The Future of the Welsh Language
Summary of responses and suggestions
Foreword This paper summarises the responses received following a year-long conversation launched on Santes Dwynwen Day 2013 on the Welsh language. It also puts forward recommendations on priorities for policy-making. The year-long conversation was part of Plaid Cymru’s response following the disappointing census figures for 2011 which show that the number of Welsh speakers in Wales has fallen by 2% in the past ten years. The Welsh language belongs to everyone in Wales. Plaid Cymru therefore asked the people of Wales what measures they would take in order to enable the language to flourish. We are very grateful for the numerous insightful responses we received which will inform our policy-making in this important area. The responses cover several aspects including education; the economy; childcare; the designation of a Welsh ‘Bro’; the lack of confidence in and negative connotations linked with the Welsh language; transferring the language within families; the importance of thoroughly analysing the 2011 census; following the Catalan and Basque example and designating Welsh as the language ‘proper’ to Wales; earmarking 1% of the Welsh Government’s budget to expenditure which supports and promotes the use of the Welsh language. Following the consultation we have identified the priorities for our Welsh language policies when we lead the Welsh Government. These policy suggestions will now be subject to further research and discussion.
Simon Thomas AM
Introduction Santes Dwynwen day 2013 marked the launch of a year-long conversation about the renewal of the Welsh language. Throughout the year we have welcomed numerous responses, all of which will help to ensure that we have the correct policies in place to implement when we lead the Welsh Government. One of Plaid Cymru’s constitutional aims is "To create a bilingual society by promoting the revival of the Welsh language”. This aim has been a core part of Plaid Cymru’s programme since its founding and remains so today. The results of the census published in 2011 demonstrated that the Welsh language still faces significant challenges. This strong vision, in light of the troubling census results, was the driver behind the consultation. The forthright responses we have received emphasise that the Welsh language deserves to be a political priority and that radical measures must be put in place to secure a future for the language. The responses will be summarised and then key policy priorities will be extracted.
Discussion papers Our consultation document, The Future of the Welsh Language, outlines that the Welsh government, local government and other bodies can take positive steps to support the Welsh language. Steps such as: • • •
• • • • • •
Reforming how Welsh is taught and used within the education sector. This includes provision in further education colleges. Reforming public sector procurement, applying Welsh language clauses as social clauses. Ensuring that there is specific reference to the Welsh Language in the Sustainable Development Bill, and that the Welsh Language Commissioner sits as an ex officio member of the proposed independent sustainable development body. Implementing the standards from the Welsh language measure to deliver effective, real change, for example, by ensuring that local authorities promote Welsh language education and services and provide leisure activities through the medium of Welsh. Further, support Local Authorities in becoming Welsh speaking workforces. Establishing a civil service college in Wales, with a strong emphasis on the Welsh language as a core skill. Ensure all those who are employed by the Welsh Government are supported in learning and using the language. Supporting the call for the devolution of broadcasting to the Welsh Assembly. Examining the work of the Mentrau Iaith, and how they could be converted into social enterprises with duties to improve the local economy. Investing in childcare available through Welsh, and investment in adult learning.
To fuel the conversation further, another discussion paper was published by Plaid Cymru Assembly candidate and former MP, Adam Price, entitled Arfor - a region for the Welsh speaking West. This paper calls for the creation of a Welsh speaking ‘Bro’ in Wales in which organic use of the language can thrive. It expresses
‘the need for a regional strategy which reflects the reality of our linguistic geography’. The paper proposes three broad ideas: 1. The need for a regional strategy for the Welsh speaking West; 2. The need to create a regional tier of government as the basis for this strategy; 3. The need to create new urban centres within the region as hubs for economic growth and social activity. Both papers emphasise the importance of sustainable development when promoting the Welsh language in our communities. They argue that the only way of achieving sustainable communities in which Welsh is used, unprovoked and on a daily basis is if the Welsh language is considered when making decisions on the economy. As was noted before the consultation took place, the intention was not to be party political or parochial in our quest, but to partake in a consultation which would give us a better insight into what the Welsh people think the Welsh language needs in order to thrive in our communities. While reading through the responses, common themes have emerged; this has allowed for a thematic structure to the summary of responses. The themes are undoubtedly intertwined and affect one another.
