Donaldson Concerns -  socpie.uk   

Donald Concerns

25+ Points.

Why Compelling All Children to Learn through the

Medium of Welsh

Damage Children's Education

 hgunn.uk


1. Welsh medium education was introduced because Welsh speaking children did not have the fluency to learn effectively through the medium of English. It was not introduced to teach native English-speaking children Welsh.


2.
Parents, sibling and families offer intense face to face language support to develop young children’s native language skills on a one to one basis from birth and it is difficult to conceive how native speaking English children can enjoy such early and continuing support from their parents in Welsh.

3. Native English speaking will have immigrant status, they will need to learn a new language to educated through it and they will need to learn a language that their parents cannot speak and they will be unable to help them learn.

4. Children will always learn more effectively in their native language, because of working memory. (Sweller). They will need to fluently learn a dictionary of Welsh words, before they will be able to effectively learn through the medium of Welsh.


5. Research suggests it will take around five years before an average child will be able to learn effectively through a new language. It could be much longer.

6.  There are children struggling to effectively through the medium of English in Wales, the learning of a new language would have a potentially disastrous impact on children with low working memory capacity, especially dyslexic children.

7. Research suggests it takes 10,000 hours of practice to develop mastery, such developing native like new language fluency, and whilst the figure is notional, it illustrates the scale of the task of learning a new language.

8. The Welsh language is that is a minority language, the opportunities for children to intensively use the language outside of school is extremely limited. Fluent new languages cannot be learnt in classrooms, they need to be lived through which makes it difficult for English speaking children, parents and teachers to learn.

9. The English language is increasingly becoming the academic language and a language of commerce throughout the world, the British council claim that two billion people will be learning it throughout the world by 2020.

10.   The English language is one of the most difficult languages in the world, but it is one of the most useful to learn, children learning through the medium of Welsh, learning a new language will not be developing their English language skills.

11. When children attempt to learn a new language and learn thorough it at any age they will be multi-tasking, they will not be able to give active attention to learning a new language and subject content simultaneously. (Sweller)


12. Young native English speaking children will be learning a new language a dictionary of new words at a critical time in their formative learning, The time they devote to developing their new Welsh vocabulary could be devoted to expanding their English one.1111


13. Research suggests that children's early language development has a profound influence upon their later reading and general educational development. Children will need to acquire a vocabulary of 40,000 words English words for their secondary education.

14. Spoken language is the fastest cognitive skill the brain can process, which is why it needs a vast amount of practice to bring it into fluency, it is process like trying to learn and instantly recall thousands of arbitrary security codes.

15. Research illustrates that many children in Welsh medium education in Wales speak English in the school yard and at home (Dr. Margaret Newcombe, Cardiff School of Welsh).

16.  The development and retetion of any new language capability will be related to the extent it is used, the tipping point of living language is 67% speakers of it, which reflects the fact that it must be used intensively by the individual and as society for it to be retained. (University of Galway).


17.  The language of the school different to the language of the home, social language, that is applied on a face to face basis in the home.


18.  Although Welsh medium schools will create Welsh speaking environments over the 67% speaking those not living in Welsh speaking families will experience difficulty in bathing themselves in such environments after they leave school.


19. Research illustrates that 40% of non-native Welsh speakers who learn thorough the medium of Welsh loose it after they leave school.


20. Alan Cairnes, Welsh Secretary claimed that there is elitism in the Welsh language where proper Welsh speakers are looking down on the Welsh speaking youth, many of whom do not view themselves as fluent proper Welsh speakers. Many Welsh speakers are speaking slang.

21. The boundaries between home and school learning is blurred, if children are living through one language, but are being educated through another, they may lack the vocabulary to translate their experiences between languages.

22. Most bilinguals speakers in the world use each of their languages for different purposes.


23. Native speaking Welsh children and adults are no going to deny themselves the opportunities that exist through using English.

 

24. There are children learn French to be educated through it in Canada, but because there are millions of French speakers in Canada and the wider world there are more opportunities for it to be used there, such libraries of books that do not exist in the Welsh language. French learning is not compulsory there.

25. A recent report from teachers in the Times Educational Supplement that claims that children’s native language English fluency in England is declining and there are concerns about their ability to able to do cope with the language of G.C.S.E. examinations.

