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Fast-track Welsh - new course offers speedier route for learners

25 August 2009

A new and improved intensive 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 Cardiff 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

1. Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre

Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre is a Centre of Excellence with over 25 years track-record of teaching Welsh for Adults. Located at Cardiff University’s School of Welsh, the Welsh for Adults Centre attracts 2,000 enrolments each year and has a team of some 70 staff.

Welsh courses are held all over Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, in numerous locations, including town halls, shops, gymnasiums as well as in schools, collages and University Buildings. Cardiff University is responsible for all Welsh for Adult provision in the two Counties and receives Welsh Assembly Government grant funding. In order to provide the range of courses, the Centre Works in partnership with four organisations, namely Cardiff County Council, Coleg Glan Hafren, Barry College and the Vale of Glamorgan County Council to ensure the learners have plenty of choice.

Research is at the heart of Cardiff University’s mission, and the Centre is no exception. It carries out research into language acquisition and always strives to be research led and evidence based. This ensures quality and effectiveness.

2. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at:

Chris Warlow is available to contact by e-mail:

For further information on Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre, please contact:

Llion Pughe

Marketing Officer

Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre

Tel: 02920 870 413