Summary of responses The responses mainly comprise of emails sent to Plaid Cymru’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Some emails also referred to articles and papers already written on the topic, which will be included in the summary.
1. Education and the Welsh language In many of the responses, there was a particular emphasis on second language Welsh learners achieving fluency in English-medium schools. ‘Welsh as a second language taught at GCSE level does not help Welsh learners achieve fluency.’ ‘Welsh taught as a second-language is unsuccessfully trying to achieve fluency.’ Some responses offered solutions to the challenge of achieving fluency in the face of a diminishing Welsh-speaking population. Foreign models of language immersion were suggested: ‘Wales should embark on a programme of immersion (like in Canada). These programmes have resulted in bilingualism among 25 % of Canadian young adults (aged 18-29). Instruction in these programmes is delivered entirely in French except for English and language arts.’
The benefits of bilingualism and immersion emerged several times. It was suggested that foundation-level education should be Welsh-only. One response referred to a research paper which disproves the misconception that Welsh education is detrimental to pupils’ performance in English: ‘The current research demonstrated quite clearly that bilingual education in Wales did not negatively affect L1 English-speakers’ abilities in English. In fact, L1 English
bilinguals and their monolingual English peers performed equally well on measures of English vocabulary and English reading skills, despite the fact that L1 English bilinguals attended schools where Welsh was the main language of instruction.’1
Reference was made in some responses to the fact that pupils who are bilingual outperform their monolingual counterparts in areas other than languages. ‘Pupils enrolled on immersion programmes show superior academic skills to those who are not.’
This statement was supported by another reference paper referred to us in a response: ‘There is a link between multilingualism and creativity. • Multilingualism broadens access to information • Multilingualism offers alternative ways of organising thought • Multilingualism offers alternative ways of perceiving the surrounding world • Learning a new language increases the potential for creative thought.’2
Teachers suggested that ‘large swathes of pupils are reticent about the language’. This is supported by WJEC statistics on the declining number of pupils continuing with Welsh at A-level.3 Some responses suggested ways in which this indifference could be tackled. One response suggested a change to the curriculum and put forward the case for a ‘renewed focus on broad Welsh history.’ The point was also made that compelling pupils to learn Welsh only breeds resentment. One response referred to the fact that research is being done on technology and the Welsh language and that this new field could be a way to inspire the new generation. 4 Another response outlined how Welsh needs to be associated with desirable services and activities. It was noted by one respondent that more needs to be done to encourage adult learners. Another suggested that many adult Welsh learners cannot maintain the commitment and, therefore, any barriers should be removed; meaning that Welsh courses should be publicly funded. One other suggestion we received was that we marry the Coleg Cymraeg and the nursery movement – allowing parents to learn through that system. The same respondent implied that independent nurseries which claim to be bilingual need to be formalised. Along the same line was another suggestion that we expand Welsh language education and improve language continuity from nursary to university.
Rhys, Mirain and Thomas, Enlli Môn (2012). ‘Bilingual Welsh–English children's acquisition of vocabulary and reading: implications for bilingual education’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2012.706248 2http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/llp/studies/documents/study_on_the_contribution_of_multilingualism_to _creativity/compendium_part_1_en.pdf 3 http://www.jcq.org.uk/Download/examination-results/a-levels/a-as-and-aea-results-summer-2013 4 Evas, Jeremy (2013). Y Gymraeg mewn Oes Ddigidol/The Welsh language in the Digital Age, Metanet: http://www.meta-net.eu/whitepapers/e-book/welsh.pdf 1
It is outlined in another response that Welsh medium education needs to develop a means of sharing resources with Welsh societies and communities. They could be connected to Welsh national establishments, such as S4C, Radio Cymru, the Eisteddfod, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol etc. Immersion played an important role in the majority of responses referring to education as a platform from which the Welsh language could thrive. Due to the extensive evidence outlining how bilingualism improved cognitive development, responses unanimously favoured the introduction of primary education being 100% Welsh-medium. If we are to encourage a new generation to send their children to Welsh-medium schools, there was a consensus that we must inspire them to do so. Publicly funded Welsh for Adults courses would be one way of inspiring them to do so.
