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Welsh (Second Language)

Why Welsh Second Language?

There is no doubt that the ability to speak Welsh is an increasingly sought after asset. Pupils will develop their understanding of the culture of Wales, the arts and media, and they will see how modern Wales is changing and developing within Europe. Pupils have the opportunity to embrace Welsh culture, develop their language skills and have fun!

Summary of content

Specifications for AS and A Level Welsh Second Language build on the knowledge, understanding and skills identified for higher tier GCSE qualifications in Welsh Second Language.

They are designed to encourage learners to:

  • study Welsh with interest, enjoyment and enthusiasm
  • communicate correctly and fluently both orally and in writing within a wide range of situations and contexts
  • write creatively and factually for a range of purposes
  • analyse familiar and unfamiliar texts independently
  • listen and respond to the opinions of others when expressing a point of view
  • express an independent opinion, based on knowledge and understanding of literary and factual texts
  • respond in Welsh with clarity, in a relevant, confident and structured manner
  • play an appropriate role in a bilingual society at the beginning of the twenty-first century.


Unit 1 - AS - Film and oracy

Oral examination (approx. 35 mins in groups of 3)

A. Discussing the film


The examiner may ask candidates to deal with subjects such as the following:

  • discuss the characters, and compare characters with each other
  • discuss certain scenes
  • provide details about the use of pictures and sound and background music
  • discuss the aims of the producer
  • discuss specific themes
  • express an opinion and respond to the work

B. Discussing the content of the non-examination assessment

Candidates are asked to respond individually to general questions about the Package they produced in Unit 2.

Candidates are expected to respond to elements such as the following:

  • the contents of the Package
  • choosing the subject
  • reasons for choosing the subject
  • the various stimuli
  • the research
  • the individual components of the Package

Unit 2 - AS - Non-examination assessment

Each candidate is required to produce a Package focussing on one of the following:

  • a specific area of Wales
  • a social issue
  • a cultural issue
  • a vocational issue
  • an historical subject
  • a political issue

The chosen subject may be of local or national interest, and traditional or contemporary in nature.

The Package must include 3 extended pieces in 3 of the following formats:

  • a report/article
  • a portrait
  • a story
  • a conversation/interview
  • a letter
  • a blog
  • a diary

1 extended piece must be completed under special conditions. Candidates are expected to use the two hours allocated for the completion of this task under special conditions.

Unit 3 - AS - The Use of Language and Poetry

Written examination (2 hours)

Section A: The Use of Language

Composite questions are set containing various types of linguistic exercises.  See the full specification for the range of grammatical forms to be covered.

Section B: Poetry

A question will be set on poetry.  The titles of poems to be studied are given below. The poems are from the Fesul Gair anthology.

  • Iwan Rhys: Caerdydd
  • Grahame Davies: Lerpwl
  • Gwion Hallam: Dim ond serch
  • Myrddin ap Dafydd: Twyll
  • Tudur Dylan Jones: Newyddion

Unit 4 - A2 - Drama and oracy

Oral examination (approx.45 mins in groups of 3)

A. Living through the medium of Welsh

The examiner may ask candidates to discuss some of the following themes having dealt with them regularly during the course:

  • the Welsh language in society
  • visits from guest speakers
  • Welsh language broadcasting on the worldwide web
  • The Welsh language on social media
  • Welsh language theatre productions
  • Welsh language films
  • Welsh language journalism including magazines, Y Cymro, Golwg, Lingo, papurau bro


B. Discussing the play

Sera Moore Williams: Crash

The examiner may ask candidates to cover some of the following subjects:

  • analyse characters, trace their development and compare characters with each other
  • discuss key scenes in detail
  • discuss quotations from the text in detail
  • speculate on the dramatist’s aims
  • provide a detailed discussion of themes found in the play
  • express an opinion and respond to the work as a whole

C. Respond to questions on specific themes which feature prominently in the various texts studied during the whole of the course. (Synoptic Assessment)

The following themes may be discussed:

  • Family
  • Relationships
  • Responsibility
  • Love
  • Communication

Unit 5 - A2 - The Welsh Language in society and translanguaging

Written examination (2 hours)

Section A: The Welsh Language in Society

Composite questions are asked regarding the Welsh language in society. The examiner may set questions about:

(a) The historical context of the Welsh language from the middle of the 20th century to the present day e.g.

  • Saunders Lewis’s lecture, Tynged yr Iaith (The Fate of the Language)1962;
  • the battle for S4C and Gwynfor Evans’s campaign;
  • the establishment of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society);
  • the flooding of Cwm Tryweryn and the response;
  • the Welsh Language Acts of 1967 and 1993;
  • the establishment of the Welsh Language Board of 1993;
  • the establishment of the Welsh Assembly Government in 1998;
  • Welsh Government policies regarding the Welsh language;
  • the Assembly’s policy document, Iaith Pawb (2003) and A living language: a language for living Welsh Language Strategy 2012-2017;
  • the abolishment of the Welsh Language Board and the appointment of the Welsh Language Commissioner following the Welsh Language Measure (2011).

Candidates could look at resources such as the following:

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/cymru/hanes/safle/themau/iaith.shtml
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/cymru/cymraeg/yriaith/tudalen/hanes.shtml
  • http://www.gov.uk/cymraeg
  • http://comisiynyddygymraeg.cymru/cymraeg/Pages/Hafan.aspx
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQT56POFbrM
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGI_ZaZY5e0

(b) The current situation of the Welsh language e.g.

  • what challenges does the Welsh language face on a local and national level,
  • what is being done to promote the Welsh language today and
  • what evidence is there of this locally?

Pupils should be encouraged to look at their locality e.g.

  • visit the Menter Iaith and research the work of these organisations;
  • visit a local bilingual/Welsh-medium school to see what is happening there;
  • get involved with the Urdd;
  • technology and the Welsh language;
  • local celebrities who promote the language

Section B: Translanguaging (synoptic assessment)

Candidates are asked to read material in English and respond to it in written Welsh.

Unit 6 - A2 - the use of language and the short story

Written examination (2 hours)

Section A: The Use of Language

Composite questions are set including various types of linguistic exercises. The examiner may set questions such as those below:

(a) write a response to a specific task

(b) exercises involving changing the tense of the verb / the person of the verb / from first person to third person / from the third person to the first person / from the singular to the plural / from the plural to the singular / choosing the correct verb in a sentence / choosing the correct word in a sentence (similar words)

Section B: The Short Story

Candidates should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following stories:

  • Pwy Fyth a Fyddai'n Fetel (Saith Pechod Marwol: Mihangel Morgan)
  • Beth os? (Cariad Pur?: Llio Mai Hughes)
  • Trŵ lyf (Cariad Pur?: Marlyn Samuel)
  • Angladd yn y Wlad (O'r Cyrion: Ioan Kidd)

Synoptic Assessment

In this question, candidates will also be required to demonstrate and apply their understanding of connections between various aspects of Welsh by combining and co-ordinating the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in the subject.

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