Welsh Medium Learning Problems - socpie.uk                      
 

      The issue of Welsh Medium education is a highly emotional issue in Wales.  Most people do not realise that the language medium that children learn through is fundamental to their learning  success.

        Children go to school to be educated. They should not go to school simply to learn Welsh language. The two are not the same.   


     There has been unwillingness of the authorities to make public that new languages are not learnt instantly. Research illustrates that it takes around five years for an average child to reach the language fluently level of a native speakinhg child in class  in a majority language. Welsh is a minority language. 


           There has also been unwillingness of the authorities to admit  that the learning potential of children is not equal. This means take some children will take a great deal more time and will need to appply more learning effort to reach any given level of learning attainment.


          What many parents do not appreciate is that children must learn the Welsh language before they will be able to effectively learn through it. There will never be an absolute certainty that their children will be able to successfully climb that entrance hurdle to be able to successfully learn  Welsh, through medium of Welsh through the medium of Welsh. 


         Native Welsh speaking children always have a head start in Welsh medium education. This is because they have enjoyed intense early years interaction face to face in the real world with their Welsh speaking parents.  English-speaking children who learn through the medium of  Welsh will never enjoy.  Parent use of their native languge in their homes will influence their children's langauge at all ages


            Working memory is a gateway to all learning. Fluency reduces it. The more fluent children are in a language, then more working memory space will be available for learning. Having a fluent tip of the tongue and point of the ear langauge fluency enables more effective learning to take place. Point of the finger fluency is also a vital skill. 


         Research clearly states that learners will always learn most effectively in their most fluent language. The application of fluency requires less physical effort of the brain. Learning is a chemical process of growth.   


         The problem for all English-speaking children, who learn Welsh to be educated through medium of it, is that there will be very few opportunities for them to use Welsh outside the classroom. This the fact that Welsh is a minority language, but this also has a influence has influence on fluency native Welsh speaking achieving their language, especially as most children speak English and schoolyard and at home. 


           Native Welsh speaking children in have plenty of opportunity to drown themselves in English language. Very often they must use the language in a whole range of contexts. This means it much easier for a native speaking Welsh child to learn English, than English speaking child to learn Welsh.  


           Children cannot learn through two languages simultaneously. Learning is a process of cognitive growth. The words in a language you to be growing over thousands of hours of practice until they start living at the tip of speakers tongues and the point of their ears.


          The brain is a plastic. Learning facts like words like trying to fill a leaky bucket full of sand. Unless they are used sufficiently they will leak out the bucket.  The fact that English speakers learn Welsh in a Welsh medium school does not mean they retain it the rest of our their lives.

    

      There final issue is Welsh medium education is clearly designed to prepare exclusively use Welsh language throughout their everyday lives. Dr Margaret Newcombe of Cardiff school are Welsh states that comments and law have been applied in English since the Act of Union in 1636. Welsh speaking children be born into a bilingual Wales, not a Welsh speaking one.


           All children across the world are facing are very uncertain future. Wales is more than more than language, it is people. All real Welsh people Welsh speakers and English cherish Welsh language has been part of our national identity and culture, but children only one life. They can only have one education. 


         The fact that Welsh medium education does not appear to be preparing children to live children to live in modern Wales means the issue must be considered and discussed without political interference.