us as a family or to be a widely spoken language or have links with other languages (a romance language as an example).

Fairyegg Sun 01-Sep-13 00:27:06

And on a more serious note my dc need too be bilingual to. in this area things like swimming lessons are done though welsh medium, shop Keepers, bus drivers, neighbours etc all speak welsh as a first language. If I didn't allow my dc the oppurtunity to Learn Welsh they would be at serious disadvantage, especially when it came to secondary school. If you can get yourself on a Welsh course, I'm still rubbish at welsh but a lot better than I was 3 years ago. if your in the Gwynedd area feel free to pm Me and I can give you the course details.

Fairyegg Sun 01-Sep-13 00:32:33

breatheslowly. In my area at least it's so they can communicate within their community. Many of the younger children around here, say below 6, cannot speak much English at all. Also for employment in the local area it's essential In most posts. They say it has many other advantages as well, eg - being able to pick up another language quicker etc, but the main one for us is the sense of integration.

OverTheFieldsAndFarAway Sun 01-Sep-13 00:47:54

Breathslowly , you have offended. You are in Wales, Welsh is compulsory. If you don't like it . Move.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 01-Sep-13 00:48:51


Move if you don't like it.

NoComet Sun 01-Sep-13 01:07:32

Welsh medium education is a crazy idea! How can you justify duplicating schools when many rural areas haven't enough pupils to make the schools they have viable.

The Welsh language is dead in many parts of Wales. It's never spoken in my home town in central Wales. Never was and I can't imagine despite the ridiculous amount being wasted on Welsh medium education it ever will be. I have friends who work for the council who are taking pay cuts while thousands and thousands is spent translating every piece of paper into Welsh in a county where every one reads the English side and mutters about the waste of paper.

I quite often go to Cardiff, I've heard Japanese and various east European languages spoken, but never a word of Welsh.

Most telling of all the Welsh assembly have had to fudge the English GCSE results and are suggesting doing it permanently to cover up Wales fall literacy standards.

slightlysoupstained Sun 01-Sep-13 01:55:32
This article might be interesting OP, on the benefits of bilingualism. Note that the languages in article are minority languages, so it really is about gaining fluency in more than one language that gives you the advantage, not the relative popularity worldwide of those languages.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 01-Sep-13 01:59:54


I live in Cardiff and hear quite a bit of Welsh around the place.

Toadinthehole Sun 01-Sep-13 05:24:10


So I understand, but I wonder if the picture is actually more complicated. DW has taught in Maori-medium schools in NZ and has also done a fair bit of remedial work with children who, having gone through those schools, are majorly behind in their English. Some of them really struggle. Being bilingual doesn't seem to benefit them, nor in fact does it seem to benefit DW who despite growing up bilingual hasn't ever had any success in picking up a third language.

WelliesandPyjamas Sun 01-Sep-13 05:43:46

OP, some Welsh medium schools now include English songs in school shows etc for the non-Welsh speaking parents. Perhaps you could put in a special request for Little Donkey, which, I agree, is a tear-jerking classic grin

sashh Sun 01-Sep-13 08:37:20

The best time to try to learn Welsh is when your daughter starts school. You will learn with her.

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