Reading Welsh ‘associated with school’

11 August 2017

Young woman reading in library

The challenges of engaging young readers in Welsh will be highlighted in new Cardiff University research, commissioned by the Welsh Books Council, at the National Eisteddfod.

A study by Dr Siwan Rosser, from the School of Welsh, suggests that a majority of young readers associate reading Welsh with schoolwork and choose to read in English for pleasure.

Dr Rosser will be joined by leading names from media and publishing in Wales to discuss how to engage young audiences with storytelling across print, media and digital platforms.

Her session, in the Cardiff University tent at 13:00 on Friday 11 August, is a preview of the findings of her Review of Welsh Books for Children and Young Adults commissioned by the Welsh Books Council. The report will be published in the autumn.

Readers' experiences

Dr Rosser canvassed the opinions of young readers across Wales through an online questionnaire and focus groups.

“I found that the majority chose to read for enjoyment in English and felt reading Welsh was associated with school,” she said.

Siwan Rosser

“Further investigation found that the readers’ experiences of Welsh books were mostly confined to school/homework, and that Welsh books were not a visible part of their local community or their online culture.”

Dr Siwan Rosser, Senior Lecturer

“This is in contrast to English books whose titles and authors feature regularly in high street shops, on film/television/radio and online.

“This discussion brings practitioners and producers in publishing and the media together with young readers from Anglesey to explore how to access and engage young people in reading and creativity across print, media and digital platforms.”

Cardiff University’s theme for the 2017 National Eisteddfod is Cardiff Connected – how Cardiff University and its students, staff and alumni are connected to Wales and beyond.

For more information visit the School webpages.