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All should have chance to LEARNWELSH; Views of Wales.

SIR - How I loved reading Mr Seaton from Swansea's letter on his experiences in Patagonia, including meeting Ivon Williams when the Welsh rugby team toured there in 2006 (WM letters, July 2).

Most importantly, he makes some very valid points about the benefits of a bilingual education in Spanish and Welsh, with English a third option in Patagonia.

At the same time, I also found Dr Thomas of Llantwit Major's letter suggesting the Assembly and supporters of bilingual education should focus their efforts on the North and West Welsh speaking heartlands of Wales most thought provoking (WM letters, June 30).

However, I do not think his solution is fair because of the experiences of me and my daughter over several years following the National Eisteddfod, in places as far apart as Wrexham, Ebbw Vale and Llanelli. We have met countless Welsh men and women of all ages whom have said how they wished they had been given a proper opportunity to learn Welsh at school.

Cymdeithas Yr Iaith sum it up best with their campaign "Addysg Gymraeg I Bawb" - Welsh education for everyone. They are right because the beautiful Welsh language is the birthright of every single Welsh man and woman, even those who appear to despise it.

I think much more could be done to promote our birthright via BBC Wales showing more programmes which are currently aired only on S4C, being repeated with English subtitles. A classic example is Cariad@iaith where non-Welshspeaking celebrities spend a week getting a basic grounding in their mother tongue. What could be more inspiring to non-speakers than to hear former Welsh rugby star Tom Shanklin asking one of his tutors how he can progress his mastery of conversations in Welsh once the week is over. One of the highlights of every Cariad@Iaith is when they all sing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, which of course virtually every Welsh person knows by heart, but now for the learners, the last line, O bydded I'r hen iaith barhau, takes on special significance.

Those of us blessed with having been brought up bilingually owe it to the non-bilingual Welsh in every corner of Wales to give them the opportunity to access their most precious birthright.

R Terry James Brentwood, Essex

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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 6, 2015
Words:375
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