B1543 – Mandatory Welsh (Abolition of) Act. Watch

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Andrew97
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B1543 – Mandatory Welsh (Abolition Of) Bill 2019, TSR Libertarian Party



Mandatory Welsh (Abolition Of) Bill 2019


An Act to abolish mandatory Welsh lessons in English-speaking schools and to allow for greater student freedom of choice.

Having been passed by the National Assembly for Wales and having received the assent of Her Majesty, it is enacted as follows:

1: Definitions.
(1) ”English-speaking school” shall refer to a state school where the majority of pupils speak English as their first language
(2) ”Welsh-speaking school” shall refer to a state school where the majority of students speak Welsh as their first language.

2: Language Lessons
(1) English-speaking schools are no longer required to teach Welsh until GCSE.
(2) Welsh shall remain as a GCSE option for pupils in both English and Welsh-speaking schools.
(3) Welsh-speaking schools are required to teach English as a second language until GCSE. They must provide all students with at least one lesson a week in English.
(4) Students from either English or Welsh-speaking schools must take GCSE Maths and either Welsh or English at GCSE.

3: Extent
This Act extends to the Principality of Wales.

4: Commencement
The provisions of this Act come into force in the academic year commencing in September 2020.

5: Short Title
This Act may be cited as the Mandatory Welsh (Abolition Of) Act 2019.

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This Act allows students greater freedom of choice by removing the requirement for them to take Welsh at GCSE, whilst still allowing schools to teach it if they so wish. Furthermore, it respects Welsh culture by allowing people to take Welsh instead of GCSE English, whilst ensuring everyone in Wales can speak English well.


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The Mogg
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Yes yes a million times yes. Whoever made this bill deserves a knighthood.
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barnetlad
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I doubt very much that the National Assembly of Wales would ever support such a measure and were I a member of the Assembly I would vote against this measure.

I believe all those growing up in Wales should be able to speak both languages. To take another example, I believe that Belgians should be able to speak both French and Dutch (Flemish).
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by barnetlad)
I doubt very much that the National Assembly of Wales would ever support such a measure and were I a member of the Assembly I would vote against this measure.

I believe all those growing up in Wales should be able to speak both languages. To take another example, I believe that Belgians should be able to speak both French and Dutch (Flemish).
And why should the people of Wales be forced to learn a language they won't use just to keep a few nationalists happy?

There should be higher priorities for the Welsh education system, namely being less **** in the core areas with Wales significantly trailing the rest of the UK in English, Maths, and Science. It de facto sits 15 places behind the rest of the UK for PISA scores for reading (possibly 16 because its removal might be enough to bump RUK above the US); in maths Scotland and NI also contribute to dragging down the UK figure, however Wales would only be 13 positions behind (maybe 14 with a higher RUK maybe overtaking Sweden); and in science again Scotland and NI also drag down the UK figure but once again Wales would be 15 positions behind although this time it is unlikely RUK would gain a position if Wales were excluded.
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The Mogg
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(Original post by barnetlad)
I believe all those growing up in Wales should be able to speak both languages.
This isn't done through forcing the students of Wales to learn Welsh, I should know since it was forced upon myself and I hated every minute of it, as did everyone around me, it only built up resentment towards the language. Wales lacks behind in all areas of education so more time and resources should be put to the core subjects as opposed to a language that almost nobody wants or needs to learn.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by The Mogg)
This isn't done through forcing the students of Wales to learn Welsh, I should know since it was forced upon myself and I hated every minute of it, as did everyone around me, it only built up resentment towards the language. Wales lacks behind in all areas of education so more time and resources should be put to the core subjects as opposed to a language that almost nobody wants or needs to learn.
Especially given it's only there to appease a small number of separatists
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Saracen's Fez
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Section 3 is potentially an issue because the Principality of Wales was abolished c. 1536.

But it is important that all children in Wales leave school as fluent, competent users of both national languages. It's the people who complain now that Welsh is a waste of time that will be complaining in a few years that all the well-paid jobs require Welsh.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
Section 3 is potentially an issue because the Principality of Wales was abolished c. 1536.

But it is important that all children in Wales leave school as fluent, competent users of both national languages. It's the people who complain now that Welsh is a waste of time that will be complaining in a few years that all the well-paid jobs require Welsh.
Well no, the people who are complaining Welsh is a waste of time will have all the well-paid jobs that don't require Welsh, you know, in the 95% of the country (by population) that isn't Wales, by GDP the 97% that isn't Wales, the 0% by defiled sheep
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Rakas21
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Mr Speaker, this bill has my full support although arguably it does not go far enough.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Mr Speaker, this bill has my full support although arguably it does not go far enough.
Would you prefer complete abolition of the teaching of any non-English language in the UK? Or would you go further and make it illegal to speak any non-English language?
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SoggyCabbages
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Let's be honest here, there is literally no need for the language of Welsh.

Aye.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Well no, the people who are complaining Welsh is a waste of time will have all the well-paid jobs that don't require Welsh, you know, in the 95% of the country (by population) that isn't Wales, by GDP the 97% that isn't Wales, the 0% by defiled sheep
Clearly you've never actually come across anyone doing precisely the sort of complaining I describe then...
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Miriam29
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I seem to have grown up with this debate in Wales where some of my friends loathed Welsh lessons while others took advantage of the opportunity and flourished in the language. Personally, I enjoyed the compulsory lessons (though I’m more fluent than most due to family circumstances anyway) and believe it important that Welsh people are given the opportunity to learn Welsh. If schools don’t teach Welsh in the earlier years of secondary education, it is likely that some people will be discouraged from taking a Welsh option at GCSE level. I also don’t think that removing compulsory Welsh lessons (which amounted to two hours a fortnight during my GCSE years) would make a significant difference to PISA scores.

