A language group is channeling World Cup passion into a drive for universal Welsh

The Welsh flag being displayed on the pitch at the 2022 World Cup
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A Welsh language campaign group has used the World Cup as an opportunity to “put every school on path to teaching in Welsh”. It comes as a Welsh footballer drew criticism for responding to a Welsh-speaking journalist in Welsh:

Laying the foundations

Cymdeithas yr Iaith describes itself as “a society of people that takes non-violent direct action for the Welsh language and Welsh communities as part of the international revolution for rights and freedoms”. The group have called on the first minister to ensure that all children educated in Wales in future leave school fluent in Welsh. They added:

the foundations need to be laid now to start transforming the education system, so that all schools are teaching through the medium of Welsh by 2050.

Read on...

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The Welsh government is currently preparing its Welsh Language Education Act, which Cymdeithas has called “a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that all young people in future leave school able to speak Welsh”. The group says one education system is needed for the whole of Wales, where everyone, from all backgrounds, learns through the Welsh language.

The World Cup has also displayed the criticism that Welsh people can receive for speaking in their native tongue:


In a letter to Mark Drakeford, Robat Idris, the newly elected national chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, discusses “the passion for the language” following Cymru’s campaign in the World Cup, as well as the feeling expressed by many, that the current education system has failed them by not ensuring they leave school able and confident in their Welsh language skills. Idris’s letter reads:

Although Cymru’s World Cup campaign has ended, this period will have had a long-term impact on the nation in many ways. But what will the World Cup’s legacy be for our national language? The Government under your leadership has the opportunity and responsibility through the Welsh Language Education Act to ensure that the legacy of the World Cup for future generations will be to give every young person the ability to speak Welsh by placing every school in the country on a path towards Welsh-medium education. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address the social injustice of the current divide, by setting a long-term goal that will have far-reaching effects in terms of the confidence of future generations to use the Welsh language and ensure that no-one is left behind as the language thrives.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith has drawn up a draft of its own Welsh Language Education Act, which was launched at the end of the summer. The act sets a clear goal that the entire education system will be in Welsh by 2050, with the intention that all schools move gradually along a path to teaching through the medium of Welsh over the next 25 years. The results of a survey into the mandatory status of English in Wales can be found here.

Gwaddol iaith Cwpan y Byd?

A Welsh version of the press release from Cymdeithas yr Iaith follows:

Gwaddol iaith Cwpan y Byd? Rhowch bob ysgol ar lwybr tuag at ddysgu drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg – Cymdeithas yr Iaith

Mae ymgyrchwyr iaith wedi galw ar y Prif Weinidog i sicrhau bod pob plentyn fydd yn cael addysg yng Nghymru yn y dyfodol yn gadael yr ysgol yn rhugl yn y Gymraeg. Dywed Cymdeithas yr Iaith bod angen gosod y sylfaen nawr i ddechrau gweddnewid y gyfundrefn addysg, fel bod pob ysgol yn dysgu drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg erbyn 2050.

Mae’r Llywodraeth wrthi’n paratoi ar gyfer Deddf Addysg Gymraeg, ac yn ôl Cymdeithas yr Iaith mae hwn yn gyfle unwaith mewn cenhedlaeth i sicrhau y bydd holl bobl ifanc y dyfodol yn gadael yr ysgol yn gallu siarad Cymraeg. Mae’r mudiad yn dweud mai creu un gyfundrefn addysg i Gymru gyfan sydd ei angen, lle mae pawb, o bob cefndir, yn dysgu drwy’r Gymraeg.

Mewn llythyr at Mark Drakeford, mae Cadeirydd cenedlaethol newydd Cymdeithas yr Iaith, Robat Idris, yn sôn am yr angerdd sydd i’w deimlo dros yr iaith yn dilyn ymgyrch Cymru yng Nghwpan y Byd, yn ogystal â’r teimlad sy’n gyffredin ymhlith llawer o bobl Cymru bod y gyfundrefn addysg bresennol wedi eu methu drwy beidio sicrhau eu bod yn gadael yr ysgol yn abl ac yn hyderus yn eu Cymraeg.

Yn y llythyr at y Prif Weinidog, meddai Robat Idris:

“Er bod ymgyrch tîm Cymru yng Nghwpan y Byd wedi dod i ben, bydd y cyfnod hwn wedi cael effaith hirdymor ar y genedl mewn sawl ffordd. Ond beth fydd gwaddol Cwpan y Byd o ran y Gymraeg? Mae gan y Llywodraeth o dan eich arweiniad gyfle a chyfrifoldeb i sicrhau drwy’r Ddeddf Addysg Gymraeg mai gwaddol Cwpan y Byd i genedlaethau’r dyfodol fydd rhoi’r Gymraeg ar dafod pob person ifanc drwy osod pob ysgol yn y wlad ar y daith tuag at addysg cyfrwng Cymraeg. Dyma gyfle unwaith mewn cenhedlaeth i gywiro’r anghyfiawnder cymdeithasol presennol drwy osod nod hirdymor a fydd yn cael effaith bellgyrhaeddol o ran hyder cenedlaethau’r dyfodol i ddefnyddio’r Gymraeg gan sicrhau nad oes neb yn cael eu gadael ar ôl wrth i’r iaith ffynnu.”

Mae Cymdeithas yr Iaith wedi llunio drafft o Ddeddf Addysg Gymraeg ei hun, a lansiwyd dros yr haf. Mae’r Ddeddf yn gosod nod clir y bydd y gyfundrefn addysg gyfan yn un cyfrwng Cymraeg erbyn 2050, gyda’r bwriad bod pob ysgol yn symud yn raddol ar hyd llwybr i ddysgu drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg dros y chwarter canrif nesaf. Mae’r Ddeddf gyfan i’w gweld ar ein yma.

Featured image via YouTube screenshot

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