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Shortlist

Dysgwr yr Ŵyl AmGen – Welsh learner competition shortlist

Five Welsh learners have been shortlisted for a competition held jointly by the National Eisteddfod, BBC Radio Cymru and the National Centre for Learning Welsh as part of the ‘Gŵyl AmGen’ (Alternative Festival). 

The learners, shortlisted for their special effort to use the language in their everyday lives, will take part in the ‘Gŵyl AmGen’, a long weekend of programming and content on BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Cymru 2 and the BBC Cymru Fyw news website between 30 July – 2 Awst. 

The five shortlisted learners are:

Mathias Maurer

Originally from Germany, Mathias worked as a professional musician before becoming a primary school teacher.  He enjoys speaking Welsh at home with his family in Barry, and has worked diligently to create new digital learning resources to support children in English-medium schools to learn the language.

Jazz Langdon

Jazz is from Pembrokeshire and has learned Welsh to a high standard over the past two years.  She is now a Welsh langauge coordinator in her work as a school teacher.  Jazz sings in a choir and enjoys singing and socialising in Welsh with her fellow choir members.

Siân Sexton

Siân was brought up in a non-Welsh speaking home in the Rhondda.  She fell in love with the language and has learned it to a high standrad.  She was determined that her two sons would learn Welsh, and they too are both now fluent.  She has varied interestes, including ‘Merched y Wawr’ (the Welsh language women’s organisation), gardening and bee keeping. 

Elisabeth Haljas

Elisabeth, originally from Estonia, moved to Cardiff to study to be a dietician.  She has been learning Welsh for two years and as part of her course, she has made videos in Welsh about healthy eating.  She has also organised a work placement at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd hospital in Rhyl, as she wants to live and work through the medium of Welsh.  Elisabeth enjoys volunteering at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, particularly with Welsh language productions.

Barry Lord

Barry is a book store owner in Montgomery.  In 2018 he won the Basil Davies memorial award for the highest marks in Wales for a Learn Welsh exam at Sylfaen/Foundation level.  Barry loves using Welsh in his day to day work and also enjoys socialising in Welsh in a weekly book club.

The shortlist was drawn up by a judging panel which includes Betsan Moses, Chief Executive of the National Eisteddfod, Aran Jones, the co-founder of SaySomethingInWelsh and Dona Lewis, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Planning and Development at the National Centre for Learning Welsh.

Dona Lewis says: “The five learners on the shortlist have learned the language to a high standard, some of them in a short period of time.  They have all embraced every opportunity to use and enjoy the Welsh language and we’re very proud of them.”

The five will be interviewed by presenter Shân Cothi on Radio Cymru, and following the interviews the Judging Panel will choose the winner.  The winner will be announced in a special ceremony on Radio Cymru at 4.30pm on Saturday, 1 August.    

Ends

The ‘Gŵyl AmGen’ is part of the ‘Eisteddfod AmGen’, which is being held this year instead of the National Eisteddfod in Tregaron, which has been postponed due to the coronavirus.