That being said, I don’t think the current methods of teaching Welsh (namely only 2 hours a fortnight) are the best way to ensure fluency in the language. I think the focus needs to shift to basic grammar to integrate Welsh into daily life before building upon that if someone chooses to take it further. Here I might suggest having both a short course (compulsory) and a full course (non-compulsory) Welsh second language GCSE.

Despite what opinions people may have on the matter, I do not think it is the place of the UK Parliament to legislate on this devolved issue. While I may not hold the Welsh Assembly in high esteem, I accept that the people of Wales were granted devolved powers and believe that we, as a House, should uphold that.
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Miriam29
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Mr Speaker, this bill has my full support although arguably it does not go far enough.
Could you clarify the extent to which you would wish this bill to go?
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Cabin19
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It's an aye from me as Welsh should be optional not compulsory language.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Miriam29)
That being said, I don’t think the current methods of teaching Welsh (namely only 2 hours a fortnight) are the best way to ensure fluency in the language. I think the focus needs to shift to basic grammar to integrate Welsh into daily life before building upon that if someone chooses to take it further. Here I might suggest having both a short course (compulsory) and a full course (non-compulsory) Welsh second language GCSE.

Despite what opinions people may have on the matter, I do not think it is the place of the UK Parliament to legislate on this devolved issue. While I may not hold the Welsh Assembly in high esteem, I accept that the people of Wales were granted devolved powers and believe that we, as a House, should uphold that.
They're not good at all. If I might suggest something that might make some of the more reactionary members of your party explode, we should be phasing out English-medium education at primary level in Wales (and we've started that process already in parts of the west). All pupils should have a Welsh-medium primary education to ensure fluency in the language, at which point they can make a truly free choice as to which language they wish to continue to high school in.

They've just abolished short course because it was probably contributing to the problem of Welsh being taught badly, and the plan is to phase out second-language GCSE entirely in the next few years. That said, I'm not sure how they're planning to do that – it feels like they're concentrating solely on GCSE Welsh and not giving enough attention to the truly awful teaching that is happening e.g. in some primary schools. (I can speak from experience there! Every February and March in my primary school Welsh lessons were given over to learning the Welsh names of the nations in the Six Nations and their capital cities.)
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Miriam29)
Could you clarify the extent to which you would wish this bill to go?
I would withdraw all public funding for the teaching of Welsh. If parents wish their children to be taught Welsh they should do so either after school via a tutor or send their child to a private school.

As a Scotsman living in England I consider the teaching of Welsh at all to be dangerous, god forbid the notion of it being a primary language.

Our union has seen tremendous damage done to it over the last twenty years and it must be fought for.
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KaianPepperFish
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This isn't too relevant to the topic at hand, but I'm going to throw it in anyways.

I think with the Welsh language it's worth looking beyond the standard point of "not a lot of people speak Welsh, so why learn it?". Welsh is a beautiful language, filled with culture, history and diversity, especially depending on what part of Wales you visit. Whilst Welsh is absolutely not a social language, especially in the South, it has become a pioneer for poetry, prose and alike. S4C, in recent years, has become vastly popular with both those fluent and those learning Welsh. In addition, Welsh pop and folk songs are finally starting to become more mainstream as events such as the national and Urdd Eisteddfod are televised. I would hate to see that all thrown away as the generations progress.

I think as a young child, and even going into your teens, you don't really appreciate the Welsh language for what it is. You think, "why bother", because let's be real, many of us don't speak Welsh outside of school (and in school if we're truthful) and as such we don't see the point. It's only when we realise that Welsh is being used in so much media nowadays including songs, films, plays, poetry, prose etc, do we realise that there's a history and culture that fuels these mediums in the Welsh language that the English language cannot replicate.

Just a slight tangent, but I thought it would be interesting to add to the conversation.
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cranbrook_aspie
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Nay. Quite aside from the fact that the Welsh language is an important part of what makes Wales distinctive and a unique link to the pre-Saxon past of the whole of Britain, the experience of learning a language other than your own in childhood, even if you don't become fluent in it, makes learning other languages easier in later life because of the exposure to the idea that a language can have different phonology, morphology and syntax to that of one's native language - and language learning is something that we need to get a lot better at in this country if we want to have a good trading relationship with the EU and China and other rising non-English-speaking countries in the future. Welsh, if taught rigorously enough, could be an opportunity for Wales to give its children an advantage that few other English-speakers have - why should this be thrown away?
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quirky editor
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(Original post by cranbrook_aspie)
Nay. Quite aside from the fact that the Welsh language is an important part of what makes Wales distinctive and a unique link to the pre-Saxon past of the whole of Britain, the experience of learning a language other than your own in childhood, even if you don't become fluent in it, makes learning other languages easier in later life because of the exposure to the idea that a language can have different phonology, morphology and syntax to that of one's native language - and language learning is something that we need to get a lot better at in this country if we want to have a good trading relationship with the EU and China and other rising non-English-speaking countries in the future. Welsh, if taught rigorously enough, could be an opportunity for Wales to give its children an advantage that few other English-speakers have - why should this be thrown away?
When benefit is there to reviving this semi dead language?
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