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Welsh medium education for your kids if you live in Wales, are Welsh but don't speak Welsh yourselves?

(7 Posts)
inconceivableme Mon 09-Feb-15 22:36:53

Thoughts? I'm Welsh but not Welsh-speaking. DH is English. We live in south Wales. Advantages and disadvantages of sending our child to Welsh medium school please?

Caronaim Mon 09-Feb-15 23:02:29

overall achievement in welsh medium schools is often lower

thatstoast Mon 09-Feb-15 23:06:42

It'll be easier for them to get a public sector job which account for a disproportionate number of vacancies in Wales. I'm only half joking.

Tokelau Mon 09-Feb-15 23:16:12

No. I wanted my DC to get their education in English, like the rest of the UK. I don't speak Welsh, and I wouldn't be able to help DC with homework at all if they were doing it in Welsh. I have encouraged them to get GCSE Welsh though.

If I was a native Welsh speaker, I would consider sending them to a Welsh school.

TheNewStatesman Tue 10-Feb-15 02:28:26

Caronaim--I thought education achievement tended to be slightly higher in Welsh medium schools? Not saying that the Welsh is the reason for this, of course, but....

figginz Tue 10-Feb-15 06:09:03

Primary or secondary?
My parents moved to Wales when I was 8. I did Welsh language primary and English language secondary. That, for me, worked really well. Not so much for my younger sibling though shock - ended up being pulled out and transferred after no progress at school. Wrong age maybe?

Takver Tue 10-Feb-15 18:25:20

DD went to Welsh medium primary. She then had the option of continuing to WM secondary, Welsh stream in a bilingual school, or English stream ditto. She chose the Welsh stream, and would also have been happy to continue to WM secondary (we rejected the school for other reasons).

I'd say in this area the Welsh medium secondaries are higher achieving in terms of exam results, at least. TBH they're much like many church schools seem to be in England. For most attending they're not the catchment school, they're an active choice of middle class parents who are looking for good results and a 'nice' intake.

Obviously that isn't the case for all, there are plenty of welsh speaking parents who very understandably want WM education for their dc! But I would say amongst the parents I know, the Welsh is a negative aspect to a high achieving school.

Having said all that, I do think that in this part of the country if you have the option of Welsh medium at least at primary, there are lots of benefits to taking it. Firstly, you have the option later of those good WM secondaries! Secondly, the bottom line is that if you want to get almost any job round here, employers in most cases will choose a Welsh speaker over an equally qualified non-Welsh speaker. It really isn't just public sector. Since a large proportion of the population are 1st language Welsh, shops, doctors surgeries, etc etc want their staff to be able to speak to customers in their preferred language. Maybe that's not the same in south Wales, though?

Disadvantages - I'd say you really would want to learn some Welsh if you don't speak any, otherwise you can miss out as you don't understand school nativity plays, can't read with the dc, that sort of thing. I do think it can make life harder for dyslexic dc. But on the other hand, bilingualism has loads of quantified benefits. It's also important to remember that in many, many parts of the world being bilingual or trilingual is completely the norm, and monolingual people are the oddity.

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