Gaelic


Gaelic

Calls to boost Gaelic language with Unesco status

20 July 2017 (The Scotsman)

A campaign to boost Gaelic language and its cultural heritage is seeking Unesco status.

A parliamentary committee is leading the call for UNESCO to award special status to the language.

Currently around 60,000 people speak the language, with numbers drastically decreasing. In the 2011 census, 1.1% of the population stated that they could speak the language.

However, the chairwoman of the cross party committee on Gaelic in the Scottish Parliament, Kate Forbes believes that securing a special UNESCO status would help preserve historical traditions and ensure they are kept alive for future generations.

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Ambulance service reveals Gaelic language plan

14 July 2017 (The Oban Times)

The Scottish Ambulance Service has published a Gaelic language plan for the next five years.

The plan, which is a statutory requirement for public bodies in Scotland under the Gaelic Language Scotland Act 2005, sets out how the service will harness and enhance language skills within the organisation.

A key part of the plan is to conduct an audit to establish how many staff members have Gaelic language skills and where the demand for these skills is greatest. This will help to inform training and ensure staff members with language skills are utilised effectively.

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Initiative means apprentices to learn Gaelic on job

1 July 2017 (The National)

Apprenticeships are to be delivered in Gaelic as part of measures to support the language.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) plans to deliver existing Foundation and Modern Apprenticeships in Gaelic where there is a recognised need — with Health and Social Care and Childcare as well as the Creative Industries identified as areas of demand.

Other measures that are part of SDS’s new Gaelic Language Plan include: working with partners to develop resources including up-to-date Gaelic labour market information; using Gaelic staff resources to expand services in schools delivered through the medium of Gaelic; developing web resources; and promoting Gaelic careers.

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Glasgow promoted as the 'heart of Gaelic Scotland' as city prepares to host Mod

23 June 2017 (Evening Times)

Glasgow is being promoted as "the heart of Gaelic Scotland" as the city prepares to host the Royal National Mod.

Pupils from the city's schools launched the grand unveiling of a new logo for the event, which will be held in the city in 2019 and is a celebration of the ancient language in music and song.

It is the first time the Mod has been hosted in Glasgow in 29 years.

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SQA update - National 5 Modern Languages

SQA (23 June 2017)

The following documents will be available for all National 5 Modern Languages courses by the afternoon of Friday 23 June:
  • Coursework assessment task - assignment (writing)
  • Coursework assessment task - performance (talking)
  • Course support notes
The course support notes will be added to the National 5 course specification as an appendix. The course specification will then be updated to version 2.0 and the date will change to June 2017, but there is no further change to the content of this document.

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Gaelic e-bulletin - June 2017

21 June 2017 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest Gaelic e-bulletin has just been issued and can be accessed online.

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New film inspired by soldiers who used Gaelic to escape Nazis

19 June 2017 (BBC)

The true story of a trio of Gaelic-speaking soldiers who used their native tongue to "bamboozle" the Germans has inspired a new feature film.

Pte William Kemp, Cpl Sandy MacDonald, and L/Cpl James Wilson escaped their captors after convincing them they were from the Soviet Union.

Now film producers have used the tale as a premise for new World War Two drama In the Darkest Hour.

Read more...

Related Links

Story of Gaelic speaking soldiers who escaped Nazis will be film (The Scotsman, 18 June 2017)

Island teachers ready to Go! Gaelic after pilot training programme

14 June 2017 (Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig)

Seven primary teachers from the Outer Hebrides are about to complete a pilot training course that will enable them to train colleagues in how to teach Gaelic to children in their class.

The programme has been specially constructed by training experts working for Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig as part of the company’s strategic approach to boost the teaching of Gaelic in English Medium Education. The training demonstrates how to make best use of the Go! Gaelic programme of resources, created by a team of language experts, designers and IT professionals at Stòrlann.

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Scottish Education Awards 2017 - Winners announced!

7 June 2017 (Education Scotland)

Congratulations to all the winners in this year's Scottish Education Awards, particularly those schools who came top in the language categories:
  • St Winning's Primary School, North Ayrshire Council (Making Languages Come Alive)
  • Ardnamurchan High School, The Highland Council (Gaelic Education Award)

Visit the website for information and photos of all the category winners.

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The first map of Gaelic speakers in Scotland

18 May 2017 (The Scotsman)

Produced by Edinburgh map company Bartholomew’s, the map contains information distilled from the first census, in 1881, that counted Gaelic speakers in Scotland.

The article follows the trend of Gaelic speakers in Scotland thereafter and includes links to Gaelic phrases for beginners.

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Sabhal Mòr Ostaig to offer new degree course for Gaelic teachers

23 April 2017 (SALT)

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (SMO), the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, is to deliver a new Gaelic teaching degree.

The BA (Hons) Gaelic and Education recently received validation from the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and accreditation from the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS ) and the first cohort of students will begin the course in September.

The course will be part of Sabhal Mòr’s degree pathway and will be taught through the medium of Gaelic and will focus on immersion and bilingual teaching practices in schools. This is the first time that SMO has taken the lead role in delivering a teacher training degree, and the course is designed for either secondary teaching (Gaelic as a subject) or Gaelic-medium primary teaching.

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Public Consultation on the Third National Gaelic Language Plan 2017-22

21 April 2017 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

A public consultation process has been launched for the third National Gaelic Language Plan, 2017-2022. The plan sets out a strategy designed to grow the numbers learning and using Gaelic in Scotland.

The consultation period will close at 5pm on 17 May 2017.

Visit the Bòrd na Gàidhlig web survey to access the plan and take part in the consultation.

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Gaelic Enrichment Course for GLE & GME Teachers

7 April 2017 (Ceòlas)

Ceòlas will be running teacher training courses again this year, in July during the Summer School (2--7/7; Dalabrog) and the symposium (23-27/7; Ìochdar).

Six different levels will run, making this course suitable for teachers who are beginners up to fluent who wish to learn Gaelic as it is used within the community. Teachers really enjoy this course, many of whom have not 'experienced' a Gaelic community before.

See the attached flyer or visit the website for more information.

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Dingwall Academy's pioneering sign language work hailed at Holyrood

2 April 2017 (Ross-shire Journal)

Dingwall Academy’s leadership in promoting British Sign Language (BSL) has been applauded by the Scottish Parliament – after the school was highly praised by Strathpeffer-based MSP, Maree Todd.

She used the recent debate on the consultation on the Draft BSL National Plan to highlight the initiative of Dingwall Academy’s unit. During her speech, she used BSL to welcome former Dingwall Academy pupil, Caitlin Bogan, who was watching the debate from the viewing gallery.

The MSP later said: “We should all be proud of what is being done in the Highlands. Dingwall Academy is one of the few schools to deliver a BSL unit – all students in first year, including my son Gregor this year, take BSL classes as a taster along with other languages, including French, Gaelic and German.

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Sabhal Mòr Ostaig to offer new degree course for Gaelic teachers

20 March 2017 (SALT)

The BA (Hons) Gaelic and Education recently received validation from the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and accreditation from the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS ) and the first cohort of students will begin the course in September.

The course will be part of Sabhal Mòr’s degree pathway and will be taught through the medium of Gaelic and will focus on immersion and bilingual teaching practices in schools. This is the first time that SMO has taken the lead role in delivering a teacher training degree, and the course is designed for either secondary teaching (Gaelic as a subject) or Gaelic-medium primary teaching.

Previously SMO had delivered teacher training in partnership with the University of Aberdeen, but with the new course the College is now a lead provider of Gaelic teacher training giving students a unique opportunity to learn in a Gaelic-rich environment. Students can complete the BA (Hons) Gaelic and Education through SMO or Lews Castle College, and the course can be undertaken via distance learning or on campus.

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Gaelic e-bulletin

17 March 2017 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's March e-bulletin for Gaelic education is now available online.

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Glasgow says ‘fáilte’ to a new Gaelic primary school

9 March 2017 (The Herald)

Soaring demand for Gaelic education in Scotland’s largest city has led to the need for a third primary school.

Glasgow City Council is recommending a formal consultation on a new school because the two existing primaries are already full with demand expected to grow.

The increasing numbers of primary pupils in Gaelic Medium Education (GME) also means there is a need to ensure enough places are available at secondary.

Read more...

Related Links

Call for third Gaelic school in Glasgow (BBC News, 10 March 2017)

Glasgow needs new Gaelic school amid growing demand (The Scotsman, 10 March 2017)

Singapore student inspired by the pipes teaches himself Gaelic

6 March 2017 (BBC)

A student from Singapore has taught himself Gaelic after being inspired by learning to play the pipes.

Chi-Yan Lew has now travelled to study a term at Glasgow University and is making good use of his new language.

See the video report on the BBC website.

Read more...

Bòrd na Gàidhlig consultation on Scotland's National Gaelic Language Plan

3 March 2017 (Holyrood)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the public body with responsibility for Scottish Gaelic, published the draft National Gaelic Language Plan 2017-2022 for public consultation two weeks ago. Its purpose, explains Bòrd na Gàidhlig chief executive Shona MacLennan, is to lay out the policy for Gaelic which will further strengthen the language, at both local and national levels, for the next five years.

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Maurice Smith: Brexit threatens Gaelic as a living language

25 February 2017 (The Herald)

There is a hoary myth going round about a wilful Scottish Government wasting taxpayers’ money on the flagrant imposition of bilingual signs at every Scottish road and railway station, presumably as part of a dark conspiracy to make us all speak Gaelic and unwittingly vote en masse for independence.

It is one of many misunderstandings, and occasional slurs, perpetuated by some who resent any money being spent on Gaelic.

Read more...

Brian Wilson: Crunch time now for BBC Alba, a Scottish success story

20 February 2017 (The Scotsman)

The Gaelic TV channel reaches far beyond those who speak the language, and can get even better if it is given proper support says Brian Wilson.

Issues surrounding the BBC Charter and its implications for broadcasting are likely to gain a high profile in the coming weeks. It would be a pity if, in the political melee, a quiet Scottish success story was overlooked – BBC Alba.

Although its raison d’etre is as a Gaelic broadcaster, BBC Alba reaches 700,000 viewers each week. It accounts for half the commissions in Scotland from independent production companies. It offers a steady stream of quality programmes which would not otherwise be made, mainly on Scottish subjects.

By any standard of media accounting, BBC Alba has achieved all this on a shoestring budget. It broadcasts for seven hours daily but only 1.9 are filled with original content, including news and live sport. The rest consists of repeats, delving deep not only into BBC Alba’s own modest archive but the entire previous output of Gaelic television.

Some of these, it must be said, are very good. The BBC Gaelic department has a history of producing current affairs programmes in particular where quality was in inverse proportion to quantity. However, there are limits to how often viewers in any language should be asked to endure fascinating throw-backs to the 1970s and 1980s.

The current funding review is a crunch point for BBC Alba. It will either survive at its present level or extend its repertoire and role. There is a particular need, from a language perspective, for more children’s programmes and also a more consistent standard of popular entertainment. The channel’s supporters are sensibly realistic in their demands, which may give them a better chance of being listened to.

Read more...

Related Links

BBC Launching Scotland Channel With $37.4M Budget (Deadline, 22 February 2017)

Gaelic Translation Competition!

10 February 2017 (Education Scotland)

This translation competition is open to all children and young people in both Gaelic Learner and Gaelic Medium Education.

There are nine English and eight Gaelic posters of Scotland’s scientists available on the National Improvement Hub. One of the Gaelic posters is missing- Alexander Graham Bell.

Children and young people are invited to translate a short biography on Alexander Graham Bell into Gaelic. This is an exciting opportunity to have your work shared nationally and to feature alongside the other eight scientist biographies available on the National Improvement Hub. Your work could support learners of Gaelic across Scotland.

For more information visit the Education Scotland Learning Blog. Entries should be submitted by 3 March 2017.

