Welsh-medium education has long been seen as an effective language planning tool in order to transmit the Welsh language in Wales. According to the 2001 Census, there has been a substantial increase in the numbers of Welsh speakers 3–15 years old, especially in south–east Wales, since the 1991 Census. The aim of this paper is to elaborate upon this quantitative data by providing qualitative data with regard to the main reasons and incentives for parents to choose this educational option for their children. The study location is Cwm Rhymni, Caerffili county. A combination of quantitative questionnaires and qualitative in-depth interviews were administered amongst parents from the meithrin, primary and secondary school sectors in Cwm Rhymni. The reasons why parents choose this educational system for their children were cultural, educational, economic and personal. However, it is pertinent to note from the outset, that the parents chose Welsh-medium education for their children in this area for mainly cultural reasons, rather than economic reasons which featured heavily in past studies such as research by Williams et al. (1978) on bilingual education in the Rhondda. This study is the first in a larger corpus of work and one that hopes to address the existing lacunae in the Sociology of Language in Wales, especially as there is a lack of Sociology of Language studies through the medium of Welsh in Wales.
'Towards the light': Parents’ reasons for choosing Welsh education for their children in Cwm Rhymni
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