Ashleigh Regan: “Welsh-Medium Education: Exploring the attitudes, beliefs and experiences of parents and pupils from non-Welsh speaking households”

In Students by General Account

The aim of this research is to develop a systematic understanding of the attitudes, beliefs, and experiences of parents and children from non-Welsh speaking households towards Welsh and Welsh medium education (WME) to better inform Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) policy. Previous research has recognised the importance of parents’ motivations in informing WAG’s Welsh language policy and the autonomy of children in these decisions as they get older. However, an increasing number of young Welsh speakers do not come from Welsh speaking households and there is a dearth of literature focusing uniquely on their parents’ and their own attitudes and beliefs about the Welsh language, and their experiences of WME. Therefore, an updated account of young Welsh speakers’ and parents’ beliefs about the Welsh language and experiences of WME could provide an important basis for WAG’s future language policies, that are more comprehensive and inclusive of ‘new speaker’ (O’Rourke et al., 2015 p. 1) perspectives. A sample of approximately 450 parents and children from the anglicised area of Southeast Wales will provide a comprehensive overview of non-Welsh speaking parents and new speakers’ attitudes, beliefs, and experiences. Data will be collected via questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and participatory research. Quantitative data will be analysed using descriptive and inferential techniques and qualitative data will be analysed using thematic analysis. This will provide a deeper understanding of non-Welsh speaking parents and new speakers’ unique motivations, challenges and experiences regarding WME, which could be used to tailor policy to their needs and strengthen WAG’s current language revitalisation policies