2. The economy and the Welsh language One of the main messages in the conversation paper was that a 2016 Plaid Cymru government would consider the implications for the Welsh language of using policy levers across a range of policy fields. The economy is intextricably linked to all aspects of sustainability and, as many responses have outlined, measures affecting the economy will inherently affect the growth of the Welsh language. Without a successful economy and without thriving local communities, there is a shortage of jobs and of prospects which would inevitably lead to an exodus of Welsh-speaking people. One respondent underlines how this is especially true of Welsh-speaking rural areas. A statement in another response questions this by saying: ‘It is idle to imagine that these career aspirations can always be met within young people’s “local communities”. We need to think regional and national, not just local.’
The response goes on to say that it is unrealistic to expect all young people to want to remain in their childhood vale. The only way of battling against the dynamic growth of south east England, is to act to improve the economy and create jobs on a national scale. The biggest challenge is trying to marry policies for economic growth with efforts to limit growth for the sake of the language. Economic growth comes hand in hand with social change; it unsettles traditional patterns of living. One response expresses the need to tackle the biggest objection to the Welsh language – its cost. This respondent suggests the proposal of an amendment to the Welsh Language Act, that legally obliges all authorities to provide the option for written communication and literature - but only in an individual’s nominated language. It was suggested that electronic correspondence should be utilised where possible. Once again, a respondent urges the future government to strengthen the economy to ensure that there are enough jobs in the Welsh language communities. It is argued that increasing the use of Welsh in the workplace by ensuring that public sector bodies are using more Welsh in their internal administration would help the Welsh language thrive. One respondent explores the idea of needing to place more emphasis on private sector businesses conducting day-to-day business in Welsh. It is acknowledged that increasing the number of local authorities who internally operate through the
medium of Welsh would benefit the language; as would the proposal of establishing a civil service college in Wales with strong emphasis on the Welsh language as a core skill. However, it suggests that more needs to be done to encourage Welsh entrepreneurship and use of the Welsh language in the private sector. Another response echoes this by outlining the need for a more focused policy on Welsh in the private and third sectors. One issue was raised regarding the conflict between creating jobs and supporting the working-class and siding with measures to protect the environment. It was suggested that opposing actual employment opportunities, such as road schemes, which attract businesses is, in fact, detrimental to our communities’ economy. Opposing opportunities such as these, arguably affects negatively the Welsh language. Another similar argument presented in a response states that ‘it would be tragic if the promotion of the Welsh language came to be seen as inimical to development and change, which are vital to the economic transformation of Wales, and are necessary in turn to provide a broad range of stimulating career opportunities for all our young people, including Welsh-speakers.’
Procurement is mentioned as an area in which more could be done for the Welsh language in both ‘The Future of the Welsh Language’ and in ‘Arfor’. However, one response claims that the relationship between the Welsh language and procurement needs more attention in the paper. This, of course, links with the focus on improving support available to Welsh language third sector businesses. In summary, the responses indicate that, for the Welsh language to flourish, measures to improve the economy need to be at the forefront of our agenda. It is acknowledged that economic developments may change the dynamics of our Welsh language communities, but all in all, economic prosperity is linked the retention of the young population in Wales and should therefore be considered as positive. Policies promoting the Welsh language should not be detrimental to our economy.
3. Welsh language communities Following on from the need to improve young people’s confidence in their ability to use Welsh, a respondent expresses the need to ‘provide social opportunities for children and young people to use the language outside of the classroom’. Adam Price’s paper ‘Arfor’ was central to many comments we recieved. ‘The comments are strong, the vision exciting, the world-wide, historical and socioeconomic references impressive.’
One respondent in particular is concerned that it may be too late to establish a Welsh ‘Bro’. If that is the case, they want to know the alternative we propose: ‘Is it too late to establish a real Welsh ‘Bro’? What would we fall back on if that is the case? Redefining the Welsh ‘Bro’ or promoting the existence of a language network or establishment or giving up?’
The issue of regionalising the Welsh language comes under scrutiny in this response, ‘we must maintain that Welsh is a national language.’ However, the point is made that
‘Arfor is a local government unit with improved communications to promote northsouth mobility. This also reacts against the poisonous idea of colonial North and South Wales. Breathing new life into the West is essential for the national project. The East must turn towards the West rather than towards England’.
