The Welsh Language is for everyone, at grassroots level and digitally
The Mentrau Iaith are central to implement the Cymraeg 2050 Strategy. It’s extremely important that grassroots organisations such as the Mentrau Iaith and other organisations including the Urdd, Merched y Wawr and Young Farmers clubs are able to offer opportunities for individuals of all ages to use the language beyond the education system. Along with this it’s essential that they offer support so that parents can transfer the language at home.
We run various activities and events for people of all ages and backgrounds that give people the opportunity to use the language. Through these we’re able to share our passion for the language, information on the current situation, and its links with the history, culture and heritage of Wales. Despite this, it’s obvious that many people in Wales don’t have an understanding of their country’s history, their local heritage or a context for the Welsh language’s story over the centuries. To reach the goal of “A Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language”, as noted in the Well-being of Future Generations Act, and to support the work of organisations such as the Mentrau Iaith, the Welsh language needs to be seen, heard and used in all aspects of life, such as digitally and in the media.
Technology and the Media
- Investment to develop the Welsh Language in the world of digital technology, through software and activities, and to ensure that it is more visible and reaches a wider audience
- Devolve broadcasting to be the responsibility of the Senedd to ensure a better platform for the Welsh language in the media
- Ensure that everyone is able to access education through the medium of Welsh within a reasonable distance and that parents/guardians can access adequate support
- Remove any barriers that prevent people from learning the Welsh language
- Establish a framework to educate and guide teachers so that they can teach the history of Wales and local history through a Welsh point of view as part of the Curriculum in Wales, thus improving children’s awareness of their heritage
- Careers advice that includes specific guidance regarding the Welsh language
- Increase Welsh medium apprenticeships
- Ensure that a specific percentage of places are reserved for Welsh speakers on degree courses (such as medicine, nursing and education) in Universities in Wales
- Extend the Welsh language standards to other sectors to expand the Welsh medium services available
From experience : The Welsh language in a digital context
The Welsh organisations ability to adapt quickly during the last year to offer their usual support digitally was astounding. In 2020, all aspects of life were affected by Covid-19 and the importance of technology and the media became apparent for people of all ages. The data below shows the amount of digital activities relating to the Welsh language the Mentrau Iaith alone held between April and September 2020. The Mentrau Iaith succeeded in reaching a wider audience than ever before through raising awareness of the Welsh activities that people can take part in them from the comfort of their home. All the while, the Mentrau Iaith continued to work locally and still maintained the connection that the Mentrau Iaith staff have with their communities by delivering activities that reflect local interests, identity and dialect.
The numbers shown are encouraging but this activity was carried out instead of work in the communities due to the restrictions. If we want to see a continuation of this digital activity to be able to reach new audiences, along with the face-to-face activities that are vital at a grassroots level, further investment is needed.