Read more...

Statutory guidance on Gaelic Education published

10 February 2017 (TESS)

Statutory guidance on Gaelic education has been published, spelling out the process that will allow parents under law to request a Gaelic unit for their child. Another key document has also been published: the public consultation on the National Gaelic Language Plan 2017–2022 runs until 6 May.

Read the full item in TESS online, 10 February 2017, under the 'A week in primary' section (subscription required).

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Gaelic pupils outperforming their peers in literacy skills

4 February 2017 (The Herald)

Primary pupils taught in Gaelic are outperforming children in mainstream Scottish schools, according to new figures.

Scottish Government statistics show pupils in Gaelic primary schools are doing better at reading, writing, listening and talking at nearly every stage of primary.

Gaelic medium education - where pupils are taught most or all of their lessons in Gaelic as well as studying English - is increasingly popular in Scotland with more than 3,500 children taught in 2014.

Read more...

Promoting Gaelic language

30 January 2017 (Stornoway Gazette)

The Gaelic language is to be promoted through one of the world’s most popular websites thanks to a new role based at the National Library of Scotland.

Dr Susan Ross, who learned Gaelic as a teenager and has since gained a doctorate in Gaelic studies, has been appointed the world’s first Gaelic Wikipedian.

The year-long post will see her working with the Gaelic community across Scotland to improve and create resources on Uicipeid, the Scottish Gaelic Wikipedia.

Read more...

Professional Learning for Teachers of Gaelic Medium Education (GME)

27 January 2017 (Education Scotland)

Streap, the Postgraduate Teaching Certificate for teachers of GME will start on 4 September 2017. There are a limited number of places available. An induction event takes place in Glasgow on 14 and 15 September 2017. There is now a Facebook page relating to this professional learning. Please email for more information. This programme is currently fully funded by the Scottish Government.

Find out more about the programme on the University of Aberdeen website.

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Lanarkshire school is bringing Gaelic language and culture into centre of Scotland

24 January 2017 (Daily Record)

Lanarkshire may not be known as a hotbed of Gaelic but a little school are doing their best to reintroduce the language to the wider community.

Gartcosh Primary have been nominated for the Gaelic Education Award at this year’s Scottish Education Awards.

Rachel Neilly is one of four teachers at the village primary who has done the Gaelic Learning in Primary Schools course and teaches the language to primaries five to seven.

All children from primary two upwards learn German but the upper three classes have Gaelic as a third language.

They also learn about the culture in the Highlands and islands as part of their studies.

Read more...

Scottish Education Awards 2017

19 January 2017 (Scottish Education Awards)

The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education. They recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms.

There's still time to submit nominations for the Awards, so get your entries in for the Making Languages Come Alive (Primary) and Gaelic Education/Duais Foghlam Gàidhlig.awards before the closing date of 15 February 2017.

Visit the Scottish Education Award website to make your nomination.

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Skye shinty player raps way to Gaelic film shortlist

19 January 2017 (BBC News)

A Skye shinty player's comedy rap has helped to get a video on the shortlist of Gaelic short film competition FilmG.

Ally MacLeod performs in Girls, Strì and Macaroni, a short film made by Iain Wilson from Staffin on Skye.

The video is among entries in the running for best mobile short and best comedy. Mr MacLeod has also been shortlisted for the best performance award.

The full list of shortlisted films can be found on the FilmG website.

Read more...

SQA update to AH Modern Languages guidance on past paper usage

16 January 2017 (SQA)

The SQA has produced updated guidance documents on the use of past paper questions for Advanced Higher Modern Languages (Chinese, Italian, French, Spanish, German and Gaelic learners).

These can be found on the SQA Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage under the 'Specimen Question Papers and Marking Instructions' section.

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Meet the world’s first Gaelic rapper

15 January 2017 (The Herald)

You might expect renowned bagpiper, guitarist and traditional Gaelic singer Griogair Labhruidh to be appearing at the upcoming Celtic Connections Festival. Instead, he's at home in Ballachulish working on a very different type of project – the world’s first Gaelic hip hop record.

“Well, first hip hop record in the Gaelic tradition, anyway,” says the highlander, who raps under the pseudonym Eólas – meaning ‘knowledge’.

Read more...

Gaelic writing competition

9 January 2017 (Acair Books)

Acair Books, an Lanntair and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have created a new award to encourage original writing in Gaelic for children.

The aim of the award is to:

  • Actively support original writing in Gaelic for children
  • Encourage and nurture new writers in Gaelic

In 2017, the award is for a book for 5 to 8 year-olds and must be between 1000 and 2000 words.

The work must be written in Gaelic by a writer aged 16-years or over, and who has never had a Gaelic book published for children before.

Visit the website for further information and submit your entry by 31 January 2017.

Read more...

Police Scotland officers to be encouraged to speak more Gaelic under new five-year plan

30 December 2016 (The National)

Police officers are to take crime reports in Gaelic as part of new efforts to use the minority language.

Police Scotland already puts Poileas Alba branding on uniforms, vehicles and signage in the Highlands and Islands. Now officers all over the country will be encouraged to speak Gaelic on the beat and over the phone as part of a new five-year plan.

From 2017, the force’s logo will be rendered bilingual as standard across the country and in all official material, “demonstrating equal respect for Gaelic and English”.

Senior officers will also help would-be learners pick up the tongue to help create “a sustainable future” for Gaelic and integrate it within policing. Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Cowie said the strategy has been developed in response to a public consultation.

Read more...

Related Links

Police fight crime armed with their latest weapon . . . Gaelic (The Herald, 30 December 2016)

Local pupils wanting to study Gaelic might not be taken by Glasgow City Council bosses warn

19 December 2016 (Clydebank Post)

Pupils from West Dunbartonshire wanting to study Gaelic may no longer be taken by Glasgow City Council, education bosses have said.

At the education services committee last week, Laura Mason, chief education officer, said Glasgow Gaelic School currently takes their 18 pupils doing their medium language study.

But she said: “We don’t know until we start enrolling in January if parents demand Gaelic education. There is a strong possibility Glasgow City Council will say they’re full.

Read more...

Uist Gaelic culture project Cnoc Soilleir secures funds

16 December 2016 (BBC News)

A project to establish a centre for Gaelic music, dance and cultural heritage in Uist in the Western Isles has secured £1m in funding.

Cnoc Soilleir is a partnership project between Ceòlas Uibhist and Lews Castle College UHI in Stornoway, Lewis. The education and arts centre could create more than 40 jobs.

The £1m funding has been allocated from the Scottish government's 2016-17 Gaelic capital fund.

Read more...

Glasgow Gaelic School performs Christmas pantomime

16 December 2016 (BBC News)

A traditional Christmas panto would be nothing without the familiar catchphrases. But what do they sound like in Gaelic? BBC Scotland's very own fairy godmother, Aileen Clarke, has been to find out.

Read more...

Media Release: Two weeks to go! Last chance to enter this year’s FilmG competition

29 November 2016 (All Media Scotland)

The closing date for entries in FilmG 2017 is fast approaching. However, if anyone is yet to complete their film there are still two weeks left, before the competition closes on Wednesday 14 December.

Whether it be a comedy, drama, documentary or even a music video, one of the simplest ways to make a short film, is to use mobile technology.

The FilmG team are hopeful that the increasing availability of technology along with a broader range of prizes than ever before will see a record number of entries this year.

The theme for this year’s FilmG competition is ‘Strì’ meaning to strive or endeavour. All films must be in Scottish Gaelic and can be up to five minutes long for youth category entrants or up to eight minutes in length for open category entrants.

Read more...

What's Your Story Development Programme 2017

29 November 2016 (Scottish Book Trust)

If you're 14-17 years old, living in Scotland, and care about creative writing and illustration then read on!

What's Your Story? is a Scotland-wide programme of support for teenage writers & illustrators – led by teens, for teens.

Seven teenagers from around Scotland will be selected to join the What’s Your Story? Development Programme for 2017. Thanks to our friends at The Gaelic Books Council there will be one place especially for a Gaelic language applicant, but no matter what language you work in you are welcome to apply.

Visit the website to find out more about the programme and to apply by 3 January 2017.

Read more...

Seven Gaelic phrases and sayings for the absolute beginner

25 November 2016 (The Scotsman)

There is nothing like learning a new language to exercise your mind and impress your friends. 

Gaelic may have become a political hot potato but picking up a few key phrases will connect you to a language spoken in Scotland for more than 1,000 years.

Little over one per cent of Scotland’s population now speaks Gaelic with highest rates found in the Western Isles. Numbers of young people learning the minority language are on the rise while the proportion of the older population with a knowledge of Gaelic starts to fall.

Here are seven easy Gaelic phrases and sayings - with phonetic transcription - to try out for size.Some may come in particularly handy over the festive season.

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Experiencing a Gaelic welcome when visiting Scotland

25 November 2016 (Stornoway Gazette)

A new Welcome Scheme which recognises the special efforts made by tourism businesses to provide for visitors with an interest in Gaelic heritage was launched at the Highland Tourism Conference in Inverness this week.

Scotland’s Experiencing Gaelic is a newly-developed Welcome Scheme and was launched by John Thurso, Chairman of VisitScotland.

VisitScotland is working in partnership with The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to deliver this year’s conference. More than 180 delegates had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions on the topics of Slow Adventure Tourism, VisitScotland’s iKnow Scotland Programme, Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, Business Gateway support and Marine Tourism.

Recent research show that over half the visitors to Scotland are interested in learning more about the Gaelic language, heritage, culture and traditions.

VisitScotland has developed the Experiencing Gaelic scheme to recognise those businesses that excel in meeting the expectations of visitors who are interested in learning more about this native language, including all accommodation sectors, cafes, restaurants and visitor attractions.

The Experiencing Gaelic scheme is not just about speaking Gaelic but it encourages businesses to spend time researching their local area, providing translations and offering links to local Gaelic heritage centres and places of interest.

Read more...

Highland tourism chiefs reveal new scheme to recognise Gaelic heritage efforts

23 November 2016 (Press and Journal)

A new scheme which recognises the special efforts made by tourism businesses to provide for visitors with an interest in Gaelic heritage was launched yesterday.

VisitScotland’s Experiencing Gaelic is a newly-developed initiative and was unveiled by John Thurso, chairman of VisitScotland, at the Highland Tourism Conference in Inverness.

Recent research shows that more than half the visitors to Scotland are interested in learning more about the Gaelic language, and also our Gaelic heritage, culture and traditions.

Read more...

Language within

18 November 2016 (What's on Glasgow)

Language classes for adults, kids and teens in the heart of Glasgow.  Choose from English, Italian, Spanish, French and Gaelic.

Visit the website for more information.

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Book Week Scotland 2016

18 November 2016 (Scottish Book Trust)

Book Week Scotland is taking place from 21-27 November 2016.

There will be a host of events taking place around the country, including those celebrating Scots and Gaelic languages. Check the events schedule on the Scottish Book Trust website to see what's available near you.

Read more...

Outlander coach wins at Scottish Gaelic Awards

17 November 2016 (Daily Record)

Outlander's Gaelic consultant Àdhamh Ó Broin has been honoured at The Scottish Gaelic Awards.

The Gaelic consultant scooped the International Award for his work as a Gaelic language coach on the popular TV series, which has showcased the language to an audience of millions.

Gaelic in the STARZ original series Outlander, now in its third season, is considered integral to the authenticity of the show and its characters

In his role, Àdhamh teaches the actors to deliver complex Gaelic-language scenes despite having no previous spoken ability.

Read more...

New survey examines impact of Gaelic media on learning

14 November 2016 (BBC News)

The influence of Gaelic media on learning of the language is being examined.

