When I was making the choice to send Pops to Welsh school I found other parents who had already made the choice opinions so important. It allowed me to see an honest look of how it will be from different peoples perspective and I felt that I was more prepared for the good and bad. I will be sharing parents answers to the following questions to help you and your decision of choosing Welsh education.
I’m Clare, a therapy radiographer originally from the Wirral, , but have lived in Cardiff for almost 20 years (since uni).
How old are your children? What year are they in?
My girls are 10 (yr5) and 7 (yr2).
Why did you choose Welsh medium education?
I have always been fascinated by languages and bilingualism ever since I was a child. The opportunity to give my children that ability so easily was a no-brainer for me. The fact that my partner went through Welsh education sealed the deal, but I would have pushed for it anyhow.
Was you ever worried about anything?
Not really. I know many people who have come from english speaking homes but had Welsh education with no issues. I also read a bit to understand the difference between learning and acquiring a language, so I knew that even if my children weren’t academically gifted, the language wouldn’t hold them back. My mother was concerned they would forget how to speak english!
Can you speak Welsh?
I am a learner. I have gone from being able to get the jist of class assemblies to understanding most of them, but I don’t speak the language confidently.
If no, how do you help your kids with their Welsh?
I add to their education by watching Welsh tv, attending events like Tafwyl and the Eisteddfod etc. In terms of homework, I don’t help them. I ensure they understand the task and support them to do it, but I don’t influence the content of their work. I think it’s important for the teacher to see what they can do.
Best thing about Welsh education?
Realising that my children have received so much more than just a language. They’re part of a whole culture that I knew nothing about! One of my favourite moments has been taking my eldest to a fair somewhere that we happened upon a Menter stand, and listening to my then 5 year old have a full conversation with a complete stranger with a very strong north walian accent. I couldn’t understand anything she said, but my daughter was fine.
Worst thing about Welsh education?
Nothing really! Sometimes there have been things that are obvious to Welsh speakers but have needed explaining to me, (things like the way an Eisteddfod works) but as soon as I’ve asked it’s all fine. In terms of the education I can’t find any negatives.
Would you recommend choosing Welsh education?
I think some people think a Welsh education comes at the expense of English ability, but once you understand that the point is to create fully bilingual children, you see that it’s isn’t the case.
Thanks to Clare for taking part and sharing her experience and opinions. If you would like to take part in the series then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until the next post.
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