Cowshed and Mudiad Meithrin give Welsh a cwtsh
Cowshed and Mudiad Meithrin have today (2 October) launched the second wave of free Welsh language courses at the National Assembly for Wales, following a successful pilot scheme earlier this year.
The scheme, called Clwb Cwtsh, is a course using games and songs to introduce the Welsh language to parents of young children. A joint project between Mudiad Meithrin and the National Centre for Learning Welsh, the project was first launched as a pilot in February this year and saw more than 500 people completing the course.
The eight-week, Clwb Cwtsh courses are for parents, carers and prospective parents, who are welcome to bring their children with them, as Mudiad Meithrin provides entertainment for the youngsters.
Courses are available in 76 locations across Wales during October with another course proposed for early 2019.
Rebecca East and her mother Jenny Hume from Cardiff attended their first Clwb Cwtsh sessions earlier this year with Jenny’s eight-month-old and 4-year-old daughters. Rebecca’s eldest daughter had been attending Cylch Meithrin at the local Welsh-medium school and Rebecca wanted to be able to converse with her in Welsh, so she took the plunge to get up to speed with her daughter. She said: “I thought to myself that starting from the beginning with my children could be the answer for me.”
Making new friends, having fun and learning some basic words, were the main benefits for Rebecca and Jenny. Now they both make sure to practice at home with the children through singing songs and reading Welsh books.
Rebecca added: “I’d recommend Clwb Cwtsh sessions to anyone thinking of learning Welsh, especially those with young children. Learning a second language at an early age is so good for children’s brains and it’s great that we can learn alongside them too. Welsh is a fun language and is all around us.”
Dr Gwenllian Lansdown Davies, Chief Executive of Mudiad Meithrin said: “I’m delighted that we’re here today to launch the second series of ‘Clwb Cwtsh’. Since we started earlier this year, we have received a great response across Wales. The fact that children can come to the sessions with their families has been welcomed. We are looking forward to seeing the project grow at grass roots level.”
Sponsoring the event at the Pierhead in Cardiff Bay, David Rees AM, Assembly Member for Aberavon said: “As a father, grandfather and keen Welsh learner, I have always seen the benefits of speaking Welsh and am delighted to be sponsoring this event to launch the next series of Clwb Cwtsh for Mudiad Meithrin today.
“The success of the Clwb Cwtsh to date demonstrates the appetite that exists for learning Welsh, and by removing some barriers such as childcare, more people will be able to learn the language alongside their children in a fun, relaxed environment.”
Also speaking at the event, Eluned Morgan AM, Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning said: “Clwb Cwtsh has already experienced a great deal of success. Enabling so many adults to start learning Welsh in such a short period of time is a significant achievement.
“Providing increased opportunities for adults to learn Welsh is vital to reaching our target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050. Offering entertainment for children whilst adults learn is a creative way of increasing access to opportunities for adults to start on their journey to becoming confident Welsh speakers.”
For more information on Clwb Cwtsh sessions in your area, visit www.meithrin.cymru/clwb-cwtsh