26. The clear aim of Welsh medium education is to prepare children to live their everyday lives through the medium of Welsh, the curriculum is simply translated into Welsh. Children will find it extremely difficult to live their lives through the Welsh language. if the Welsh language is not spoken in their homes and it is rarely spoken in their communities.

 

27. Children are required to do maths exclusively in the Welsh language, including using Welsh numbers. The ideal is children should be able to fluently recall their multiplication tables, for instance, but if they know that 7 x 7 = 47 in Welsh, this will not mean they will automatically know the sum in English.

28. There is also the issue of whether children learning technical terms like the word for ‘disgyrchiant’ the word for ‘gravity’ in Welsh equips will children to automatically recognise or recall it in English. The issue us not in learning a given Welsh technical terms, but in learning so many of them.

29. The boundaries between word meanings and knowledge are blurred, the frequency of encountering them influences their development and retention. The “heart” is more likely to be heard that “spleen”, for instance, which is called “gwenyn” in Welsh. Lack of use of Welsh is going to make the retention of the term unlikely. Spleen is unlikely to commonly known in English.


30. The majority of bilingual speakers are not balanced bilinguals. The balance between the languages will be dictated by the need to use them. Language are shared between people like viruses. The English language is a super virus. Even if all children are compelled to learn Welsh and educated through it, it is only human nature that children will use the language that is most useful to them and the one that they are most fluent in, the one they can use with ease and flow.

 

Plenary    

  The proposal to compel all native English speaking teachers and children to learn through the medium of Welsh has been ill-conceived and ill-thought out. It appears to have been based upon the naïve assumption that new languages can be easily learnt and retained by children for the rest of their lives. The complexity of learning languages has been ignored and the full implications of the proposals never actively considered.

 

        There is no evidence of any country in the world that requires its native speakers of the countries majority language to learn a minority language to be educated through it, especially one where only 11% of the population fluently speak it.

 

           Children who learn English to be educated through the medium of English are referred to "E.A.L." - English as an Additional Language Learners - and English medium children who learn Welsh should be referred to "W.A.L." - Welsh as an Additional Language Learners. The children’s status will be similar to immigrants to United Kingdom, but unlike immigrants they will not be learning a language that is all around them. The children’s status will be similar to immigrants to United Kingdom, but unlike immigrants they will not be learning a language that is all around them.       



Media Wales Report       Kirsty Williams Response

Socpie Aims for 2019

  Socpie addressed important issues in 2018 in respect of the proposal that all children in Wales should be educated through the medium of Welsh. There public had been misinformed and a lot of "Tom, Dicks and Mary's" became embroiled in the debate, who possessed an impoverished understanding of what a deep issue it was. Children will always learn most effectively in their native language.

Socpie first 2019 aim is to address the issue of Welsh for Adult tutors, who has been misinforming the Welsh public about learning issues and who are offering parents and even children impoverished and even reckless learning advice.


Accepting that there is and there will be simple answers to complex educational problems children's learning interests must always come first, however politically unpalatable tbst is. 


1. Welsh Language issues are very emotional issues in Wales, but there are no simple answers to how the Welsh language can be saved. Children's learning interests must come first. The issue of language learning and Welsh medium are deep educational issues.

2. The Pisa international rankings and estimated scores are farcical. They do not allow valid comparisons of children's performance in different countries. Doing well in Pisa should not be the sole focus of countries educational policies.

3. The taboo that all children's learning potential is equal most be cast to the history book. Children who are below average should not be viewed as failures. There are no simple answers to this problem.
 
4. The concept of a 21st Century Curriculum is a commendable one, but it must be based upon pure pedagogic foundations. There are a myriad of political educational initiatives that have been tried and failed. The classical curriculum should not unquestionably adandoned.

5. There are no other profession that has to confront "Tom, Dicks, and Mary's" misleading the public through playing being teachers, researchers and authorities on education. Legally only Q.T.S and Q.T.L.S. teachers in Wales and Scotland are entitled to call themselves teachers. These people need to be exposed.


