Offering 0pen and Honest Professional Advice
The Proposal that All Children should be Compelled to Learn through the Medium of the Welsh Language in Wales Appears to have been Dropped - 11th July 2017
The proposal that all children should be taught through the medium of Welsh in Wales appears to have been dropped by the Welsh Government. The proposal would have been unlawful, because each child in Wales has a legal human right to be allowed to reach their full learning potential
If children were legally compelled to learn a new language, which they would then need to be educated through, it would have taken them years for them to full learn it and it would have not been assured that they would reach the fluency in their new language to the level that they possess in their first.
Ethnic minorities, whose native language is not English, would need to learn Welsh and English, because they would need to learn English to live their everyday lives.
The proposal to encourage more native English speakers to learn through the medium of Welsh to create more fluent Welsh speakers in Wales is a concern. The choice of which medium children should be educated through is an educational issue, not a language one. If children's native English language reading fluency could be increased by 10% school standards would raise significantly.
It is unclear of how native English speaking parents will be able to help their Welsh medium children learning homework, because one of the most demanding tasks their children will face will be to develop fluency in their new language.
Most responsible parents would not chose to send a child of low learning potential to a Welsh medium school, where they would be burdened with learning a new language, before they can effectively learn through the medium of it.
Many people do not understand what is involved in learning a second language. They are not learnt instantly. Baker (2011) refers to fact there is up to seven year learning deficit when native English speakers chose to learn through the medium of Welsh. They have no interest in children with low learning potential or dyslexics needs.
There is no convincing evidence the Welsh language should not be taught in schools, but children go to school to be educated, not learn a new language. The two are not the same. Decisions about whether a native English speaking child should learn through the medium of Welsh should not be taken lightly.
Where is the convincing evidence that a million Welsh speakers can created by 2050?
It appears that the ministers Carwyn James and Alan Davies who made the announcement have been badly advised.