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Academic calls for independent Language Commissioner for Wales

06 August 2009

Professor Colin H WilliamsProfessor Colin H Williams

A member of the University’s School of Welsh will call for an independent Language Commissioner for Wales in a lecture on Legislation and Language Planning at the National Eisteddfod today (Thursday 6 August 2009).

Professor Colin H Williams, an expert on ethnic and minority relations and language planning and policy, will begin by critiquing the operation of current legislation and language policy. He will then turn his attention to key elements likely to be instituted if the Legislative Competence Order brings legislation on the Welsh language under the control of the National Assembly for Wales.

Professor Williams said: "I will be looking at language policy since the passing of the Welsh Language Act and also on the impact of the new language legislation that will be introduced.

"I believe we should now have a Language Commissioner’s Office that will be independent from government and I will be looking at the various structures that have been adopted by other countries."

Professor Williams is currently undertaking research projects comparing the office of Language Commissioners in Canada and Europe and on the role of Language Boards in Europe. The lecture is sponsored by Cwmni Iaith which is part of Iaith, Wales' leading language planning agency. It is organised on behalf of the Welsh Society of Planners and Professor Williams lecture will begin at 3pm in the Societies Pavilion.

Visitors to the University’s Pavilion today (Thursday 6 August 2009) will be treated to a first hand account by School of Welsh academic Walter Brooks of his experiences of being a Patagonian living in Wales, the Welsh in Patagonia and his recent visit to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington. Also taking place at the University’s pavilion is a School of Welsh reunion and readings from the School’s Creative Writing students.

The National Eisteddfod of Wales which can be traced back to 1176 is the largest and oldest cultural festival of competitive music and poetry in Europe. It is the premier artistic event in Wales, attracting in the region of 150,000 people annually and more than 6,000 competitors.

More details about the University’s events at the Eisteddfod can be found at