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Appeal for Welsh speakers to chat with learners

Appeal for Welsh speakers to chat with learners

The National Centre for Learning Welsh is looking for Welsh speakers to join their 'Siarad' scheme, which pairs Welsh speakers with people learning the language.

Hundreds of learners are already part of the scheme, and have been matched, but there are hundreds more on a waiting list due to a shortage of Welsh speakers.

The aim of the scheme is to give learners the opportunity to chat in an everyday environment through the medium of Welsh and introduce them to opportunities to use their Welsh within the community.

One of the Welsh speakers volunteering on the scheme is the television presenter Branwen Gwyn. She said, "The reason I joined the scheme was because I wanted to help people learn Welsh. It is a great opportunity to increase the number of people who are confident in their Welsh.

“I was very happy to be paired with Angela. She speaks Welsh so well, even though she doesn't fully realize it! The conversation was so easy that an hour flew by in her company. She is such a happy and bubbly person.

"It's important to remember that you're not there to be a teacher - it's nothing like that. All you need to do is chat - and if you’re thinking of joining the scheme, my advice would be to go for it.”

"It's great to learn Welsh in classes, but we need to offer opportunities to chat with Welsh speakers outside of class. You will be doing very valuable work helping people gain confidence in their Welsh."

Angela Yeoman added, “Simply put, the Siarad scheme is a way of finding someone to help learners speak with confidence.

"Before starting the Siarad scheme, I was fine speaking Welsh with other learners but as soon as I met first language speakers, I was not at all comfortable speaking Welsh.

"But Branwen has made me feel at home from the very first session - talking about things like the cat..taking the car for an MOT...who in the family had Covid / is self-isolating. ..the normal things in life!”

The learners who take part in the scheme are at Intermediate, Advanced or Refresher level which means they can hold a conversation comfortably in Welsh.

Helen Prosser, Director of Teaching and Learning at the National Centre for Learning Welsh, added, "When learning any new skill, you need practice. And learning a language is no exception.

"Therefore, we wanted to give new speakers the opportunity to chat between lessons but also introduce them to opportunities in the community to speak Welsh.

"We ask for a commitment of 10 hours - and that can be while chatting over a cup of tea, at a football match, in the choir, while going for a walk or wherever appeals.

There is a demand for people across Wales and you can register by visiting or by e-mailing

Image: Angela Yeoman and Branwen Gwyn