The Cerdd Iaith team would like to give special thanks to Professor Mererid Hopwood and Dr Sian Brooks at Yr Athrofa, Anna Vivian Jones at ERW and composer Tim Riley, without whom, this resource could not have been created.
Cerdd Iaith began as a creative learning project exploring new approaches to music and language learning in primary schools in South and West Wales. The original project was delivered by British Council Wales in partnership with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Yr Athrofa – the Institute of Education, and Ein Rhanbarth ar Waith (ERW). It was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation's Teacher Development Fund.
In September 2016, the project leaders, which included musicians and linguists alongside the British Council Wales team, began working with teachers from schools in Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. They explored the use of music-based approaches to enhance the teaching of modern foreign languages through active music and drama exercises.
Learn more about this in the blog Learning through experience by Rebecca Gould, Project Lead and Head of Arts Wales at the British Council.
Take up of learning modern international languages in Wales and England is declining. Evidence also suggests that introducing international languages to young learners will increase confidence, knowledge, skill and interest in additional languages in secondary school and into adult life.
Cerdd Iaith is intended to support and inspire the teaching and learning of foreign languages at primary school level. It will help primary schools to:
- ensure young learners are confident in using their Welsh language skills
- foster positive attitudes towards the language
- stimulate awareness of the links between languages and develop an appreciation and interest in language patterns
- increase the use of the language inside and outside the school.
The creative education approach used throughout this resource is proven to increase the scope, depth and long-term impact of the learning experience. The focus on ‘whole body’ physical activities helps young learners to process and acquire new languages, encourages them to quickly gain confidence in using new words and creates a strong foundation for second and subsequent languages.
Read an article Why use rhythm, rhyme and repetition in language class? by Dr Jessica Mordsley that explains more about how this approach works.