Cardiff Metropolitan University
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“Everything we do revolves around the exam”: What are secondary school students’ perceptions and experiences of learning Welsh as second language in Wales?

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-06-07, 11:59 authored by Mirain Rhys, Kevin Smith
In 2017, the Welsh Government introduced Cymraeg 2050, an ambitious strategy to increase the number of Welsh speakers in Wales (Welsh Government, 2017). The Welsh education system is a vitally important feature of this strategy. In 2013, a review of Welsh language instruction in Key Stages 3 and 4 (Davies, 2013) identified considerable gaps in teachers’ preparation and training for teaching Welsh as a Second Language, a poor Welsh language ethos at many schools, and a general lack of resources to support the instruction of Cymraeg (or Welsh). Recommendations included several dimensions including curriculum content, pedagogical practice, and teacher assessment, training, and resources. With the advent of a new, national curricular framework (Welsh Government, 2015), this study builds on the Davies (2013) review and provides unprecedented detail into student perceptions of Welsh language instruction. Data produced through focus groups with students were analysed in consideration of Dörnyei’s group dynamics theory, providing a poignant critique of the aims for Welsh language instruction, teachers’ pedagogical practice, and what students suggest is a general disconnect between Welsh language instruction and its use in their everyday lives.


Published in

Wales Journal of Education


University of Wales Press


  • VoR (Version of Record)


Rhys M. & Smith K., (2022) ““Everything we do revolves around the exam”: What are students’ perceptions and experiences of learning Welsh as second language in Wales?”, Wales Journal of Education 24(1). DOI:

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Mirain Rhys

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

Applied Psychology and Behaviour Change

Copyright Holder

  • © The Authors


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