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Welsh rapper brought into schools to help boost language skills

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Schoolchildren across Wales are being encouraged to experiment more with the Welsh language, in the form of beat-boxing and rap.

It's part of ambitious plans to increase the number of Welsh speakers; the Welsh Governments wants a million by 2050.

In Swansea, year five pupils at Ysgol y Login Fach in Waunarlwydd were treated to a masterclass by professional rapper and beat-boxer Ed Holden, also known as Mr Phormula.

His music, performed through the medium of Welsh, has seen him perform all around the world.

He says using Welsh has often provided him with an edge over competitors.

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Seeing young people grasp the Welsh language in a different way it's amazing it just makes me feel positive about where we're going in the future and I think it's important that young people realise early on that they've got bilingualism that's a real advantage.

I have come to the conclusion over the years that beatboxing and rapping are great ways of providing access to the Welsh language.

Rapping is a craft that greatly appeals to young people and the language is known for its musicality, so what better way of boosting the use of Welsh in schools?

– Mr Phormula

Earlier this year the pupils won a rap challenge, designed to encourage students to write and perform a song about their hometown.

The project was organised by ERW (Education through Regional Working), and organisers say experimenting with words can help show young people that Welsh is relevant, and not "something that exists solely to pass assessments or gain qualifications."

The teaching of the Welsh language is one of our education system's strengths, but we must continue to develop this area in accordance with the new curriculum and to meet the target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050 as set out by the Welsh Government.

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I hope that this rap competition will further promote the use of Welsh in the classroom and in the playground, as well as giving more and more children the confidence to carry the language with them into the future.

– Catrin Phillips, ERW