Most Popular Posts

The Skinhead Movement: Origins and Misconceptions

Article written by Guest Writer Jenny Woo There are many different facets and interpretations of what the skinhead movement is and what it means. The very concept of “skinhead” seems paradoxical. Skinhead is a subculture born out of multiculturalism (the adoption of Caribbean music and style by white British youth in the 1960s) and then later connected to right-wing extremism. Today the subculture is associated with everything from first wave Jamaican ska to melodic oi!, to politically motivated anarcho-communist and also to racist hardcore music. It’s not difficult to see how those outside of the skinhead scene, let alone those who are involved in it, come up with a million different interpretations and ideas of what it is and what it could be. ...

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British Newspapers and Infantile Reporting

Only around 20% of adults in Britain read newspapers. Of those who do, over 60% read the Big 5 daily nationals – The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph and Daily Express. This article illustrates how infantile, bias and ludicrous most of these papers are and how troubling this can be to a democracy. The press in every country has an incredible influence on how people think and vote. Mainstream impartial and nonpartisan press is difficult to find. The British newspaper industry illustrates this point elegantly. On the 7th of May 2015, millions of Britons voted in the UK general election which saw the Conservative Party win their second successive election. They received 36.8% of all votes, over 11 million, but more importantly ...

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Teaching English in Saudi Arabia: Part III

This is the final part of the conversation I had in February with my friend Fil. Fil has been living and teaching in Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) since September 2012. He has almost completed his nine month contract teaching oil industry trainees in one of the world’s most industrial cities. In this final part he explains what he had learnt about Saudi culture; from the role of women in Saudi society to the political changes which are taking place within KSA. When Fil arrived in KSA he wasn’t given any form of cultural training and had to learn the hard way. Luckily he met many people willing to help such as his colleagues and a few of his students. ...

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The Welsh Language: Living with Welsh and its future

Most people I meet find the fact that I speak Welsh intriguing. If they’re British they tend to ask me to pronounce the longest place name in Europe; Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Others ask me to say a few words and then compare it to Elvish from Lord of the Rings. It might sound similar but Elvish isn’t Welsh In this post I want to describe my relationship to the Welsh language and share my opinions of the importance of the language to the country. Firstly I must explain where I come from and a little about the community I lived in for the first eighteen years of my life. I grew up in a little village called Rhosybol on the island of Anglesey, or in ...

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The Civilian Experience: War Through The Eyes Of A Welshwoman

This is the first part in a series of articles about the long and eventful life of one very special lady. As a conscripted Land Girl in the Women’s Land Army during the Second World War, she worked alongside German and Italian prisoners in the fields of rural Britain. She held her own against confident and sure US servicemen and was at first irritated to hear about the end of the war. Gladys, born on the 30th of April 1921, lives in North Wales and has been kind enough to share with me a little about her life and the times she’s lived through. The vividness of her descriptions of events gone by is very impressive when considering how much time ...

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Category Archives: Languages

“Perceptions and Realities: The Current Challenges to the Welsh Language and a Prognosis for the Future” Part II

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Article written by Guest Writer Robert J. Jones

Welsh has about another century as a living, community language if nothing changes. A number of key challenges face the language at the present time and will continue to do so in the coming decades. Let me briefly explain some of those challenges. Continue Reading →

“Perceptions and Realities: The Current Challenges to the Welsh Language and a Prognosis for the Future” Part I

wales

Article written by Guest Writer Robert J. Jones

A couple weeks ago, I traveled almost three thousand miles away from my home in upstate New York to attend and present at the North American Association of Celtic Language Teachers (NAACLT) annual conference in Portland, Oregon – almost five thousand miles from Wales. Continue Reading →

The Welsh Language: Living with Welsh and its future

Palace Street looking towards the Castle, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales, UK

Most people I meet find the fact that I speak Welsh intriguing. If they’re British they tend to ask me to pronounce the longest place name in Europe; Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Others ask me to say a few words and then compare it to Elvish from Lord of the Rings.

Continue Reading →

The Welsh Language: A history and efforts to maintain it in a modern Britain

Welsh Language

As an English language teacher I am often asked about my country and culture. When I tell people I am from the UK they immediately assume I am English but I am from Wales. Most people know very little of my small country that is a part of the UK and the island of Great Britain. Wales is a very small country; with a population of just over three million according to the 2011 census.  Here I attempt to share a little about my country and in particular the language.

I am fortunate to come from a predominantly Welsh language speaking region – the northwest. The two counties of Anglesey and Gwynedd have a combined population of 192,000; 6% of the national population. Two-thirds of the population of the northwest state they speak Welsh – a part of the Welsh speaking heartland. Growing up bilingual didn’t feel special at the time but once I moved away and began to travel, I realized how unique being bilingual really is. I was born into a bilingual community where every road sign was in Welsh and English and I was taught Welsh as a first language in school up until the age of thirteen.

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