Last Tuesday we had the priviledge of attending and broadcasting the first ever TeachMeet in Welsh. This great event was for Welsh Second Language, but, although it was focussed on a single subject, it still attracted a large number of presenters and attendants (especially when one considers they were mostly from Cardiff schools). In fact, there were over fourty people at the Urdd Centre (Cardiff Bay) and the room was packed!
I am Italian and I don’t speak Welsh, having just about managed to learn enough English to ask for a bill in a restaurant , so I won’t be able to speak much about the content of the evening, but I could certainly feel the excitment and enthusiasm these teachers put in their everyday work. I have three little boys and I am trying to bring them up speaking Italian, so I understand the importance of teaching Welsh children their own language. It is not just an old language, but it is part of the Welsh people’s inheritance and we should be proud of it!
I believe both the teachers who presented and their audience conveyed this important message very well and the passion for their subject and their language was tangible and very clear even to someone, like me, who couldn’t understand what was said!
The whole meeting was very well paced and directed excellently by the great Jo Knell (Cardiff LA), who did a fantastic job in leading the TeachMeet and making sure we had enough time to fit all the 20, or so, presentations that were planned. But Jo’s success came from a tireless committment to the organisation of this event in the months that lead to it! She not only managed to secure an excellent venue, but she got many different parties to work together and raised so much interest in her teachers that I should imagine the majority of Welsh 2nd Language teachers must have been there, and most presenting!
I sat there for over 2 hours listening to Welsh presentations and not having to concentrate on the meaning of the presentations made me really appreciate how beautiful and musical the Welsh language is… almost as beautiful as Italian (and this is a great concession to make for a proud Italian Citizen).
If you have missed this great TeachMeet, you can still watch it on demand on our NGfL Cymru Live channel, or on the video below.