Felicity Roberts is a Welsh for Adults Tutor and Coordinator, teaching Welsh at Aberystwyth University, and remarkably has been a Welsh Tutor for over fifty years. She comes from Chwilog in Eifionydd originally however, and her upbringing there has been a source of inspiration for her throughout her life.
From the beginning of her career in 1968, she has taught students at all levels, from Entry level to Competence level for people who want to polish up their Welsh language skills.
She fervently believes in the principle of using the language in the community, as well as in the classroom, and that tutors like herself, prepare their learners to be able to take part alongside indigenous Welsh speakers in enjoyable Welsh activities. Thus these new Welsh speakers are shown the way into the heart of Welsh language culture .
Felicity started the Cyd Choir in the eighties and it’s still going. As the name suggests, this is a choir where both learners and fluent Welsh speakers gather to socialize and learn to sing together in Welsh. The choir is invited to provide entertainment for various societies and groups, and to take part in local public events. They have also competed in local eisteddfodau as well as having had the thrill of being on the big National Eisteddfod stage.
In addition, she encourages and supports her learners to prepare for examinations, and that includes the exams to gain entry into the prestigious Bardic Circle. Also a good number of her students have gained a distinction in the Welsh Language Skills Certificate, initiated by Y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol which leads in the development of Welsh-medium education and training in the Higher and Further Education sector in Wales.
As for other areas of society, the Covid Pandemic posed substantial challenges. In spite of this, Welsh for Adults tutors learnt how to do their work online, and the courses held on Zoom attracted additional students from all over the world
Felicity said: “ For years Aberystwyth University, has organised an Intensive Welsh Residential Summer Course, and as Course Coordinator, I am responsible for organising supplementary Welsh evening activities as well as a full programme of classroom work for each day. A rota of fluent Welsh speakers who come in weekly to give the learners real conversation practice are part and parcel of the course. Having held the course on Zoom for three years, this year, the students will once again be actually coming to Aberystwyth for a month to learn Welsh.”
She went on to say, “A number of those who have become fluent arrange activities themselves in the community. I am delighted when my learners become passionate about using the Welsh language, and promoting its use at every opportunity. That is something which always gives me fresh inspiration.”