6. The Welsh for Adult Service that Teachers must use to learn Welsh for Teaching purposes and parents, who do not speak Welsh, who want to learning Welsh to support their children's learning remains substandard. There has been 'fake news' disseminated about learning issues.


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  Since Howard created Socpie in 2017 there has been changes. The evidence is the halo of the Pisa international assessments is beginning to erode. Dylan Wiliam, who is Welsh world authority on education, who is now living in Florida, has made at same point that Howard made in the Times Educational Supplement 2016 that the excessive 'child labour' hours that children were devoting to learning makes a mockery of the Pisa assessments. He also cited the fact that there is significant non registration of children in high ranking Shanghai, China that Andreas Schliecher has been so obsessed with. 


  What really destroys the credibility of Pisa is that Shanghai would have been top ranked in Pisa 2015 in reading, but because they were officially combined with other Chinese provinces their reading score crashed under the United Kingdom. The easiest way for the Welsh Government, which had abandoned it Pisa targets, to improve them would be either grant its deprived valley schools independence or export them to England!


  Top down educational educational initiatives have failed. They have now realised there is no magic bullet answers to the issue of educational standards. The English Government knee jerk reactions to its Pisa rankings is hopefully the last. 

 The Welsh Government must be respected for casting political rhetoric aside and respecting the professionalism of its teachers. Sadly, Howard has proved that notion that all children should be compulsory educated through the medium of Welsh will damage children's education. The source of the problems that have arisen appears to be the Welsh Language Board and the advice offered by some Canadian Professor in around 2010. There was a failure to understand that language is fundamental to all learning. 


  Professor Sioned Davies, who advised on the role of Welsh language in the school curriculum had no teaching qualifications. She was not a professor of education. She did not understand educational research methodology. She did not recruit the range of authorities that needed to be consulted to allow informed decisions to be made about the validity of her advice. She failed to recognise that the language that children learn through is fundamental to children education, that it will take five years for a native English speaking child to reach the fluency of children who are native speakers of the language they are learning and that children will always learn more effectively in their most fluent language. The issue is much more complicated that this. 

  There is evidence the Welsh Government has realised the whole issue of the role of Welsh language in Welsh language education has not be sufficiently researched by suitably qualified educationalist and academics with relevant expertise. Bottom up cognitive research relates to processes, which is more reliable than top down research, school outcome results. The English language perspective must be considered as much as Welsh. The French Government has been concerned about the lack of its children developing English language fluency. English is a world language and the academic language of the world.


Socpie 2019

  Howard has created a live petition about the need to take the Welsh for Adult service out of the Welsh universities. The Welsh for Adult service is a community service not an academic one. There is evidence that the service is being run to serve the political and commercial interest of the universities as opposed to learners needs.

           University academics in their ivory towers have no understanding of community needs. They are streaming through methodology and making Welsh more difficult that it needs to be. University academics have the freedom to practice anything they like. Further Educational colleges have only have one focus, learners needs and they must conform to high standards of integrity.

   The definition of expertise is that it is someone who can offer opinions in minutes that would take a novice thousands of hours of study and experience before they can offer them, which is assuming they have the expertise to offer them. The expertise that any person is only as good as the corporate intelligence that exists in subject domains, which is why professional teachers are trained in university schools of education in Wales, not schools of Welsh.

  Howard has researched learning issues that have potential to benefit all children in Wales, the source of which is not his, which he will be approaching authorities in their field in Wales to develop this year. There was time when the Scottish education system was a high quality one.

          The harsh reality is there are many deprived communities in Wales, and whilst it is possible for Wales to move towards developing world class teaching standards through schools working together to develop standards, this does not mean Wales will enjoy world standards of attainment. The two are not the same.

        Wales must value developing the attainment of children of all learning potential, which Pisa does not value. Children were not even been taught in the school B.B.C. Wales visited in South Korean School. It would have failed a E.S.T.Y.N. inspection. It was an elite one!!
    
     Notionally there is a clear avenue to enable children to enjoy high standards of teaching and what is the most appropriate curriculum children should receive. There is evidence it is possible to only work towards establishing what it is. 

