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A trilingual future for kids?

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 17, 2013

I WOULD like to respond to the contributions made by certain readers regarding the Welsh language and their complaints.

The Welsh language is not being forced on people. It is being provided to people who wish to use it, learn it and have their children learn it as it part of our national heritage.

It is not being forced on children in schools as it was included as part of an agreed national curriculum in the 1990s in which parents, teachers and local authorities and MPs participated.

Welsh medium schools, to which parents of Welsh language and English language families send their children, are established to meet the rising demand.

It is not costing too much. S4C has a subsidy of around £100 million but produces wealth of approximately £85 million to £90 million, a net loss of £10 million to £15 million. If it were closed, then all the jobs and wealth would go straight down the M4 and to London. It is not a "dying" language and 19 per cent of the Welsh population can understand it but we need to do more to popularise it.

It can be re-established by encouraging more people having a Welsh medium education for their children.

Plaid Cymru's leader, Leanne Wood, has said we should change the way in which we teach languages in schools and, that by introducing Welsh and a foreign language in English medium schools, we could have our future generations trilingual. An example was Luxembourg which has its own language, German and French. It is perfectly possible for us to have Welsh and English and the benefits of both these languages, and a third.

Patrick Powell

Plaid Cymru, Castle Ward

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