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Cardiff and Vale College celebrates Welsh Language Rights Day

Today (7th December) is Welsh Language Rights day and Cardiff and Vale College is celebrating and supporting opportunities for everyone to speak Welsh.

Cardiff and Vale College is proud to be Welsh. Everyone has the right to communicate and receive services from the College in Welsh and it is committed to providing that opportunity for our learners, employees and visitors.

That is why CAVC is taking part in the Welsh Language Commissioner’s Welsh Language Rights Day, an opportunity for public organisations to promote Welsh language services to the public.

At CAVC, every student has the right to Welsh personal and study support, and the right to submit work, and be assessed in, the medium of Welsh and there are several bilingual courses. The College has a range of services and services for Welsh speakers that have proved extremely successful.

The College has ten Welsh Champions, recruited from staff across all CAVC faculties. Their role is to help, support and develop Welsh across CAVC through drop-in sessions for both staff and students and organising informal clubs. They are:

  • Clare Teehan (Health and Social Care, Childcare, Business and IT)
  • Hayley Evans (Welsh Cross-College Tutorial and Resources Programme, Sport, Tourism, Public Services) 
  • Richard Davies (Gen Ed, Schools, Junior Apprenticeships, HE) 
  • Sian Chandler (Creative industries)
  • Shellie Scott (Preparation for Work, Life and Learning, extra-curricular clubs) 
  • Nia Anwyl-Evans (ESOL, extra-curricular activities) 
  • Sam Farmer (Sport, Tourism, Public Services)
  • Richard Littleton (Hospitality, Hair and Beauty)
  • Kez Edwards (Construction)
  • Aimee Jones (Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Automotive Engineering and Building Services)

Welsh also has representation at learner level. CAVC has six student Welsh Language Ambassadors who arrange Welsh medium extra-curricular activities, support peers with their Welsh skills and promote Welsh culture across the College. They are:

  • Katie Hill (A Levels)
  • Macey Fowler (A Levels)
  • Macey Fowler (Health and Social Care)
  • Elan Davies (Health and Social Care)
  • Sienna Henshall (Health and Social Care)
  • Siobhan Watkins (Vocational Access)

In the summer Katie chosen as the first winner of the CAVC Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Welsh Language. The award is sponsored by Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

Katie worked tirelessly during the pandemic, creating a bilingual wellbeing club on Microsoft Teams, where students have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts, feelings and concerns in their preferred language of Welsh or English. Katie has also participated in departmental CAVC newsletters and discussions and set up Welsh language quiz for Welsh Music Day to raise money for Velindre.

“I feel amazing about winning the Outstanding Commitment to Welsh Language Award,” Katie said at the time. “I’m completely shocked as well as I didn’t even know this award existed. 

“And I’m very proud of both myself and the College for, not only being able to achieve this award myself, but for the College for acknowledging that something like this should be celebrated.”

The Ambassadors also run sŵn@CAVC, a Welsh Language club for students at the College. The purpose of the club is to provide social opportunities, somewhere to use the language and somewhere to get involved in extra-curricular activities, job opportunities, gigs and much more.

They are also looking to run a TikTok account with short Welsh lessons and plans are afoot to start a Welsh podcast.

But the opportunities to promote and develop Welsh at CAVC are not just limited to learners. The staff can also benefit from Work Welsh, a programme designed to develop Welsh language skills in the workplace. The College has a dedicated Work Welsh Project Officer, Aimee Jones, and there are currently 79 members of CAVC staff on the College’s Work Welsh programme.

A Levels Lecturer Matthew Eggerton is on the Foundation 1 course and is in his third year of studying on Work Welsh and has proven to be dedicated and committed learner whose family are now all learning Welsh as well. Work Welsh Project Officer Aimee Jones said: “This shows the positive impact of how we as a College are providing lessons and a programme that not only impacts the curriculum but is also contributing effectively to the government’s plan of one million Welsh speakers by 2050, through families deciding to learn Welsh after being inspired by our staff.”

Another success story is Assistant Food and Beverage Manager Richard Littleton is on the Foundation 2 course and is in his third year of study. His skills advanced so much last year that he was able to move up not one but two levels and taken on the role of a Welsh Champion – thanks to Work Welsh.

Cardiff and Vale College Deputy Principal Sharon James said: “CAVC is based in the heart of the Capital of Wales, and we like to keep Welsh culture at the heart of what we do – we are hugely proud of our heritage.

“That is why we are delighted to support and promote Welsh Language Rights Day as we believe everyone should have the opportunity to study in the medium of Welsh if they so choose. The College is committed to developing skilled and employable learners – and the ability to use Welsh in the workplace adds instant value to any employer.”

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