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Attitudes to the compulsory Welsh GCSE watch

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    (Original post by Cake Faced Kid.)
    For my Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification, I'm looking at the general attitudes towards the compulsory teaching of Welsh in secondary education.

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JPVJY7L If you could complete my survey (It's very short) I would be hugely grateful

    If anyone has any comments or opinions on the subject it would be hugely useful to me.
    Personally I feel that enforcing a language on people who don't want to learn it, or don't have an aptitude for languages is a waste of money, and time that could be spent helping the child achieve more important grades in English and maths.
    I also feel that printing the council documents in both languages is a huge waste of money and resources, it should be an opt in service, as less than 20% of people in Wales speak welsh fluently.

    But that's my opinion, if yours differs, that's cool, and it would be useful to get others perspectives on the issue for my investigation

    Thanks
    Completed it for you. I love how much effort you're putting into this, I just made my results up.

    20% of the welsh population is actually quite a significant margin. It may not seem huge, but it is quite substantial. In China, that'd be 250million people and granted, since we're in Wales the number is a lot closer to 600,000 or so, the relativity is essentially the same.

    Wales doesn't have much of a global status. It's increasingly being seen as just another slice of England with bilingual signs and an unhealthy attraction to sheep - and only one of those things is true... I mean bilingual signs? what the hell.

    In all seriousness though, Wales needs to hang on to whatever identity it has left. We lose the language and it'll just open the floodgates to the rest of our identity being washed away.

    No student is going to learn Welsh by their GCSEs alone. I can only remember two lines in welsh, and after an entire secondary school's worth of education, that's pitiful. But I sincerely doubt I'm alone.

    When we did our GCSEs, at a conservative estimate, around 30%-of the my schoolmates just sat at the table cross-armed staring into space.They failed miserably. I myself tried my utmost best. I also failed miserably.

    Should Welsh be kept? Yes. Should it be compulsory? Nope.
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    (Original post by Haze)
    I think we are talking past each other here. Learning a language has many benefits, but schools have only so much time and money. I was being hyperbolic when I said teaching welsh is a waste of time, but teaching any other modern language is better. We are talking about the spending of public money.
    I'm not sure that I agree. To someone being educated in Wales, a knowledge of Welsh has every chance of being beneficial as knowledge of French, German or Mandarin. Knowledge of Welsh can certainly help to further a career in Wales, and the students in question have ample opportunities - through S4C, Radio Cymru, the Eisteddfod, and socialising in person - to use Welsh in their lives away from the world of work. I don't believe that I'd be wrong in saying that in most places in Wales, a working knowledge of Welsh is far more likely to be useful than a working knowledge of a MFL.

    You are arguing on the one hand Welsh is thriving, with a highly dedicated population, who use it for business, AND that it is in desperate need of propping up. You also don't provide any reason that a language that no one needs to communicate shouldn't erode and face extinction.
    No, I am not, and I don't know what gave you that idea. All that I've said on the subject of Welsh in the world of work is that it is good for employment prospects, a fact that is hard to dismiss when taking into account the number of positions across Wales for which a knowledge of Welsh is desired, or indeed, required.

    Let me be clear: the position of Welsh is precarious at best. It is in a far better position than it once was, due to the developments I mentioned in the first post of mine that you quoted, but if those developments were to be rolled back, its fate would be sealed.

    Language is the kernel around which culture nucleates. It is only differences in language, with the exception of geographical barriers, which allow the development of distinct cultures within an area. Loss of the Welsh language would be a body blow to both Welsh culture and Welsh identity. Historically, due to the loss of Welsh law and a distinct Welsh church, and the lack of any Welsh civic institutions, the language, and latterly, nonconformism were the only things re-affirming Wales' distinctiveness from England. Consequentially, the language is an important factor in the identity of a large number of people across Wales, especially following the precipitous decline of nonconformism, and its loss would further challenge and erode that identity. Furthermore, the loss of the language would entail the loss of vast amounts of literature, poetry and music which are only available through that medium. While some could no doubt be saved for posterity, transcription isn't even an option for a significant portion; poetry relies on its musicality in the tongue it was written for, and some arts that are significant in Welsh - such as the cynghanedd - don't even exist in English.

    I do not believe that the only thing that matters when it comes to languages is the absolute number of people that they allow you to communicate with.

