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Honours for University staff and students at Eisteddfod 2008

12 August 2008

Madison Tazu

A student from the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre in the School of Welsh has become the 25th Welsh Learner of the Year – at an annual awards ceremony sponsored by the Centre.

Madison Tazu, 22 and a social worker in Cardiff, has been learning Welsh via the fast track Wlpan language courses since September and was awarded the prestigious title at this year’s National Eisteddfod at a ceremony in Cardiff Castle.

The Welsh Learner of the Year competition is one of the National Eisteddfod highlights. The prize is awarded not only for people's achievements in learning the language but also for their contribution to local life through the medium of Welsh.

Madison is currently on the Summer course having studied the Wlpan course during the previous year. Brought up on a farm near Cardigan with her Irish family, she became inspired by travels abroad and determined to return home learn the language and culture of Wales and cement her Welsh identity. Only 10 months on, Madison beat three other hopefuls to the prize. She now hopes to learn Spanish and go to Patagonia to help in Welsh Schools.

Around 2,000 adults learn Welsh through the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre each year.

Rachel Heath-Davies, Director of the Centre said: "We are very proud of Madison’s achievements. She has only been learning Welsh for 10 months and this clearly shows that the way we teach Welsh does work. The Centre sponsored the ceremony in Cardiff Castle and the trophy, as well as Maes D, the dedicated section on the Eisteddfod Maes for Welsh learners. We believe the commitment and effort shown by our learners during the year should be acknowledged and celebrated properly."

During the Eisteddfod, Cardiff University Honorary Fellow Sir Emyr Jones Parry and School of Welsh senior lecturer Dr E Wyn James and School of History and Archaeology Professor John Gwynfor Jones were inducted into the prestigious Gorsedd of the Bards at the Eisteddfod. Awarded to those deemed to have made a significant contribution to Welsh culture and the Welsh language, membership of the Gorsedd of Bards is the highest honour bestowed by the annual festival.

In celebration of its 125th Anniversary, the University had its biggest ever presence at this year’s National Eisteddfod. Click here to view images of the University’s pavilion and activities.