Welsh Language Awareness and Equality
The aim of the presentation is to address the mainstreaming and integration of
Welsh language awareness in social work learning and practice through
WHY practice assessors and social work students need to address Welsh
WHAT practice assessors and social work students need to know about the
Welsh language and its speakers.
HOW practice assessors and students can work together to plan and provide
learning opportunities to enhance understanding of language sensitive practice.
WHY the need for language sensitive practice?
The Welsh Language Act 1993 requires public bodies in Wales to prepare
Language Schemes stating how Welsh medium services are to be
delivered on a basis of equality with those available in English.
The Welsh Assembly Government in its strategy Iaith Pawb – A National
Action Plan for a Bilingual Wales (2003) states its aim of strengthening
bilingualism with particular reference to language choice in the delivery of
health and social care.
The Generic Equalities Standard requires local authority providers to
monitor implementation of its equalities policies, bringing together race,
gender, disability and language.
The National Occupational Standards for Social Work and the Code of
Practice for Social Care Workers require practitioners to take account of
issues relating to respecting diversity; appropriate communication and
service users’ rights and interests.
WHAT is the knowledge base?
Discussion of language sensitive practice in the Welsh context has to take
account of issues such as:
Language and power and language and identity;
The historical experience of the Welsh language; its consequent lack of
status and the impact on Welsh speakers;
The Welsh language today – its use and distribution with reference to
2001 Census data;
The experience of the bilingual Welsh-English speaker.
HOW can practice assessors provide learning opportunities?
The role of the assessor is addressed with reference to:
Planning – taking stock of placement dynamics in relation to the Welsh
language and identifying students’ learning needs.
Providing learning opportunities – creating opportunities to explore
students’ value base and perceptions; share knowledge and information;
set tasks and gather evidence.
Assessing language sensitive practice – recognising, defining and linking
with the National Occupational Standards.
There will be opportunities for small group discussion and links will be made with
the new resource for practice assessors in Wales, Geiriau Gofalus: The
Development of Welsh Language Sensitive Practice for Social Work - CD Rom
for Practice Assessors.