B1543 – Mandatory Welsh (Abolition of) Act. Watch

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LiberOfLondon
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#21
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#21
(Original post by The Mogg)
Yes yes a million times yes. Whoever made this bill deserves a knighthood.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mP_dk429rbc
(Original post by Miriam29)
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.
Er... The bill legislates for Wales, has the National Assembly crest at the top and uses the Welsh enacting clause. It's been made using the powers devolved to Cardiff.
(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
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.
1) The Bill makes provision for schools where more than 50% of the population speak Welsh to teach in Welsh, provided they have at least one English lesson a week.
2) Having an immigrant who doesn't speak much English and living in Cardiff, where most of the population speak English as a mother language, learn a language that isn't English purely to satisfy the wills of Welsh nationalists out west is completely and utterly pointless.

cranbrook_aspie (sorry, TSR deleted your quote)
Which language do they speak in China and (the rest of) the EU?

Spoiler:
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It isn't Welsh.
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Miriam29
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#22
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#22
(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
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.)
While I don’t doubt the possible benefits of only having Welsh-medium primary education, I think the negatives would probably outweigh the positives. We’d end up sourcing teachers from within Wales alone, decreasing the positive influence of outsider insight. I think there should be greater Welsh in primary schools though so the secondary school work isn’t as repetitive and wasteful. Unfortunately the introduction of the new Welsh GCSE has done little - my brother is currently studying for it and he has exactly the same number of contact hours as myself. The content is also very similar to my course to the point he can just use my notes and probably get an A*.
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Miriam29
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#23
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(Original post by Rakas21)
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.
What of schools in communities that are totally fluent in Welsh? Half of my family live in such areas where teaching everything through the medium of English would be weird.

I must say I am somewhat perturbed by your want to suppress the growth of Welsh. It was not too long ago that children were punished in school for speaking their first language (Welsh) within the confines of their friendship groups. The Welsh language is an integral part of Welsh culture and while I don’t believe it should be unnecessarily forced upon anyone, I think it should be taught. The damage done to the Union in Scotland is very different to whatever damage has been done in Wales. Most Plaid Cymru voters I know do not favour independence. If by “damage” you are referencing devolution, I believe there is little danger of the Assembly pushing for independence.
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shadowdweller
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#24
Nay from me, agree with much of what has been said against this bill thus far.
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Jammy Duel
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#25
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(Original post by Miriam29)
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.
"This House may act as the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, Northern Ireland Assembly or any English devolved regional assembly in passing legislation on devolved issues relating to those constituent parts of the country."

Has nobody read the GD/Constitution?
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Jammy Duel
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#26
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#26
(Original post by Rakas21)
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.
Should all funds be withdrawn for the teaching of French, German, or any other non-English language too?
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Miriam29)
What of schools in communities that are totally fluent in Welsh? Half of my family live in such areas where teaching everything through the medium of English would be weird.

I must say I am somewhat perturbed by your want to suppress the growth of Welsh. It was not too long ago that children were punished in school for speaking their first language (Welsh) within the confines of their friendship groups. The Welsh language is an integral part of Welsh culture and while I don’t believe it should be unnecessarily forced upon anyone, I think it should be taught. The damage done to the Union in Scotland is very different to whatever damage has been done in Wales. Most Plaid Cymru voters I know do not favour independence. If by “damage” you are referencing devolution, I believe there is little danger of the Assembly pushing for independence.
So what defines "unnecessarily forced upon" given you seem to believe it is necessary to force upon English speaking individuals in English speaking households in English speaking communities the Welsh language, something they will never use outside the classroom, despite the Welsh education system being by far and away the worst in the UK and diverting resources away from the core subjects to teach a language that most won't use isn't helping that.
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Miriam29
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
"This House may act as the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, Northern Ireland Assembly or any English devolved regional assembly in passing legislation on devolved issues relating to those constituent parts of the country."
My bad
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Miriam29
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#29
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
So what defines "unnecessarily forced upon" given you seem to believe it is necessary to force upon English speaking individuals in English speaking households in English speaking communities the Welsh language, something they will never use outside the classroom, despite the Welsh education system being by far and away the worst in the UK and diverting resources away from the core subjects to teach a language that most won't use isn't helping that.
By “unnecessarily forced upon” I mean having mandatory cultural involvement or forced use of the language outside of school. I do not believe it unnecessary to make English-speaking Welsh people learn a bit about their cultural heritage and ancestral language in school.

