Jenkins, Catrin

Start date:
October 2018
Research Topic:
Stategic Bilingualism: identifying optimal context for Welsh as a second language in the curriculum
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Associate Professor Steve Morris, Professor Tess Fitzpatrick
Supervising school:
College of Arts and Humanities,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

The Welsh Government’s review of Welsh Second Language at Key Stages 3 and 4 (“One Language for All”, 2013) includes the recommendation (15):

” … develop best practice guidance on using incidental Welsh in school activities and using Welsh across the curriculum based on the pilot project to extend the use of Welsh as a medium of instruction in English-medium primary schools; and – set targets to increase the use of Welsh-medium learning across the curriculum…”

The report highlights evidence from teachers that learners need as much daily exposure as possible to the language in order to maximise their achievements in it. This PhD will investigate approaches to embedding Welsh language use strategically and effectively in selected areas of the Key Stage 3 and 4 curriculum. The studentship associated with the PhD will entail active collaboration with the Welsh Government, including short periods of internship in the Department of Education. This will enable the research work to be clearly informed by policy, and will help to shape and define the potential impact of project findings.

The principle research questions in the project will be:

  1. What are the most efficient and practical strategies for embedding exposure to and use of Welsh across the school curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4 in order to maximise contact with the language?
  2. How can we measure the success of these strategies?
  3. What are the implications of expanding the use of the Welsh language within the curriculum for staff training and professional development?