Article by Vaughn Roderick

This article by, Vaughn Roderick, caught my attention particularly where he mentions - "the phenomenon of fluent speakers whom refuse to appear on radio or television, claiming that their Welsh isn’t ‘good enough’ ". Going on to say that many people think their Welsh is somehow flawed or second-rate. Held back by their local dialect or accent. Something that S4C have tried/struggled to address and continue to do so.
Sad really - Truly sad…But surely, somewhere down the line, golden opportunities beckon for some SSIWers to have careers in the media… :thumbsup:


I was very interested to read this article by Vaughan Roderick, and found some of his observations particularly pertinent to my current experience as a student (mature!) of AS level Welsh.
At the start of the academic year, there were seven students on the course. We were all very enthusiastic to improve our grammar, speaking, listening and written skills. However, it soon became apparent that the course was poetry heavy. During the course of the year we would learn 7 poems and be required to write a critical appreciation of the poems in the exam. These students who had been so enthused about the prospect of improving their Welsh, soon became seriously demoralised at the prospect of having to learn difficult technical terms (cyffelybiaeth,personoli,cyflythreniad,geiriau cyfansawdd) that they became overawed and soon gave up. These students could not run before they could walk. They needed to focus on the structure of the language and their fluency before engaging in conceptual ideas, that many people struggle with in English (myself included). I must confess to having serious reservations about the course when I read the course content online, being someone who disliked English Literature at GCSE.
I wish to make it clear that this is by no means a criticism of the tutors, who have been wonderful. They have to work within the limitations of the curriculum. I think the time has come for the WJEC to review the content of the A –level course,if we are to retain these students. Five enthusiastic students, whose sole intention was to improve their Welsh have been lost. Only the two of us remain.
Could the WJEC look at the possibility of providing a Welsh language A-level course side by side with a Welsh literature course? Perhaps they could introduce poetry in the second year, or, give consideration to a Welsh for Adults style course, which would have been far more suitable for the needs of these students.
Please WJEC, let us get the balance right.


Oh dear, there is a poor girl called Jenny in another ‘thread’ who has been told off for talking ‘slang’ (i.e. normally) in a course for beginners! I honestly thought that attitude had disappeared since the '50s!! In those days ‘received pronunciation’ was insisted upon by the BBC in English, except for ‘working class’ characters in plays!! We learned ‘English Literature’ and ‘English Language’. The latter consisted of the rules of grammar and exercises in applying them, together with writing an essay, some sort of ‘comprehension’ test, but all writing. It sounds as if AS Welsh is for First Language speakers to learn Literature, not for 2nd language speakers to improve!! Also in the 50’s, I know 2nd language English in Welsh schools was very ‘correct’ and did not fit the kids to talk to ordinary English people!! from Jackie

Went in search of details of this AS-level course and founds:smile:
Which includes the following:

WJEC and Welsh Government are consulting on content and assessment proposals for GCEs and GCSEs to be reformed for first teaching in 2016. Subject-specific surveys are running until 13 February. We are keen to gather views from as wide a range of stakeholders as possible, so would be very grateful if you could spend a few minutes answering questions on the proposals.

The GCE Welsh Second Language survey can be completed here.

I looked, and it says it teaches spoken language! Maybe the teacher is at fault? Could this be a poet who thinks ordinary spoken language is boring and not very useful, as, after all, everyone can speak English!!! My father & a lot of his generation thought speaking Welsh was for peasants!!! (N.B. My dad was middle class not an aristocrat!!)