  Socpie is hoping to have socipe petition on Pisa in 2019

Return to hgunn.uk


Since Howard created Socpie in 2017 there has been changes. The evidence is the halo of the Pisa international assessments is beginning to erode. Dylan Wiliam, who is Welsh world authority on education, who is now living in Florida, has made at same point that Howard made in the Times Educational Supplement 2016 that the excessive 'child labour' hours that children were devoting to learning makes a mockery of the Pisa assessments. He also cited the fact that there is significant non registration of children in high ranking Shanghai, China that Andreas Schliecher has been so obsessed with.


  What really destroys the credibility of Pisa is that Shanghai would have been top ranked in Pisa 2015 in reading, but because they were officially combined with other Chinese provinces their reading score crashed under the United Kingdom. The easiest way for the Welsh Government, which had abandoned it Pisa targets, to improve them would be either grant its deprived valley schools independence or export them to England!


  Top down educational educational initiatives have failed. They have now realised there is no magic bullet answers to the issue of educational standards. The English Government knee jerk reactions to its Pisa rankings is hopefully the last.

 The Welsh Government must be respected for casting political rhetoric aside and respecting the professionalism of its teachers. Sadly, Howard has proved that notion that all children should be compulsory educated through the medium of Welsh will damage children's education. The source of the problems that have arisen appears to be the Welsh Language Board and the advice offered by some Canadian Professor in around 2010. There was a failure to understand that language is fundamental to all learning.


  Professor Sioned Davies, who advised on the role of Welsh language in the school curriculum had no teaching qualifications. She was not a professor of education. She did not understand educational research methodology. She did not recruit the range of authorities that needed to be consulted to allow informed decisions to be made about the validity of her advice. She failed to recognise that the language that children learn through is fundamental to children education, that it will take five years for a native English speaking child to reach the fluency of children who are native speakers of the language they are learning and that children will always learn more effectively in their most fluent language. The issue is much more complicated that this.

  There is evidence the Welsh Government has realised the whole issue of the role of Welsh language in Welsh language education has not be sufficiently researched by suitably qualified educationalist and academics with relevant expertise. Bottom up cognitive research relates to processes, which is more reliable than top down research, school outcome results. The English language perspective must be considered as much as Welsh. The French Government has been concerned about the lack of its children developing English language fluency. English is a world language and the academic language of the world.


Socpie 2019

  Howard has created a live petition about the need to take the Welsh for Adult service out of the Welsh universities. The Welsh for Adult service is a community service not an academic one. There is evidence that the service is being run to serve the political and commercial interest of the universities as opposed to learners needs.

           University academics in their ivory towers have no understanding of community needs. They are streaming through methodology and making Welsh more difficult that it needs to be. University academics have the freedom to practice anything they like. Further Educational colleges have only have one focus, learners needs and they must conform to high standards of integrity.

   The definition of expertise is that it is someone who can offer opinions in minutes that would take a novice thousands of hours of study and experience before they can offer them, which is assuming they have the expertise to offer them. The expertise that any person is only as good as the corporate intelligence that exists in subject domains, which is why professional teachers are trained in university schools of education in Wales, not schools of Welsh.

  Howard has researched learning issues that have potential to benefit all children in Wales, the source of which is not his, which he will be approaching authorities in their field in Wales to develop this year. There was time when the Scottish education system was a high quality one.

          The harsh reality is there are many deprived communities in Wales, and whilst it is possible for Wales to move towards developing world class teaching standards through schools working together to develop standards, this does not mean Wales will enjoy world standards of attainment. The two are not the same.

        Wales must value developing the attainment of children of all learning potential, which Pisa does not value. Children were not even been taught in the school B.B.C. Wales visited in South Korean School. It would have failed a E.S.T.Y.N. inspection. It was an elite one!!
   
     Notionally there is a clear avenue to enable children to enjoy high standards of teaching and what is the most appropriate curriculum children should receive. There is evidence it is possible to only work towards establishing what it is.

  Socpie is hoping to have socipe petition on Pisa in 2019

Return to hgunn.uk



















































1. The whole problem with the Welsh language issues is that people tend to engage in automatic thinking without thinking it through, give active thought to them. A new language needs to be grown and continued to be practised to the same extent as our native ones At the very least significant amount of applied practice needs to be developed to practising it. It takes around 6,000 hours to develop basic fluency in it.

