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New pilot project

It’s good to talk as new project brings
Welsh speakers and learners together

A new pilot project which matches Welsh speakers with Welsh learners is being trialled in four Welsh regions during the spring.

The aim of the voluntary scheme, called ‘Siarad’ (the Welsh word for speak, pronounced ‘shaa-rrad’) is to raise the confidence of Welsh learners by giving them an opportunity to chat in an informal setting with fluent speakers.  The learners will also be introduced to Welsh-medium leisure and cultural activities in their areas.

The National Centre for Learning Welsh is responsible for the scheme, which is being piloted by four of its providers, Learn Welsh North West, Learn Welsh Pembrokeshire, Learn Welsh Glamorgan and Learn Welsh Gwent.

As part of the scheme, each provider will match 20 learners with 20 Welsh speakers who will meet for at least 10 hours to chat and practise. The scheme is based on a similar one called Voluntariat Per La Llengua in Catalonia.

Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, the Welsh language National Theatre, with the support of Pontio, Garth Olwg Lifelong Learning Centre, the Sherman Theatre and Theatr Felinfach, is the first organisation to support the pilot project.

A discount of 10% will be offered on tickets for the Theatr Genedlaethol’s new production, Y Tad, to the scheme’s participants.

During the performance, it will be possible to use the ‘Sibrwd’ ap, which offers an English summary for learners or those who don’t speak Welsh. The National Centre has also produced a lesson for its learners based on the production.

Helen Prosser, Director of Strategy for the National Centre for Learning Welsh, said:

“Learning a new language is like learning to play a musical instrument – it takes lots of practice.  Creating opportunities for our learners to practise speaking Welsh outside the classroom is therefore an important part of the National Centre’s work.

"The aim of this pilot project is to help learners gain confidence and encourage them to use more Welsh in their everyday lives.  The response so far has been heartening.  We’re grateful to Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru for their support and look forward to seeing how the project develops.”

Any learners or Welsh speakers in the four pilot areas who wish to take part in the scheme should contact office@learnwelsh.cymru

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