People of Pembrokeshire urged to learn Welsh as New Year’s resolution with new online classes
The residents of Pembrokeshire are being urged to learn Welsh as their New Year’s resolution, with new online classes offered.
The council are urging people to sign up, following the example of Liz Backen from Wolfscastle. After moving to Pembrokeshire in 2016 and having her third child she joined ‘Cymraeg i’r Teulu’ a Welsh course tailor made for parents in September 2017.
Liz soon started to speak Welsh with her children every day and found it particularly useful during the lockdown period when the children were being homeschooled, and set up an Instagram account to document her journey.
‘‘I wanted to learn to speak Welsh to help my children initially,” said Liz. “I knew that moving to Wales would mean that the children would be taught the language in school and I wanted to be able to support them as much as possible.
“While we were walking I’d often get asked what where the names of different plants and trees in Welsh so I decided to set up the Instagram account to document what we had seen and learnt and share them with other learners,” she said.
As well as embracing the language, Welsh culture has become a big part of Liz’s life. Liz enjoyed presenting the Welsh language music show ‘Gwlad y Gân’ on Pure West Radio and shared some of her favourite Welsh language songs, including Adre by her favourite singer Gwyneth Glyn.
In October 2021 Liz competed in a quiz for Welsh learners’ on BBC Radio Cymru. After going through the first round she went on to win the competition.
Currently, Liz is following an Advanced level course for experienced learners with Learn Welsh Pembrokeshire, run by Pembrokeshire County Council on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.
Liz is looking forward to continuing her learning journey: ‘‘I am no longer learning Welsh just for my children – it has become my passion and such a huge part of my life. It’s opened so many fun and exciting opportunities. I would like to say ‘Diolch yn fawr’ to my tutors for their continued support.
“To anyone considering learning Welsh don’t think about it, just do it! You won’t regret it!”
Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Member for Environment, Public Protection and Welsh Language, said: “Well done to Liz for her excellent efforts in learning Welsh and setting up the Instagram account Dysgu Cymraeg Wrth Gerdded (Learn Welsh while walking).
“With the New Year now starting, it would be great to see additional people declaring a New Year’s resolution to start on the journey to learn Welsh. There are now so many interactive apps and online support to ensure that people are helped in addition to having traditional Welsh classes. 2022 can be the year to learn Welsh and understand about the varied and unique dialects of Welsh that we have in Pembrokeshire.”
Anyone who wants to sign up for Pembrokeshire Council’s online Welsh lessons can do so here.
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