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Teacher learns Welsh from Kuwait

Teacher learns Welsh from Kuwait
Ann Turner

Ann Turner recently moved to Kuwait where she is a teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages at an American University.  Ann has previously worked in Saudia Arabia, Germany and has also taught students at both Cardiff and Essex Universities.

Ann grew up in north Essex and first became interested in Welsh after she met her husband of thirty years, Simon.  Simon, who’s originally from Gloucestershire, spent a large part of his childhood visiting north Wales.  Their first holiday together as a newly married couple was to Beddgelert in Gwynedd, where they walked the mountains in the area as Ann explains;

‘‘The connection with Wales really started because of my husband's love of Wales and rugby!  We have enjoyed many holidays in north Wales and I have always been fascinated by the road signs, and the fact that Wales is so beautiful, and has such a different and ancient language.’’

Ann already speaks French, Italian and a little Arabic and is enjoying the process of learning Welsh over Zoom.  She’s currently studying an Entry level course for beginners with Learn Welsh Swansea Bay Region, which is run by Swansea University on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.  Because of the time difference between Wales and Kuwait, Ann joins her class between the hours of 9pm – 12am (Kuwait local time).  Ann’s tutor is Catherine Davies-Woodrow, who says;

''Ann is doing very well in the sessions, especially as she is studying so late in the evening!  She clearly has a great interest in languages and I hope she continues to learn.  Ann’s story has proven that learning Welsh over Zoom has created a global village, and that anyone can join us wherever they may live.’’

Ann would like to move to Wales one day and continue to learn Welsh.  Her husband, Simon, has rented a house in Ystradgynlais and she can’t wait to spend some time there during the holidays;

‘‘My plans are to stay in Kuwait for a year or two, but when I come home to the UK in the holidays, I hope to see the Welsh house my husband has rented and do some serious hillwalking!  I certainly intend to carry on learning Welsh - and I am very grateful for this opportunity to continue learning Welsh in such a faraway place.’’