The reponse further states that, as mentioned in ‘Arfor’, ‘developing Arddel’s5 ideas (managed by Cwmni Iaith) are a necessary supporting element to the Welsh ‘Bro’ strategy.’ It will be a challenge to gain democratic acceptance to establish Arfor as a Welsh ‘Bro’, and to make Welsh the main public administrating language. Consideration is needed to what happens to Little England and Southern Pembrokeshire. One must also consider the political and brain power of University academics and other non-Welsh elites. How do we create an abundant economy that can support this new paradigm?’
A contradictory response suggests that ‘we need to drop the notion of “traditional Welsh-speaking areas”’. The respondent notes that ‘the Welsh language needs to be a national, Wales-wide process’. It is stated that the ‘key to such a strategy is Welsh speakers forming social networks’. It is also noted in this response that these social networks will need to acquire their own momentum, not constantly rely upon the support of government. The respondent goes on to say that Welsh-medium education should be linked to a wide range of social, cultural and community activities. Some responses raised issues regarding planning and housing. One stated that we must, ‘ensure that the effect on the Welsh language is considered in matters concerning planning; ensure that affordable homes are available for families in the countryside.’
In contrast, another response outlines how ‘to tie policy to the protection of existing communities and linguistic patterns is easier said than done and may have unintended consequences.’
Furthermore, ‘housing supply, affordability, the danger of over-development and its possible impact on our national identity need to be considered in their own right, not just as language issues.’
Rather than creating new cities as hubs for the Welsh language, one response mentions that ‘more attention needs to be paid to key cities that already exist in Wales - Pontypridd, Caerfyrddin, Dinbych and Caernarfon.’ It is emphasised that ‘resources need to be injected into existing cities before new ones are created.’ Two opposing themes have emerged from the responses referring to Welsh language communities. One agreeing with Adam Price’s notion of safe-guarding a Welsh speaking ‘Bro’; the other maintaining that the Welsh language should be a nationwide one, and that the only way of competing economically with the south east of Britain is if we are considered as one Wales.
4. Attitudes towards the Welsh language The psychology surrounding the use of the Welsh language was discussed in two responses. The first response states that ‘bureaucracy is not the most important factor in language revitalisation – it is changing people’s mind-sets in the same fashion as is suggested in the Isle of Man.’6
The respondent goes on to say that: ‘Plaid Cymru needs to react against Labour’s negativity towards the Welsh language. It must reverse the misconception that Welsh is a language reserved for elitists’ .
The respondent then suggests ways of reversing the negative connotations: ‘The media should be behind the Welsh language. Nobody should ever refer to Welsh as ‘difficult’ – it is no more difficult than any other language’.
The second response alerts us to the fact that more attention needs to be paid to young people leaving school. Their use of Welsh ‘drops astonishingly’ once they leave school, and, as a result, they lose confidence in their ability to speak it. The response claims that: ‘There is a general lack of confidence in using Welsh amongst young people – providing enough Welsh reading material and opportunities for Welsh conversations to naturally occur is essential here. This must become a priority.’
One respondent explains that it is essential that we associate the Welsh language with national pride and the development of the nation. According to the responses, both lack of confidence and the negative connotations of the Welsh language are themes central to the issues surrounding the 2011 census results.
5. Welsh Language Transmission It is claimed in one response that the use of Welsh outside of education proves integral to the battle for the Welsh language. We should ‘improve language transferal in the home and increase the use of Welsh among families’. Another states that ‘transmission of the language from parents to children should be a key area for investment.’
6. Analysing the 2011 census Before going on to summarise the suggestions made on how the disappointing census results of 2011 can be improved; two responses have called for a more careful analysis of the results.
