My fascination with language, literature, culture and identity has been lifelong. Cornish by birth, I was removed to South Africa when my family emigrated in the days before I could speak and Cornwall therefore became the land of my dreams – I could only imagine it.
Years later, on returning, I went to Liskeard Grammar School. I recall no mention of our language and literature there, and very little embrace of our dialect. In 2001, I set up my own small language school in Lostwithiel. Here I am working on developing a ‘home’ for the Cornish language within the community: a space where the essential relationship between the dialect, the language and the literature of Cornwall can be valued, respected and explored. I qualified as a teacher (post 16) in 1998 with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. In 2008, I received my Master’s Degree in‘Contemporary European Culture: Language, Literature and Society’ from the University of Exeter. My dissertation for this was entitled, ‘Seeking Congruence: a feminist action-research approach to establishing a sense of congruence between myself as a Cornish person and the Cornish language’. This was completed at the Institute of Cornish Studies with Dr Bernard Deacon as my supervisor. In addition to offering courses on the Cornish language for beginners, Italian for beginners, French to advanced level, and English as a foreign language, I also now offer short introductory courses on the writers and literature of Cornwall. Further details of these can be found on my websites at: www.learncornishincornwall.co.uk and www.learnenglishincornwall.co.uk . I consider my project always a live work in progress and am delighted that it has won several awards to date.