SSi Forum

How to run inclusive bilingual events?


#1

Hello helpful SSiWers.

I’m running a craft fair in a Welsh medium school hall in a few weeks and I want to encourage the use of Welsh there without alienating those that can’t speak it. I want Welsh learners to get the practice if they want it and maybe encourage a few people to learn just by giving Welsh a presence.

I was considering a sticker system, one colour for ‘English only please’, one for ‘learner Welsh’ and one ‘fluent Welsh’ so people can be approached in Welsh if they’d like that. Does that sound stupid?

Has anyone on here got any tips or experience they can share with me? I’d really appreciate any help making Welsh an everyday language for everyone who would like it to be.

Thank you.


#2

Hi Rhiannon, personally, i don’t think you should have a ‘sticker system.’ Let it be a free for all and avoid ‘labels.’
Remember the sentence ‘dechreuwch bob sgrws yn cymraeg.’
Some Welsh learners may have a ‘rabbit in headlights’ moment but sometimes, thats what we need to help us conquer our demons. Also, if they didn’t want to ‘run the risk’ of being spoken to in Welsh, they wouldn’t attend such an event.
The same could be said for non-welsh speakers and you never know, being spoken to in Welsh maybe all it takes to start some of those individuals off on their own Welsh language learning adventure.
As long as the atmosphere is welcoming, which I’m sure it will be with you being so thoughtful about ensuring no-one feels pressured or left out, your day will create an environment where everyone really wants to try out their welsh no matter the extent of ‘it.’
Pob lwc. :clinking_glasses:


#3

Hi Rhiannon, I think and feel just a bit differently (not much differently) to @aliC, and am looking forward quite literally to putting on my 60th birthday party as a Heinz 57 variety event. I would be happy to exchange direct messages with you to talk this through…


#4

In terms of public announcements at events, as a Welsh learner I’ve always found it useful for the Welsh to be spoken first, as otherwise people often hear the English and then don’t pay attention to the Welsh. It is helpful for the announcer to be reminded that they don’t speak too fast or too colloquily.

How about having a greeter on the gate, who as part of the welcome asks them about their confidence in Welsh, and then maybe points out a couple of learners on stalls that you know are happy to talk with other learners? Once learners have had one chat successfully at an event we tend to be feel more comfortable initiating Welsh conversations with others.