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Cornish Language Nursery School project looking for funding

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:38 am
by Fulub-le-Breton
Cornish Language Nursery School project looking for funding:
The Cornish language is part of the Celtic family of languages with close links to Welsh and Breton and more distant links with Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx. Cornish is a revived language that almost disappeared in the 1800’s, but through the efforts of Cornish language revivalists the language has grown in popularity ever since. Even though the numbers of speakers are small, over the last decade interest in Cornish has rapidly expanded and it’s estimated that there are now thousands of people who have some knowledge of the language.

Research shows that if a language is to be successfully revived that it is the very youngest in society that need to learn it. Children absorb and learn languages at an astonishing rate, but learning needs to be systematic and part of their everyday experience and this has been one of the driving forces behind promoting the Cornish language further.

Movyans Skolyow Meythrin(MSM) is a not-for-profit organisation that works to promote the Cornish language among young children and their families. Since 2009 MSM has successfully worked with children to develop the use of the Cornish language both in/outside of the home.

In 2010 MSM set up Skol Veythrin Karenza (SVK) as a voluntarily Cornish language project run by parents/carers who wanted their children to learn the Cornish language for the home environment. SVK originally ran as a Saturday Club for two hours every week during term time and this was extended in 2012 to a full day on a Wednesday. Donations only rather than payment have been requested by SVK for the services offered, because the work undertaken has been very much community led run by volunteers and parents/carers. To date approximately fifty children between the ages of 1 and 7 have attended the setting for significant periods of time and Cornish is learned through play, song and games.

SVK is currently in the process of registering with Ofsted and when it is launched this academic year will be the first and only full time Cornish language nursery school in the world. The volunteers at SVK have shown immense commitment to the project over the last three years and have committed themselves to working voluntarily to ensure SVK is properly established, with some volunteers even agreeing to work towards gaining a specialist higher level early year’s qualification to enable the school to run more smoothly.

Setting up a nursery is expensive, but SVK has been lucky enough to have received voluntary assistance and donations to pay for some materials and resources used over the last three years. It has always been a struggle to cover costs and we are still unsure if these costs will be met. If we can raise £4800, it will be enough to cover the cost of any additional training, resources and materials we need for us to be ‘OfSTED ready’ from September 2014. At our setting we will have provision to accommodate twelve children in the first year and some of these places have already been allocated!

We believe that our target is a small amount in comparison with the outcome that we will achieve in the establishment of Skol Veythrin Karenza/Karenza Nursery School!
If there is one thing we can all agree on it should be this! How can the diaspora be mobilised for this project?

Re: Cornish Language Nursery School project looking for fund

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:27 pm
by factotum
Surely this should be state supported under the terms of the ECRML? When is the next periodic report due, can't be long now.

Re: Cornish Language Nursery School project looking for fund

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:58 am
by CJenkin
Nursery education is not compulsory so is not directly funded by the state. Anyone can set up a nursery as long as it conforms to Ofsted guidelines. There is funding support for 3 and 4 year olds which follow the children, so if people can be attracted to a Cornish language pre-school there is an opportunity to maintain it.
However you need to get is established first which is no mean feat for all sorts of reasons which is why this seed capital will smooth the process - as with much of the cornish language movement too much is done on the goodwill of volunteers.
There is only so much that can be done with volunteers at some point people need to be employed to provide that Cornish language environment.

Re: Cornish Language Nursery School project looking for fund

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:36 pm
by factotum
Unless this is very carefully planned it will stall, and then possibly reflect badly on the language. You certainly need professional workers, not least to comply with all the regulations etc., but beyond that, on the language side you need fully fluent workers, not just in the general language, but in all the special language needed around small children. That's not taught in normal courses. I'm not even sure if it's been developed in Cornish. Ha gwren ni boz onest, py lies den y'n wlaz yw freth lowr y'n yeth, kepar ha 'tuz freth' yn yethow erell? Fleghez a yll azwonn an dyffrans. We know kids can be brought up speaking Cornish at home, a few families did that over 20 years ago. But we also know, both in Cornwall and all around the world, that without a wider Cornish-speaking environment, some sort of supportive community, they will never use the language and quickly forget most of it. There needs to be a proper comprehensive 'road-map' for revitalising Cornish, and it will need serious funding. Your work could be part of that, but where is the political will to do things properly? Where is the "resolute action" the government has supposedly signed up to?
From the last ECRML report, "The Committee of Experts [international monitoring body] has not received any information about the use of Cornish language at pre-school level and asks the authorities to report about it in the next periodical report". So clearly this is an area where the UK government has made some kind of commitment.

Re: Cornish Language Nursery School project looking for fund

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:17 pm
by factotum
Actually I think it a pity that you've had to resort to "crowd sourcing" for this project. Crowd sourcing is a way of using the internet to raise largish sums from very many modest contributions, and is generally used for projects that will be of benefit or interest to very many people often over a large area. So things like independent film productions, software development, independent opinion polls etc. come to mind. You project OTOH will benefit only a tiny handful of families directly, and indirectly possibly the wider body of Cornish speakers, just a few thousand at the most generous estimate. Why I must ask are you not getting support from (1) the families who will benefit; (2) all the various bodies and organisations that supposedly support the Cornish language and culture; and maybe (3) "our fellow Celts" who by comparison with Cornwall seem to have money to burn?

Re: Cornish Language Nursery School project looking for fund

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:17 pm
by Fulub-le-Breton
First Cornish language pre-school to open | Nursery World ... chool-open