    The people of wales(a non-representative sample) are in favour of 'strengthening welsh' but when asked how, a clear overwhelming majority don't want to do it through forced education.
    Let's hold off calling it "non-representative" until you get your reply.

    Interesting that you call 54% versus 43% "a clear overwhelming majority" and 59% versus 35% a "pretty pathetic" majority. You could be more honest in your choice of words.

    And you accuse me of cherry picking, but don't produce any of the figures that I supposedly skipped. You didn't for the same reason I didn't, they have little bearing on support for compulsory Welsh education.
    I accused you of cherry picking the one result that put yourself in a majority, yes.

    Framing it as 43% in favour instead of 54% against is also a shameless distortion
    I was trying to establish that there is a broad base of support for the Welsh language, to counter your implication that, unlike Hebrew in Israel in the 20th century, very few people actually care about Welsh. I do not think pointing out that almost half of the individuals polled in this particular survey supported the idea of Welsh being compulsory in school is "shameless distortion". Regardless of the percentage against, I think you would agree that 43% qualifies as a broad base of support. Of course, every other relevant question in the survey revealed a clear majority supportive of Welsh.

    I didn't dismiss the results of the survey based on it's funding by a special interest group, or it's being conducted by a company with a vested interest in promoting the idea of Welsh speaking. Those are just red flags, just like a piece of research being conducted by the Discovery Institute. The reason to commission a third party is to avoid bias, not enhance it.
    Good to hear it. After reading "bearing in mind it was performed...at the request of BBC radio cymru", I thought for a second I had another on my hands.

    Do you consider council tax a tax? Why is the licence fee different? (Bearing in mind it is classified as a tax by the Office of National Statistics.) You need neither houses nor TVs.
    If you want to sound smart, fact check yourself.
    'Far as I'm concerned, a tax is a levy collected by the government, not the state broadcaster. I'd take the definition proffered by the various legal dictionaries over the ONS classification any day.
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    (Original post by Kaiser MacCleg)

    Let's hold off calling it "non-representative" until you get your reply.
    It clearly is non-representative, less then half of the population speaks welsh. I am being generous and waiting to see if they properly selected the english speakers before calling them outright frauds.
    Interesting that you call 54% versus 43% "a clear overwhelming majority" and 59% versus 35% a "pretty pathetic" majority. You could be more honest in your choice of words.

    I accused you of cherry picking the one result that put yourself in a majority, yes.
    I used that term to point out if you think 56% is overwhelming then they agree with you, you should agree the 54% that disagrees with you is overwhelming too. In a properly conducted survey neither would be far beyond the margin of error. But here it is all margin of error, using dice to discern public opinion would be closer.

    Again you accuse me of lying without providing any proof. I didn't select the one that agreed with me, I selected all 3 that had any bearing on the matter of government spending on compulsory welsh, one of which disagreed with me. If you want to keep calling me a liar, provide a number I dishonestly skipped, present it, and tell us why it has any bearing on the current debate.

    I was trying to establish that there is a broad base of support for the Welsh language, to counter your implication that, unlike Hebrew in Israel in the 20th century, very few people actually care about Welsh. I do not think pointing out that almost half of the individuals polled in this particular survey supported the idea of Welsh being compulsory in school is "shameless distortion". Regardless of the percentage against, I think you would agree that 43% qualifies as a broad base of support. Of course, every other relevant question in the survey revealed a clear majority supportive of Welsh.
    You are really unwilling to let go of that? You should be prepared to admit even with the 43% in favour, 54% is a larger base opposed to compulsory Welsh. The thread topic is 'Attitudes to the compulsory Welsh GCSE', if there are other responses relevant to that topic and you want to talk about how they reveal a clear majority QUOTE THEM.

    'Far as I'm concerned, a tax is a levy collected by the government, not the state broadcaster. I'd take the definition proffered by the various legal dictionaries over the ONS classification any day.
    Did you even read your own source? You quote an American legal dictionary, which is the precedent for what counts as a tax in American courts, having no basis or bearing in British law, and it still doesn't say what you think it does.
    It doesn't say a levy collected by the state, it says one imposed by the state,
    whether under the name of toll, tribute, tallage, gabel, impost, duty, custom, excise, subsidy, aid, supply, or other name
    If council tax was collected by a third party you think it would stop being a tax? Even if paying it was still enforced by the courts?

