When school is not enough: new initiatives in intergenerational language transmission in Wales
Edwards, V. and Newcombe, L. (2005) When school is not enough: new initiatives in intergenerational language transmission in Wales. International Journal of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education, 8 (4). pp. 298-312. ISSN 1367-0050
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/13670050508668612
This paper examines language reproduction in the family in the context of a highly innovative project in Wales, where the Welsh language has been in decline for over a century. Although Welsh-medium schooling has played a pivotal role in slowing and even reversing language shift in recent decades, there is mounting evidence of the dangers of over-reliance on education. The Twf (Growth) Project was established in 2002 with funding from the National Assembly for Wales with the aim of raising awareness of the benefits of bilingualism among parents and prospective parents. Analysis of interviews with the main stakeholders in the project (managers, the Twf project officers, parents, health workers and a range of other partners), publicity materials and observations of project staff at work suggests that the achievements of the project lie in two main areas: the recognition of the need for building strong alliances with professional groups and organisations that work with families with young children; and the development of a marketing strategy appropriate for the target audience. It is argued that the experience of the project will be of interest to those addressing the issue of intergenerational transmission in a range of other minority language settings.