As an English language teacher I am often asked about my country and culture. When I tell people I am from the UK they immediately assume I am English but I am from Wales. Most people know very little of my small country that is a part of the UK and the island of Great Britain. Wales is a very small country; with a population of 3,063,456 according to the 2011 census. Here I attempt to share a little about my country and, in particular, the language.
I am fortunate to come from a predominantly Welsh language speaking region – the northwest. The two counties of Anglesey and Gwynedd have a combined population of 192,000; 6% of the national population. Two-thirds of the population of the northwest state they speak Welsh – a part of the Welsh speaking heartland. Growing up bilingual didn’t feel special at the time but once I moved away and began to travel, I realized how unique being bilingual really was. I was born into a bilingual community where every road sign was in Welsh and English and I was taught Welsh as a first language in school up until I was thirteen.