The Big Gaelic Survey has been commissioned by the language's development body, Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

The study of media, such as BBC Alba and BBC Radio nan Gàidheal, has three questionnaires. They are aimed at Gaelic speakers, Gaelic learners and people who are interested in learning Gaelic in the future.

Read more...

Pupils enjoy Gaelic careers day at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

7 November 2016 (Skye Times)

Thirty five Gaelic learners and speakers from Portree and Plockton Secondary Schools attended a Careers Day at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The event was formally opened by Mr John Norman Macleod, Vice Principal/Director of Academic Studies at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye.

The annual event ‘SIUTHAD!’– GO ON!’ is aimed at both Gaelic Learners and Fluent speakers. ‘SIUTHAD!’ showcases a range of Gaelic related careers and encourages young people to continue with their Gaelic studies.

‘SIUTHAD’!’ is a partnership between The Highland Council, Skills Development Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and is organised by the Council’s Gaelic Team, Skills Development Scotland(SDS) and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

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Scottish Gaelic Awards 2016: Full list of nominees who made the shortlist

7 November 2016 (Daily Record)

The finalists have been announced for this year’s Scottish Gaelic Awards with just over a week to go until the big event.

The awards pay tribute to all aspects of Gaelic culture, education and language, highlighting the excellent work done in maintaining its growth and heritage.

The winners will be revealed on Wednesday, November 16 at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel.

One of the finalists in the Learner Award is radio show Beag air Bheag, aired weekly on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal.

The programme’s title means “little by little” and it introduces Gaelic learners to the language at an accessible pace.

Read more...

By the numbers: the decline of specialist subjects

4 November 2016 (TESS)

Although archaeology is going to be withdrawn as an A-level option, there are other subjects that attract far fewer students.

[..] In Scotland, the lowest number of entries for a subject at Higher was for Gaelic as a foreign language, with 84, while 92 students took Urdu.

The full list of lowest entry A Levels / Highers is available in TESS online, 4 November 2016 (subscription required).

Read more...

Word Wizard 2017 - registrations now open!

4 November 2016 (SCILT/CISS)

SCILT's Word Wizard competition is returning for a fourth year and we are delighted to announce that registrations are now open!

Word Wizard is a multilingual spelling competition open to S1-S3 pupils learning French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin or Spanish. The competition provides a perfect opportunity for language teachers to address The Attainment Challenge by allowing pupils of all levels the chance to excel in language learning. Word Wizard develops skills in acquisition of vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, recall and public speaking; not to mention the many literacy outcomes it addresses. This hugely motivating competition encourages links with other curricular areas and with health and wellbeing, culminating in a high profile celebration of language learning.

Visit SCILT's Word Wizard webpage to find out more about this year's competition and to register your school. 

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Gaelic Easter courses 2017

31 October 2016 (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig)

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is a National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture and is offering short 5-day courses during Easter 2017 on the Isle of Skye.

Visit the college website for more information and to book your place.

Read more...

Take a haiku, add Gaelic - and welcome to the 'gaiku'

30 October 2016 (The Scotsman)

It is one of the world’s oldest forms of poetry, honed down the centuries with not a word or syllable left to waste. Now haiku, the major form of Japanese verse, is set to take the Gaelic world by storm with the forthcoming publication of The Little Book of Gaiku – believed to be the first full-length volume of Gaelic poems composed as haikus.

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Gaelic awards judges say that the standard is so high that their task is even more difficult

26 October 2016 (Daily Record)

Entrants from across the country and across the generations and will be rewarded for their work promoting Gaelic culture and language.

Judges at this year’s Scottish Gaelic Awards have admitted they face a tough task.

Entrants of all ages delighted the panel with their high standards – but made the task of choosing the best a difficult one, according to chairman Cathy MacDonald.

The broadcaster said: “Once again, there is an excellent standard spanning the generations.

“The awards seek to reward all aspects of Scottish Gaelic culture and language, highlighting some of the excellent work undertaken to maintain its growth and heritage.

"It’s encouraging to see how much they’ve grown, attracting younger Gaelic speakers.

“They create an opportunity for those unsung heroes whom we otherwise wouldn’t have heard of and whose contribution deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated publicly.”

Read more...

Swinney sets out bold ambition for Gaelic

19 October 2016 (Scottish Government)

The Deputy First Minister John Swinney has delivered the Angus Macleod Memorial lecture during the Mod in Stornoway today setting out the importance of the Gaelic language to Scotland as part of a bold ambition to build participation and economic activity in the future.

Mr Swinney was making his first major speech on the subject since assuming ministerial responsibility for the Gaelic language after the election. Over the summer the Deputy First Minister has engaged widely with a range of stakeholders central to the future of the language.

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£700,000 for Gaelic language delivery

19 October 2016 (Scottish Government)

Additional funding to improve facilities at Glasgow’s two Gaelic schools has been announced by the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney.

Glendale Gaelic School and Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu will use the extra £700,000 to further improve the learning environment for young people studying core subjects such as physical education, STEM and ICT, ensuring Gaelic learning provides a fully immersive experience across the curriculum.

The money will also be spent on upgrading school facilities helping to tackle an increase in demand for places.

Since the introduction of the Gaelic Schools Capital Fund in 2008 the number of young people in Gaelic medium education has increased nationally by 32%.

Read more...

Seniors pass on their Gaelic skills to learners

19 October 2016 (Stornoway Gazette)

A series of films to help teach Gaelic to children learning it in primary school outwith Gaelic Medium Education has been launched. 

The films star, and were made by, senior school pupils who have come through Gaelic Medium Education and are now passing on their language skills to youngsters who are just beginning to learn it. 

The films, made with the support of media professionals, form part of the Go! Gaelic programme, a comprehensive online resource developed by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig.

Read more...

Royal National Mod warning that Gaelic faces battle for survival in modern world

15 October 2016 (The Herald)

Gaelic is facing a fight for its survival and every Scot needs to play a part to ensure that it continues to receive much-needed support, it has been warned.

Opening the Royal National Mod last night, the head of the Gaelic media service warned that one of Scotland’s cultural “jewels” is at serious risk of being lost forever unless it is given greater support.

Maggie Cunningham, chairwoman of MG Alba, the Gaelic Media Service, made an emotive speech about the future of the tongue which, despite receiving millions of pounds of public funding, has continued to decline.

Read more...

Dundee Literary Festival 2016

12 October 2016 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

This year's Dundee Literary Festival takes place from 19 October to 25 November and includes Scots and Gaelic language events.

Children will especially enjoy the session on 22 October, 'Rock and Roald Dahl Party' with Matthew Fitt, featuring Scots translations of some of Dahl's classic books.

Visit the website for details.

Read more...

Gaelic wikipedia being developed with help of experts

11 October 2016 (The Scotsman)

The ancient Gaelic language of Scotland is being supported by one of the modern world’s most popular websites in an ambitious initiative to develop it online.

A Gaelic speaker is being recruited to work with groups all across Scotland to develop Uicipeid, the Gaelic Wikipedia.

It is a partnership between the National Library of Scotland and Wikimedia UK, the charity that supports and promotes the free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia. It aims to improve knowledge, understanding and use of Gaelic for current and future users. The initiative is being supported with funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the agency responsible for promoting Gaelic language throughout Scotland and internationally, and Wikimedia UK.

Read more...

Related Links

Search begins for a Gaelic Wikipedian (BBC News, 12 October 2016)

Gaelic gets new lease of life online (Press and Journal, 12 October 2016)

Wee Ginger Dug maps Scotland entirely in Gaelic

1 October 2016 (The National)

Going out and about this weekend?

How about a trip to Grianaig, Ros Saidhe or Achadh an t-Seagail – all places included in a new all-Gaelic map of Scotland.

The project, by The National columnist and blogger Paul Kavanagh, better known as the Wee Ginger Dug, replaces the standard English-language place names normally seen on maps with terms drawn from a number of specialist maps, studies and documents.

Read more...

BBC Alba future in balance warns operator

25 September 2016 (The Scotsman)

Scotland could lose its dedicated Gaelic channel and see a decline in the use of the language unless BBC Alba wins a better financial deal, its operator has warned.

MG Alba says the future of the station has been left in the balance by the BBC’s new royal charter because it does not spell out specific guarantees on future funding.

Read more...

More funding for Gaelic learning

23 September 2016 (Scottish Government)

More than 10,000 young people will benefit from additional funding for Gaelic music, drama and language teaching.

The Scottish Government will provide £33,000 to Fèisean nan Gàidheal in 2016-17 to support Gaelic learning.

The new funding will go towards the production of a new Gaelic music, drama and dance show involving children from two Gaelic primary schools – one in the Highlands and one in the central belt.

It will also allow the organisation to offer their Fèisgoil Gaelic language lessons to local authorities that have not experienced them yet.

Read more...

Scottish Gaelic Awards 2016

19 September 2016 (Daily Record / Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

As part of the Daily Record's drive to celebrate all aspects of Scottish culture, and following the success of the 2015 Gaelic Awards, we are proud to launch the 2016 campaign with headline sponsors Bòrd na Gàidhlig. 

The Scottish Gaelic Awards reward all aspects of our Gaelic culture, education and language highlighting the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage.

If you know someone who deserves an award for their contribution to Gaelic, submit your nomination by Friday 25 September. A list of award categories can be found on the Scottish Gaelic Awards website.

The Awards will be presented at a high-quality dinner in Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow on Wednesday 16 November 2016.

Read more...

We must be proud of the rise of Gaelic education

16 September 2016 (TESS)

Three decades ago, 24 children enrolled in experimental Gaelic schooling. Now thousands of children are learning the language and exploring the culture.

This has been a milestone year for Gaelic learning. The Education (Scotland) Act 2016 introduced Gaelic-medium education (GME) provisions, assuring a national entitlement at primary-school level. New GME schools opened in Glasgow and Fort William, with building works underway in Portree, adding to three existing Gaelic schools across Scotland, and complementing departments in primary and secondary schools. And, recently, Scotland’s first director of Gaelic education, Mona Wilson, was appointed.

Read the full article in TESS online, 16 September 2016, pages 20-21 (subscription required).

Read more...

Trees in Gaelic life

14 September 2016 (The Herald)

A new Gaelic place-name map is being developed to help rediscover the lost woods and wildlife of the Highlands.

It is appropriate as Scottish Gaelic is written with just 18 letters, each of which is named after a tree or shrub.

Now conservation charity Trees for Life, will promote the cultural importance of Scotland’s native woodland heritage, as part of its overall Rewilding the Highlands project, which involves the planting of more than 50,000 trees.

Read more...

Scottish Parliament marks Gaelic Mòd’s 125th anniversary

4 September 2016 (Stornoway Gazette)

A motion at the Scottish Parliament has congratulated An Comunn Gàidhealach – who organise and run the annual Royal National Mòd – on its 125th anniversary.

Kate Forbes MSP, who previously competed whilst a high school pupil in Dingwall, said she was pleased the Parliament was recognising “the important role the organisation has played in the study of Gaelic literature, history, music and art”.

Read more...

E-bulleting for Gaelic Education

31 August 2016 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has just published their latest e-bulletin for Gaelic Education. This edition includes information on Gaelic Medium Education (GME); Gaelic Learner Education (GLE) and the promotion of Learning about Gaelic Language and Culture as part of Scotland’s identity.

Read more...

PG Cert Streap: Gaelic Medium Education

26 August 2016 (University of Aberdeen)

Applications are now invited for a limited number of places remaining on Streap, the Postgraduate Teaching Certificate for teachers of GME, commencing in September 2016.

This part-time programme is fully funded by the Scottish Government.

For more information, visit the University of Aberdeen website.

Read more...

Ambitious virtual Gaelic school wins £700,000 boost

24 August 2016 (The Scotsman)

A scheme aimed to widen the availability of subject choices for teenagers in the Western Isles is to benefit from a massive funding boost.

