In the 2011 census, 73% of those of us living in Wales were reported to have no Welsh language skills. Our beautiful national language, which originated in the sixth century mustn’t be allowed to decline into obscurity. Thankfully, places like Brecon Library have some wonderful initiatives to help expose the language to children from a very young age.
Did you know Powys Libraries stock a wonderful selection of Welsh language books for children? These include books in translation by authors such as Julia Donaldson, Mick Inkpen and Eric Carle, as well as old favourites like Mary Vaughan Jones’ Sali Mali! There are even bilingual books on offer for those of you who are learning, or are less confident readers. Please ask your librarian for more information, or visit www.powys.gov.uk!
Brecon Library’s weekly Storytime runs every Tuesday from 11 till 11.30, what you might not know is that Bethan from Menter Brycheiniog a Maesyfed joins Library staff on the first Tuesday of every month for a bilingual Storytime. Menter Brycheiniog a Maesyfed is a Welsh language initiative which aims to promote and increase the use of Welsh within the communities of south Powys. A wonderful morning for welsh speakers, learners and those who haven’t started learning welsh – yet!
The library is also currently hosting session with Mudiad Meithrin’s Ceri Havard, who says “`Cymraeg for Kids’ is a new Welsh Government scheme focusing on increasing the number of Welsh-speaking children, jointly managed with Mudiad Meithrin
There are so many benefits to being bilingual, and the earlier children are exposed to the Welsh language the better. Young children learn language as naturally as they learn to run and jump, paint and play. “Language amongst young children is caught rather than taught” says Prof. Colin Baker ‘A Parent and Teachers Guide to Bilingualism.
To this end Mudiad Meithrin holds weekly sessions at Brecon Library specifically for babies and their carers in order to share information and provide support. In an informal setting Welsh stories, rhymes and crafts are enjoyed, as well as an opportunity to view various resources that support the informal use of Welsh in the home.
Further information about the project can be obtained by joining the Facebook page `Mudiad Meithrin De Powys’, or contacting Ceri.Havard@meithrin.cymru