The first response disputes some of the findings in the 2011 census, suggesting that parents’ views of what is an ability to speak Welsh is very subjective, so in spite of the fact that there may be a desire for this to be the case for their children, it is often not a true representation. The response, nevertheless, states that the demand for Welshmedium education is increasing and the percentage of genuine young Welsh speakers is considerably higher than the percentage for all ages. It then states that this implies that ‘one can envisage real growth in future years.’ The response then states that those who are not confident enough in their Welsh language skills to claim ability have never been quantified, suggesting that the results are skewed. The second response refers to a seminar on ‘How to Interpret the Census’ by Welsh language planners run by Iaith Cyf (Language Ltd). It was suggested in the seminar that the 2001 results were over-optimistic and that, by comparing the 1991 and the 2011 results, bypassing 2001, there is a small increase – this with a population rising due to in-migration. This led to a discussion during the seminar on the need for language policy to be under-pinned by far more rigorous research into the rapidlychanging nature of ‘community’ in post-modern Wales.’
7. Welsh as the language ‘proper’7 to Wales One detailed response suggestes that Welsh should become the language ‘proper’ to Wales as Catalan is in Catalonia and Basque is in the Basque Country. The response argues that there are precedents which exist within the laws of Britain which would allow the principle of a language ‘proper’ to Wales to exist through innate British legal channels. According to the response, giving Welsh a ‘proper’ status would facilitate ‘establishing a civil service college with emphasis on the importance of Welsh as a core skill.’ It would also help the process of ensuring that everybody employed by the government is supported to learn and use Welsh.’
This ‘proper’ status would also facilitate the effective use of the Welsh Language Act, for example, ensuring that local authorities are promoting Welsh education and Welsh leisure activities. Furthermore, Local Authorities should be encouraged to become Welsh workplaces. Welsh needs to be taught differently in the education sector including how it is taught in Further Education Colleges. ‘Establishing Welsh as the language ‘proper’ to Wales in future documents and constitutional processes would spur and unite an increasing number of policiy fields, and would facilitate both persuasion and lobbying work. It would impel a range of policies in a variety of territories where Welsh is at its strongest, with the intention of strengthening the language rights of citizens all over Wales. We need to be more creative when reckognising and celebrating pluralistic language tendancies. The principle of a ‘proper’ language would be an unambiguous way of fostering the position of Welsh in education and ensuring that Welsh is at the heart of public administration in Wales.’
8. The Welsh language and the budget there is an element of belonging, specification, appropriateness or suitability associated with the word ‘proper’. By extension, this would also suggest that a proper language would mean that there is a relationship between the official nature of a language and a specific territory. Implied by the term too, is that one language is prioritised over another in a territory where more than one official language exists. Carlin, P. (2013). ‘Priod Iaith’, in Pa Beth yr Aethoch Allan i’w Achub? ed. Brooks, S and Glyn Roberts, R. Gwasg Carreg Gwalch: Llanrwst 7
The 2013 Autumn Conference noted the discussion paper produced by Celebrating our Language to earmark 1% of the Assembly’s budget to support the use and the promotion of the Welsh language. The Celebrating our Language movement calls for concentration of this newly proposed budget on: (i) The transfer of language from parents to their children; (ii) The use of the Welsh language by children in school and socially; (iii) Opportunities for young people to use Welsh after leaving school; (iv) Opportunities to use Welsh in the workplace and to create new employment opportunities.8
Summary of Suggestions Below is a summary of the suggestions we have received. 1. Education 1.1.
Roll-out immersion programmes for non-Welsh speakers across Welsh schools - Welsh Second Language is not giving pupils the skills they need to become fluent Welsh speakers. - Immersion programmes are proven to work. One example is the Language Centre in Gwynedd in which latecomers attend a full-time immersion course (every day for 10 weeks) before becoming integrated in mainstream Welsh-medium education. - We will therefore look into the plausibility of rolling out immersion programmes across Wales in terms of costs, staffing and other factors. - As a starting point we would ensure that dual-stream schools offer an immersion course to pupils who opted for an English stream at Key Stage 2 to give them the opportunity to continue with Welsh-medium at secondary school
Welsh-only education in the Foundation Phase - Bilingualism is a valuable skill and benefits children’s cognitive development. All children deserve the opportunity to become bilingual. - Plaid Cymru has set the target of a fully Welsh-medium Foundation Phase in 20 years. - We aim to ensure in ten years’ time that 50% of English primary schools use Welsh as the main medium in the Foundation Phase and that they make provision for linguistic continuation at Key Stage 2.
