Lefel A / A Level
Thinking about taking Cymraeg at A Level? Ardderchog! This could be the best decision of your life so far!
Why take Welsh at A Level?
If you’ve enjoyed Cymraeg at GCSE then you’ll enjoy A Level even more! At A Level you’ll have lessons more frequently which means your speaking will improve very quickly. A lot of students ‘cross the bridge’ to fluency during their A Level course. As well as improving your speaking skills you’ll also start to learn about Welsh cultural events and activities, literature, history and politics. Taking Welsh second language at A Level shows any university or employer that you have developed a specialist skill to a high level.
What do you do at A Level?
First of you’ll be talking. A LOT! The only way to become fluent in Welsh is to speak Welsh as often as possible, so let your hamster, dog, cat, guinea pig and goldfish know now!
In the first year of the course, at AS Level, you’ll study the famous Welsh film ‘Hedd Wyn’ and your speaking exam will be in a group of 2 or 3 students where you’ll discuss the film and other Welsh performances on TV, film and stage. You’ll also study 7 Welsh poems and learn more about the grammar of the language.
For many students their favourite part of the AS course is the coursework project which can be about any aspect of Welsh life. This is a chance for you as an individual to develop a specific interest of your own.
In the second year of the A Level, at A2, you’ll study the Welsh play ‘Siwan’ and learn about the politics behind the story. In your group speaking exam you’ll discuss the play as well as other things you have read and watched in Welsh. For the written exams you will be studying 4 short stories and you will learn how to do ‘trawsieithu’ which is when you read something in English and respond to it in Welsh. You will also further develop your knowledge of Welsh grammar and poetry.
What standard of Welsh will I reach?
Everyone’s different but most students become fluent or very nearly fluent in Cymraeg during their A Level course. Your progress might feel slow at the
beginning but gradually things will start to click into place and the more you speak Welsh the more confident you will become.
Mind you, don’t ever expect to be perfect, everyone gets things wrong sometimes!
What could I do afterwards?
With Welsh A Level under your belt you could go on to study for a degree in Welsh at university, or combine it with another subject such as Law, Politics, Business or Education. As with learning any language Welsh A Level is an ideal qualification to go on to study subjects such as Linguistics or a completely new language at university.
For careers using Welsh have a look at the Gyrfaoedd gyda’r Gymraeg / Careers with Welsh section of this website.
A Level resources
You’ll need to use a good Welsh dictionary at A Level but that doesn’t have to mean forking out lots of cash! If you want a dictionary as a free app have a look at ap Geiriaduron, or online the BBC Wales dictionary is useful.
If you prefer a book, the most suitable dictionary is Y Geiriadur Mawr, published by Gomer.
It’s also a really good idea to have a Welsh magazine regularly. Lingo Newydd is written for adult Welsh learners and comes out every two months; as your Welsh improves you will also enjoy Golwg which comes out every Thursday. Golwg also has an app but there is a charge for this.
To help you with different elements of the A Level course there is an excellent series of six books Golwg ar … which cost between £4 and £6 each.
Read what these former students thought about Welsh second language A Level: