Tuesday 23 August 2016


The latest report on the Welsh Language Project in Patagonia has found the number of Welsh learners in the region is continuing to grow.

A total of 1220 Patagonians took Welsh courses in 2015, up from 1174 in 2014 - the highest number of learners since the project began in 1997 with 573 learners.

The 2015 Annual Monitoring Report of the Welsh Language Project, which is run by British Council Wales, also states that the number of Welsh classes in the region increased to 104, up from 90 in 2014, 83 in 2013 and 79 in 2012.

Jenny Scott, director of British Council Wales, said: “As well as continuing to manage the Project, in 2015 on behalf of Welsh Government we took on the coordination of Patagonia 150, the celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Welsh settlers in Patagonia. New links were made between organisations in Wales and Patagonia. After such a successful year of events we’re very pleased the report finds that the work to secure the future of the Welsh language in Y Wladfa is stronger than ever.”

Learning coordinator, Clare Vaughan, who is based in Patagonia, said: “Before the year began there was some discussion about the celebrations to mark the first Welsh settlers arriving in Patagonia, but I don’t think anyone expected such a busy year of work and activity. It has been wonderful to welcome so many people to these communities and I hope that all those who visited us felt the thrill of speaking their own language so far from home. The year was so important to the revival of the language and culture in Y Wladfa and we sincerely hope that the celebrations had the same impact on our visitors.”

Rhisiart Arwel, academic monitor for the project, said: “The fact that the Project continues to attract Welsh learners after nearly 20 years is clear indication that members of Y Wladfa still feel a strong connection to the language. As well as the increase in the number of learners, 2015 saw hundreds of local people take part in the Patagonia 150 celebrations. We also celebrated the opening of a new building for Ysgol Gymraeg y Gaiman and the opening of the new school in Trevelin, Ysgol y Cwm.”

Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the start of the Welsh Language Project.


Notes to Editor

The Welsh Language Project has been promoting and developing the language in the Chubut region of Patagonia, Argentina since 1997. Every year three language development officers from Wales spend March to December teaching in Patagonia. They develop the language in the Welsh speaking communities through teaching and social activities.

There is also a permanent teaching co-ordinator from Wales based in Patagonia, who is responsible for the quality of teaching.

The project includes a network of Patagonian Welsh language tutors in the region. The tutors visit Wales and attend Welsh language courses and participate in school observation visits, to help the project maintain teaching standards and ensure up-to-date methodologies are used in Patagonia.

The Welsh Government, the Wales Argentina Society and British Council Wales fund the project, which is part of the British Council’s International Education Programme. The Chubut government, while not providing direct funding, has supported the teaching of Welsh and the wider Welsh community.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant-in-aid provides less than 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864m. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

For more information, please visit: wales.britishcouncil.org/en

You can also keep in touch with British Council Wales through 



See also