Welsh-medium teaching and research strategy

The School of Linguistics & English Language has a clear Welsh-medium strategy that consists of three elements, i) a commitment to equality of opportunity for learning through the medium of Welsh, ii) a commitment to increasing the numbers of Welsh-medium students taught in our School, and iii) a commitment to research excellence on Welsh linguistics and through the medium of Welsh.  These components are detailed below.

i) Equality of opportunity:

A key plank of our Welsh-medium (WM) strategy is to ensure the same level of opportunity to learn through the medium of Welsh as there is for English. In particular this involves the following key elements:

  • In the first instance, WM equivalents will be staffed for modules which are fundamental to degree courses in the School. These include BA Linguistics, BA English Language, MA Linguistics, and MA Bilingualism, as well as on our PhD courses in Linguistics, and Bilingualism;
  • The opportunity for WM tutorials in Welsh and assignments to be submitted and graded in Welsh, for English-medium modules;
  • The appointment of a Welsh-medium external examiner (a process now almost complete);
  • To increase the number of WM modules offered in the School, as and when resources allow, and
  • To increase the profile and awareness of the Welsh language and culture through English medium modules on Welsh in a bilingual Wales, especially for international students.

ii) Increase WM students:

The second element of our WM strategy is to increase both the number and percentage of our students who choose to learn through the medium of Welsh. This involves the following specific elements:

  • Advertising through press, electronic and other media for our WM provision, and having a specific presence on the School’s website for our WM provision;
  • Third mission work, e.g., secondary school visits, public lectures;
  • Providing presence from the School at study fairs, both WM and through the medium of English;
  • Facilitating students with advanced (but not native-like) ability in Welsh to take WM modules by permitting assignments and academic discussion (etc.) to be conducted through the medium of English;
  • To ensure all of our WM modules are available as electives for students from anywhere in the University;
  • To support the development of and to develop pedagogic materials in Welsh for WM supervision and teaching;
  • To ensure provision, and increase in numbers at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

iii)  Commitment to excellence on Welsh and through the medium of Welsh:

Crucial to supporting WM teaching is research excellence on Welsh through the medium of Welsh.  Specifically:

  • The WM strategy of the School is informed by the WM strategy of Bangor University, of which it is part. The University emphasises, first and foremost, research excellence, as a means of ensuring both that WM students are attracted to the University and can be adequately trained by world-leading specialists, through the medium of Welsh.  This is very clearly a commitment that is central to the School’s WM strategy. 
  • The School’s other core commitments also follow directly from the University’s WM strategy, particularly the commitment to enabling equality of opportunity and to increasing the numbers and percentage of students taught through the medium of Welsh.
  • While there is as yet no national WM subject plan for Linguistics, the School’s WM strategy is also closely aligned in broad terms with the national subject plans for two cognate disciplines, particularly Modern Languages, and Social Science. 
  • In particular, a key plank of our WM strategy is to facilitate postgraduate training through the medium of Welsh.  This is particularly important as today’s masters and doctoral students are tomorrow’s researchers, practitioners and teachers.  We are firmly committed to developing postgraduate training and research through the medium of Welsh. 

Any correspondence or discussion relating to WM teaching or research matters should be directed to Dr Peredur Davies at the School of Linguistics and English Language.

Bangor University
January 2012