Discussion Paper on Developing the Welsh Language (http://www.dathlu.org/?p=536&lang=en)
We would ensure that a further target is set after ten years to make sure that the remaining English primary schools follow the same pattern
All primary schools to be Welsh-medium - One of the aims of the Welsh-medium Education Strategy is to encourage sound linguistic progression from one phase of education and training to the next. Currently too many pupils who have received Welsh-medium education are lost from one stage of education to the next. - It needs to be ensured that linguistic progression is available for pupils who have attended a fully Welsh-medium Foundation Phase. - We would establish a clear plan to turn existing dual-stream primary schools and those established in the future into Welsh schools.
Change the curriculum to provide a renewed focus on broad Welsh history
Welsh lessons for 11-14 year-olds to focus more on Wales - The recent report on y Cwricwlwm Cymreig which will feed into the Welsh Governmentâ€™s review of the National Curriculum argues for a renewed focus on Wales throughout the National Curriculum. - Plaid Cymru supports the recommendations made in the report and hopes they will be implemented in full. - A Plaid Cymru government would ensure that all aspects of the National Curriculum are tailored to make them relevant to Wales and the world. This would enable pupils to understand the relevance of the Welsh language.
Publicly fund Welsh for Adults courses - There are currently many barriers to learners for taking Welsh for Adults courses with many learners who do take the courses dropping out from one level to the next. - There are also incentives for taking these courses such as being able to converse with children who attend Welsh-medium schools in Welsh, being able to speak Welsh as part of a Welsh-speaking community and acquiring an additional skill for use in the workplace. - Publicly funding courses would address one barrier. Coupled with recommendation 7 to spend 1% of the Assembly's budget on supporting and promoting the Welsh language, this could be used to fund free Welsh for Adults courses. This would be looked into. - However, other barriers would still remain. One of these barriers is lack of time for full-time workers. - More flexibility is therefore needed in Welsh for Adults courses. We would look into how courses can be made more flexible, for example, through use of technology, bite-sized modules etc. - We would also research what other reasons are behind people not taking Welsh for Adults courses and dropping out of courses and look into what can be done to address this.
Using technology to make Welsh lessons more relevant - Technology is being increasingly used in education, one example being the use of tablets to improve pupils’ literacy skills. - Technology is also used for distance learning, especially for the purposes of sharing resources between education establishments.
Develop a means of sharing resources between Welsh medium education and Welsh language organisations such as S4C, Radio Cymru, the Eisteddfod, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol etc. - A possible way of sharing resources between Welsh-medium education and Welsh language organisations is for the provision of after-school and holiday clubs and enrichment programmes.
Link the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol with childcare/ early years’ education to enable parents to learn Welsh.
Formalise the system of determining whether childcare / early years education is Welsh medium, English medium or bilingual.
Improve language continuity from nursery to university - Childcare policy needs to be aligned with Welsh-medium education policy. The same proportion of children who attend Welsh-medium primary schools should be able to access and make use of Welshmedium childcare facilities. - Formalising the system for determining whether a childcare facility is Welsh-medium, bilingual or English-medium would help make the system more straightforward and also help with monitoring language progression. - Parenting programmes linked with early years’ education can provide an incentive to parents to learn Welsh. This could enable parents to speak Welsh to their children from an early age and incentivise more parents to send their children to Welsh-medium schools. - Currently the Welsh for Adults programme has Welsh for the Family courses targeted at families with children under 7 years of age. - This could be developed and targeted at all non-Welsh-speaking parents whose children attend Welsh-medium or bilingual childcare / early-years education facilities.
2. Economy 2.1.
A regional and national approach is needed to enable young people’s career aspirations to be met, it cannot be left to local communities alone - A report commissioned by the Welsh Government has recommended that the Government promotes the development of Bangor, Aberystwyth and Carmarthen as city regions. - Such a regional approach could enable the creation of economic opportunities and jobs in areas where Welsh is spoken by a majority or near majority.
We will look at different options for a regional approach tying in promoting the Welsh language and growing the economy.