    You can't decide what words mean, quickly find an invalid source to support you, and quote it without reading or understanding it. I hope for your sake you are still at A levels, that **** will not fly at University or in the world of work.
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    (Original post by Haze)
    It clearly is non-representative, less then half of the population speaks welsh.
    We've already established that there is discrepancy in the way the survey is being reported. If the BBC article is correct and Welsh speakers make up 50% of the sample population, then I agree the sample is unrepresentative of the wider Welsh population. If the WalesOnline article is correct and the proportion is 17%, then I would not agree that the sample is unrepresentative, on that count at least. I merely suggest that you hold off calling it unrepresentative until you get your reply from Beaufort Research.

    I used that term to point out if you think 56% is overwhelming then they agree with you, you should agree the 54% that disagrees with you is overwhelming too.
    I didn't use the word "overwhelming". I used the word "clear". 59% versus 35% is a margin of 24%, which I would have thought qualifies as a very clear majority in anyone's book. 54% versus 43% is a margin of 11%. While such a majority could possibly be described as "clear", "overwhelming" is a distortion of the facts.

    You are really unwilling to let go of that? You should be prepared to admit even with the 43% in favour, 54% is a larger base opposed to compulsory Welsh. The thread topic is 'Attitudes to the compulsory Welsh GCSE', if there are other responses relevant to that topic and you want to talk about how they reveal a clear majority QUOTE THEM.
    Of course I am - 54% is a larger percentage than 43%. Not sure why you felt compelled to pursue that point.

    As I have repeatedly made clear, and as was clear in my original reply, my intention in citing that survey was to demonstrate the falsity of your implication that, unlike Hebrew in Israel, Welsh lacks support among the public. I am aware of the topic title, but responses to specific points can still be made - the question here is whether or not the people of Wales care about the language, not attitudes to compulsory Welsh in school. Once again, in what way does 43% in favour of Welsh being compulsory in school, 59% in favour of further strengthening of the status of the language, 78% in favour of Welsh on official documents, and 83% in favour of Welsh-speaking parents passing the language on not demonstrate that such a broad base of support exists?

    Again you accuse me of lying without providing any proof. I didn't select the one that agreed with me, I selected all 3 that had any bearing on the matter of government spending on compulsory welsh, one of which disagreed with me. If you want to keep calling me a liar, provide a number I dishonestly skipped, present it, and tell us why it has any bearing on the current debate.
    No, I accused you of cherry picking, and I stand by that accusation.

    You explicitly drew attention to two results presented in the article, on the questions of further strengthening the status of Welsh and compulsory Welsh in school. Of all the relevant questions presented in the article, the results to these two exhibited the lowest proportions of individuals in favour of the propositions. You proceeded to call one "pretty pathetic" (despite a majority of 24% being in favour) and the other "even worse". The other results relevant to the question of whether the people of Wales care about Welsh were either only mentioned in passing (eg. official documents) or omitted from your post altogether (eg. passing the language on).

    Your post constituted a deliberate attempt to distort the results of the survey, and for the last time, the survey was cited to show that the Welsh people care about the language, not that a majority exists in favour of compulsory Welsh.

    Did you even read your own source? You quote an American legal dictionary, which is the precedent for what counts as a tax in American courts, having no basis or bearing in British law, and it still doesn't say what you think it does.
    It doesn't say a levy collected by the state, it says one imposed by the state,

    If council tax was collected by a third party you think it would stop being a tax? Even if paying it was still enforced by the courts?

    You can't decide what words mean, quickly find an invalid source to support you, and quote it without reading or understanding it. I hope for your sake you are still at A levels, that **** will not fly at University or in the world of work.
    Very well, I concede the point: the licence fee is a tax. I have never thought of it as one, and I am not a student of either law or government. Please excuse my error.
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    (Original post by Kaiser MacCleg)
    No, I accused you of cherry picking, and I stand by that accusation.

    You explicitly drew attention to two results presented in the article, on the questions of further strengthening the status of Welsh and compulsory Welsh in school. Of all the relevant questions presented in the article, the results to these two exhibited the lowest proportions of individuals in favour of the propositions. You proceeded to call one "pretty pathetic" (despite a majority of 24% being in favour) and the other "even worse". The other results relevant to the question of whether the people of Wales care about Welsh were either only mentioned in passing (eg. official documents) or omitted from your post altogether (eg. passing the language on).

