An Environment Officer from Cardiff Harbour Authority (CHA) has been crowned Welsh Learner of the Year – Intermediate Level by Cardiff University’s Welsh for Adults centre. Sam Eaves was awarded with a trophy at a ceremony at Yr Hen Lyfrgell in Cardiff.
She started learning Welsh five years ago after attending a 2 day taster course organised by Cardiff Council: “Although not from Wales originally I’d been living in Cardiff for several years and had been thinking about learning Welsh, as many of my friends and family speak it.
“My manager agreed that it would be of benefit to CHA to have more staff with a knowledge of the language, so learning Welsh has been a development objective for me ever since.”
Now halfway through the Welsh for Adults Intermediate Level course at Cardiff University, Sam is learning conversational Welsh, along with basic grammar and vocabulary. “Most importantly the classes provide an opportunity to speak Welsh with other learners, which helps to improve confidence,” she says.
Thanks to the lessons, she is now able to spot spelling or grammatical errors in written Welsh, translate basic sentences and hold a simple conversation: “Being able to provide these services, and hopefully more as my Welsh continues to improve, is of benefit to the Council and its aim to provide an equal service to both Welsh and English speakers.”
In addition, there are further advantages of embracing the challenge of learning a new language: “I’ve met a lot of lovely people both in the lessons and also through some of the additional activities organised for Welsh learners, such as reading clubs and other social gatherings,” she says.
“I would recommend anyone thinking about learning Welsh to give it a go.”
Photo caption: Sam Eaves being presented with her award by Dr Rachel Heath-Davies (left), Managing Director of Welsh for Adults Cardiff, and Gwenllian Willis (right), Marketing Officer for Welsh for Adults Cardiff.