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Free Welsh lessons at Cardiff Met aims to boost Welsh-medium teacher workforce

​​News | 9 August 2023

​​​Cardiff Metropolitan ​University will give every education student the opportunity to have free Welsh language lessons to address the shortage of Welsh-medium teachers, in a new initiative announced today.

From October 2023, all students studying education courses within the Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy will be offered the opportunity to take part in ‘Welsh for Educators’, a programme for complete beginners, to improve existing Welsh language skills, or refine already fluent skills for the purposes of working within the education sector.

Students at the University will be offered weekly language classes for the entire duration of their degree, whether that be a three-year undergraduate programme or a one or two-year post-graduate qualification. Students undertaking Qualified Teacher Status programmes like PGCE and BA Primary Education, who already receive intensive Welsh language training, will be offered additional support to practise their Welsh with the aim of increasing their confidence in using Welsh in the classroom. Meanwhile, Welsh speakers will be supported with pre-sessional preparatory courses and regular proficiency workshops during the academic year.

Teaching will be provided by Welsh language tutors from Cardiff Met’s Welsh Language Unit on a first come first served basis, working in close partnership with the School of Education and Social Policy’s existing teaching staff.

Welsh for Educators has been introduced in light of a nationwide recruitment shortage for Welsh language teachers and joins a number of recent initiatives launched across Wales to address this shortage.

Daniel Tiplady, Head of the Welsh Language Unit at Cardiff Metropolitan University said: “As the largest provider of teacher training in Wales, Cardiff Met is extremely motivated to address the shortage of Welsh speaking teachers in classrooms across the country. The Welsh for Educators scheme aims to reduce the barriers for learning Welsh by introducing on-campus lessons with Cardiff Met’s own tutors and boost the confidence of those who can already speak Welsh.

“We’re hopeful that our education students will take up this opportunity to develop themselves professionally as they embark on their future career in a truly rewarding industry.”

Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “Increasing the number of teachers who can teach Welsh and through the medium of Welsh is vital to achieving our ambition of one million Welsh speakers by 2050, so I want to make it as easy as possible for them to have access to Welsh courses for free.

“I’m pleased to be working with Cardiff Metropolitan University on this initiative, which is another step towards giving a chance to everyone in Wales to speak Welsh.”​