Welsh Tutor of the Year Award for Mark
Welsh for Adults Tutor, Mark Stonelake (pictured), of Swansea University's Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE) has won the Welsh Tutor of the Year Award in this year's Inspire Adult Tutor and Mentor Awards.
The national awards, which are organised by NIACE Dysgu Cymru, celebrate the commitment, knowledge and communication skills that inspire adult learners every day across Wales.
Mark was presented with his award during a ceremony held this week at Gartholwg Community Campus, Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Swansea student, Francesca Townley, who nominated Mark for the award, explains his technique in dealing with a potentially dull learning 'canvas'.
She said: "He can transform it with a few brush strokes of wit, ceaseless sense of humour, an input of his own solid knowledge and language expertise, plus a funny anecdote or at other times a fascinating dollop of Welsh history and culture and even lines of memorised Welsh poetry, and it becomes a colourful and absorbing learning experience."
But Mark's quick wit and his catalogue of amusing anecdotes complement a profound knowledge of the Welsh language, history and culture, as well as an inventive teaching style, and boundless energy and enthusiasm.
Mark was himself an adult learner of Welsh in the 1980s, studying part-time at Swansea University, before quitting his job as a gardener to take a full-time degree. After graduating in 1989, he became a part-time tutor at the University, and took up a full-time post in 1993.
Jane Davidson, Minister for Education, Lifelong Learning, said: "Tutors and Mentors like Mark play a vital role in enhancing the learning experience for learners across Wales. These awards are a wonderful opportunity to reward and recognise the important work they do in delivering our lifelong learning agenda and making Wales a Learning Country."
Rob Humphreys, Director of NIACE Dysgu Cymru said: "Just as we all remember teachers who inspired us in school, there are figures of inspiration like Mark who have an equally strong impact on adult learners. The Inspire Awards reward the great work being carried out every day in Wales that gives adults the support and encouragement to turn their lives around through learning."
For further information about courses at Swansea University's DACE, please visit http://www.swansea.ac.uk/dace/.