2. Learning is not an 'instant fix' process, especially when learning a new language and even when fluency is developed in a new language, it does not necessarily mean that it will be retained for the rest of children lives by learners. The brain is very plastic.
Dr. Bronoski in the "Ascent of Man" claim his native language was Polish, but he could no longer speak a word of it later.

3. Even if all children in Wales are compelled to learn Welsh and then learn through the medium of it in school. This does not mean they will use it outside of school.  The B.B,C. visited Ysgo Bro ,Myrddyn, which was Welsh medium school in Carmarthen, where the children admitted to speaking English in the corridors.

4. Even if schools create 67% Welsh speaking environments for children to develop a degree of Welsh language fluency in school this will not exist outside school, especially when they leave school.  A Welsh Government Report claims that 40% of non-native Welsh speakers lose the Welsh Language when they leave school. This proportion is likely to increase if all children are forced to learn through the medium of Welsh in Wales.

5. School teaching is a comprise, school teachers do not have the time to give individual attention to teach child and the more support parents offer their children support, the more successful their learning will be.
 Many parents will not have time to spend six years or more learning Welsh to support their children, learning a new language is difficult for an adult, especially when it is all around learners.

5. The boundaries between home and school learning are not exact, children learn scientific terms and details through their everyday life experiences, for instance, and what they learn in school feeds back into their everyday lives, such learning about the organs of the body.  If these are translated into a new language, then new terms and wording neededto learn for the concepts and new concepts will need to be translated back into their native language for every day use.

6. There is evidence that children absorb language like sponges, but of this development, especially from birth, is intensive, because mothers have close relationships with their children from birth, children are also bathed in the language for extensive periods of time. It will
 be difficult for parents, who do not speak Welsh to offer this support pre-school and during their schooling. Expecting children to do homework in English will not resolve this problem. Children will not be the homework, developing fluency in applying in the language they will required to use it in school.

7. There are Welsh speakers claiming that they learnt through the medium of Welsh and it did them no harm.  This does not mean it will apply to ever child, but the unknown is what they would have achieved had they learn through their native language, which will be the most fluent language, and the language that they need to apply in higher education.

8. In the S4C "Educating Drew" program a Syrian Boy, who came to the Salford School be featured, had to be put into a remedial class until he learnt English, but he and his parents had to learn English, which is the majority language, the language that was all around him and which he needed to learn to live his everyday life.
Casting emotion aside it is extremely difficult, virtually impossible for child to walk the streets of many parts of Wales and speak Welsh to anyone.

9. Christine Hinton neuro--scienticist in Havard University has contended that learning priorities in school must be responsive to cognitive science and the process of the cognition of language cognition is being becoming explicit. Reliable research is predictive. Research on working memory clearly illustrates that expecting children to be education through new unfamiliar language will damage some, if not all children's education, in the same way that it effects children's with under develop native language fluency.

10. Howard's has researched cognition in his retirement and there are whole range of deep issues that need to addressed about Welsh language learning as whole in Wales.  Education is such a deep science, research if is often about establishing what we do not know, but through researching it, we become clearer about what we do know. "A Little Learning can be a very dangerous thing".

Plenary

  
There is no evidence the literature have been read. The vast majority of the literature refers to speakers of minority language needing to be educated through their native language for the whole or part of their education. There are Spanish speaking colonies in the U.S.A. Saville-Troike was threatened with dismissal when she was a young teacher for daring to speak Spanish to children there.

        The Welsh Government wants the vast majority of English speaking children to learn a new language so they can be educated through it.

  Casting emotion aside, expecting children to learnt through the medium of Welsh when it is not spoken in their homes, families or community is no different to expecting them to learn French, but there would be far more learning support materials, media and literature in that language. This the problem.

  Colin Baker (2011) , who I understand is a Welsh speaker, contended that the practice of native speaking English learning through the medium of French, may not be transferable to other countries. The practice is not compulsory in Canada. 

 This not argument for Welsh not to be taught in schools, but as with reading development there is not the time in the school day to allow well rounded fluency to be develop in it. It not a subject like history, where children will forget a great deal of detail, and can get away with revising it just before an examination. Gunn (2010), which is only privately available, outlines many of the problems involved in learning a new language, such as interference.