In answer to the point about not using the Welsh language outside of school, I would ask why pupils are made to take part in Music and Art lessons? Like Welsh, these lessons enrich understanding of cultural/social practises and give the opportunity to take deeper interest once a pupil advances to GCSE level. I don’t think making Welsh pupils learn Welsh is a significant cause of underperformance anyway, so I think the cultural value of the lessons outweighs the possible negatives.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Miriam29)
By “unnecessarily forced upon” I mean having mandatory cultural involvement or forced use of the language outside of school. I do not believe it unnecessary to make English-speaking Welsh people learn a bit about their cultural heritage and ancestral language in school.

In answer to the point about not using the Welsh language outside of school, I would ask why pupils are made to take part in Music and Art lessons? Like Welsh, these lessons enrich understanding of cultural/social practises and give the opportunity to take deeper interest once a pupil advances to GCSE level. I don’t think making Welsh pupils learn Welsh is a significant cause of underperformance anyway, so I think the cultural value of the lessons outweighs the possible negatives.
You had very different music and art lessons to me then if there was anything cultural about it rather than just wasting a couple of hours a week. In the same vein though should we have compulsory Cornish lessons in Cornwall, compulsory Scots in Scotland (and Ulster Scots in NI), Irish in NI, Angloromani in areas with high Romani populations, and Scottish Gaelic in the highlands and Hebrides?

There are three times as many Scots speakers in Scotland than there are Welsh speakers in Wales, and proportional to the population 50% more in Scotland so you can't even go for there being more Welsh speakers than Cornish speakers and that's why we shouldn't pander to the Cornish nationalists.

There is some more fun in the stats because there are about as many Polish speakers as there are Welsh speakers, and I'm surprised the reported figure is that low given it represents just over half of Polish immigrants

Welsh isn't even a case of optional at GCSE, compulsory from 3-16, that is forcing an in depth understanding of the language on people, and yet for the actually potentially useful languages are only compulsory for 3 years, and even then they're the less useful ones for the future.
Last edited by Jammy Duel; 1 month ago
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
Clearly you've never actually come across anyone doing precisely the sort of complaining I describe then...
By any chance are these the people who were never going to get the job even if Welsh weren't a requirement?
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The Mogg
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
There is some more fun in the stats because there are about as many Polish speakers as there are Welsh speakers, and I'm surprised the reported figure is that low given it represents just over half of Polish immigrants
To be honest I thought it was more. I commonly hear Polish, Romanian and other eastern European languages used, but never do I hear anyone speak Welsh. At least forcing students to take GCSE Polish would actually be useful, since they would then begin to understand what a sizeable amount of people around them are saying.
(Original post by Miriam29)
In answer to the point about not using the Welsh language outside of school, I would ask why pupils are made to take part in Music and Art lessons? Like Welsh, these lessons enrich understanding of cultural/social practises and give the opportunity to take deeper interest once a pupil advances to GCSE level.
Yeah, because nothing enriched my understanding of cultural and social practises quite like playing the Triangle in Year 7.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by The Mogg)
To be honest I thought it was more. I commonly hear Polish, Romanian and other eastern European languages used, but never do I hear anyone speak Welsh. At least forcing students to take GCSE Polish would actually be useful, since they would then begin to understand what a sizeable amount of people around them are saying.

Yeah, because nothing enriched my understanding of cultural and social practises quite like playing the Triangle in Year 7.
The figure given in the 2011 Census is 546,000. I guess it's a case of it being an 8 year old figure so you have nearly a decade of extra immigration. The 2016 ONS estimate for Polish immigrants was 911,000 so if we go half way that's 728,500 Polish speakers.

