Bilingualism/Dwyieithrwydd 

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/aug/07/being-bilingual-good-for-brain-mental-health

I was pleased whilst researching bilingualism to come across an article in the Guardian promoting the advantages of being bilingual. Recently they published an article that was extremely vocal in its opposition to the Welsh language.  In fact and article written by @rhiannonlucyc also in the Guardian gave a perfect response to the issues raised,

https://amp.theguardian.com/education/2017/jun/22/sad-english-parents-afraid-children-taught-welsh
However it seems strange to be discussing the value of bilingualism within my own country. Yesterday I read another article which shocked me,

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/restaurant-owner-says-deals-anti-13256874#ICID=Android_WalesOnlineNewsApp_AppShare
Why is it that a minority of people are fearful of the ability to speak more than one language? I speak both Welsh and English, I take great pride in my country and feel proud of the opportunities I have been given. I know that many people who live in Wales are very supportive of the language and whether people move into Wales or are from Wales they often discuss how they would love to learn the language. 

To be able to speak more than one language is a definite advantage and keeps your mind young and active,

http://neurosciencenews.com/brain-time-language-6562/amp/
This next article provides a clear understanding why being bilingual is beneficial, 

http://flashsticks.com/5-cognitive-benefits-bilingualism/
When I shop in Cardiff I make a point of speaking Welsh, whether a simple greeting or a thank you. I feel comfortable in speaking Welsh in company and I thoroughly enjoy conversing with anyone who has an interest in the language. The article below shows how Welsh is being adopted by people that have moved to Wales,

http://cymraeg.llyw.cymru/More/myexperience/Learn/AnnaSkalistira-Bakratseva?lang=en

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting two conferences related to education.  In the first I heard Katherine Davies speak about the Welsh Government’s vision for Welsh. We want to develop Welsh speakers and just as important, people who want to use the language. It is very true that within Wales, being able to speak Welsh is a positive contribution to your CV. On Twitter many jobs are advertised with Welsh as an essential or desirable attribute. Here are two examples,
http://www.lleol.cymru/classified/swyddog-datblygu-gwent.html
http://www.lleol.cymru/classified/gweithiwr-plant-ieuenctid-a-theuluoedd5953a339408ed.html

At this moment in our history we truly have the opportunity to make our country bilingual.  With the new professional standards for teachers in Wales, we will be able to create a workforce that will support the use of Welsh in every establishment.

In the second conference, I had the opportunity to listen to pupils discuss their heritage and watch a film that 5 schools had created. They researched their local area and met people that have lived for many years in the locality. It was a celebration of Wales from ‘Ar lan y Môr’ 

To ‘Black Gold’ in the valleys,

To embrace our heritage and language is part of the journey a child will take in Wales and being able to speak two languages or more will open the door to new opportunities . With so much angst and insecurity in the world let us embrace the chance to share our culture and celebrate Welsh as a living language. 

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4 Comments

  1. Hi, could you please email us at
    Mam@mamcymru.wales
    We would love to include this article- and possibly a few of your others in our soon to launch bilingual blogzine.
    Diolch,
    Ashleigh

    1. You are more than welcome to use my articles all I ask is that you a knowledge myself as the author by using @addysgrjc7 I’m more than happy for you to use as many articles as you need. Pob lwc.

      1. Diolch yn fawr! Of course we will credit you! Could you provide a short bio by any chance? And cheekily is there a chance of this particular article translated? Normally we would do it but my partner in this ( the Welsh speaker) is flat out translating for our launch and can’t squeeze any more in. Your post is so timely and I would love to be able to include it in our inaugural edition. Diolch.😊

      2. I will try and do a translation for you. It would be wonderful to be a part of your journey as you launch your website.
        Bio:

        I’m a Welsh-medium headteacher on secondment with the Cental South Consortium which supports Cardiff, RCT. the Vale, Merthyr and Bridgend. I am the Welsh Standards and Policy Officer, which basically means I support Welsh-medium schools and the development of the Welsh language at both primary and secondary level.

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