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International Welsh learners

31 Awst 2007

Students from across the globe have been learning and improving their Welsh as part of an eight week summer school run by the University.

The ‘Cardiff Summer Course’ is offered by the School of Welsh’s Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre and is designed to help people develop their Welsh language skills. This year the participating group had a decidedly world feel to it, with students from Argentina, America, Germany, Finland, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Ireland, England and Wales enrolling on the scheme.

The course is split into two four-week modules and develops students’ oral and written Welsh through an intensive teaching programme and caters for all levels of learning.

As well as brushing up on their Welsh, the course allows students to immerse themselves in Welsh culture with excursions to notable landmarks such as the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Castle. The visits not only illustrate Welsh life, but provide an opportunity for the students to try out their new Welsh language skills.

Commenting on the course, visiting Patagonian student Griselda Owen said: "We've really enjoyed our stay in Cardiff. Although we've worked hard during the 8 weeks, we've also balanced this out with plenty of shopping and visits to places of interest such as the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. We've also had trips to North Wales, which is stunning, including a few days at the National Eisteddfod in Mold. Our Welsh has definitely benefited from the course. We would love to come back again next summer if we could!"

Director of the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre Dr Rachel Heath-Davies said: "The Cardiff Summer School has been a real success, with 65 students from across the world and from all walks of life coming to the Centre to learn Welsh this year.

The Summer School welcomed the full range of students: from complete beginners who wanted to start learning Welsh for the first time; to those wanting to polish up and practice speaking Welsh. The opportunity to speak Welsh in informal settings, in addition to classes, has brought a good measure of 'hwyl' [fun] to the course too."

The course was held between 30 June and 22 August 2007, with 65 students attending from across the world. The Centre plans to hold another Cardiff Summer Course next year.