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A magazine for learners, Lingo Newydd, is produced 6 times a year. Television and radio provision for learners has also expanded since the early 1990s (for more details see Newcombe, 2002c) and Welsh learners have featured regularly on programmes undertaking challenges to use the language in the community. There have even been Welsh learner reality television programmes in which members of the public and celebrities from the world of sport, journalism and drama have participated. Some learners, unable to attend courses regularly because of work and family commitments, rely on Welsh language programmes, including those for young children, to help them extend their knowledge (Devine, 2005).

Findings of this nature point clearly to the need for adult learners to be supported in their attempt to use the target language in the community. qxd 6/13/07 36 11:45 AM Page 36 Solid Context and Fluency in L2 Learners Conclusion Welsh language learning for adults is flourishing. Never have so many adults been learning the language formally in Wales and never has there been so much interest outside the country. However, adult learners differ in many ways from child learners. Although they usually learn of their own volition and begin with high levels of motivation, the responsibilities of adult life and the anxiety about their performance before their peers, particularly with regard to oral language skills, may make it difficult to sustain their motivation to speak a second language.

However, my experience as a practitioner has demonstrated that while some students seize the opportunity, others feel extremely uncomfortable. The natural approach advocated by Krashen and Terrell (1983), where students answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ initially and only speak when they feel ready, may minimise anxiety but also poses problems. The use of material requiring ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers at an early stage may well be non-threatening for those learning English as an L2 but would not help reduce anxiety in the Welsh situation, where there is a very wide range of ways of answering in the positive and negative.

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