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Thursday, June 3, 1999 Published at 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK


Welsh on the Web

Students can learn Welsh through the Internet

People from all over the world can now learn the Welsh language thanks to an online learning project.

The Department of Welsh at the University of Wales, Lampeter, has developed the first university-accredited Welsh course available on the Web. Among the first students to sign up have been a Paris doctor and a Dumfries researcher.

The course is part of the university's Open Learning Scheme and is completed at an individual's own pace in the workplace or at a designated centre.

The course is aimed at people who cannot attend a traditional university course, due to geographical distance or other obstacles.

Entry to the Website is obtained by using a password. Access to a personal tutor is available via e-mail.

Sound clips for pronunciation

The university also provides a faculty for learners to contact each other to share information and experiences and to practise communicating in the language, which is spoken by more than half a million people in Wales.

Sound clips guide beginners on pronunciation and conversational practice, while students are encouraged to combine the Web-based course with conventional classes, where possible, that allow opportunities for speaking the language.

Next year, the course will be part of the studies offered at Rio Grande University of Ohio, USA, where Kara Lewis, a former student of Lampeter University, takes up a faculty position as tutor of Welsh.

The course is supported by the European Union ADAPT programme, as part of a project on Language and ICT skills.

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