A new bilingual project with Welsh students based on Dan Anthony’s Rugby Zombies – Sombis Rygbi is starting on Betwyll thanks to Head4Arts and Gomer Press.
Our partnership with Head4Arts on Betwyll keeps going: from 19 September students from three primary schools from Torfaen county, southeastern Wales, will read and comment on Dan Anthony‘s book Rugby Zombies – Sombis Rygbi. Thanks to Gomer Press, the classes participating in the project will be able to access the text directly on the social reading app Betwyll, in both versions, English and Welsh. The social reading activity will enable them to practice the Welsh language in an informal exchange and discussion environment and to directly interact with the author, who will be involved in the facilitation together with creative writer Rufus Mufasa, through a series of workshops in the classes.
The project kick-off phase will take place from Monday 17 to Friday 21 September, with our team visiting Wales and meeting the teachers involved for dedicated training sessions on the TwLetteratura method and social reading app.
Social reading and more
Once they have been immersed in the Betwyll/ TwLetteratura process, the next phase of the project will involve the participants working with publishers Gomer Press in commissioning a new Welsh translation of a book currently only available in English (Dan Anthony’s “Bus Stop at the End of the World”). The participants will be training and assisting two new groups (one English-speaking and one Welsh-speaking) in a shared reading experience, exploring the challenges of bilingual reading projects and coming up with ideas to help make it work. At the same time they will be working with an illustrator to bring the books characters and scenes to life. This phase of the project will end with a launch of the new book at the Eisteddfod yr Urdd in May.
Finally, each school will be encouraged to devise other contexts where the TwLetteratura learning tool and method could be used and to explore their proposed adaptations with their classmates. The idea that gets the most votes will be investigated and developed with the help of the teachers, artists and the other project partners. The resulting prototype will be first tested by the students in their respective schools before their idea is shared with the other schools involved in the project.
This way, besides improving students’ literacy skills and promoting a use of social networks, that is both creative and aware, the project will nurture the development of collaborative practices among students, schools and counties. The project also aims to promote equal opportunities in a bilingual nation: on the one hand, by encouraging the use of the Welsh language in social media and online platforms; on the other, addressing the lack of children’s books written by contemporary Welsh authors that are published in both English and Welsh versions.
The Creative Collaborations programme
The project falls under the Creative Collaborations framework, one of the two strands of the Experiencing the Arts Fund whose goal is – under the Creative learning through the arts programme – to provide children and young people with opportunities to engage with arts and cultural activities as a routine part of their wider learning experience.
Creative Collaborations supports unconventional artistic, cultural and creative activities with a strong innovation component, envisaging an actual collaboration between cultural organizations and schools, where students are active protagonists.