Gaelic virtual school the e-Sgoil, announced by Gaelic agency Bòrd na Gàidhlig in March, will be based in Stornoway and initially focus on Highers, Advanced Highers and supporting teachers in training.

e-Sgoil will allow secondary pupils across the Western Isles to access more curriculum subjects through online classes.

It will be developed thanks to £550,000 in Scottish Government funding and £150,000 from Bord na Gaidhlig.

Read more...

Scotland’s unending battle

21 August 2016 (The News on Sunday)

Hidden behind Edinburgh’s picturesque and dreamy scenery is the Scots’ struggle to bring the indigenous Gaelic language back to life.

Read more...

Related Links

MSP calls for councils to be able to opt out of controversial Gaelic plans (Press and Journal, 20 August 2016)

Aberdeen's Gaelic scheme gets backing

18 August 2016 (Evening Express)

A plan to promote Gaelic in Aberdeen has been approved by councillors – despite claims there is little tradition of the language in the city.

Councillors voted 32 to 9 in favour of approving a revised Gaelic Language Plan for 2016-21 under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.

Read more...

New body on land ownership must have a Gaelic speaker

6 August 2016 (The Herald)

The powerful body established to address the dominance of Scottish landowners who own huge tracts of the country will include a Gaelic speaker among a six-strong panel.

The new Scottish Land Commission will be tasked with transforming land ownership across the country following concerns that fewer than 500 people, some anonymous, own more than half of Scotland’s land.

Set up in the wake the Land Reform Act, ministers are now seeking applications for candidates to sit on the robust new board that could resurrect the most controversial land reform proposal, to impose an upper limit of the amount of land anyone person can own in Scotland.

Read more...

Gaelic soap goes down darker road in bid for viewers

2 July 2016 (The Scotsman)

The driving force behind Scotland’s Gaelic drama series has vowed to take it in a “darker” direction in a bid to get it onto the UK network and screened overseas.

Christopher Young, who has been making Bannan on the Isle of Skye, has revealed it is to head into “noir territory” in the hope of securing a spot on BBC2 or BBC4.

Read more...

Scientists create 'app' that teaches computers to understand Gaelic

25 June 2016 (The Herald)

Scots scientists have create an app-style programme that teaches computers to understand Gaelic.

It is hoped the move will help to secure the future of the language has been announced.

The device helps computers understand Gaelic text and can be used in a range of functions such as voice recognition and online translation, as well as grammar and spell checks.

Read more...

Related Links

New app teaches computers to ‘speak’ Scots Gaelic (The Scotsman, 25 June 2016)

SCHOLympics competition

24 June 2016 (Heriot-Watt University)

The SCHOLympics is a multi-disciplinary, scholarly competition that is open to all students who have access to SCHOLAR via their individual username and password. It features an extensive range of questions from the subjects that are currently available in the SCHOLAR programme, including a Mandarin listening comprehension which requires speakers or headphones, and questions from our brand new, soon to be published, English courses. The questions are set at Higher level or below.

The competition will be open between Monday 25 July until Wednesday 28 August 2016.

Visit the SCHOLAR website to find out more.

Read more...

Word Wizard Final 2016!

10 June 2016 (SCILT/CISS)

S1-S3 pupils from across Scotland took part in the National Final of Word Wizard at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 24 May 2016. 46 learners from eight local authorities and independent schools competed in French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish in front of an audience of teachers, supporters and guests.

Visit our Word Wizard Final 2016 webpage to read the full list of prizewinners and to see photos from the event.

Read more...

Scottish Education Award Winners 2016

9 June 2016 (SCILT / Education Scotland)

The Scottish Education Awards took place on 8 June in the Glasgow City Hotel. Congratulations to the winning schools in the language categories!

  • St Michael's Primary, Dumfries & Galloway - Making Languages Come Alive
  • Abercorn School, Glasgow - Gaelic Education
For more information about the awards and the finalists in each category, visit the Scottish Education Awards website.

Read more...

E-bulletin for Gaelic Education

31 May 2016 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has just published their latest e-bulletin for Gaelic Education.

Read more...

Gaelic Medium Education Newsletter - Spring 2016

13 May 2016 (Comann nam Pàrant)

Comann nam Pàrant, the national organisation that advises and supports parents/carers of those in Gaelic Medium Education (GME), has published their latest newsletter which is available online.

Read more...

Age no barrier to learning a new language, say Edinburgh University experts

28 April 2016 (The Herald)

Learning another language boosts brain power, no matter how old you are, according to new research.

Tests carried out on students suggest that acquiring a new language improves a person’s attention after only a week of study.

Researchers also found that the benefits for mental agility could be maintained with regular practice.

Edinburgh University researchers assessed different aspects of mental alertness in a group of 33 students aged 18 to 78 who had taken part in a one-week Scottish Gaelic course.

They compared the results with those of people who had completed a one week course but not involving learning a new language and with a group who had not completed any course.

After one week, improvements in attention were found in both groups participating in intensive courses, but only those learning a second language were significantly better than those not involved in any courses.

Read more...

Gaelic language course

22 April 2016 (Staffin Community Trust / Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

Àrainneachd, Cànan is Dualchas (‘environment, language and heritage’) is a ten-day practical course for Gaelic speakers that explores the strong links between the language and the Scottish environment. It is open to all fluent speakers and near-fluent learners of the language who would like to continue to develop their fluency.

It will run again in North Skye in 2016, from 25 to 29 July and from 01 to 05 August. Students can attend either or both weeks.

Visit the website for more information about the course.

Read more...

To speak in tongues - Gaelic is making a comeback

22 April 2016 (The Economist)

Travellers at the airport in Inverness navigate a revolving door adorned with posters urging them to teach their children Gaelic. “Being bilingual is magic! Bilingual children find it easier to learn a third language,” claims one which depicts a cherubic toddler waving a magic wand over a rabbit in a hat. “Give your child a flying start—learn Gaelic,” says another.

The posters are part of a larger effort in Scotland to preserve its Celtic language, which was disappearing at a precipitous rate until recently. In 1755 almost a quarter of Scotland’s people spoke Gaelic. A new education law in 1872 forbade the language in classrooms, and children caught speaking it got the belt. Another statute in 1918 required authorities to “make adequate provision for Gaelic,” but by 1981 only 1.6% of people in Scotland spoke it. Many of them were older folk or clustered in the Highlands and islands. Their slim ranks thinned by 21% in the ten years from 1981 and by 11% in the one after that.

Now, however, Gaelic is fighting back. The proportion of Scots who speak it barely dipped between 2001 and 2011, when the most recent census was finished. And more than before are under the age of 20.

Read more...

Leadership Award: Gaelic Education

19 April 2016 (Education Scotland)

Social Enterprise Academy and Education Scotland are working in partnership to deliver an Institute of Leadership and Management Award for teachers of Gaelic Education. The next Leadership Award for Gaelic Education will commence on 20 and 21 May 2016. It will be based in Strathpeffer.

If you wish to enrol for this award or require more information visit the Education Scotland learning blog.

Read more...

Key Gaelic celebration to light up your Twitter

18 April 2016 (The National)

Outlander star Gilbert Macmillan and an American digital radio station have been lined up to support the fledgling Gaelic Twitter Day on Thursday.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon, comedian Sanjeev Kohli, singer Michele McManus and the Scottish Football Association are all supporters of the day which is gaining interest from across the globe.

Launched in 2014, Gaelic Twitter Day or Là na #Gàidhlig has this year attracted attention from a digital radio station in Baltimore which is to run an exclusive show from midnight BST on April 21 and will include messages from celebrities like Macmillan. It will be broadcast by Guth nan Gàidheal, a radio project by the American Gaelic Association, An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach (ACGA).

Following the success of the previous two years, it is also intended to expand Gaelic Twitter Day into other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Read more...

Outlander helping to promote Gaelic and Scots

9 April 2016 (The National)

It's been heralded as a feminist version of Game of Thrones and derided by critics as having a plot with more holes than a pair of well-worn socks. But now Outlander, the cult Highland costume drama, is being credited with fuelling a growing interest in both Gaelic and Scots languages.

Voice coach Carol Ann Crawford, who has helped Outlander stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan perfect their accents, claims that the American-British TV series, which has an international audience of millions, could be just the thing to get the languages known by a wider audience.

Crawford said that the drama, which will return to our screens for a highly-anticipated second season on Sunday, is helping keep old Scots words alive and as well as creating a new growing awareness among an international audience.

Read more...

SQA National Qualifications March 2016 update

31 March 2016 (SQA)

Latest updates on the new National Qualifications are available on the SQA website.

If you're a teaching professional looking for a new challenge, included in this update are additional marker opportunities in 2016 for French and Spanish Higher exams.

Read more...

Gaelic Drama Summer School

28 March 2016 (Fèisean nan Gàidheal)

This year's theatre summer school for Scots Gaelic students aged 14-18 will take place from 4-16 July at Portree in Skye.

Participants receive training and guidance in a wide range of skills - acting, voice, movement, dance, creative skills and props in general. The topics are taught by experienced team of excellent actors and other artists. No prior knowledge of drama or theatre is necessary to take part.

For further information about the summer school, visit the website.

Read more...

Gaelic book publisher aims to go global as interest in language grows

24 March 2016 (Press and Journal)

Hebridean book publisher Acair is targeting new markets after seeing increased interest in its Gaelic language titles from all over the world.

The not-for-profit business aims to tap into the growing popularity of Gaelic in countries including the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, manager Agnes Rennie said yesterday.

“We believe there could be more demand for our books out there,” she said, adding that interest in Scotland and its history in general was also driving the clamour for Acair’s titles.

Read more...

Bòrd na Gàidhlig appoints new Ceannard (CEO)

23 March 2016 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, today announced the appointment of Shona MacLennan as its new Ceannard (CEO) who will take up post on 6 June 2016.

Ms MacLennan, originally from Spean Bridge, brings to the Bòrd over 20 years experience in the development of business within the Highlands and Islands. She is a Gaelic learner of Edinburgh University and is currently working with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig as Director of Business and Organisational Development. She has been involved in a wide range of Gaelic initiatives and developments, including working for various Gaelic organisations. Ms. MacLennan has extensive governance and strategic planning experience as well as a sound knowledge of community development.

Welcoming the appointment, Bòrd na Gàidhlig Cathraiche (Chair), Allan MacDonald said: “We very much welcome Shona to Bòrd na Gàidhlig and wish her all the best. We are fortunate that she brings with her a wealth of experience in the Public Sector including governance, strategic planning and community development and growth. She has also served as a non-executive director of Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd, Grampian TV and UHI Ltd. The appointment comes just as we have welcomed new Board Members and just as we take the initial steps in preparing the next National Gaelic Language Plan which will take us through the next 5 years so her specific skills will be put to good use.”

Read more...

£1m for Gaelic broadcasting

20 March 2016 (Scottish Government)

Gaelic broadcaster MG ALBA will receive an additional £1m investment this year.

Minister for Scotland’s Languages Alasdair Allan announced the media service will receive the funding following the UK Government’s plan to withdraw all funding to Gaelic broadcasting in Scotland.

MG ALBA is a public body that works in partnership with BBC Scotland to produce BBC Alba. Since moving to Freeview in 2011, the channel viewing figure have increased significantly.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic TV saved in Scotland (The Herald, 20 March 2016)

Gaelic broadcaster gets £1m Scottish government funding (BBC, 21 March 2016)

More backing for Gaelic broadcasting in Scotland (Brechin Advertiser, 21 March 2016)

Gaelic Virtual School for Scotland

18 March 2016 (Stornoway Gazette)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig today announced funding to support the creation of a Gaelic virtual school for Scotland, E-Sgoil.

The announcement was made by the Cathraiche of Bòrd na Gàidhlig at the National Gaelic Language Plan 2017-2022 Seminar in Edinburgh to open discussions on the creation of the 3rd National Plan for Gaelic.

E-Sgoil will look to design and develop an online learning environment that will provide connectivity initially, between all secondary schools throughout the Western Isles and beyond.

It will provide greater quality of subject access, vocational choices and learning opportunities across Gaelic medium secondary schools nationally.

Read more...

Australian Ariel Killick is on a mission to restore Gaelic to its former prominence

14 March 2016 (The National)

Sometimes it takes an outsider to help people appreciate the beauty around them.

Ariel Killick may be originally from Australia but she is making waves in schools and communities across Scotland in the promotion of Gaelic, which she believes is still in a precarious state, despite relatively recent state support to promote the language.

A performer with a passion, she has been described as being on a one-woman mission to prevent Gaelic being treated like a “cultural dung-heap”.

But while she is passionate she hasn’t lost her sense of humour and uses contemporary arts such as graffiti, rap and street theatre to spread the word, while also drawing from Scotland’s ancient storytelling traditions.

There is a chance to see her in action in Edinburgh on Saturday, when she brings Adventures of the Gaelic Tree Alphabet to the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Aimed at youngsters aged seven and upwards, the thought-provoking workshop is also an interactive, fun, forest adventure with Scotland’s native trees, and references the Highland Clearances, the decline of Gaelic and environmental issues.

An award-winning multi-art-form performer, Killick’s upcoming bilingual workshop is just one of the ways she promotes the use of Gaelic.

Read more...

Gaelic school plans for Skye take major step forward

1 March 2016 (The Scotsman)

An £8.7million contract for a new Gaelic Primary School on the Isle of Skye has been awarded.

Robertson Construction will carry out the work on the building in the village of Portree, with completion expected late 2017.

Skye Councillor Drew Millar announced the contract at the first meeting of a new Highland Council area committee dealing solely with issues on the island.

Completion of the project would see the local authority deliver two standaline Gaelic Primary School in Portree and Fort William within two years of each other.

Councillors added that they would complement Scotland’s other Gaelic schools in Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Read more...

Row breaks out in Edinburgh over Gaelic school plan

29 February 2016 (BBC News)

A row has broken out over a plan for a change to Gaelic education in Edinburgh.

Some children who leave the city's Gaelic school this year may not be going to the secondary school they had expected to go to.

Their parents are angry, and have claimed that the move could undermine Gaelic education in the capital.

The plan will be discussed by the City of Edinburgh Council at a meeting on Tuesday.

Children who attend Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pairce, the Gaelic primary school that opened in 2013, have been able to continue their education in Gaelic at James Gillespie's High School in previous years.

However, parents were told recently that their children would not be automatically entitled to a place there because of the increasing size of the overall school roll.

Instead children who do not live within Gillespie's normal catchment area will be offered a place at Tynecastle High School, which also has Gaelic facilities. Critics claim the Gaelic facilities there are inferior to Gillespie's.

Read more...

Related Links

Leading churchman attacks council over "crisis" in Gaelic provision (The Herald, 29 February 2016)

Church leader slams Gaelic axe plans (The Scotsman, 29 February 2016)

Council in Edinburgh Gaelic school pupils U-turn (BBC News, 2 March 2016)

e-bulletin for Gaelic Education

26 February 2016 (Education Scotland)

The latest e-bulletin for Gaelic Education has been published by Education Scotland. This e-bulletin includes information on Gaelic Medium Education (GME); Gaelic Learner Education (GLE) and the promotion of Learning about Gaelic Language and Culture as part of Scotland’s identity.

Gaelic war of words - Is Gaelic teaching in Scottish schools a waste of resources?

23 February 2016 (The Courier)

The passing of a new law at the Scottish Parliament has reignited debate about the costs of preserving Gaelic language and culture. The Education (Scotland) Bill means that every school now has to assess the need for Gaelic education if asked. But in these times of austerity budget cuts, is that a good use of resources? Michael Alexander investigates.

Read more...

Related Links

Without our own words, we Gaels are silenced (The Herald, letters, 24 February 2016)

Google Translate to add 13 new languages including Gaelic

18 February 2016 (The Scotsman)

Google has confirmed that Gaelic will be among 13 new languages to be added to its translation site.

Considered the world’s most advanced open translation site, Google Translate will now offer 103 languages for translation.

The other 12 new languages are Shona, Sindhi, Pashto, Corsican, Frisian, Amharic, Kurmanji Kurdish, Luxembourgish, Samoan, Hawaiian, Kyrgyz and Xhosa

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic becomes latest language added to Google Translate (The Herald, 18 February 2016)

Gaelic among 13 new languages added to Google Translate (Scotland Now / Daily Record, 18 February 2016)

Google recognises Gaelic for first time… You can now translate anything into Scots language (Press and Journal, 18 February 2016)

Google Translate adds Gaelic to list of supported languages (STV News, 18 February 2016)

Google goes Gaelic (Island News & Advertiser, 18 February 2016)

Scots Gaelic one of 13 new languages on Google Translate (The National, 19 February 2016)

MSP welcomes Gaelic addition to Goggle Translate (Stornoway Gazette, 19 February 2016)

Gaelic 'should be preserved' to benefit the brain

15 February 2016 (The Herald)

Languages on the brink of dying out should be preserved in light of evidence that shows juggling different tongues is good for the brain, claims a British expert.

Professor Antonella Sorace, founder of the Bilingualism Matters Centre at the University of Edinburgh, is investigating the potential benefits of studying minority languages such as Sardinian and Scottish Gaelic.

Previous research has already shown that being multilingual can improve thinking and learning ability, and may reduce mental decline with age.

Read more...

New team sought to keep Gaelic “up-to-date”

21 January 2016 (Press and Journal)

Gaelic quango Bòrd na Gàidhlig plans to spend up to £130,000 recruiting a team to keep the historic language “up-to-date”.

The body is offering a contract for a group to help ensure there is “consistency” in Gaelic terminology, grammar and linguistics.

The successful bidder would also provide an administration service and a “framework” to an existing steering group, with the aim of earning “popular legitimacy through engagement with the language community and through the marriage of popular, scientific and political interests”.

Initiatives to promote the language as part of the Gaelic Language Act have been criticised in recent months, including plans to re-brand emergency service vehicles.

However, supporters insist efforts must be made to protect the Gaelic from being consigned to history.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig is responsible for promoting the language, increasing the number of speakers and advising Scottish ministers.

Read more...

Briefing for Gaelic Education

18 January 2015 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has published a briefing providing information on Gaelic Medium Education (GME); Gaelic Learner Education (GLE) and the promotion of Learning about Gaelic Language and Culture as part of Scotland’s identity.

Read more...

Ambulance crews to get Gaelic lessons

18 January 2016 (The Herald)

Scottish Ambulance Service staff will be given lessons in Gaelic as part of the government’s push to boost the language. The service has proposed to introduce measures between now and 2020 that will include “Gaelic awareness and Gaelic language skills training”.

But the idea has been attacked by critics who believe that Gaelic lessons will take staff away from helping patients.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic logo plan for ambulance service (The Express, 17 January 2016)

Paramedics could be forced to learn Gaelic, under new Scottish Ambulance Service plans (Press and Journal, 18 January 2016)

From Creole to Scots, all our tongues need preserving, says top linguist

16 January 2016 (The National)

Few people know more about the power and influence of minority languages than linguist Hector Poullet, an expert on the Creole tongue of the Caribbean.

The softly-spoken 75-year-old is a source on Creole in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe. You could say he wrote the book on the language, co-authoring one of the world’s first Creole dictionaries and helping to introduce it into the school curriculum.

This week, Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland launched a free online resource for children. Gifting Every Child includes Scots songs and Gaelic lullabies, providing an introduction to the traditional arts for the classroom or family home.

“All of the world’s languages are like a kaleidoscope – every single one of them is multiform and each one must be protected,” Poullet says.

Read more...

The 50-Word Fiction Competition

13 January 2016 (Scottish Book Trust)

Can you write a story in just 50 words? Each month a prompt will be provided to get you started, but where the story goes from there is entirely up to you.

For January the prompt is 'write a story set in the future.'

Adults and young writers are eligible to enter. Submissions are welcomed in Scots and Gaelic.

Visit the Scottish Book Trust website for more information and to submit your short story.

Read more...

Leadership Award Gaelic Education

7 January 2016 (Education Scotland)

Social Enterprise Academy and Education Scotland are working in partnership to deliver an Institute of Leadership and Management Award for teachers of Gaelic Education. The next Leadership Award for Gaelic Education will commence on 26 and 27 February 2016.

For more information and to enrol see Education Scotland's learning blog.

Read more...

Research claims new Gaelic speakers are 'developing a Glasgow accent'

22 December 2015 (Herald)

Scotland's biggest city accounts for the largest number of Gaelic speakers outside the Western Isles – and now, it seems, Glasgow's gaels are adapting the language to their local accent.

Read more...

Media Release: MG ALBA announces new strategy to ‘transform’ Gaelic media impact

18 December 2015 (All Media Scotland)

MG ALBA today published a five-year strategic plan aimed at transforming the contribution of Gaelic media.

Key objectives of the plan include initiatives to effect a major step change in the involvement of young people in Gaelic media and to develop a wider range of learning platforms.

Partnerships with other Gaelic organisations are central to the new strategic plan.

Maggie Cunningham, chair of MG ALBA, said it laid the foundations for a new era in Gaelic media.

Read more...

Gaelic Creative Writing Course

17 December 2015 (Moniack Mhor)

Are you aged 16-19 and live in Scotland? Do you like creative writing? Do you speak Gaelic? Join us for a residential course from 18-23 January 2016 that will help you start writing in Gaelic. Our tutors will guide you through tasters in poetry, prose, writing for performance and many other forms. You also get to design and create a hand printed poster for the course with help from an artist at the Highland Print Studio in Inverness.

There is no requirement other than an ability in Gaelic and an interest in writing.

There is no cost for the course, but bookings are taken on a first come first served basis.

Visit the Moniack Mhor website for more information and to book your place.

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SQA updates - Advanced Higher Modern Languages

14 December 2015 (SQA)

The SQA has updated a number of files on their Advanced Higher Modern Languages webpage.

A list of updates is attached and the files can be accessed on the SQA website.

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Edinburgh student's Gaelic love song to be played live at New York Christmas after Alexander McCall Smith Prize win

11 December 2015 (The Herald)

A talented Scots student will hear a love song he composed played live at a Christmas concert in New York after winning a prestigious music prize.

James Hind, 21, landed the trip to the Big Apple after impressing expert judges of the Alexander McCall Smith Prize For Composition with his Gaelic piece, written for voice, fiddle, cello, flute, clarsach and guitar.

He will now hear his work performed by professionals in both Manhattan and New Jersey at the annual Pipes of Christmas concert produced by the Clan Currie Society, and also hopes to use his first visit to the USA to check out the city’s renowned jazz haunts.

Best-selling novelist and medical law expert Professor Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency stories and founder of his own Really Terrible Orchestra, awards the £500 prize annually for a composition by an undergraduate music student at Edinburgh Napier University.

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SCILT Christmas webpage now live!

3 December 2015 (SCILT)

Are you looking for ways to bring the festive season to your languages classroom?

SCILT have compiled resources from around the world for use with your pupils, from songs and games to interactive advent calendars. Find out how Christmas is celebrated in France, Germany, Spain and around the world!

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The new computer language is - Gaelic

2 December 2015 (The National)

Coputers can now speak Gaelic thanks to Ceitidh – the world’s first synthetic Scottish Gaelic language system.

The programme was created by Edinburgh speech synthesis company CereProc.

The firm specialises in creating natural and expressive-sounding voices, including those adapted to regional accents.

The company already offers three “Scottish English” voices and another in “Glasgow English”, with others in Catalan, Brazilian Portuguese and “Lancashire English”.

