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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 March, 2004, 12:57 GMT
Welsh tutor 'crisis' looms
Tutor helping an adult student
Tutors who can teach Welsh are in short supply
More Welsh teachers are needed to cope with the expected rise in learners after the National Eisteddfod in Newport.

Many learners are already waiting for lessons because of a shortage of tutors and tutors say a "crisis" is looming.

The problem is expected to get worse as more people sign up for lessons after the festival.

Education body ELWa says there is a problem finding tutors for adults.

Geraint Wilson Price, who co-ordinates Welsh teaching for adults in the region, says there are already a number of people who want to learn Welsh on waiting lists.

We just haven't got enough tutors and we are desperate to get at least another 25
Geraint Wilson Price

He said the situation was a "crisis" and fears that it will get worse following the 2004 eisteddfod in Tredegar House in the city in August.

"After the last eisteddfod in Newport in 1988, we had a tremendous amount on interest from all sectors," he said.

"It is the same after every eisteddfod but it is a problem for us because we already have groups of people who want to learn Welsh on waiting lists.

"We just haven't got enough tutors and we are desperate to get at least another 25 on a part time basis to teach the language in the region to cope with the demand.

"There are already about 2,000 people learning the language in the Gwent area but we are expecting a huge rise in September and we really need to get new tutors trained up now."

The low levels of Welsh spoken in the area had contributed to the problem of finding new tutors, he said.

ELWa, the body responsible for post-16 education in Wales, said there were issues over the number of Welsh tutors.


"There is a problem and has been for many years getting suitably qualified tutors because there hasn't been a proper infrastructure" said Ann Jenkins, head of its bilingual unit.

"The problem in the Gwent area has been exacerbated by the fact that the eisteddfod will increase the interest of learning Welsh.

"And because it is quite an anglicised area and is hard to recruit new tutors.

They hoped to make some changes to raise the profile of learning and teaching Welsh, she said.

She said 3.4m is available across Wales to teach Welsh to adults and it's hoped for an increase in funds.

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