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 thei...
'Towards the light': Parents’ reasons for choosing Welsh education for their children in Cwm Rhymni
Welsh as a job requirement: An acceptable step from a liberal perspective?
Policies introduced to revive the prospects of minority languages have often been the source of substantial disquiet. At times, objections to these policies are expressed in moral terms, with certain measures being accused of transgressing normative principles such as individual freedom and equal opportunity. Given their nature, these moral objections pose interesting questions for liberals. Therefore, how should liberals respond? This article will explore this question by focusing on one controversial aspect of language policy in Wales: the steps taken to set Welsh-language requirements for some jobs in the public sector. This is a practice which has generated substantial debate, with opponents claiming that it undermines the liberal commitment to equality of opportunity in the field of employment and, in particular, transgresses the principle of appointing on the basis of merit. Do such arguments stand up to scrutiny? Do minority language requirements in the field of employment go beyond what liberals would consider acceptable, or can a coherent defence that is clearly rooted within a liberal framework be developed?
Historical climate: The potential of Wales’s documentary sources
With the uncertainty of climate change, reconstructions from parameteorological and phenological records provide a strong basis for the analysis of past and present climate. However, very little research has been completed on the historical climate of Wales, which is variable throughout the country due to factors such as topography and atmospheric circulation. This is particularly so for west Wales, which has a diverse range of environments from the upland ‘green desert’ to the fertile coastal plains, where an extensive history may potentially be reconstructed from un-tapped documentary resources. The potential is immense as possible sources of meteorological information include all religious, official and personal documentation, which may provide an insight into the relationship between the Welsh and the weather.