The director of teaching at the National Welsh Language Centre says that figures of 16-25-year-olds learning Welsh have doubled in the past 6 months. The change in numbers comes following the launch of free Welsh lessons to all 16 to 25s and teaching staff by the Welsh Government in September. The National Welsh Language Centre are reluctant to release numbers at present.
The Government’s campaign is part of its goal to reach a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
Helen Prosser, the director of teaching at the National Welsh Language Centre says, ‘ We’re extremely pleased because we found already that our number has doubled since we took on this campaign last September, which isn’t surprising as we’ve never targeted this group before’.
She added that ‘we need campaigns like that. We can’t stand still, we have to be moving forward all the time and looking for campaigns to make sure that Welsh is a modern, dynamic language’.
Not only that there’s been an increase on a national level, but local Welsh learning groups have seen an increase. Nansi Eccott, a Welsh Language tutor at Cardiff University says that “this year spaces were full much earlier than usual which was great. We had a waiting list which was something new to us and we’ve had to bring more Welsh tutors on board to ensure that those students get to learn Welsh as well”.
She said that learning Welsh is “an important skill for adults and children to have and it is quite focused that children should be the ones learning but I think focus does need to shift more towards adults as well”.
Nooh Omar Ibrahim has been learning Welsh since November as part of his new role as Sports and inclusion officer and Urdd Gobaith Cymru and is already confident in holding conversations. He said that he “feels more connected to my Welsh identity”. He also said that “If more sectors were to support the government and the government to support them, the goal will be hit easier”.