The Welsh figure is also quite heavily skewed by those who understand but do not use, which I suspect is people like you who are forced to understand it. Again in the 2011 census we had 157,792 who say they understand Welsh but do not speak, read, or write it which is 5.15% of the population; those who speak, read and write were 430,717 or 14.06% and other combinations of reading, speaking, and writing come to 210,972 or 6.8%

If we compare that to Scots it's quite damning, of the population of Scotland 37.7% fall have Scots skills of some form, 5.22% understand only, 23.95% read, write, and speak, the rest of a combination of the 3 that is not all 3.

It gets even better though because a few of the combinations are split out, namely:
Speak only
Speak and read but not write
Reads but does not speak or write
Other

Welsh had 1.33% other, Scots 0.34%

Despite Scots being more widespread with a greater chance of speaking rather than just "some ability" it is only the Welsh that demand their language be forced upon all
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Rakas21)
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.
So basically, what's it got to do with you?

(Original post by quirky editor)
When benefit is there to reviving this semi dead language?
As someone who's writing his masters thesis on the Welsh language, let me assure you that it isn't dead, isn't dying, and has already been successfully 'revived'.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
By any chance are these the people who were never going to get the job even if Welsh weren't a requirement?
Not necessarily. We're generally talking about well educated people who would stand a good chance of getting job in the Welsh public sector were it not for their monolingualism.

(Original post by LiberOfLondon)
1) The Bill makes provision for schools where more than 50% of the population speak Welsh to teach in Welsh, provided they have at least one English lesson a week.
The definitions in themselves show a profound ignorance of education in Wales. Many, perhaps most, Welsh-medium schools will have a majority of pupils with English as a first language, but whose parents have recognised the advantages of becoming bilingual early on and speaking both national languages, and have thus opted for a Welsh-medium education for their children.

I'm sure the Libertarian Party don't want to give up their ability to lecture me and my department on the importance of parental choice this early in the term?

2) Having an immigrant who doesn't speak much English and living in Cardiff, where most of the population speak English as a mother language, learn a language that isn't English purely to satisfy the wills of Welsh nationalists out west is completely and utterly pointless.
It is possible to acquire multiple languages at the same time, as literally any natural bilingual on planet Earth will be able to tell you.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
Not necessarily. We're generally talking about well educated people who would stand a good chance of getting job in the Welsh public sector were it not for their monolingualism.
Instead they get a job in the English public sector a few miles away, or if they are so well educated they get a job in a the private sector.

And no wonder public services are so bad in Wales if people need to speak Welsh
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Miriam29
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(Original post by The Mogg)
To be honest I thought it was more. I commonly hear Polish, Romanian and other eastern European languages used, but never do I hear anyone speak Welsh. At least forcing students to take GCSE Polish would actually be useful, since they would then begin to understand what a sizeable amount of people around them are saying.

Yeah, because nothing enriched my understanding of cultural and social practises quite like playing the Triangle in Year 7.
At least you had the opportunity to embrace a musical instrument/interest in art if you had wanted to. If Welsh isn’t taught from a young age then I suspect a lack of exposure will lead to a downturn in interest to the detriment of national culture.
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Miriam29
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Instead they get a job in the English public sector a few miles away, or if they are so well educated they get a job in a the private sector.

And no wonder public services are so bad in Wales if people need to speak Welsh
You don’t need to speak Welsh to work in the public services. It is a great benefit because all documents have to be available in both English and Welsh, but the majority do not speak Welsh. Heck, the Education Minister doesn’t speak Welsh.
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Connor27
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I certainly support this bill on grounds of increasing freedom of choice.
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The Mogg
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(Original post by Miriam29)
If Welsh isn’t taught from a young age then I suspect a lack of exposure will lead to a downturn in interest to the detriment of national culture.
Which is something that only a small amount of the population (the nationalists) actually care about.

Anyway, it's not like this bill completely removes Welsh from being taught, it just allows students this weird thing called a choice in being taught it rather than having it crammed down them to appease nationalists. Primary schools could still teach Welsh if they wanted to, this just removes the requirement to do so. If parents really wanted their children to learn Welsh at a young age they would send them to Welsh-speaking school, or if that's not possible for whatever reason and they wanted it so desperately they could expose their children to it themselves as opposed to forcing those who don't want to learn Welsh (also known as the vast majority) to learn it.
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