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Jamie Roberts addresses ‘despite being taught in Welsh’ comments about academic success

30 Nov 2021 2 minute read
Jamie Roberts speaking on Heno. Credit S4C

Rugby star Jamie Roberts has addressed a suggestion that he achieved academic success “despite being taught in Welsh”.

The 35-year-old former Wales international, who has won 94 caps, has spoken about press reports during his time at Queens College, Cambridge University, where he studied for a Masters of Philosophy in Medical Science.

The centre, who graduated with an MPhil from the high-ranking university in 2017, took issue with the way the subject was portrayed, saying it was “as if” speaking Welsh was a “pain”.

He added that he is “fortunate” that he is able to speak the language and said that he would “urge anyone really to send their children to a Welsh medium school”.

Roberts was on the S4C show, Heno, to discuss his autobiography, ‘Centre Stage: My Life in Rugby’, when he made the comments.

In the interview he was asked: “We’ve all heard the headline, haven’t we, ‘despite being taught in Welsh’. What did you make of all that?”

‘My parents didn’t speak Welsh’ 

Roberts replied: “My parents didn’t speak Welsh. They decided to send me to Ysgol y Wern. It was a Welsh medium school, and then to Glantaf. The news came out I believe, and someone said ‘despite being taught in Welsh’ as if it was something, ‘despite he went through the pain of speaking Welsh’.

“I’m so fortunate that I am able to speak the language. I love the fact that I can speak Welsh. I urge anyone really to send their children to a Welsh medium school, because to have the two, it’s something very special”.


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Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
1 year ago

Pan o’n i’n blentyn mamiaith Gymraeg, er oeddwn i’n byw mewn ardal Gymraeg ei hiaith (ar y pryd…), ces i mo’r cyfle i gael addysg cwbl cyfrwng Cymraeg ac mae’n wych bod y sefyllfa wedi newid cryn dipyn yn hynny o beth erbyn hyn, gyda nifer o Ysgolion Cynradd cyfrwng Cymraeg ac nid 1 ond 2 Ysgol Uwchradd cyfrwng Cymraeg sef : Ysgol Y Preseli (Crymych) ac Ysgol Caer Elen (Hwlffordd) ~ When I was a child, despite the fact that I lived in a Welsh-speaking area (well, it was at that time…), I did not have the opportunity of… Read more »

NonWatcyn
NonWatcyn
1 year ago
Reply to  Crwtyn Cemais

Me too, educated in 98% Welsh speaking Ynys Mon in the 40/50s through the medium of English. We had to learn Eng pretty fast – there wasn’t a choice in those days – English or nothing! Diolch i’r nefoedd fod pethau wedi newid a diolch fyth am yr ysgolion Cymraeg!

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 year ago
Reply to  NonWatcyn

Dyna brofiad miloedd ohonom yn ol yn y 50/60au ac yn fwy diweddar. Syndod bore heddiw clywed Dafydd Iwan ar Radio Cymru yn canu’r hen gan …”ac ambell i lesson yn Welsh whare teg am mae Cymro bach oeddwn i” !

Maureen
Maureen
1 year ago
Reply to  NonWatcyn

Non Watcyn – finnau yr un peth yn ystod y 60’au, pob dim yn Saesneg heblaw am gwersi Cymraeg, gwneud cam a ni oedd huna. Dwi mor falch fod plant heddiw yn cael eu haddysg yn eu mamiaith.

kaiskama
kaiskama
1 year ago
Reply to  Crwtyn Cemais

I grew up in Newport in the 60’s. Obviously, all lessons were in English, but my grammar school offered 3 foreign languages — Latin, German, french.

But Welsh ??? No chance.
The sad thing is, looking back, it was never considered. Nobody bothered.
I think its great that children in Wales can now be educated in both languages, their own and English.

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
1 year ago

Thanks for sticking up for the Welsh language Jamie I’m not a Welsh speaker but I think it is great to see that it seems to be making a strong comeback in South Wales

Arwyn
Arwyn
1 year ago

Falle byddi di moyn darllen yr erthygl eto?

GogSais
GogSais
1 year ago

Which article did you read there?

Dragon in Exile
Dragon in Exile
1 year ago

Beth yn y byd wyt ti’n siarad amdano? Darllena’r erthygl!

Keith Evans
Keith Evans
1 year ago

I think English comprehension is your issue if you took that from this article.Uts the exact opposite of what you wrote!

Paul
Paul
1 year ago

Read the article again!

MOPS
MOPS
1 year ago

Darllen yr erthygl #twp

Webleyson
Webleyson
1 year ago

im more concerned about who comes up with the titles for the books.
“Centre Stage”

Gareth
Gareth
1 year ago

I do get the feeling of, if the “blue books” had been written only this year, they would have come up with the same conclusions,. I feel some attitudes, in some places, towards our language and culture will never change.

Steffan ap Breian
Steffan ap Breian
1 year ago
Reply to  Gareth

Er gwaethaf pawb a phopeth,
Er gwaethaf Dic, Siôn, Dafydd
Ryn ni yma o hyd.

Martin Thomas
Martin Thomas
1 year ago

My Grandfather from Gwaelod Y Garth spoke ‘Welsh at home but was subject to the Welsh Not’ in school and was told it was a dying language. Because of that he never taught my father, language lost in one generation and generations to come. I wish I had been brought up Welsh speaking but have learnt some yn dosbarth nos to help my children with their lessons and keep some identity.

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Thomas

My Tadcu (b. 1890) was from Sir Morgannwg, Cymraeg iaith cyntaf. He worked in the Gwalia Stores and was a flying instructor in the RFC during WW1. But that was the period when people believed “if you want to get on, speak English”. So he turned his back on his own language, and even refused to let my mother and aunt attend Cymraeg classes at school.

But at least I’ve been able to learn the language, and even become a member of the Gorsedd /|\ – I wonder what he’d have said about that?

Elin
Elin
1 year ago

Bum yn ceisio dysgu Ffrangeg ac Almaeneg i blant mean ysgolion yn Lloegr am 20 mlynedd ac yr wyf yn sicr yr oedd yn anfantais mawr iddynt gael eu magu a’u ysgoloriaeth mewn un iaith. Y mae’n anodd iawn dyrchafu pan yn 11 mlwydd oed fod yna ffyrdd eraill i fynegu eich hunain. Cymraeg oedd ein iaith teuluol ac heddiw, rhwng y 4 ohonym, yr ydym yn gallu siarad, Ffrangeg, Almaeneg, Eidaleg, Spaeneg, Swedeg, Sami, Rwsseg. Heb os, yr mae medru siarad Cymraeg wedi ein helpu i ddysgu cymaint o iaethoedd eraill. I tried to teach foreign languages to English… Read more »

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