ELUNED Morgan, AM for Mid and West Wales is encouraging Carmarthenshire residents to take part in a new consultation on the use of language in families, as the government steps up its commitment to reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
Ms Morgan who is also the Minister with responsibility for the Welsh Language in the Welsh Government says that by speaking Welsh with their children, parents can create language practices that last a lifetime.
There is a particular focus on encouraging those who have lost their language skills or lost confidence to use Welsh day-to-day to tell Government how they can be better supported.
In a statement to the Assembly outlining proposals to support the ‘transmission’ of the Welsh language, Eluned Morgan said:
“I’m asking everyone who wants to see an increase in the use of the Welsh language to contribute to the consultation on this policy.”
“As noted in our Cymraeg 2050 strategy, government can’t control which languages families speak, nor would we wish to do so. But we can help parents to speak more Welsh.”
Recognising that language use varies across the nation, Eluned has been keen to draw on her own experiences to shape future policy and actions to deliver change:
“In my case, I spoke Welsh with my mother but English with my father. Welsh is the language I use with my children. I even made it a condition of marriage that my husband learn Welsh. Relax! I’m certainly not suggesting that in this policy.”
The new policy focuses on four clear aims to:
- Inspire today’s generation of children and young people to speak Welsh to their own children in future
- Reignite the Welsh language skills of those who may not have used Welsh since their school days or who have lost confidence
- Support and encourage use of Welsh within families where not everybody speaks Welsh
- Support Welsh speaking families to speak Welsh with their children
Welsh Government has been looking at innovation across the globe to encourage better language use, including a project in the Basque country which has marked success.
Eluned concluded: “This is innovative work not only for us in Welsh Government but also internationally. How we develop this policy and action plan here in Wales has the potential to lead the way in other nations across the World too. The consultation runs until May 5th and I’d like to hear a wide response particularly from people in Carmarthenshire to find out how we can better support you to use Welsh more often and to create that lifelong language habit for you and your family.”