Two hikers admire the Patagonian mountains
Two hikers admire the Patagonian mountains. ©

British Council

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. 

Teach Welsh in Patagonia in 2018 - applications now closed 

  • We are looking for teachers to develop and teach Welsh in Patagonia in Argentina from 1 March - 31 December 2018
  • We have three paid placements for teachers or tutors with experience of working with children (nursery, primary or secondary) or adults (all levels)
  • You will help to develop Welsh and support local tutors, and also help to organise social activities that will allow learners to practice their Welsh
  • Application closing date: 25 September 2017
  • A full job description, the application form and further information about the Welsh language project are in the downloads section below. 
  • If you have any questions please email us

Funding

The Welsh Government, the Wales Argentina Society (Cymdeithas Cymru-Ariannin) and British Council Wales fund this project, which is part of the International Education Programme. The Chubut government, while not providing direct funding, has supported the teaching of Welsh and the wider Welsh community.

History

2015 marked the anniversary of the first Welsh settlers arriving in Patagonia. 

Wales and Patagonia are bound by tradition, history and language. The permanent settlement of the Chubut Valley and surrounding areas began on July 27, 1865. 153 Welsh settlers arrived aboard the converted tea-clipper Mimosa. Now, in the early 21st century, around 50,000 Patagonians are of Welsh descent.

Find out more about Patagonia 150

 

Key achievements

The classes and social activities help Welsh culture to flourish. We are happy to announce that the language is used in an ever increasing variety of activities, ensuring that more people recognise the language and culture year after year. Testimony from learners in Patagonia indicates that Welsh language is also having an impact on the culture, history, literature and music within the region.

In 2015:

  • A total of 1220 people undertook Welsh courses. (The total in 2014 was 1174) the highest number in the history of the Scheme. 
  • Welsh for Adults classes attracted the highest number in the Scheme's history.
  • There were increased number of classes - 104 compared with 90 in 2014, 83 in 2013 and 79 in 2012. The highest number in the history of the Scheme. 
  •  A Connecting Classrooms partnership was established between Ysgol Gymraeg Gaiman and Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth. 
  • 14 adults passed the WJEC's Welsh for Adults examinations at Entry, Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced levels. This year saw learners from Patagonia passing examinations at all levels for the very first time. 

Method and syllabus

There are three catchment areas we work in; the Andes, Gaiman and Trelew. We offer a wide range of courses from beginner level to improvement courses for fluent speakers. We hold these in the nursery, primary, secondary and adults sectors.  

Welsh Language Development Officers teach a range of courses from Wlpan, Further, Advanced, Mastery and Mastering. The Teaching Courses, used by The Welsh Centre for Adults, Cardiff University, have been adapted for the Spanish and Welsh contexts.

For more detail on the scope, approach and success of the project please download the latest annual report

Welsh Language Project Committee

The committee advises the British Council on the shape and implementation of the project. They ensure the project achieves the development and sustainability of the Welsh language in the Chubut province of Patagonia, Argentina. The Chair of the Advisory Committee is also responsible for ensuring the quality of teaching and academic resources of the project. Current members of the committee are:

  • Canolfan Cymraeg i Oedolion Prifysgol Caerdydd
  • Cymdeithas Cymru Ariannin/Wales Argentina Society
  • Menter Patagonia and Urdd Gobaith Cymru
  • Welsh Government
  • British Council Wales
  • The National Centre for Learning Welsh