Bilingual Childcare Conference

Nic Buttle (Cardiff and Vale College), Menai Evans (Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol) and Nia Brodrick (ColegauCymru – Work Welsh) welcomed learners and tutors from the Childcare sector to Cardiff and Vale College today for a bilingual Childcare conference.

The aim of the day was to hold events to raise awareness of the Welsh medium opportunities available within the Further Education, Higher Education and the workplace. The day was suitable for those with any level of Welsh skills, and suitable for those studying Childcare from level two to those studying for their Foundation Degree.

The day began with video clips of Cardiff and Vale learners speaking about their experiences of studying through the medium of Welsh. Following this, we welcomed Gwenno from Menter Caerdydd, who discussed their work, including Tafwyl, Bwrlwm groups and opportunities to volunteer and work.

Thank you to the Mudiad Meithrin, Catrin from Cymraeg i Blant, Beca James from Cardiff Council and Jên Dafis from Merched y Wawr who held interesting and useful sessions during the day, with each group attending in turn.

Jen said “The dedication and enthusiasm of the students during the day has been very encouraging” with Beca adding “I was happy to have the opportunity to share information with future child carers about language and speech”.

During lunch, we were entertained by students from the music department who played a mixture of Welsh songs and songs by Welsh artists. We were then inspired by Karla Quadara’s story, who is originally from Australia but has learnt Welsh to a fluent level using Say Something in Welsh. Karla now uses her Welsh in her every day work and socially. Karla emphasised how supportive the Welsh speaking community have been as she has been learning, but noted how important it is to give people opportunities to practice and use their Welsh skills rather than turn to English.

The day was a success, with over a hundred attending. As well as Cardiff and Vale Childcare students, the invitation was extended to all Childcare staff who are following the Work Welsh course at the moment. The effect of the day was instant, with students approaching Karla to say that she’d inspired them to learn Welsh, to College staff wanting more advice on developing their Welsh skills using the Work Welsh project.