Helping learners with their Welsh language skills outside the classroom with additional provision

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At learners’ request Dysgu Cymraeg Morgannwg has extended their range of Welsh language courses to help develop skills outside the classroom. These include reading/discussion groups in a variety of areas, held over the summer months with the support of experienced tutors.

Number of pupils: 1,500
Age range: 18+
Date of inspection: January - February 2018

Context and background to the effective or innovative practice

Following feedback from learners about the lack of informal learning opportunities for Entry and Foundation levels, the decision was made to provide a reading/discussion group in each area during summer 2016.

Description of nature of strategy or activity

This has proved to be successful and provision has continued to be offered over the summer.  The decision was made to provide reading/discussion groups because activities that focus only on speaking are difficult for Entry and Foundation levels due to language limitations.  The reading element evolved to be included in a ‘siop siarad’ (talking shop) in different areas, in order to be able to include Entry and Foundation levels in activities that have traditionally been targeted towards Intermediate and Advanced levels.

A reading series called ‘Amdani’ has now been published at different levels.  This will be an opportunity to encourage learners to purchase the books for reading in general and to support their learning.  They will be able to be used in the reading groups.

What impact has this work had on provision and learners’ standards?

Learners enjoy the sessions and the response has been positive in terms of continuing to use and learn the language during the holidays, particularly the summer holidays as there is so much of a gap over this period.  The groups are an opportunity to socialise at all levels through the medium of Welsh during the holidays, under the guidance of experienced tutors.

A very good example of the effect that informal learning activities have is establishing the Bridgend History Society.  The society was established by members of Bridgend’s Advanced level ‘Siop Siarad’.  Members had been attending for a number of years and felt that they would like to establish something themselves through the medium of Welsh, and they did so with the support of Dysgu Cymraeg Morgannwg and Menter Iaith Bro Ogwr.  Since it was established, the society attracts those who have learnt the Welsh language and those for whom it is their first language.  They have met monthly for several years and high numbers attend.

How have you shared your good practice?

Learners and tutors receive regular e-mails about what is available to them.  The provider’s social networks are used to publish news and promote the success of new campaigns.  Dysgu Cymraeg Morgannwg works closely with the National Centre for Learning Welsh, which monitors their targets each term and receives detailed reports from the provider.  Dysgu Cymraeg Morgannwg also works in partnership with a number of organisations, such as Mudiad Meithrin, Cymraeg i Blant and Welsh language initiatives, on new projects to increase the use of the Welsh language, for example classes through the medium of Welsh, such as Mindfulness, Tai Chi, Clog Dancing, Golwg ar Gymru and Literature Appreciation.