Eisiau dysgu Cymraeg? Free Welsh lessons on offer for all teachers and 16-25 year olds

Free Welsh language learning courses and online resources will be available from September this year. Credit: National Eisteddfod of Wales

Free Welsh lessons will be offered to anyone aged 16 to 25 in Wales.

From September, those 18-25 year olds and all education practitioners will be able to enrol in free courses with the National Centre for Learning Welsh. At the same time, a new online learning resource will be made available to people aged 16-18.

It is part of the Welsh Government's efforts to increase the number of Welsh speakers and strengthen the teaching of the language in the new curriculum.

Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said it was important young adults feel empowered to learn Welsh and have the opportunity to do so.

The Welsh Government are aiming to reach one million Welsh speakers by 2050. Credit: PA

Learners 18+ will be able to access courses tailored to their own level of Welsh, from taster and entry courses through to advanced levels. Most of these lessons are held virtually.

The online scheme being piloted for 16- 18 year olds who attend school, college or are an apprentice, will be provided by Say Something in Welsh and the National Centre for Learning Welsh.

All teachers, head teachers and teaching assistants will also be able to access free Welsh lessons, with the aim to increase the number of staff who can teach in the language.

Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: "I want everyone to have the opportunity to learn Welsh. Not everyone has the chance to learn Welsh from a young age and many of us decide after we've left school-age education that we'd like to speak Welsh more often.

"It's important we increase the opportunities to learn our language so more people can use Welsh in their daily lives. 

"We also want to increase the number of learners in Welsh-medium education and training. There is therefore an increasing need for more Welsh-speaking educators, so I want to make it as easy as possible for them to have access to Welsh courses for free.

"Welsh belongs to us all. This is another step towards giving a chance to everyone to speak Welsh and help us reach our goal of a million Welsh speakers by 2050."

Cefin Campbell MS, Designated Member, said: "Everyone should have the right in our country to learn, work and live their lives in Welsh - the language belongs to us all. The announcement today is another step forward as we plan for a million Welsh speakers and beyond.

"By offering all 16 - 25 year olds free Welsh lessons, we are removing another barrier to accessing the language, and all the many benefits it brings to people's lives.

"Providing easy to access free lessons is a small but crucial contribution in our efforts to expand Welsh language citizenship to everyone. I hope that very many people will benefit from this new policy forged in the co-operative Welsh spirit. Together, we are making a difference."

Last year, the language learning app 'Duolingo' announced that Welsh was the fastest growing language in the UK in 2020 - beating the amount of users taking up Hindi, Japanese, French and Turkish.