Letter: A Duty to Wales

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Byline: J TREFOR WILLIAMS

SIR - May I comment on the letter from Beryl Roberts, Caerffili (the correct Welsh spelling of this place name)?

Learning Welsh is a patriotic and Christian duty to the people of Wales.

Jean Piaget (1896-1980) the great Swiss psychologist, has shown us that we cannot love our neighbours unless we can understand them; impossible, unless we can speak and understand their own language.

One of the human rights of the United Nations Charter is education through the medium of the mother tongue.

English people in Wales enjoy this as a legal right but Welsh people in England neither enjoy this legal right nor as a human right.

I can assure Beryl Roberts that learning Welsh is not a waste of time or money, nor is it taught by compulsion, any more than English, French or mathematics are taught by compulsion.

In my experience, as a qualified graduate teacher of English as well as Welsh, I have had pupils learning Welsh as a second language showing more enthusiasm for the subject than they have done for English or French. …