Increase the use of Welsh in the workplace by encouraging public sector bodies to use Welsh in their internal administration - Gwynedd Council carries out its internal administration through the medium of Welsh and other councils in the areas where Welsh is the community language spoken by a majority or near majority of people should be encouraged to follow this model. - Other public sector bodies such as the national parks should also be encouraged to do so. - Public bodies in other regions should also be encouraged to carry out some internal administration through the medium of Welsh. - We will look into ways of encouraging and incentivising public bodies to use Welsh as a medium of internal administration.
Establish a civil service college with strong emphasis on the Welsh language as a core skill - A civil service college would enable the creation of civil servants with a strong understanding of Welsh issues as well as civil servants with Welsh language skills. - It would therefore benefit the people the Wales and its public institutions as well as creating job opportunities for Welsh speakers. - We would look into the possibility of establishing a civil service college including the cost and whether we have the powers to do so.
Demand a more focused policy on the Welsh language in the private and third sectors - We will look into what can be done using existing avenues and legislation and whether further legislation is necessary and / or desirable. - Further research could look at whether legislation or incentivisation is the most effective way of increasing the use of the Welsh language in the provision of services by the private and third sectors.
Adopt a more active role for the language in the area of procurement - We will look into what can be done using existing avenues and legislation and whether further legislation is necessary and / or desirable.
3. Communities 3.1.
Provide social opportunities for children and young people to use the language outside the classroom - This could link with recommendation 1.8 with Welsh language organisations providing after-school and holiday enrichment programmes and clubs.
Adopt a ‘Bro’ Gymraeg strategy
Inject resources into existing strong Welsh language communities such as Pontypridd, Dinbych, Caerfyrddin and Caernarfon - The economy and Welsh language are interlinked and young people will leave the ‘Bro’ Gymraeg unless they have sufficient suitable job opportunities. - As stated in recommendation 2.1 we will look at different options for a regional approach tying in promoting the Welsh language and growing the economy.
Support and encourage Welsh language social networks - As well as job opportunities, social networks are crucial for fluent Welsh speakers as well as learners. - Social networks and the availability of social and cultural activities are crucial to encourage young Welsh speakers to live in areas where Welsh is the community language spoken by a majority or near majority of people. Welsh social networks and opportunities to socialise through the medium of Welsh are crucial in regions where fewer people speak the language. - We will work with Welsh language organisations to create more opportunities to socialise through the medium of Welsh both in the areas where Welsh is the community language spoken by a majority or near majority of people and in areas where fewer people speak the language.
Make the Welsh language a key consideration in planning decisions - We will work with Welsh Government on strengthening legislation going through this Assembly, including the Planning and Future Generations Bills in order to ensure that the Welsh language is a key consideration in planning decisions. - A Plaid Cymru government would ensure that the Welsh language is a key consideration in planning decisions and would provide strong guidance to planning authorities as well as including the Welsh language in planning legislation.
4. Attitudes 4.1.
Develop policies which encourage a positive view of the language - It is hoped that the policies put forward for consideration, including improving Welsh-medium education and encouraging economic growth in the areas where Welsh is the community language spoken by a majority or near majority of people would encourage a positive view of the Welsh language. - Such policies would need to be coupled with a strong communications strategy to raise awareness of their positive intentions, and, in future, outcomes for all the people of Wales.
Oblige local authorities to provide written communication and literature only in the individual’s nominated language. - This proposal relates to tackling negative perceptions of the cost of the Welsh language. - We will look into the feasibility and desirability of using or amending existing legislation in order to do this.
5. Transferral 5.1.
Improve language transferral in the home and encourage the use of Welsh among families
Transferral of the language from parents to children should be a key area of investment - Recommendations 1.9- 1.11 include enabling and encouraging parents of young children to learn Welsh. This would enable them to speak Welsh to their children at home. - We will look into what further policies could encourage parents to transfer the Welsh language to their children.
6. Language ‘proper’ 6.1.
Establish Welsh as the language ‘proper’ to Wales - This proposal is to follow the Catalan and Basque examples and give the Welsh language legal status as the language ‘proper’ to Wales. - We will further research whether further legislation would have the desired effect of strengthening language rights.
7. The Welsh language and the budget 7.1.
Earmark 1% of the Assembly’s budget to expenditure which supports the use and the promotion of the Welsh language - We will increase spending in this area and on the basis of evaluation of successful initiatives consider such a target when determining a Plaid Cymru led government’s budget proposals.