Now it aims to help visually-impaired Gaelic speakers and language learners with Ceitidh.

Available to download for free, it is hoped the programme will be used by schools, colleges, universities and public sector organisations to read documents, website and audio books.

Creators say the voice is also “especially useful” to people with dyslexia, visual impairment or other reading difficulties.

Read more...

St Andrew’s Day 2015 – Seven educational ways to celebrate!

30 November 2015 (Education Scotland)

The Scots language co-ordinators at Education Scotland have put together a list of seven suggestions for meaningful learning about Scotland for St Andrews Day.

Find links to Scots language websites, songs, poems and other resources, as well Gaelic language materials.

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Let's hear Scots language on BBC Alba, says former SNP leader

30 November 2015 (The Herald)

BBC Alba should extend its remit to make programmes in the Scots language, a former leader of the SNP has urged.

Gordon Wilson said having a Gaelic language channel but no broadcasting in Scots was a "cultural flaw".

In a submission to the BBC Trust, which is consulting on the future of the corporation, he said: "Gaelic is an important part of Scottish culture.

"Yet Scotland has another tradition in the Scots language still spoken in different forms throughout Scotland and used widely amongst the ordinary folk of Scotland.

"It dwarves that of Gaelic.

"Scots has been instrumental in enriching Scottish culture in poetry, prose and plays but does not enjoy the support it should from a national broadcaster."

Read more...

Related Links

Wee Ginger Dug: Does it suit the Tories (The National, 3 December 2015)

Gaelic e-bulletin

26 November 2015 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest e-bulletin for Gaelic Education is now available.

Read more...

Warnings of blow to Gaelic TV

26 November 2015 (The Herald)

Campaigners have warned of a "major blow" to Gaelic television after George Osborne quietly axed UK Government funding.

The Chancellor did not renew a £1 million-a-year grant from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

[...] Two years ago the then Culture Secretary Maria Miller described the service as playing a "crucial role in the cultural and economic well-being of Scotland".

She also said that the Scottish Gaelic language was an "integral part of our incredibly diverse culture".

And she said that the sum provided the "funding certainty that the channel needs to continue bringing high-quality Gaelic language programmes to the small screen".

Read more...

Word Wizard 2016 - last chance to register!

26 November 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

Registrations for Word Wizard 2016 close on Monday 30th November, don't miss out on the chance to enter this motivating and challenging competition!

Open to S1-S3 pupils to compete in French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin or Spanish, Word Wizard provides learners with the opportunity to improve their vocabulary, pronunciation and memory skills in a competition format. 

In partnership with UCMLS this year we have semi-finals in Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow. Sign up now to receive the first set of word lists and start practising!

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Gaelic is the talk of the town as the great and the good take the plaudits at the Scottish Gaelic Awards

21 November 2015 (Daily Record)

One of Scotland’s best-known collectors of folk tradition has been honoured for the contribution he has made to Gaelic language and heritage.

John MacInnes, who worked at the School of Scottish Studies over four decades, was named Best Contribution at the Daily Record and Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s annual Scottish Gaelic Awards on Wednesday evening.

MacInnes, who started collecting songs, stories and the folk tradition of the nation in the early 1950s, was praised for his “unparalleled contribution” in recording the spoken word, literature and music of Scotland.

“For his academic papers and his warmth and enthusiasm towards anyone interested in Gaelic, he deserves recognition,” said his citation.

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Meet the author sessions at the Gaelic Books Council

19 November 2015 (Gaelic Books Council)

Celebrate Book Week Scotland (23-29 November) by attending a meet the author session at the Gaelic Books Council.

There are sessions scheduled into Spring next year for all ages.  See the timetables below:

For more information about the Gaelic Books Council visit their website. (We recommend viewing in Chrome browser).

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Animator King Rollo Films planning first Gaelic series

16 November 2015 (BBC News)

Animation studio King Rollo Films plans to make its first Gaelic language television series. 

The makers of children's TV programmes Spot, Humf and Deer Little Forest previously announced plans to develop a new series from a base on Skye. 

It also emerged last month that it will hold free workshops for artists next month and in January as part of an effort to create a local workforce. Gaelic language college Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI will host the training.

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Councillors urged to back Stronger BBC Alba in Royal Charter

6 November 2015 (BBC News)

Showing more original, high quality programming on Gaelic TV channel BBC Alba would benefit Gaelic education, it has been suggested.

MG Alba, which operates in partnership with the BBC, has asked that a stronger BBC Alba should form part of the BBC's next Royal Charter.

Highland Council officers have urged councillors to support this call. The officials said more Gaelic programmes would support "significant growth" in Gaelic medium education.

Councillors on Highland Council's Gaelic implementation group will be asked to back MG Alba's position at a meeting on 12 November.

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Word Wizard 2016 - regional semi-finals added!

5 November 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

Registrations for Word Wizard 2016 are now open for your French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish pupils to develop their vocabulary, spelling and memory skills.

This year we have 3 semi-finals in venues across the country - in the Universities of Strathclyde, Dundee and Aberdeen. Schools can now choose to attend the semi-final which is most convenient for them.

The Stage 1 word lists were sent to registered schools this week, so sign up now to take part in this exciting and motivating competition!

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FilmG hopes to boost entries with smartphone awards

5 November 2015 (BBC News)

The organisers of Gaelic short film competition FilmG hope to attract increased entries with new prizes rewarding the use of smartphones.

Prizes for best mobile short have been added to the youth and open categories of the annual contest.

Organisers said they hoped the new awards would help them to better engage with young Gaelic speakers.

The closing date for entries to all FilmG's categories is 16 December.

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Gaelic speakers born overseas boost language in Scotland

4 November 2015 (The Scotsman)

The survival of Gaelic speaking in Scotland is being helped by a band of new speakers from Eastern Europe and Africa, it has emerged.

A second report on the 2011 Gaelic Census, released last week, has found a “notable” increase in speakers from new EU member states.

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Languagenut supports 1+2

3 November 2015 (SALT)

Languagenut is a professional teaching tool that offers teaching resources across 19 world languages, including French, Spanish, German, Italian, Gaelic and Mandarin. Languagenut also supports EAL students by offering 80 native languages as support to learn English.

It is the perfect tool to support the 1+2 approach to language learning, as all audio files are recorded by native speakers. With a range of games, songs and stories, Languagenut supports the four key skills of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

In addition, Languagenut offers special integrated tools which allow teachers both create their own classes and content, and also set and track homework, generate certificates and evaluate students’ progress in real time. These timesaving tools help teachers to deliver more personalised teaching and customise lessons to fit each individual.

Accessible at school and at home and through GLOW, Languagenut helps to bridge the gap between classroom and home learning and is free for all Scottish schools.

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Word Wizard 2016 - registrations now open!

30 October 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

Scotland's National Centre for Languages and Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, in partnership with The University of St Andrews, are proud to announce the return of Word Wizard for its third year!

Motivate your French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish pupils by taking part in this spellbinding multilingual spelling competition! 

Building on the success of last year's competition, this year we are holding 3 semi-finals across the country - hosted by the universities of Strathclyde, Dundee and Aberdeen. 

Visit our Word Wizard 2016 webpage for more information and to download the Teacher's Pack and Registration form. 

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Scotland’s Census 2011 : Gaelic report (part 2)

29 October 2015 (National Records of Scotland)

This National Statistics publication for Scotland details the use of Gaelic by a variety of categories and sectors in Scotland.

See the report online.

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Scottish Funding Council Gaelic Language Plan 2014-19

28 October 2015 (Scottish Funding Council)

The SFC has just published its Gaelic Language Plan 2014-19. This Plan has been prepared under Section 3 of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 and was approved by Bòrd na Gàidhlig on 17 September 2015.

See the SFC publication on their website.

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Bella Caledonia launches Gaelic and Scots content

28 October 2015 (Commonspace)

THE Scottish new media website Bella Caledonia has announced that it will publish a new strand of work celebrating Gaelic and Scots language, and culture.

The content will be published in both English and Gaelic, and will explore the world of Scottish poetry, music and visual art.

Bella Caledonia editor Mike Small stated: "It's an outstanding group of people who are joining our editorial team - we are going to bring new richness and depth to Bella's cultural content and stand-up for Scottish culture.

"We have established a pool of contributors from up and down the country to create content and welcome input and submissions from others. It's time to take a far more pro-active and confident approach to defending and more importantly celebrating our cultural diversity."

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We must develop a tolerance gene to languages, including Gaelic

21 October 2015 (The Herald letters)

Letters in the Herald from readers in support of the Gaelic language policy and language learning.

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Related Links

So, who needs Gaelic? (The Herald letters, 19 October 2015)

Support for Gaelic early years

21 October 2015 (Scottish Government)

Children in Gaelic speaking communities will be helped to get the best start in life after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced £100,000 funding for 41 early years’ groups and organisations.

The money will support the running costs of the groups and provide employment opportunities for Gaelic speaking leaders so that children can develop their skills in the language.

The First Minister made the announcement in Skye as she delivered the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig lecture for the first time. She said:

“We want all of Scotland’s children to have the best start in life. That includes providing opportunities for children to learn and improve Gaelic in their early years. Our support for Gaelic medium education is encouraging and enabling more children to learn the language and has helped to slow the decline in our population of Gaelic speakers. I am determined to do all I can to support the future of the language in Scotland. Today’s announcement ensures that children will be able to take up Gaelic at the earliest possible age.”

Read more...

Related Links

First minister unveils £100,000 for Gaelic speaking children (Press and Journal, 22 October 2015)

Support for Gaelic early years (Stornoway Gazette, 26 October 2015) 

Police launch plan for wider use of Gaelic language within service

15 October 2015 (The Herald)

Draft plans for greater use of the Gaelic language within the police service have been launched.

The plans are part of the Scottish Government's commitment to raise the status and profile of Gaelic, and create practical opportunities for learning and use of the language.

The draft plans from Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) were unveiled at the Royal National Mod in Oban, with the support of Bord Na Gaidhlig, with officers wearing uniforms bearing English and Gaelic forms of Police Scotland and a vehicle with the Gaelic version of the Police Scotland logo.

Read more...

All pupils to learn two foreign languages by high school

13 October 2015 (Edinburgh Evening News)

It's the pioneering programme aimed at making ­language learning as easy as un, deux, trois.

Every pupil in the Capital will receive lessons in at least two foreign languages by the time they leave primary school under radical plans aimed at helping them keep pace with peers across Europe.

City bosses have confirmed they want to introduce the new scheme, called 1+2, by the start of 2017 – three years ahead of a national deadline set for 2020.

Youngsters will be offered classes in core languages including French, Spanish and Mandarin, as well as Gaelic, Scots and “heritage” tongues such as Polish and Farsi.

The Edinburgh roll-out is part of a Scottish Government-led initiative which will see all children learn a second language from P1 and have experience of a third from P5 at the latest.

Parent leaders in the city have hailed the development and said it would help prepare youngsters for the modern world.

Read more...

Gaelic Ambassador of the Year Award made at launch of Royal National Mὸd

9 October 2015 (The Scottish Government)

Professor Boyd Robertson has been named as the 2015 Gaelic Ambassador of the Year on the opening night of Scotland’s annual celebration of Gaelic culture, the Royal National Mὸd, in Oban.

Professor Robertson, Principal of Sabhal Mὸr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic language and culture, was congratulated by Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, Dr Alasdair Allan.

Professor Robertson is well known to Oban’s Gaelic community, having once been Principal Teacher of Gaelic at Oban High School. He has since been closely involved with a host of groups involved in Gaelic education, at all levels of learning.

The award followed an announcement of an additional £50,000 in funding from the Scottish Government to Bòrd na Gàidhlig to support growth in Gaelic medium education.

Read more...

Related Links

Sabhal Mὸr Ostaig's principal named Gaelic ambassador of the year (The Herald, 10 October 2015)

SCHOLAR Modern Languages sessions

8 October 2015 (Heriot-Watt University)

The SCHOLAR programme offered by Heriot-Watt University offers a number of support sessions in a variety of subjects for students undertaking National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher examinations.

Attached is the programme of online events taking place from October 2015 to March 2016 to support Modern Languages.

For more information about the SCHOLAR programme visit the Heriot-Watt SCHOLAR website.

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MG Alba wants stronger BBC Alba in Royal Charter

7 October 2015 (BBC News)

More original, high quality programming on Gaelic TV channel BBC Alba should form part of the BBC's next Royal Charter, MG Alba has said.

Launched in September 2008, the channel now reaches on average more than 700,000 viewers per week in Scotland.

But MG Alba, which operates in partnership with the BBC, said 73% of what was shown was repeats.

Chairwoman Maggie Cunningham said the channel was "unique in its achievements" but lacked resources.

MG Alba said that on current funding only 1.7 hours of original output, including news, was possible per day.

It said this figure was "significantly short" of an ambition of three hours per day.

The organisation has called for a "stronger BBC Alba" and for the BBC to produce 10 hours of original programming per week for the channel for the next 10 years of the charter, in comparison to the current 4.4 hours currently developed.

Read more...

Related Links

‘Make BBC Alba part of Charter’ (Stornoway Gazette, 7 October 2015)

Schools ‘need to focus more on Gaelic skills’

2 October 2015 (The National)

Provision of Gaelic medium education is too slow to safeguard the language, according to the principal of Scotland’s Gaelic college.

Professor Boyd Robertson, who heads Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye, spoke out yesterday after the latest census data showed the number of people who have some ability to speak, understand or write the language had fallen to 87,100 in 2011.

The rates fell in every group for those aged 18 and over, with just small rises of 0.17 per cent amongst 3-4 year olds, 0.22 per cent for 5-11 year olds and 0.06 per cent for 12-17 year olds.

Read more...

Census analysis reveals use of Gaelic at home

30 September 2015 (BBC News)

New analysis of Scotland's 2011 Census has given further insights into the use of Gaelic by families.

The latest results suggest 41% of Gaelic-speaking children aged five to 11 live in households where all the adults had some knowledge of Gaelic.

Also, 25,000 people aged three and over reported using the language at home.

Read more...

Gaelic teachers to gather in Highlands

28 September 2015 ( The Scotsman)

A major conference for teachers working in Gaelic Medium Education kicks off in Aviemore this week.

More than 160 delegates are expected to attend An t-Alltan, the annual event led by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig.

The conference will be opened on Wednesday by Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages.

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Scot who launched Gaelic Twitter Day sees idea take off as he bids to boost language and help out nervous gaels

25 September 2015 (Daily Record)

Jamie Wallace got an unexpected response when he launched Gaelic Twitter Day last year and has seen his event nominated in the 2015 Gaelic Awards.

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Cocker spaniel learns basic Gaelic in 3 weeks

21 September 2015 (The Scotsman)

A cocker Spaniel has stunned members of a conversational Gaelic speaking class by mastering the necessary basics - for a dog - of the notoriously difficult-to-learn language in three weeks.

Four-year-old Ginger responds to “suidh” (sit) “fuirich” (stay) and “trobhad” (come here) and understands when his owner, retired Neil Smith, praises him with “cu math” - good boy.

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Opening this year’s Royal National Mod

16 September 2015 (Stornoway Gazette)

This year’s Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd) will open with a sensational homecoming concert headlined by Capercaillie’s Donald Shaw and Karen Matheson. Scotland’s biggest Gaelic Cultural Festival, will return to Oban this autumn for the first time since 2009 and the nine day spectacular will take place from Friday, October 9, until Saturday the 17th.

Read more...

Related Links

Royal National Mod comes home to Oban (Press & Journal, 17 September 2015)

Gaelic plan 'could cost Aberdeenshire Council more than £300,000'

14 September 2015 (BBC News)

Implementing the Gaelic Language Plan could cost Aberdeenshire Council more than £300,000, councillors are to be told this week.

The Gaelic Language Act has the aim of securing it as an official language of Scotland, commanding equal respect with English.

It would cost more than £200,000 to make changes to road signs and introduce a bilingual logo.

Read more...

Related Links

Aberdeenshire taxpayers to fork out £300k for Gaelic plan (The Scotsman, 15 September 2015)

Taxpayers could foot the bill for six-figure Gaelic language plan (The Courier, 15 September 2015)

Dotaman: He's back ... a welcome return for a Gaelic legend

10 September 2015 (The National)

NOT who, what – Dotaman, meaning “spinning top”, was a long-running Gaelic kids TV programme featuring music, learning and puppets.

It was fronted by folk musician Donnie MacLeod, who, after about 400 episodes, became so synonymous with the show that audiences began to refer to him as “the Dotaman”.

Now, 30 years after grabbing his acoustic guitar for the first show, MacLeod’s contribution to Gaelic and children’s broadcasting will be celebrated in an anniversary show on BBC Alba.

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Why does Gaelic make people so angry?

8 September 2015 (BBC News)

What's it called - Cumbernauld? OK, but what does it mean? The standard definition comes from the Gaelic name "Comar nan Allt" - "the coming together of the waters".

A 32ft Andy Scott sculpture of a woman framed by arcs of water even brings the meaning to life every day for drivers on the M80.

Simple enough you might think, but how about putting the Gaelic on the signpost? Now that's a whole other kettle of fish.

Or should that be mermaids? Or indeed maighdeanan mhara? But why do people get so angry about Gaelic?

Read more...

Gary Elliot: The best way to support Gaelic is to learn it, and here's how to do it

3 September 2015 (CommonSpace)

CommonSpace columnist Gary Elliot says the best way to combat negativity around Gaelic is to learn it and cement its place in Scotland.

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Reign & Gaels: Daily Record launches Gaelic awards nominations for night hosted by Cathy MacDonald

28 August 2015 (Daily Record)

Calling all Gaels – we’re looking for entries for the annual Gaelic Awards that recognise your contribution to Scottish life.

In its third year, we are proud to launch the 2015 campaign with sponsors Bòrd Na Gàidhlig. The awards celebrate dozens of ­individuals and community organisations who have made a huge difference to the Gaelic world and we are encouraging readers to nominate them.

Nominations can be made up to 25 September 2015.

Read more...

SQA vacancies - Visiting Assessors for AH Modern Languages

28 August 2015 (SQA)

SQA is currently seeking to recruit additional Visiting Assessors (VA) to conduct Talking assessments at Advanced Higher level in Modern Languages.

Applications can be found following the relevant links below. You will also find information here relating to contract specification, selection criteria and key performance measures.

Closing date for all applications: 1 November 2015.

e-bulletin for Gaelic education

28 August 2015 (Education Scotland)

The latest e-bulletin for Gaelic education has been published by Education Scotland and includes information on the following:

  • Gaelic Education Seminar at the Scottish Learning Festival
  • Education Scotland delivering 2 seminars at An t-Alltan
  • Key messages from Education Scotland's Advice on Gaelic Education
  • Support for the Advanced Higher - resources on Glow
  • A 1+2 Approach to Language Learning and GME
  • Social Enterprise Academy 4-day Leadership Award for teachers in GME
  • Read, Write Count – Leugh, Sgrìobh, Cunntais
  • Cuilean Craicte - chapter books for inderpendent readers (aged 7-12)
  • Ceòlas Uibhist Ltd - professional learning courses


Outlander Gaelic coach saves rare Dalriada dialect

21 August 2015 (Scotsman)

THE man who taught the cast of Outlander to speak Gaelic has saved a rare dialect of the language from dying out - by teaching it to his own children.

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Related Links

Parents call for more teachers at Skye Gaelic school

21 August 2015 (BBC)

Parents of pupils at Scotland's first Gaelic school with an English medium unit have opposed what they see as a cut in teacher numbers.

Read more...

Related Links

700 sign petition as Skye school drops Gaelic teacher (The Times, 24 August 2015)

Call for retention of Gaelic teaching post rejected (BBC News, 27 August 2015)

Scottish Gaelic Awards 2015 – now open for nominations

21 August 2015 (Bòrd na Gàighlig)

Nominations for the 2015 Scottish Gaelic Awards are now open. The awards reward all aspects of the Gaelic culture, education and language highlighting the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage. Education Scotland are delighted to sponsor the Innovation in Education and Learner Awards. Visit the Scottish Gaelic Awards website for more information and to submit a nomination today. Nominations must be submitted by Friday 25 September 2015.

Read more...

New £7m Gaelic language school opens in Caol

19 August 2015 (BBC News)

The four-classroom building in Caol, near Fort William, has space available for future expansion if the school roll rises.

Its other facilities include a nursery class, a library, indoor gymnasium and multi use games area.

Highland Council hopes the school will become a Gaelic language hub for Lochaber.

Read more...

Word Wizard 2015 final - now with photos!

13 August 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

After announcing the Word Wizard 2015 prizewinners back in June, we have now published the photos from the Final in the Scottish Parliament on 29th May. 

Visit our Word Wizard 2015 Final webpage for the full list of prizewinners and to view the photos via our Flickr album. 

You can download any of the photos by right clicking on the image and selecting 'Save as'.

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Language study bounces back after a decade of decline

10 August 2015 (The Herald)

A long-term decline in the number of pupils studying languages at Higher appears to have been reversed.

New figures show most modern languages have seen an increase in entries in 2015 after years where numbers have fallen.

Statistics from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) show French has seen a 10 per cent increase with entries rising to 4,572.

Spanish continues a remarkable rise over the past decade with entries rising 28 per cent to 2413.

Read more...

Insight: Why Scots face a language barrier

8 August 2015 (The Scotsman)

Our children’s lack of foreign language skills cry out for a shake-up in education policy, and yet constant upheaval in our schools may be one of the problems, writes Dani Garavelli.

Read more...

Plans for new Gaelic school in Portree on Skye approved

5 August 2015 (BBC News)

Planning permission has been given for a new £8m Gaelic medium education primary school in Portree on Skye. [..] The new school is expected to open to pupils in 2017.

Read more...

Related Links

Plans for Skye's Gaelic primary get green light (The Herald, 4 August 2015)

First and Second Level Modern Languages Learning Map Updates

27 July 2015 (Education Scotland)

Updates to first and second level learning maps are now available on the Education Scotland website.

Read more...

Media Release: Highly-acclaimed Gaelic theatre production goes national and international

23 July 2015 (All Media Scotland)

Following on from the success of its national tour earlier this year, Sequamur, the highly-acclaimed Gaelic World War One theatre production, will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from the 18th to the 24th of August 2015.

Pròiseact nan Ealan (The Gaelic Arts Agency) are also delighted to announce that the production will stage performances at the East Belfast Arts Festival in Northern Ireland, the Platform Theatre, London, before concluding the tour with a special performance in Ypres, Belgium.

Sequamur – written by Isle of Lewis writer Donald S. Murray – tells the poignant story of William J. Gibson, who was rector of the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway between 1894 and 1925.

The play portrays the grief and guilt felt by Gibson who encouraged his pupils to fight in the conflict.

The 60-minute play is performed in Gaelic but is designed to be fully accessible to all, with live simultaneous translation via headphones for people who do not speak Gaelic.

Read more...

BBC review to look at whether Gaelic broadcasting offers value for money

16 July 2015 (The Herald)

Funding for Gaelic broadcasting could be reduced after ministers questioned whether or not the service offered taxpayers value for money.

The Conservative government has launched a review of the size and ambition of the BBC as part of the renewal of the corporation's royal charter.

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Review of Bord na Gaidhlig long overdue, says professor

15 July 2015 (BBC)

An academic who advised Scottish ministers to set up Gaelic development body Bord na Gaidhlig has said a review of its work was "long overdue".

