One million Welsh speakers target ‘doomed to failure’ say Conservatives

Shadow Education and Welsh Language Minister Suzy Davies AM. Picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

The Welsh Government’s target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050 is “doomed to failure” if the Welsh Government does not enforce a sound strategy in the education sector.

Speaking on International Mother Language Day, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Education and Welsh Language Minister Suzy Davies AM, said the government lacked a coherent strategy.

“Today the world is celebrating the beauty and identity of native languages and how linguistic diversity strengthens social sustainability,” she said.

“Already spoken by one in five in Wales, there is a clear wish to see more people speaking and using Welsh in everyday life.

“However, the target of a million Welsh speakers in our country by 2050 won’t be met with warm thoughts – we need an update on a properly resourced, properly thought-out, properly implemented strategy now that the Welsh Government has dropped their Welsh Language Bill.

“This coincides with the number of pre-school settings fall on their watch, reducing the potential for the seed of bilingualism to germinate in early years education.

“Also, the number of students in teacher training able to speak Welsh is at its lowest point in a decade, and only one-third of those are training to teach in Welsh.

“We cannot do justice to our mother tongue with lacklustre lip-service. I urge the Welsh Government to use this day as the beginning of a reinvigoration in their strategy and policy-making, and give Wales the language growth strategy it deserves.”

‘Unacceptable’

It was announced today that a care home in the Swansea valley is under investigation after it warned staff about speaking Welsh.

WalesOnline reported that staff were told it was “unacceptable” for clients to overhear staff speaking in a language they do not understand and asked staff to be “mindful of your colleagues that do not speak the Welsh language”.

Isfryn is run by the Accomplish Group in Gorof Road, Ystradgynlais, and provides rehabilitation and support for individuals with acquired brain injuries.

The Accomplish Group said today it was reviewing the decision made by the care home and would be working closely with colleagues and the relevant authorities to find a ‘positive route forward for everyone’.

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