Since 1997, the Welsh Language Project (WLP) has been promoting and developing the Welsh language in the Chubut region of Patagonia, Argentina. Every year three Language Development Officers from Wales spend from March to December teaching in Patagonia. They develop the language in the Welsh speaking communities through both formal teaching and informal social activities.
There is also a permanent Teaching Co-ordinator from Wales based in Patagonia. They are responsible for the quality of teaching.
Another aspect of the project is a network of Patagonian Welsh language tutors in the region. By visiting Wales, attending Welsh language courses and participating in school observation visits, we help maintain the teaching standards and up-to-date methodologies that are implemented in Patagonia.
This project of reciprocal visits, teaching and training has achieved considerable recognition and success. For more detail on the scope, approach and success of the project please download the latest annual report below.
What's happening this year
The Welsh Language Project has been widely impacted by the travel restrictions and school closures caused by the pandemic. However, schools in Argentina have partially opened for the 2021 academic year.
Due to travel restrictions we were unable to recruit new Language Development Officers for the 2021/22 academic year. If the pandemic situation improves, we will restart the recruitment process for placements of a shorter duration.
Language Development Officers recruited during 2019/20
The three Language Development Officers; Marian Brosschot, Sally Ann Nicholls and Anwen Harries who were recruited during the 2019/20 academic year were integral to the success of the project during 2020 and their flexibility and innovation ensured provision is in place for Welsh language learners.
The three Language Development Officers also set up a series of social events for the project recipients, such as welcome evenings, radio talks, weekly Paned a Sgwrs (Chat and Cuppa) sessions mixing learners and fluent Welsh speakers from Wales and Argentina.
Throughout August 2020, Marian produced a series of YouTube videos aimed at Welsh language learners, through the medium of Spanish. This asynchronous style of teaching is another element to the project, allowing native Spanish speakers to access Welsh language lessons at their own pace.
Marian will continue their role as language development officer in to the 2021/22 academic year and hopes to travel back to Argentina when current restrictions lift. Find out more about Marian's experience here