Offering 0pen and Honest Professional Advice
It cannot be assured that Welsh Medium Education is not damaging All Children's Education
The Cockcroft Report 1982 into mathematical education took five years to research and compile in one of the most researched subjects in the curriculum.
The Report were written by educationalists and they were not influenced by politicians or public opinion. The detail of these Report illustrates its importance. The education of children is too important to left to mere chance, hope and optimism.
The question of whether all children should be educated through medium of Welsh is very easy to answer, because proven cognitive research clearly illustrates that children and adults will always learn most effectively through their most fluent language. The more fluent children become in any given language, the more effectively they will learn. Literacy offers social mobility.
This is why it would be unlawful for the Welsh Government to compel all children to be educated through the medium of Welsh in Wales, because the Welsh Government has placed into statute that all children in Wales have the human right to reach their full learning potential. There cannot be any argument about the law.
The legality of teaching children through the medium of Welsh in English medium schools must seriously questioned. Unless the aim of the lesson is to teach Welsh, because children will not learn as effectively when they are being taught through a new language as they would be in their native language. Children effective learning of history should not be retarded because they are not taught it in their native language, for instance.
The seriously question that must be asked about native English children, who chose to be educated through the medium of Welsh, is the extent that they will reach sufficient fluency to effectively learn through a new language. They will need to learn a new language before they can be educated through it at formative age when they should be developing their English language skills.
It will take around five years of learning to reach anything resembling native like fluency. This research relates to learning majority languages, not minority languages like Welsh.
Many children are lacking the 50,000 vocabulary target needed for the secondary curriculum. Children will need to go out into the outside world to apply their English skills to enter many occupations and higher education.
There is the issue of the extent that English speaking children can fully develop their Welsh speaking skills when it is not spoken in their homes and it is not all around them in their communities. Many children in Welsh medium schools speak English in the school yard and at home. Children who parents speak Welsh will always have a head start in education.
Is Welsh medium education retarding children's education? The answer is very complicated one, because they do offer a grammar school like learning environment, with more behaved children, but the evidence is the answer is yes, especially for native English speakers of average and lower than average learning potential.
The notion that children can survive in the modern world without developing English language oracy and literature is a myth. Cambridge Institute of the brain claim that 30% of children in the United Kingdom do not reach their expected reading levels at the age of 11. There is a huge step up in the vocabulary that children need to learn when they enter secondary school.
English is one to most difficulty, but probably the most useful language to learn in the world. However passionately people feel about the Welsh language and Welsh medium education children's learning interests must be put first. These issue are complex cognitive and educational ones. No Welsh person wants to see the Welsh language die. Simple answers to complex educational problem will yield over simplistic results.
See Reviewed Papers - Sweller
See Welsh Language Board Delusion
See Welsh Language Learning Retardation
See Home Truths about the Welsh Language Decline
See Confessions of Welsh Learner