How about English Not?

May 28, 1999

The "Welsh Not" imposition (Letters, THES, May 14) has entered nationalist mythology.

It was a tactic not to destroy Welsh (why should Welsh schoolteachers want to do that?) but to get children who were being taught English to speak it with greater fluency and thus widen their job opportunities.

One such prospect was the Nonconformist ministry in England - a major source of employment for scholarly young Welshmen until well into this century.

If only our schools were to introduce an "English Not" on certain days, perhaps as a nation we would be less backward in speaking foreign languages.

Brian Porter

University of Kent

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