Bilingualism

Bilingualism by Richard Carbis from the RJC 7’s blog

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/aug/07/being-bilingual-good-for-brain-mental-health

I was pleased whilst researching bilingualism to come across an article in the Guardian promoting the advantages of being bilingual. Recently they published an article that was extremely vocal in its opposition to the Welsh language.  In fact and article written by @rhiannonlucyc also in the Guardian gave a perfect response to the issues raised,

https://amp.theguardian.com/education/2017/jun/22/sad-english-parents-afraid-children-taught-welsh

However it seems strange to be discussing the value of bilingualism within my own country. Yesterday I read another article which shocked me,

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/restaurant-owner-says-deals-anti-13256874#ICID=Android_WalesOnlineNewsApp_AppShare

Why is it that a minority of people are fearful of the ability to speak more than one language? I speak both Welsh and English, I take great pride in my country and feel proud of the opportunities I have been given. I know that many people who live in Wales are very supportive of the language and whether people move into Wales or are from Wales they often discuss how they would love to learn the language.

To be able to speak more than one language is a definite advantage and keeps your mind young and active,

http://neurosciencenews.com/brain-time-language-6562/amp/

This next article provides a clear understanding why being bilingual is beneficial,

When I shop in Cardiff I make a point of speaking Welsh, whether a simple greeting or a thank you. I feel comfortable in speaking Welsh in company and I thoroughly enjoy conversing with anyone who has an interest in the language. The article below shows how Welsh is being adopted by people that have moved to Wales,

http://cymraeg.llyw.cymru/More/myexperience/Learn/AnnaSkalistira-Bakratseva?lang=en

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting two conferences related to education.  In the first I heard Katherine Davies speak about the Welsh Government’s vision for Welsh. We want to develop Welsh speakers and just as important, people who want to use the language. It is very true that within Wales, being able to speak Welsh is a positive contribution to your CV. On Twitter many jobs are advertised with Welsh as an essential or desirable attribute. Here are two examples,

http://www.lleol.cymru/classified/swyddog-datblygu-gwent.html

http://www.lleol.cymru/classified/gweithiwr-plant-ieuenctid-a-theuluoedd5953a339408ed.html

At this moment in our history we truly have the opportunity to make our country bilingual.  With the new professional standards for teachers in Wales, we will be able to create a workforce that will support the use of Welsh in every establishment.

In the second conference, I had the opportunity to listen to pupils discuss their heritage and watch a film that 5 schools had created. They researched their local area and met people that have lived for many years in the locality. It was a celebration of Wales from ‘Ar lan y Môr’ to Black Gold’ in the valleys,

To embrace our heritage and language is part of the journey a child will take in Wales and being able to speak two languages or more will open the door to new opportunities. With so much angst and insecurity in the world let us embrace the chance to share our culture and celebrate Welsh as a living language.

Mam Cymru would like to thank Richard Carbis for allowing us to share this post from the RJC 7’s blog.

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