Cardiff Metropolitan University students offered free Welsh lessons to 'boost workforce'

The new initiative is in light of a nationwide recruitment shortage for Welsh language teachers.

Students will be given the opportunity to have free Welsh language lessons to address the shortage of Welsh-medium teachers.

It comes after a recent Senedd Committee report found that plans for there to be one million Welsh speakers by 2050 will fail without a substantial increase in teachers speaking the language.

From October this year, students studying at Cardiff Metropolitan University will be offered the opportunity to take part in ‘Welsh for Educators’, to improve existing Welsh language skills, or refine already fluent skills for the purposes of working within the education sector.

Students at the university will be offered weekly language classes for the duration of their degree.

Those who are undertaking Qualified Teacher Status programmes like PGCE and BA Primary Education, who already receive intensive Welsh language training, will be offered additional support to increase their confidence in using Welsh in the classroom.

Meanwhile, Welsh speakers will be supported with pre-sessional preparatory courses and regular proficiency workshops during the academic year.

Welsh language tutors from Cardiff Met’s Welsh Language Unit will provide teaching on a first come first served basis, working in close partnership with the School of Education and Social Policy’s existing teaching staff.

Daniel Tiplady, Head of the Welsh Language Unit at Cardiff Metropolitan University said: “As the largest provider of teacher training in Wales, Cardiff Met is extremely motivated to address the shortage of Welsh speaking teachers in classrooms across the country.

"The Welsh for Educators scheme aims to reduce the barriers for learning Welsh by introducing on-campus lessons with Cardiff Met’s own tutors and boost the confidence of those who can already speak Welsh.

“We’re hopeful that our education students will take up this opportunity to develop themselves professionally as they embark on their future career in a truly rewarding industry.”

Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “Increasing the number of teachers who can teach Welsh and through the medium of Welsh is vital to achieving our ambition of one million Welsh speakers by 2050, so I want to make it as easy as possible for them to have access to Welsh courses for free.

“I’m pleased to be working with Cardiff Metropolitan University on this initiative, which is another step towards giving a chance to everyone in Wales to speak Welsh.”

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