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TEACHING OF WELSH. TEACHERS IN CONFERENCE. A conference was held at Denbigh the other day, under the auspices of the Vale of Clwyd Teachers' Association, to discuss the problem of the teaching of Welsh in the primary schools. Mr. J. B. Seanell (Llanrhaiadr), chairman of the Association, presided. Miss Gittens, Abergele, read an opening paper. She said that if we were living in an age in which it was possible to give culture its rightful place she would say, Let every child in Wales learn English and Welsh side by side from the beginning," but the average child's school life was very limited, and if much time were to be devoted to the teaching of Welsh its English education would be less efficient. The learned professor who had been considering the subject had looked upon the children as so many future students for the Welsh University colleges. To the children going up to the University the pre- liminary training in Welsh would be valuable, but not to the majority who left school at 14. She had never met the language difficulty, find- ing that Welsh children learnt English in school readily, except with children who had not been trained in the infants' school or who had been largely taught on Welsh lines. The professors of the Welsh colleges claimed freedom to retain their individuality, so the head teachers in the primary schools should continue to have the freedom to teach what they knew and loved. She disputed Professor Morris Jones's assumption that the schools since 1870 had been a failure. Mr. W. R. Owen, Ruthin, who said he spoke as an ardent Welsh Nationalist, advocated the teaching of Welsh in every school, but not upon rigid lines. The schemes should be varied according to the extent to which Welsh was the home language of the locality. Mr. Fred Rees, Trefnant, said he was in full accord with the teaching of the language, but was opposed to any movement which would set up a barrier between the Welsh and English peoples. The more complete the fusion between these nations the better it would be for the great country of which Wales formed an integral part. Mr. L. J. Roberts, His Majesty's inspector, said he was an ardent supporter of the move- ment for Welsh teaching, but would never try to force it upon the schools. He supported the teaching of Welsh in schools on sentimental and patriotic grounds, but there were other cogent grounds on which it could be supported. Den- bighshire differed from Carnarvonshire and Anglesey in the character of its population. In certain parts of the county little Welsh was heard, while in other parts the language of the people was Welsh only In the former Welsh, and in the latter English would be taught by the direct method, while in the other parts, where the children were largely mixed, it would, to introduce Welsh teaching, be necessary to duplicate the staffs of the schools. He d d not regard the teaching of Welsh as at all incon- sistent with the acquirement of excellent English. Welsh Rector's Protest. The Rector of Denbigh (the Rev. Dan Davies) said he had no doubt all the speeches at the meeting had been delivered with the Carnar- vonshire scheme before the mind of each speaker. The more he read that scheme the more he wondered that intelligent men could have put it before the country. What was this scheme? In every infant school throughout the country Welsh was to be the only medium of instruction, while in the boys' and girls' department the children would begin gently and very gradually to be initiated into the great mysteries of the English, tongue. Under such a scheme there would be no room any longer for English teachers in Wales. I he scheme would, in effect, establish a protective tariff. It aimed at building up an artificial barrier which would fatally impede and hinder that commerce of interest, sentiments, and thoughts which had marked particularly the relationship of England and Wales for centuries past. He was no friend of Wales who would narrow the field of selection for the teaching profession. The inevitable result of the restriction of competition would be an inferior standard of excellence, and they wanted the very best for the children of Wales. It was assumed by the authors of the scheme that the great mass of the children were Welsh, whereas the last census showed that the number of monoglot English people above two years of age far outnumbered the monoglot Welshmen above two years of age. In Denbighshire the monoglot English numbered 38,310 and the monoglot Welsh 37,195, while those who spoke both languages fluently numbered 35,000. Before the scheme could be considered practical it must show that the parents wished the chil- dren to be taught Welsh in this way. In his opinion the parent would say to the child, I will teach you Welsh at home; you go and learn English in school. He would love to see every child having an opportunity to learn to read and write his native language, but he disliked any atttempt by the Education Com- mittee to thrust Welsh upon any teacher because they were exercising a little authority. That would not work. In Defence of the Scheme. Mr. J. C. Davies, director of education in