A young schoolgirl wearing a face mask sits writing at her desk, with the teacher and other pupils in the background.

Swansea University's Academi Hywel Teifi has published a follow-up report to its conference ‘A Worry or an Opportunity: Welsh in the “New Normal”’, which was held in March this year.

More than 120 delegates came together online to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the Welsh language, and the impacts they have experienced and identified in their work and day-to-day lives.

The Turning Worry into Hope report covers and records the topics discussed at the conference, the findings uncovered, and future actions. In addition, recommendations are presented to the Welsh Government and local authorities, together with next steps that could be considered and implemented by Welsh language delegates and supporters.

The report is divided into five parts, focusing on the challenges and opportunities in the following areas:

  • Education and the early years
  • Housing and migration
  • Public policy
  • Workplace procedures
  • The community

In an effort to ensure that the constructive and revealing discussions held are heard on a wider scale, and that changes that can protect the language in contexts such as the pandemic and its effects are considered, the Academi has released recordings of all sessions alongside the report.

Dr Gwenno Ffrancon, Director of Academi Hywel Teifi, said: "As a result of the pandemic, our use of the Welsh language and our ability to use it had to adapt almost overnight. Conversations moved from the community to the virtual space. New phrases or word meanings became part of our everyday conversation. The aim of the conference, therefore, was to provide an opportunity for serious consideration, and bring together stakeholders to discuss and share ideas on how we can turn worry into hope.

"We invite politicians, policy makers, local and community government officials and the public to consider and take action on the recommendations presented in the report. There is a combination of recommendations that can be implemented overnight, while others require commitment and tenacity to deliver, but the aim of it all is to ensure resilience for the Welsh language in times of wider community crisis."

Read the report or view the recordings of the sessions

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