Languages

Goslef (English press release)

To coincide with World Storytelling Day, Theatre Company launches online resource for young children to access original Welsh language stories.

Neath based Theatr na nÓg have launched Goslef to help support children and their parents with their Welsh language skills. Goslef, meaning a soothing tone in Welsh, is a series of Welsh language stories for young children to help immerse them in the words and sounds of the Welsh language.

Due to the pandemic and home-schooling, some parents and children struggled with the Welsh language element of home-schooling. On learning of the challenges, award-winning Theatr na nÓg took the initiative to reach out to Welsh schools to see if they could help. And through this research and collaboration with teachers and theatre professionals, Goslef was created, an online resource of original children's stories, written and read by Theatr na nÓg's collective of creative associates.

"Theatre, in its true essence, is storytelling. We all need stories." Geinor Styles, Theatr na nÓg's artistic director, explained her decision to create Goslef: "As someone who grew up in an English-speaking home and attended Welsh school, I know how important it is for parents to support their children in learning. Home-schooling has tested them this last year. To hear that parents and teachers were worried about how much Welsh language their pupils were hearing, we were compelled to find a creative solution."

Speaking about the online resource Lynne Jones, headteacher at Ysgol Santes Tudful, in Merthyr Tudful, a member of the Company's innovative Artistic Advisory Group, said: "Goslef is perfect, it's not just a tool that can help parents and teachers have a break while children listen to a Welsh language story, but it's also a break for the child from that never-ending screen time, it's a step away into a virus-free world that can help spark their imagination.

"What's unique about Goslef is not only that the stories have originated in the Welsh language, but that the stories themselves are original and fresh, and children deserve new and exciting stories. Whilst our young children can't access live Theatre, they can sit alone or in a group and let an actor's voice take them on a Welsh language adventure. No one in all of Wales does that better than Theatr na nÓg."

To conclude, Geinor Styles added: "We are grateful to the Arts Council for Wales for its commitment to the Welsh language, enabling us to be creative and responsive to this particular call to action. Once again, the pandemic has afforded us the time to help support our audiences and our network of artists to produce innovative work in the Welsh language."

Goslef currently has five stories on its platform, including Alis Wen a Gwynt yr Hebog (Alis Wen and the Flight of the Peregrine) by actress and writer Mali Tudno Jones. Amser i fod yn Llonydd (Time to be Still) by Llinos Daniel, “Bleddyn y Blaidd created by Tom Blumberg and Ioan Hefin reads Gwyn Thomas's Nel y Sbel with kind permission of Jennifer Thomas and Gwasg Gomer. Goslef stories are available to download on Theatr na nÓg's Spotify page.

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Mae Theatr na nÓg yn elusen gorfrestredig yng Nghmru a Lloegr
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Theatr na nÓg is a charity registered in England and Wales
(515903) and a company limited by guarantee.

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