Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Future of Welsh language depends on parents


As parents in Wales teach their children about the symbolism of daffodils and dragons on St David’s day, how many of them will do it speaking in Welsh? A recent study shows that the future of Welsh language is threatened by the fact that many parents are not speaking in their own language to their children. "We found that many Welsh-speaking parents were not transmitting the language to their children," says Dr Delyth Morris, who led the study on behalf of the University of Wales, Bangor. "This is particularly the case in families where only one parent speaks Welsh."

This research, which is of great importance not only for forming language policy within Wales, but is also extremely valuable for language planning for all the minority languages across Europe, is part of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) sponsored study which sought to identify the reasons why some parents in Wales transmit the language to their children and others do not.

Through the year long study, researchers found that a number of factors affect children’s learning of the language including the amount of time spent with the Welsh-speaking parent, the amount of contact they have with grandparents who speak Welsh, and whether the family’s friends and neighbours speak Welsh or not. In addition, it appears that the power relations within a family can have a significant influence.

It became clear that in most cases one parent tends to make the language- related decisions for the whole family. For those children brought-up speaking Welsh, the decision-making parent is invariably Welsh-speaking. "Most parents in the study say they want their children to speak Welsh" says Dr Delyth Morris, "but their commitment varies. If a child is to learn a language they must be exposed to it."

She went on, "It seems that when in the presence of an English-speaking partner, Welsh-speaking parents tend to speak English to their child. Those parents who can, only actually speak Welsh to their child when they are alone or in the company of other Welsh speakers."

Other additional factors which affect language learning were also discovered. It was found that the number of Welsh speakers in the surrounding community, alongside the use of Television, DVDs, computers and books significantly affected children’s success in learning the Welsh language. The type of childcare provision parents choose also has a major impact, and it is therefore important that Welsh-speaking childcare remains easily available. Similarly, education policies of local authorities should recognise the role of Welsh speaking schools in language learning.

Alexandra Saxon | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>