Exploration into parental attitudes towards English/Welsh bilingualism
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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English/Welsh bilingualism has become more of an issue of discussion in recent years due to efforts by the Welsh Assembly Government to increase the number of Welsh speakers in Wales, with a view to preserving this part of the Welsh culture and heritage. However, the number of Welsh speakers has not increased by as much as some may have hoped. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate parents’ attitudes towards English/Welsh bilingualism with a view to identifying factors that may influence their choices when making decisions about which languages they wish to encourage with their child. Five parents of children from an English-medium playgroup and four parents of children from a Welsh-medium playgroup took part in the qualitative study which involved semi structured interviews. Participants were asked to express their views about learning Welsh and bilingualism in general and then the transcripts of these interviews were analysed using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). It was found that participants from the English-medium playgroup felt that barriers to learning Welsh and facilitating more than one language affected their motivation to encourage this with their child. The Welsh-medium playgroup participants differed as they felt benefits of learning Welsh and becoming bilingual motivated them to overcome any barriers. Both groups shared some interesting thoughts on how both Welsh and bilingual services could be improved so that more parents may be motivated to encourage both English and Welsh with their children in the future.
B.Sc. (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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