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Fast-track Welsh

25 August 2009

Woman reading in window bay

A new and improved intensive University course designed to fast-track Welsh language learners will be launched next month throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

The new Wlpan course which can be completed in just one year compared to four when studying a once a week beginners course, offers learners a speedy route to language proficiency.

The course, developed by the University’s Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre, offers learners the opportunity to gain skills in a variety of new and quicker ways.

Learners will be able to choose either to study in the classroom, twice or more every week; use blended learning where half is taught in class and half online as independent learning; or attend a summer course where they can complete the whole course in just eight weeks.

Gareth Kiff, Senior Tutor in Welsh at the Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre, said: "For a whole variety of reasons, whether it’s Welsh language skills for the job market or to keep pace with their children’s Welsh learning at school, adults are increasingly looking for a speedier way to learn the language.

"The fast-track Wlpan course allows those learners who wish to press ahead and increase their skills the opportunity and flexibility to do so in the shortest possible time."

Wlpan, deriving from the Hebrew Ulpan, is a particular language learning technique, which has been successfully adopted by the Centre for over 25 years.

Rhobat Bryn Jones, the leader of the team which produced the new course, believes that inclusiveness is an important factor in the success of the Wlpan method.

Rhobat Bryn Jones said: "We are very aware that Wales is a multi-cultural society and this is particularly true of the region where we work. We have sought to reflect this in our choice of materials on the new course. It is also, for many, an opportunity to learn that which was not available to them at school.

"One important aim of this course is to ensure that choices made at an earlier age are not an obstacle to gaining access to the Welsh language."

Tutors present new patterns in the form of drills, where pupils use repetition and speak out-loud. These patterns are introduced in blocks so they are easily absorbed.

Rachel Heath-Davies, Director of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre, said: "Learning Welsh has never been easier. There are so many flexible ways to learn the language, and the newly revamped Wlpan course provides a better opportunity than ever to get a grip on the Welsh language."

The Welsh For Adults Centre provides courses on all levels throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan in the community and in the workplace all year. Around 2,000 adults learn Welsh through the Centre each year.

Further information on how to apply for the new Wlpan course is available by contacting the Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre on 02920 874 710 or by visiting

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