Santander supports language research

A Santander Scholarship enabled Robat Trefor, a PhD student from the School of Welsh, to visit the Basque Country recently, and he was accompanied by Professor Peredur Lynch, his research supervisor and Head of School.

The highlight of the visit to the Basque University’s Donastia/San Sebastian campus was an entire morning spent with Pello Esnal, an eminent author and one of the greatest authorities on the Basque language. The PhD thesis Robat is working on looks at the standardization of formal Welsh, and having the opportunity to hear about the problems concerning the standardization of their national language from one of the foremost experts in the field was exceptionally valuable.

An enthusiastic welcome at the University was given by Professor Jasone Cenoz, Head of the Department of Research Methods in Education, and the meeting with Pello Esnal had been arranged by members of her team as part of a programme of meetings during the visit. Outside the University itself there was a visit to the office of the local daily newspaper Hitza in the town of Zarautz, and an extended meeting was held with the Basque medium schools organization on the outskirts of Donastia/San Sebastian.

At the University Professor Lynch and Robat both gave talks on the history and standardization of Welsh to students and staff members. A meeting was also held with the Faculty Dean and the Vice-Dean for International Relations where having further co-operation in future between Bangor University and the University of the Basque Country – including an Erasmus exchange programme – was discussed.

Publication date: 27 March 2012