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Pam Bishop's story

Landing the job that she loves locally: Pam Bishop’s story

Having spent the last twenty years living in America and England, Pam decided to return to her Welsh roots in Denbighshire. Her reasons for returning were threefold – hiraeth or longing for Wales; a desire to see her two children grow up in a Welsh-speaking community and receive Welsh medium education; and also the ambition to pursue her career as a modern languages teacher.

pam bishop

Just eight months after moving back to Llanrhaeadr, Wales, and increasingly frustrated by her lack of confidence to use the language, Pam took the plunge by enrolling on a Welsh language improvement course. These are her thoughts and reflections on completing the course which is aimed at teachers, lecturers and assessors.

Name: Pamela Mary Bishop

Post: Modern Languages Teacher

Cwrs: Higher-Level Welsh Language Sabbatical Scheme, Bangor University

Why did you enrol on the course?
I wanted to improve my language skills and refresh my understanding of grammar rules. I hoped that the course would enable me to use the language more confidently in formal and professional situations. I felt that I would benefit from the opportunity to practise using Welsh in the classroom through the micro teaching sessions during the course. I hadn’t written anything in Welsh since 1987 so it’s fair to say that my skills were quite rusty.

How did you benefit from the experience?
Most importantly I landed a job teaching bilingually in a local secondary school. This wouldn’t have been possible had I not enrolled on the Sabbatical Scheme. Before the course, my lack of confidence and knowledge acted as a glass wall preventing me from doing the job that I love; namely teaching here in Wales.

How will the school that currently employs you benefit from your newly-attained skills?
I am able to teach confidently both through the medium of Welsh and bilingually. I can now mark books, give feedback and write end of year reports competently in Welsh. These tasks would have been impossible at the beginning of the course. Ysgol Brynhyfryd is a bilingual school, and I believe that I am an effective member of the team who can promote the Welsh language at all levels.

Anyone who is interested in the course attended by Pam are welcome to contact Canolfan Bedwyr, Bangor University for more information or for an informal chat with the tutors. We are currently recruiting for the next course, 11 April to 8 July, 2016.

E-mail: or by phoning: 01248 383293

Details of the course are also to be found on the website: