‘Welsh out of School? Factors Influencing School Pupils’ Social Use of Welsh and Implications for Other Minority Languages – Some Initial Findings’ - Siôn Aled Owen
School of Education, Bangor University
Date: Wednesday 20 April 2016, 13.00-14.30
Venue: Alun 0.01
Despite the rapid growth in uptake of Welsh medium education in the last quarter century (such that almost one in four Welsh pupils are by now educated mainly in Welsh), at the same time increasing concerns have been raised, reinforced by previous research, concerning the low level of usage of the language by pupils outside school especially, but not only in those areas where Welsh is not widely spoken in the community.
The present project seeks to identify the factors influencing the use or non-use of Welsh socially, using mixed-methods data collection work with Year 6 and Year 7 pupils in four secondary and eight primary Welsh medium schools serving diverse areas of Wales. This is the most wide-ranging study yet in this field and has drawn considerable academic and media attention in Wales and beyond.
As well as summarising the background and the methodology, the presentation will summarise some of the initial findings from the data analysis, including in the following fields:
- The relationship between attitudes to Welsh and language use
- The role of various forms of motivation
- The relationship between community and school
It will also discuss how this project points towards further potential research which could be of value on factors which are crucial to the future viability of Welsh as a community language, and practically relevant also to other contexts of minority language preservation and revitalisation.
Publication date: 12 April 2016