Welsh Government has an ambitious target of having one million Welsh speakers by 2050.
Meri Huws, the Welsh Language Commissioner, has stated that the education system needs to be “radically changed” to reach this target.
Huws suggested that all children under the age of seven should be immersed in Welsh, called for increased investment in resources and called for an increase in the number of Welsh speaking teachers.
She said Wales should earmark a window of five or 10 years to generate enough teachers – and local authorities need to be given the resources.
Welsh Language Minister Alun Davies said: “We are currently developing the new #Cymraeg2050 Language Strategy. It will build on the current Welsh Medium Education Strategy and include targets for expanding and improving education provision.”
There were plans to increase the number of Welsh teachers, he added.
The new Successful Futures curriculum, rolling out in 2021, will remove the distinction between teaching Welsh and teaching Welsh as a second language.
A Welsh Government commissioned report into the teaching of Welsh as a second language recently raised concerns about the number and quality of teachers able to teach the subject. This report, delivered in 2013, was taken into account by the author of the new curriculum, Prof Graham Donaldson.
HEFCW, the funding agency for Initial Teacher Training providers in Wales, has advised all ITT providers: “we encourage you to develop and offer Welsh medium provision wherever possible. This is important to meet the demand for well-trained and qualified Welsh medium teachers in schools. We will monitor this position and work with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and providers as appropriate in considering the maintenance and viability of Welsh medium provision in ITT and its further development.”