A young woman who only started learning Welsh in October 2019 is joining Learn Welsh North West, run by Bangor University on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh, as a Welsh tutor.
Elinor Staniforth, from Cardiff, takes up her new part-time role in September – but before then, will join a group of young people on the National Centre’s ‘Tutors of Tomorrow’ training programme.
Elinor is one of 13 people who will be following the programme, which will be held in early July for prospective Learn Welsh tutors. Elinor has fallen in love with Welsh, and she’s currently studying for an MA in Welsh and Celtic Studies at Cardiff University, where she’s focusing on language acquisition.
‘‘When I started to learn Welsh, I knew it was the right subject for me,’’ Elinor says. ‘‘Learning Welsh has changed my life, and I want others to have the same experiences I’ve had in the classroom. I’m thrilled to have been offered a place on the training programme, and I can’t wait to be able to teach others.’’
Elinor attended Bishop of Llandaff High School in Cardiff, where she studied Welsh for GSCEs. Elinor then spent three years studying for an Art degree at Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, and signed up to a Learn Welsh class on her return to Cardiff, in order to meet new people, as she explains;
‘‘When I came home, most of my friends had left Cardiff. I was looking for a job and wanted to meet new people, so I thought I would give learning Welsh a try. I’m so glad I did as I’ve made friends for life. When classes moved online due to Covid-19, I met even more people. Learning online during the pandemic was a lifeline for me and it’s been wonderful to have learners join the class from far and wide.’’
In September 2022, the National Centre for Learning Welsh will be offering free Welsh courses to young people aged 18-25. Elinor says that learning Welsh is a wonderful way of spending a few hours each week and would encourage others to take up the offer;
‘‘Go for it. Learning Welsh will look good on your CV and you’ll come across so many interesting people. I didn’t enjoy studying languages at school, but learning a language is possible, you just need time and patience. You don’t need to be a natural with languages, just persevere as much as you can and don’t quit before you’ve begun!’’