Makaton: The special version of Yma o Hyd making Wales' World Cup anthem 'accessible to all'

An alternative version of Dafydd Iwan's iconic Yma o Hyd has been viewed tens of thousands of times after two Makaton tutors released the signed performance to ensure Wales' World Cup anthem was "accessible to all."

Actress Ceri Bostock and tutor Sian Williams, both from Caernarfon, created Arwyddo Cân efo Ceri a Sian and they perform Welsh pop songs together using Makaton.

The pair released the video of themselves perfoming Yma o Hyd so the "Welsh football anthem was accessible to all and unite all abilities to support the team."

Makaton is a language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to help people to communicate.

Unlike British Sign Language, Makaton is used alongside speech and in English grammatical word order.

"I started using Makaton when I was cast as Heulwen on the Welsh Childrens program Dwylo’r Enfys in 2021," Ceri explained.

"After 3 series of filming and the program winning a BAFTA, I decided to train as a tutor.

"My mission now is to create more Welsh Makaton content as there is a huge demand for it. 

"Makaton helps to teach Welsh to non-Welsh speakers and we are seeing the benefits across schools all the time."

Since Ceri and Sian started Arwyddo Cân efo Ceri a Sian they've been contacted by schools asking them to come in a teach Welsh pop songs through sign.

Ceri said: "It is very popular amongst the children and they love learning a new skill.

"We like to think we are helping to encourage young people to learn Welsh and also encourage everyone to sign."

Sian has been signing using BSL for almost 20 years but decided to also learn Makaton because there were no other Welsh tutors in north Wales at the time.

"I started using BSL in 2004," Sian said.

"I was working in an additional needs unit and there was a deaf young person using sign language and he could only communicate with his support worker and I wanted to be able to talk to him.

"I felt bad that only one person could sign at the time."

From here Sian sign immersed herself into learning sign language.

"I was then appointed to a classroom support role with a deaf young girl at a mainstream Welsh school and continued to learn sign at college to support the pupil and develop my signing skills."

"I realised there was a need for Makaton in North Wales but no Welsh tutors so thought I could transfer my skills, went on courses and progressed to Regional Makaton Tutor."

Ceri and Sian said there are not enough resources out there for using Makaton alongside the Welsh Language.

Ceri said: "We are on a mission to raise awareness for the need for more resources in Wales using Makaton and better understanding of Makaton as a visual communication tool using the Welsh Language.

"We are mindful and aware that we do not share our videos as being BSL but we would like all communities to see that this as a way of including ALL learners and give them the opportunity to enjoy and participate in our videos."