Welsh Language Minister Eluned Morgan has urged record numbers of digital Welsh learners to take part in this year’s virtual Eisteddfod AmGen.
Speaking at the Eisteddfod AmGen, which is being held virtually this year in a bid to ensure people can still meet together to celebrate Welsh language and culture, the Minister revealed she was delighted to hear Welsh has overtaken Chinese to become the seventh most popular language to learn on the Duolingo language learning app in the UK.
It comes as record levels in the UK signed up to the app to learn Welsh between March and June this year.
In a bid to reach out to Welsh learners looking to embrace the language, there will be daily activities, such as Welsh language taster sessions, and events for learners.
There will also be events aimed at providing opportunities for children to keep up speaking and hearing Welsh outside of school, including stories, games and crafting, tying in with the Welsh Government’s ‘Summer full of Welsh’ campaign.
The Welsh Government has set an ambitious target of reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050 and aims to achieve this through the Cymraeg 2050 strategy.
In April the Minister approved an additional contribution of £500,000 towards this year’s Eisteddfod, in addition to their core Welsh Government funding of £603,000, to secure the financial future of the Eisteddfod and allow for the virtual Eisteddfod to happen.
During a panel session to discuss various aspects of bilingualism in Wales, the Minister said the lockdown period provided the perfect opportunity for people to brush up on their Welsh language skills.
Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language Eluned Morgan said:
It is fantastic to see so many people taking the opportunity to use technology to further their learning of Welsh.
With the National Centre for Learning Welsh also seeing a marked increases in people signing up to learn online, it shows how technology can enable a new generation of people to learn the Welsh language.
It is disappointing that the Eisteddfod couldn’t go ahead as normal this year, but I congratulate the Eisteddfod for creating AmGen and am looking forward to taking part in a panel to discuss various aspects of bilingualism in Wales.
Deepening our understanding of bilingualism is a key part of our efforts to drive forward our Cymraeg 2050 strategy.