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Culture

New stage show aims to promote the Welsh language

30 May 2024 4 minute read
Geiriau being performed in Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, Machynlleth

A new stage show which aims to promote the Welsh language to young people across Wales was performed at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Meifod.

Author Manon Steffan Ros devised the show, Geiriau (Words) for the Mewn Cymeriad company, following a commission from the Welsh Language Commissioner.

The show, aimed at young people in secondary school years 7, 8 and 9, coincides with a new education resource pack developed by the Commissioner which will be available on educational platform, Hwb.

Challenge

According to Manon Steffan Ros, it was great to have the commission, albeit a challenging one,

“In order to promote the Welsh language to our young people and encourage them to use it we need to take advantage of a variety of ways to do so. A stage show, which is performed in schools, is a great opportunity to emphasise the role of Welsh in our daily lives, by using contemporary music and language relevant to them.

“It was a challenge, to develop a script that captured all these elements, while at the same time promoting the overall message that the use of Welsh is necessary for its survival.

“I hope the show will be instrumental in leading to further discussion amongst young people and their teachers about the importance of the Welsh language.”

Hope

To coincide with the show, an education pack has also been created which offers various materials for lessons. The pack includes presentations and worksheets that offer information about the Welsh language, its importance as a skill in everyday life, other minority languages around the world, as well as explaining the role of the Welsh Language Commissioner.

According to Efa Gruffudd Jones, Welsh Language Commissioner, this development is in response to various requests for information,

“I have often identified children and young people as a priority for me and we are constantly receiving requests from schools for information about our work. The aim with this resource is to offer a practical education pack from which different work activities can be selected.

“I hope it will help teachers and pupils to better understand, not only the role of the Welsh Language Commissioner but the position of the Welsh language at a national and international level.

“I hope it will be widely used.”

‚ÄúContemporary Welsh”

One school that has already had the opportunity to see the show is Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, Machynlleth, in the Eisteddfod catchment area. Nansi Lloyd is a year 7 pupil and she thoroughly enjoyed it,

“The show was fast moving which was great and we all thought the use of contemporary Welsh music was really good. It got me thinking about why I speak Welsh and emphasised the importance of speaking the language naturally every day, and not just at school.

“I hope to go and see it again at the Eisteddfod.”

Alaw Jones is a teacher at Ysgol Bro Hyddgen and appreciates the value of the show and education pack,

“It can be challenging to promote the Welsh language especially at an age where social media plays such a prominent role in young people’s lives. This show was a catalyst to lead onto further discussion about the Welsh language in our society today and it was great to see the reaction of the young people.

“The education pack is a useful resource that will allow us to discuss the Welsh language in a wider context, an international context, and emphasise the benefits of speaking the language in terms of skills in the workplace.”

The show, Geiriau, was performed at the Welsh Government stand at 2pm on Wednesday, May 29 and was followed by a Q&A with Efa Gruffudd Jones, Manon Steffan Ros and actor, Owen Alun.


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