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English is banned at rugby session

Young rugby fans were given a Welsh lesson as they watched the opening of the Six Nation's competition in a pub.

English words were barred from the session at the Glenbrook Inn in Barry, south Wales, as children and their families watched Wales go down 47-13 to England at Twickenham last Saturday.

The commentary was also in Welsh as the big screen was tuned into coverage from channel S4C.

The event was organised in part by Welsh-language group Menter Y Fro. The Vale of Glamorgan group aims to make speaking Welsh part of everyday life.

Nerys Rhys, development officer, said it was a chance for families learning Welsh to get together and try out their new-found language skills with each other.

She said: "It is so important for young people to speak Welsh if they want a job in Wales. Many don't get the chance to use their language skills outside school because their parents do not speak it at home."

Meanwhile, the Welsh Language Board has launched a new marketing campaign aimed at getting new parents and parents-to-be to think about a bilingual upbringing for their children.

"Cymraeg - kids soak it up" claims that children can absorb languages at an early age.

The campaign is being piloted in Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea, the Vale of Glamorgan, south Powys and Denbigh. Parents will receive information about Welsh-langage education and courses.

The WLB has also set up a homework advice line for non-Welsh speaking parents who want to help their children.

* A Welsh-medium language and performance test for children and young people is to be developed by the University of Wales Bangor, with the help of a Pounds 90,000 grant over three years from the Assembly government.

opinion cymru 23

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