Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd has joined Mudiad Meithrin in launching the second wave of free Welsh-language courses at the National Assembly for Wales, following a successful pilot scheme earlier this year.
The scheme, called Clwb Cwtsh, is a course using games and songs to introduce the Welsh language to parents of young children. A joint project between Mudiad Meithrin and the National Centre for Learning Welsh, the project was first launched as a pilot in February this year and saw more than 500 people completing the course.
The eight-week Clwb Cwtsh courses are for parents, carers and prospective parents, who are welcome to bring their children with them, as Mudiad Meithrin provides entertainment for the youngsters.
Courses are available in 76 locations across Wales during October with another course proposed for early 2019, including 22 in north Wales. The newest Clwb opened in Ruabon last week (see notes).
Rebecca East and her mother Jenny Hume from Cardiff attended their first Clwb Cwtsh sessions earlier this year with Jenny’s eight-month-old and 4-year-old daughters. Rebecca’s eldest daughter had been attending Cylch Meithrin at the local Welsh-medium school and Rebecca wanted to be able to converse with her in Welsh, so she took the plunge to get up to speed with her daughter. She said: “I thought to myself that starting from the beginning with my children could be the answer for me.”
Making new friends, having fun and learning some basic words, were the main benefits for Rebecca and Jenny. Now they both make sure to practice at home with the children through singing songs and reading Welsh books.
Rebecca added: “I’d recommend Clwb Cwtsh sessions to anyone thinking of learning Welsh, especially those with young children. Learning a second language at an early age is so good for children’s brains and it’s great that we can learn alongside them too. Welsh is a fun language and is all around us.”
Dr Gwenllian Lansdown Davies, Chief Executive of Mudiad Meithrin said: “I’m delighted that we’re here today to launch the second series of ‘Clwb Cwtsh’. Since we started earlier this year, we have received a great response across Wales. The fact that children can come to the sessions with their families has been welcomed. We are looking forward to seeing the project grow at grass roots level.”
Llyr Gruffydd AM, who has four children, said: “Mudiad Meithrin and Clwb Cwtsh offer a great start for children to get a bilingual education and for their parents to join in the fun. The Government’s target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050 can’t just be achieved with the present growth rate so anything that will accelerate the opportunity for children and adults to learn the language is welcomed.”
There are 22 Clwb Cwtsh in north Wales – https://dysgucymraeg.cymru/media/3721/lleoliadau-clwb-cwtsh-201819.pdf
(contact details for the individual organisers are in the PDF)
Tywyn, Ynys Môn
Craig y Don, Llandudno
Ruabon (this is the newest in Wales – having opened in 28.9.18)