James Pantefedwyn Foundation

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Iolo Gruffudd Jones

Since the summer of 2022, I have been working in the field of social research (as Project and Research Manager for IAITH.cyf, a Welsh centre for language planning) and I must thank the James Pantyfedwen Foundation for their role in enabling this. After almost half a decade working as a Welsh-medium journalist, and as a result of considerable reflection during the pandemic, it became clear to me that I needed to change my career path. My ambition was a job related to language policy and planning, and I soon realized that I would need to return to academia to realize this goal. I decided that studying the MA Linguistics course (full-time) at SOAS University, London, was the ideal option for me, but I had concerns about the financial burden of such a decision. Fortunately, I received a grant from the James Pantyfedwen Foundation which gave me the security I needed to proceed with my plans. 

The course was so beneficial on many levels. Every week I spent hours learning from one of the main figures in the field of language revival, Julia Sallabank. I developed the skills a social researcher needs in the field of language regeneration, while also developing my understanding of my own identity as a Welsh-speaking Welshman. The course also gave me the opportunity to meet people from very different linguistic backgrounds, deepening my understanding of the cultural wealth of the world. I would also like to believe that more people are aware of the Welsh language and its situation, thanks to my enthusiastic discussions on my native language! 

I look forward to the challenges ahead as a social researcher, and once again I would like to thank the James Pantyfedwen Foundation for its support.