Manon Elin James
Thanks to the financial support of the James Pantyfedwen Foundation, I studied for an MPhil in the Department of Welsh, Aberystwyth University, receiving that degree in 2018.
My MPhil dissertation examines the effectiveness of the Welsh Language Centres established with grants from the Welsh Government compared to existing community Welsh Language Centres run on a voluntary basis. It also addresses the arguments they provoke regarding language planning, the responsibility of the Welsh Government, and aspects of bilingualism. As well as scrutinizing five individual Welsh Language Centres, the dissertation also deals with various general arguments for and against the concept of Welsh Centres. In particular, the advantages and disadvantages of dedicated Welsh spaces are discussed, together with the argument that they create 'ghettoes'.
The research found that there is strong support for the concept of Welsh Centres, but that the current model of centres, established by means of a Government grant, is not fit for purpose. A number of problems were highlighted including a lack of background research, planning, support and guidance from Government. The dissertation concludes with recommendations that offer solutions to the Government on how to support the Welsh Language Centres and Welsh language community centres in the future.
While working on the MPhil my interest in research developed, and I am now working on a PhD thesis exploring the history and significance of a Adfer (a Welsh-language Restoration Movement). The PhD is also funded by the Foundation.
I would like to emphasise that receiving this scholarship was so encouraging, and I would like to thank the Foundation again for its invaluable support.