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Less learner criticism, says Carwyn Jones

  • December 21, 2021
    Less learner criticism, says Carwyn Jones

    Welsh speakers have been urged by former First Minister Carwyn Jones to be less critical of learner standards.

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    He hopes it will help hit a target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050, a goal set when he led the Welsh government.

    He said he was confident it could be achieved, but the big challenge would be to ensure the majority actually use Welsh and "not just speak it on paper".

    He told BBC Radio Cymru that Welsh speakers were lost by placing too much emphasis on accuracy.

    He believes the focus should be on encouraging people to use the language and build their confidence rather than concentrating on the complexities of written Welsh, such as mutations.

    The 2011 census reported a drop in the number of Welsh speakers from 582,000 in 2001 to 562,000, about one in five of the population.

    Mr Jones, 54, who was the Senedd member for Bridgend and first minister from 2009 to 2018, said he was not always confident speaking Welsh formally.

    He said he only spoke the language with his family growing up, but added: "It was also my personal journey to make sure I had the confidence to use Welsh outside of a social situation."

    Through practice he grew in confidence, and he said it was important for him