    Your post constituted a deliberate attempt to distort the results of the survey, and for the last time, the survey was cited to show that the Welsh people care about the language, not that a majority exists in favour of compulsory Welsh.
    We are discussing compulsory welsh education, the one figure you accuse me of skipping is whether Welsh speaking parents should teach it to their kids. What is the relevance of that to this debate? If you can't engage honestly there is no point continuing this.

    Very well, I concede the point: the licence fee is a tax. I have never thought of it as one, and I am not a student of either law or government. Please excuse my error.
    That's the point though. I said something which contradicted your shallow understanding of the world and your response wasn't to check the facts. It was to look for evidence you thought supported you, without understanding the context or even the content of what you posted. You made reference to Creationists earlier, this is exactly how they behave, and why they are laughing stocks.
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    (Original post by Haze)
    We are discussing compulsory welsh education, the one figure you accuse me of skipping is whether Welsh speaking parents should teach it to their kids. What is the relevance of that to this debate? If you can't engage honestly there is no point continuing this.
    No, Haze, that was not what we were discussing. You made a point which implied that the Welsh people do not care about the language; the survey was brought up specifically in response to that point, which you can verify for yourself if you care to read back through the posts.

    You skipped figures, you mentioned others only briefly, and you specifically drew attention to the two which, you thought, did the most to support your frankly untenable position. What you did was the epitome of cherry picking. You have used no fewer than three logical fallacies in the course of your posts here, so I shan't take any lessons in honest argument from you.

    That's the point though. I said something which contradicted your shallow understanding of the world and your response wasn't to check the facts. It was to look for evidence you thought supported you, without understanding the context or even the content of what you posted. You made reference to Creationists earlier, this is exactly how they behave, and why they are laughing stocks.
    It was absolutely to check the facts. Yes, I thought you were wrong, and so I went straight to the legal dictionaries available online to attempt to verify your claim. What I found appeared to contradict your assertion (and I readily admit that it only did so because I misread the definition), and that was the only reason I pursued the point.

    The original assertion was made from a position of ignorance, yes, and I am recumbent at your feet because of that. You obviously haven't spent much time speaking with Creationists if you think that's how arguments with them play out when faced with evidence that contradicts their position.
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    " I had a friend who attended a welsh school then changed to an english one and needed help with homework due to not knowing the English words for many science/maths words"

    As someone who has had a Welsh medium education up until year 13, and is now studying Chemistry in English at University, I would like highlight that transition in language was far from difficult. Indeed most terminology in science is Greek or Latin, and that the terminology hardly changes between different Languages. Perhaps your friend should address their mental capacity and not the medium in which they were taught.
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    I am a first language Welsh speaker and proud of my language and culture. I am also a secondary school teacher in Wales, working in a predominantly English speaking area. My main subject is History but I have been drafted into the Welsh dept to cover maternity leave and I hate it. I believe that teaching or promoting the learning of a language needs to start as soon as a child enters primary school. This needs to be enforced in every primary school if the Welsh language is to be spoken fluently across the country. But I totally agree with the point made above that the quality of teaching is dire. People who have little ability to teach the language are drafted in to deliver the curriculum simply because they speak the language fluently. I am a prime example. I can count but I can't teach Maths to a point where pupils can achieve A grades in the subject. Schools need to start taking the language seriously and support teachers to improve the standard of teaching so that pupils are inspired and motivated to learn otherwise the language will die out.
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    (Original post by streborg)
    I am a first language Welsh speaker and proud of my language and culture. I am also a secondary school teacher in Wales, working in a predominantly English speaking area. My main subject is History but I have been drafted into the Welsh dept to cover maternity leave and I hate it. I believe that teaching or promoting the learning of a language needs to start as soon as a child enters primary school. This needs to be enforced in every primary school if the Welsh language is to be spoken fluently across the country. But I totally agree with the point made above that the quality of teaching is dire. People who have little ability to teach the language are drafted in to deliver the curriculum simply because they speak the language fluently. I am a prime example. I can count but I can't teach Maths to a point where pupils can achieve A grades in the subject. Schools need to start taking the language seriously and support teachers to improve the standard of teaching so that pupils are inspired and motivated to learn otherwise the language will die out.
    Really? Wow. I'd love to teach a language (I love teaching myself languages, which is kind of similar) even though I'm not qualified to teach anything. There must be some good resources out there to help you, surely?
 
 
 
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