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Language scheme expands after success

4 August 2016

A new language scheme that offers Cardiff University students the opportunity to learn Welsh alongside their studies free of charge is expanding after demand exceeded all expectations.

More than 200 students have followed the School of Welsh’s free beginners courses since they were launched at last year’s National Eisteddfod by First Minister Carwyn Jones.

Following this success, free courses will now also be offered to Cardiff University students at Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced levels from October.

The popularity of Welsh for All will be highlighted at an event at this year’s Eisteddfod at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, on 4 August from 12:00 to 13:00.

The Eisteddfod session will look at the response of students to Welsh for All and will include video clips of students who followed the course, including an international student studying Law who has become proficient in Welsh after immersing himself in the language.

A group of students will also participate in an informal discussion to talk about their experiences of learning Welsh at the University and how it will help them in the future.

Dr Angharad Naylor, Welsh for All Project Manager at the School of Welsh, said: “The progress of the Welsh for All project has been excellent and has exceeded expectations.

“It’s wonderful to see such enthusiastic students wanting to learn Welsh and develop their knowledge and awareness of Welsh culture.

“I look forward to working with students next year to enhance and develop the provision so that many more Cardiff University students can experience the Welsh language and enjoy learning it.”

Next year’s Welsh for All will offer a mixture of intensive and nine-week courses with a range of online resources to develop language skills.

The School of Welsh has a long history of providing innovative opportunities to learn Welsh and discover Welsh culture.

Dr Naylor added: “Students have enjoyed the electronic activities through the virtual learning environment and the interactive nature of the lessons, but many students have highlighted the fact that the course has provided them with the opportunity to develop personal skills as well as linguistic skills.

“They note how they have enjoyed making new friends and are discovering a new culture and language. Many also noted how it gave them more self-confidence which is great.”

This year’s National Eisteddfod takes place at Castle Meadows, Abergavenny, from 29 July to 6 August.

The University’s pavilion is staging a wide variety of events and will feature family activities, films, music, refreshments and free wifi.

Information will be available about how the University helps boost the Welsh economy and supports communities around Wales.

Several events will form part of the Summer of Innovation, a celebration of the University’s innovative work that will bring people together from academia and industry to build and strengthen connections and partnerships.