Welsh Government is offering free Welsh lessons to all 16-25 year olds, teachers, headteachers and teaching assistants

The Welsh Government is offering free Welsh lessons to anyone between 16 and 25 year old and to all teachers, headteachers and teaching assistants.

From September, 18 to 25 year-olds will be able to enrol free on Welsh language courses with the National Centre for Learning Welsh.

Most courses are currently held online in virtual classrooms, using Zoom or Teams but in-person courses are also available.

Read more: ‘Speaking Welsh doesn’t make me better than you but attack the language and I will fight back’

The free courses offered will be tailored to different levels of Welsh, from taster and entry courses through to advanced and proficiency levels.

New e-learning will also be piloted for 16 to 18 year-olds who attend school, college or an apprenticeship scheme, to improve their oral Welsh skills. The resource will be provided by Say Something in Welsh and the National Centre for Learning Welsh from September.

All teachers, headteachers and teaching assistants will also be offered free Welsh lessons, as part of Welsh Government efforts to beef up Welsh teaching in the new curriculum, being rolled out from this September, and to increase the number of education practitioners who can teach in Welsh.

Around 2,800 teachers and headteachers registered for an online Welsh taster course with the National Centre for Learning Welsh in February 2020. Other courses available will include the established Sabbatical Scheme for school practitioners. A new digital portal will be developed by the summer to help the education workforce choose the course that best suits their needs.

The free Welsh classes for all 16 to 25 year-olds are being offered as part of the Labour administration’s co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru.

Staff at Pen y Dre High in Merthyr Tydfil are already learning Welsh in after school lessons run by the school’s Welsh department (Image: WalesOnline)

Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “I want everyone to have the opportunity to learn Welsh. Not everyone has the chance to learn Welsh from a young age and many of us decide after we’ve left school-age education that we’d like to speak Welsh more often.

“It’s important we increase the opportunities to learn our language so more people can use Welsh in their daily lives.

“Many young adults may decide they want to start learning Welsh, build on their existing ability or simply want to increase their confidence so they can use Welsh more, whether in the workplace, with friends or going about their day-to-day lives in their local community.

“We also want to increase the number of learners in Welsh medium education and training. There is therefore an increasing need for more Welsh speaking educators, so I want to make it as easy as possible for them to have access to Welsh courses for free.

“Welsh belongs to us all. This is another step towards giving a chance to everyone to speak Welsh and help us reach our goal of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.”

Cefin Campbell MS, Designated Member, said: “Everyone should have the right in our country to learn, work and live their lives in Welsh – the language belongs to us all. The announcement today is another step forward as we plan for a million Welsh speakers and beyond.

“By offering all 16 to 25 year-olds free Welsh lessons, we are removing another barrier to accessing the language, and all the many benefits it brings to people’s lives.

“Providing easy to access free lessons is a small but crucial contribution in our efforts to expand Welsh language citizenship to everyone. I hope that very many people will benefit from this new policy forged in the co-operative Welsh spirit. Together, we are making a difference.”


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