A primary school teacher who has become fluent in Welsh after just ten months of learning has said she was inspired to learn the language by her late mother.
Angharad Jones, who teaches at Pontllanfraith Primary School, has been learning Welsh through the Cymraeg Mewn Blwyddyn (Welsh in a Year) sabbatical programme, which is available through the University of Wales.
Speaking to Caerphilly Observer, Ms Jones said she didn’t have Welsh lessons at school growing up.
“My mother always said she wanted to learn and she used to watch Pobl y Cwm with the subtitles, but she never did learn.
“We lost her to cancer seven years ago so I am partly learning for her.
“I am a primary school teacher so feel responsible to pass on Welsh to the next generation.”
Ms Jones is now able to read and write in Welsh, and does the social media for Caerphilly Runners in both Welsh and English.
“My videos of my progress show its ok to make mistakes. Some others have made them now because they have been inspired by watching.
“I’m really flattered but also excited that people are excited about the language of where we live.”
Asked what advice she would give to others wanting to learn Welsh, Ms Jones said: “I would say it’s never too late.
“There are many courses online now and Welsh speakers have been so supportive of me on my journey.
“Don’t be afraid to sound silly or make mistakes. Just start with a few phrases and build up but follow a programme so that it’s logical.”
After sharing video blogs of her using her new found skills on social media, she has received widespread praise, including from Welsh comedian Tudur Owen, who called her “inspiring”.
She has also been approached by S4C to share her journey, and reached the semi-finals of the Welsh Learner of the Year Award.
Ms Jones said: “I am really emotional about it all to be honest. I never thought I would get this reaction ever.
“I am so proud and thankful to the tutors on the course.”
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