Denbighshire, thought all were agreed upon the principle that where Welsh was the language of the home the child, in the initial stages of his education, should be instructed by means of that language. But the real question would have to be settled by the teachers themselves in the school-rooms. The educationists he had consulted generally agreed with the main prin- ciples of the Carnarvonshire scheme. A similar scheme had been successful in Belgium and Holland, Flemish being taught along with French. Ample opportunities for studying Welsh were given by the university colleges, and to a greater or less extent by the intermediate schools, but the subject had not been taken up with the same zeal and enthusiasm in the primary schools. Until there was a systematic course from the kindergarten to the university it was impossible to make further progress. it did not follow that Welsh would act as a pro- tective barrier, because he hoped to see the schools better staffed before long, and he saw no reason why in every school in which the majority of the teachers were English there should not be at least one competent Welsh teacher. He should be sorry to see anything like a boycotting of English teachers. Mr. Tom Thomas (Llanrwst) said he did not think the teachers would be found wanting when they were called upon to undertake the carrying out of a scheme of Welsh teaching. Miss E. G. Jones (Denbigh) believed that the use of Welsh as a medium of teaching English was essential in places like Denbigh. An English Teacher's View. Mr. H. Bedford (Abergele) said that, as an Englishman who had spent thirteen years m Wales, he had become Welsh in sympathies- He was glad to hear that the policy as to Welsh teaching was not to be enforced strictly a round. He regarded Abergele as to a large extent English speaking, but the Education Committee had refused to confirm the appoin ment of a new teacher because the teacher wa not Welsh speaking. They had propounde the doctrine that no person can be educationally fit who cannot impart the Wels language." If the Committee succeeded In making Welsh a condition of educational fitness, it would also give them the power to remove a non-Welsh teacher on that ground, and mig have far-reaching and unlooked-for effects. Miss Gee (IDenbigh) said that parents mistaken when they thought they could teac: their children Welsh efficiently at home, and mistake was accountable for making a gr many snobs of the children. When she was in school the girls were punished if they spo d Welsh in the schoolroom or the playground, a^ they naturally began to think that Welsh w "something awful."
with catches of bass, whiting pollock, mackerel, whiting, and mullet. Walks and Rides. To the pedestrian the walks o'er moor and mountain will prove delightful, and the enchanting scenery prove a feast to the eye. The sands of Borth, the seclusion of Aber- ayron, the fine estate of Hafod, the Monk's Cave, the Llyfnant Valley, Artists' Valley, and Pontrhydygroes are some of the picturesque "outliers," chief among which is the Devil's Bridge, where the Rheidol and Mynach foam down a deep chasm. Plynlimmon, too, and the bower clad streams of Dolgelly are both within easy reach by coach. With so much beauty and such change of scene and circumstance, combined with the means of rest and recreation close at hand, one 'cannot help regretting the fact that some people spend hundreds of pounds a year in going for holidays upon the Continent. Wales," said Frances Ridley Havergal, "no more suffers by comparison with Switzerland than does a forget-me-not beside a rose." In difference of language, in richness of tradition and historic lore, in manner and custom, and in scene and circumstance, and in those things which make holidays pleasant and real, Wales offers as complete a change as can be obtained at any place on the Continent; and Aberystwyth, as has been said, is a miniature Wales. Great mental refreshment can be got at Aberystwyth," said Dr. Murray, the well-known lexicographer of Oxford, because Aberystwyth has the mountains and the sea and those grand features of nature which, after all, have the greatest influence on the mind and are our greatest educators." The Corporation, recognizing the need for making the town attractive and suitable as a summer resort, have expended much money on drainage works, and in providing a pure water supply, which is obtained from a lake on Plyn- limmon, eighteen miles away, and from analysis it has been proved that it is one of the finest and purest waters for drinking purposes in the kingdom. Altogether, Aberystwyth is a delightful resort, and entitled to a premier position in the series In Lovely Wales." We are indebted to the Health Resorts Development Association for the use of the blocks accompanying this article. Those of our readers who would like to know more of the beauty spots in and around Aberystwyth should send a postcard to the Town Clerk asking for a free copy of the Corporation's Guide. The following private apartments are to be recommended to intending visitors :— Queen's Square House, Queen's Square, pro- prietress Mrs. Owen; the Cambrian Hotel, at Borth; and the Hafod Arms Hotel, at Devil's Bridge.