Over 150 new Welsh language and bilingual resources to support further education learners and apprentices

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More than 150 new Welsh and bilingual resources have been published on the Porth Adnoddau, the Coleg Cymraeg's resources website, to support lecturers and practitioners in further education colleges and trainers working with apprenticeships.

The resources which have been funded by a £150,000 grant from the Welsh Government, will support educators to provide Welsh-medium and bilingual provision for all learners and apprentices whatever their Welsh language skills, in line with the aims of the Further Education and Apprenticeship Welsh-medium Action Plan launched in 2019.

The aim of the project is to ensure that high-quality blended learning resources are available bilingually or through the medium of Welsh from Levels 1 to 3 across the four priority areas of Health and Care, Childcare, Public Services and Agriculture.

The Coleg Cymraeg has lead the national project to create and update over 150 Welsh language and bilingual digital resources across four priority subjects. Our subject co-ordinators, who are experienced specialists in their fields, have worked with e-learning specialists to ensure that the resources developed meet the needs of lecturers and practitioners in Wales and fill the gaps identified in terms of the lack of Welsh language and bilingual resources.

At present, we know that the percentage of learning activities in the post-16 sector taking place through the medium of Welsh or bilingually is very low, but the Action Plan aims for a significant increase over the next few years. Ensuring that suitable resources are available to practitioners, lecturers and trainers is key to achieving the plan's objectives, especially given the relatively low percentage of the workforce who consider themselves Welsh speakers.

The project will have a far-reaching impact on the aims of Cymraeg 2050, the Government's national language strategy, to “develop post-compulsory education provision which increases rates of progression and supports everyone, whatever their command of the language, to develop Welsh language skills for use socially and in the workplace.”

To support apprentices specifically, the Coleg has commissioned "Prentis-iaith at Understanding Level". The resource supports trainees who have some understanding of Welsh to further develop their skills, and follows on from the success of the original version, "Prentis-iaith at Awareness Level", which was previously commissioned to develop language awareness and has been downloaded from the Porth Adnoddau over 11,000 times.

Fourteen resources have been created and updated in the field of Childcare, including Bilingual Childcare Vocabulary Posters. According to Joanne DeBurgh, a Childcare lecturer at Bridgend College:

"We’ve printed all the posters on A3 paper and they’ve been put up in every classroom. Also, in the Childcare department, A5 copies have been inserted into the students' books to help with any tasks where they need the terms in Welsh.

"Every resource has been useful. We need bilingual resources as we don't have many students who come from Welsh-medium schools or Welsh-speaking families.”

Sixteen resources have been created and updated in Health and Care and according to Moli Harrington, a lecturer in Health and Care at Merthyr Tydfil College:

"It's great to see that the Coleg Cymraeg not only commissioned new resources, but also took the time to collate and update presentations already created by sector staff. Sharing resources among different colleges facilitates bilingual teaching within Health and Care across Wales and gives us more time to focus on our learners. I look forward to seeing what resources will be placed on the Coleg Cymraeg's Porth Adnoddau next.”

Sixty-two resources have been created and updated in Public Services, including 60 interactive learning units. Carolann Healy, a Public Services lecturer at Coleg Sir Gâr, said:

"It's great to see bilingual versions of the BLC's Public Services resources, and they’ve been well-received by students and lecturers. Welsh is now being strengthened as a normal and natural language in our further education colleges to create a workforce that is bilingual. These resources are also a way of strengthening students' language skills in new areas and for those who may not have practised the language since their school days.”

Sixty-three resources have been created and updated in Agriculture, including an updated farm animal health resource.

David John, a lecturer in Agriculture at Bridgend College, said:

"The resources are excellent and really help in the lesson especially when introducing a new subject. I really like that you can easily toggle between Welsh and English.”

All the new resources can be found via the Porth Adnoddau and we’d like to take this opportunity to encourage practitioners and lecturers in the post-16 sector to take a look. You don’t need to be a Welsh language speaker to use the resources – there’s something there for everyone.

To contact the Coleg about our work in the post-16 sector or to give us feedback on the resources please email gwybodaeth@colegcymraeg.ac.uk.

Author: Dr Lowri Morgans, Academic Manager at Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (l.morgans@colegcymraeg.ac.uk)

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