Prof Donald Meek said the 12-year-old Inverness-based organisation needed to "look seriously" at its purpose.

Read more...

Education Grants for Gaelic Teaching Students 2015-2016

13 July 2015 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has set up this fund to support those currently working towards a career in Gaelic teaching. Applications for funding should be submitted to Bòrd na Gàidhlig as soon as possible and no later than Tuesday 15th September 2015.

Read more...

East Ren plan to boost Gaelic language use

6 July 2015 (The Extra)

Residents in East Renfrewshire are being asked their views on a new draft Gaelic language plan.

The ERC plan is aimed at promoting and developing the use of the language, from encouraging communication with it to integrating it into day-to-day council business.

The council proposed making certain documents available in Gaelic, as well as having a Gaelic language section of its website.

The proposals are part of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 passed by Scottish Government, aiming to secure the language status as an official Scottish tongue.

Read more...

Left Foot Forward: a crowdsourced Scots dictionary means we can ensure our linguistic legacy

6 July 2015 (The Herald)

Before the meteoric rise in printing technology, most European nations were a hodgepodge of dialects and linguistic variations. More of a flowing fabric of interwoven words across the continent, than our current situation of bounded nation-states.

With the popularity of print publications came the need to standardise written languages - translating every book into the hundreds of French dialects would have been an unwieldy and costly project, much more complicated than developing dictionaries for people to learn the standard.

Thusly, the new and increasingly ubiquitous print media at the time effected spoken variations, with institutions like L'Academie Francaise established with the sole role of linguistic arbiter; policing the nation's speakers to communicate 'properly'.

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Airbrushing Gaelic from Scotland's story

4 July 2015 (The Herald)

Visitors are denied a real understanding of Scotland because the tourism industry obscures the true story of Gaelic Scotland and allows historical nonsense to be promoted, important new research has found.

The author challenges VistScotland to take steps to prevent "just any Tom Dick and Harry setting themselves up to take money from unsuspecting tourists" by talking rubbish to them about the Highlands and Islands, when they know little.

Read more...

Related Links

Has Scotland betrayed its Gaelic heritage? (The Herald, 4 July 2015)

Media Release: Star of Outlander launches new-look Gaelic learners’ website

25 June 2015 (All Media Scotland)

GAELIC learner and star of Outlander, Gary Lewis, today (Thursday 25 June) launched the new-look Gaelic learners’ website, LearnGaelic.scot.

LearnGaelic.scot is the popular interactive website that provides a first stop for anyone interested in learning Gaelic with a new emphasis on adult learners.

Read more...

Related Links

Outlander star Gary Lewis launches Gaelic website (The Herald, 25 June 2015)

MSP raises concern about Gaelic education

23 June 2015 (Press and Journal)

A north MSP has raised concerns after the number of students sitting exams in Gaelic fell by 21%.

And newly released figures also showed that the number of pupils passing the first year of national exams dropped by 25%.

Rhoda Grant, Scottish Labour Highlands and Islands MSP questioned what efforts were being made by the Scottish Government to promote study of the language.

Read more...

Gaelic broadcaster turns its ambitions to foreign screens

22 June 2015 (The Herald)

Scotland's Gaelic broadcaster is to broaden its horizons to international TV and productions, and increase its appeal to young viewers.

MG Alba, which with the BBC runs BBC Alba, publishes its annual report today, which is expected to show that Gaelic broadcasting contributes £23m to the creative industries.

The company is now to re-emphasise its international credentials, encouraging production companies to work with foreign companies to make programmes that can be shown at home and abroad.

Read more...

It is important that the Scots language survives

22 June 2015 (The Herald)

From Herald Scotland letters pages

I would like to take a broader view of the languages currently and previously spoken in Scotland than expressed by Alexander Waugh (Letters, June 19).

For this discussion we should bypass the Scots whose language inheritance is from the Indian sub-continent, China, Eastern Europe or even south of the Border.

Read more...

Word Wizard 2015 Final!

18 June 2015 (SCILT/CISS)

On Friday 29th May 42 talented linguists competed in the National Finals of Word Wizard 2015. 

Visit our 2015 Final webpage to read all about this year's event and our impressive competitors. Photos from the event will be published soon.

Read more...

Gaelic schools plans 'misjudged' says Cosla

16 June 2015 (BBC News)

Proposed changes to the law to make it easier for parents to ask a council to provide Gaelic education are misjudged, according to council body Cosla.

The new Education Bill would place an obligation on councils to investigate the case for a Gaelic Medium Unit whenever parents ask for one.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic education should be legal right, MSPs told (The Scotsman, 16 June 2015)

Mod sees entrants come from all over Scotland to celebrate Gaelic

15 June 2015 (The Courier)

The Perthshire and Angus Provincial Mod has been hailed a “huge success”, attracting over 500 entries from across Scotland.

“The high standards of Gaelic across the board are a credit to the teachers who supported it,” said Gilliain MacDonald, treasurer and interim secretary of the Mod.

The event was held at the Breadalbane Community Campus, Aberfeldy, on Friday and Saturday and competitors came from as far afield as Mull and the Isle of Lewis.

Read more...

Celebrating 30 years of Gaelic-medium education

9 June 2015 (Education Scotland)

Staff and young people from schools, local authorities and organisations across Scotland got together in Inverness today (9 June 2015) to celebrate 30 years of Gaelic-medium education. A conference, hosted by Education Scotland, provided a perfect opportunity for this celebration and an opportunity to share Education Scotland's recently published Advice on Gaelic Education.

The Advice, published in February of this year, supports practitioners and local authorities in evaluating and planning for improvement in Gaelic education. It is based on evidence from inspections, reviews and validated self-evaluation, covering all sectors of Gaelic education; and other engagements with a wide range of stakeholders over the period 2012-14. It supports the National Gaelic Language Plan 2012-17 by giving guidance on how high quality experiences can be achieved in both Gaelic learner and Gaelic-medium education.

Read more...

Playwrights’ Studio Scotland – Gaelic Mentoring Programme 2015

8 June 2015 (SALT)

Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland invites applications for a new Gaelic Mentoring Programme. This Programme is funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and provides an exciting opportunity for two Gaelic writers to develop their skills within the craft of playwriting.

Both writers will receive six mentoring sessions over a nine month period and a shared development workshop on their scripts with a professional director and actors. There will be at least one theatre trip during this time, as well as supporting workshops and opportunities to meet a range of industry professionals. Application deadline 10 July 2015.

More information is available on the SALT website.

Read more...

Warning to parents over new Gaelic laws

25 May 2015 (The Herald)

Plans for new legislation to expand Gaelic education will create unrealistic expectations from parents, councils have warned.

Cosla, the umbrella body for local authorities, said a lack of Gaelic teachers and scarcity of funding would make it impossible to meet the expected growth in demand.

The warning came in a submission to a Scottish Government's consultation on its proposed new Education (Scotland) Bill which introduces a requirement for local authorities and ministers to report to how they are closing the attainment gap between rich and poor.

Read more...

Gaelic e-bulletin

22 May 2015 (Education Scotland)

The latest edition of the Gaelic e-bulletin has been published by Education Scotland. Items include:

  • New resources from E-stòras for literature in primary and secondary and interview skills
  • How Fèisgoil can assist with delivering a programme of Gaelic language, song, music, culture and dance within your school
  • A writing competitions for Gaelic Medium and Learners.
  • A course from Stòrlann which aims to equip teachers with the Gaelic language skills and methodology to deliver Gaelic in English medium as L2 o3 L3. Learning materials for use with children are also being developed.

Related Files

SNP MPs take House of Commons oath 'Scottish style'

20 May 2015 (BBC News)

Scotland's new SNP MPs have sworn allegiance to the Queen during the traditional oath taking ceremony at the House of Commons. There are 50 new nationalist members at Westminster, joining six SNP MPs who were re-elected from the 2010 intake. The MPs took their oaths in the Scottish style, which involves holding the right hand in the air. Each was required to read the passage in English, but a number also performed it in Gaelic and Scots.

Read more...

Revealing the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire’ In Four New Languages to Mark World Whisky Day

14 May 2015 (Scotland Food & Drink)

Zum Wohl (German), Saúde (Portugese), Santé (French), gān bēi (Chinese), Sláinte (Gaelic) or cheers (English) – there are many ways to toast a dram around the world.

To mark World Whisky Day on Saturday (May 16) four new foreign language translations of the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire’ guide are being launched this week by Aberdeenshire Provost, Jill Webster, at Glenglassaugh Distillery near Portsoy.

Working in partnership with local whisky producers, Aberdeenshire Council established the ‘Secret Malts of Aberdeenshire’ last year to highlight the less well-known range of small distilleries all within an hour’s drive of Aberdeen, each with its own distinctive history, style and taste.

The guide has been well received by the tourism industry and the printing of the German language version was sponsored by a German tour company specialising in Scotch whisky tours.

The Portuguese, French and Chinese versions of the guide have been produced in response to demand from key international tourism markets.

Read more...

New Dyslexia Scotland publication in Gaelic

13 May 2015 (Dyslexia Scotland)

Dyslexia Scotland is pleased to announce the launch of one of its publications in Gaelic. ‘Dè th’ann an diosleacsia?’ gives an overview of dyslexia, including a definition, as well as the strengths and barriers associated with dyslexia.

Dr Fiona Lyon, Educational Consultant, said: ‘The possibility that pupils receiving Gaelic medium education may have dyslexia will be just as relevant as for pupils receiving their education in English; therefore it is important that Gaelic medium teachers and parents are aware of the barriers associated with dyslexia and how they may affect an individual."

Dyslexia Scotland has developed a number of tools to help teachers including a free online Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit which includes information about pupils in Gaelic medium education.

Read more...

Streap: Postgraduate course for Gaelic teachers

11 May 2015 (Scottish Government)

Streap, the postgraduate course for Gaelic teachers, is seeking new recruits for 2015-16.

Find out more about the course and application process on Aberdeen University's website.

Read more...

DreamWorks' Dragons series adapted for Gaelic audience

1 May 2015 (BBC News)

DreamWorks animation Dragons - Defenders of Berk has been adapted for a Gaelic audience.
The TV series is a spin off of the How To Train Your Dragon films, which are based on children's stories written by Cressida Cowell.  The author's tales are influenced by childhood holidays spent in the Inner Hebrides.

The characters in Defenders of Berk have been given Gaelic voices so it can be screened on BBC Alba.

Read more...

#Gàidhlig Twitter Day 2015

29 April 2015 (Stornoway Gazette)

The second Latha Twitter na #Gàidhlig takes place this Thursday. It is easy for everyone to take part by logging on to Twitter and sending Tweets using the #Gàidhlig hashtag as well as following the conversation and ReTweeting.

Read more...

Comann nam Pàrant, Newsletter and Conference

27 April 2015 (Comann nam Pàrant)

The national organisation that advises and supports parents/carers of those in Gaelic Medium Education (GME) has published a newsletter.  In this newsletter you will learn of:

  • Education Scotland’s Advice on Gaelic Education
  • Activities to raise awareness of the benefits of GME
  • Forthcoming conference on 9 May 2015 for parents/carers of children and young people in GME. To register for this event, contact fios@parant.org.uk

New resources for Gaelic Learner and Medium Education

27 April 2015 (Education Scotland)

New resources for Gaelic Learner and Medium Education

  • National 5 Modern Studies Democracy in Scotland
  • National 3, 4, 5, Higher Media and glossary of terminology
  • National 2 Physical Education, Food, health and wellbeing, Business in Practice and Lifeskills Maths.
  • Advanced Higher Gàidhlig and History.
  • Advanced Higher Gaelic (Learners).

Please visit Glow for previously published support materials, National 3, 4, 5 and Higher Gàidhlig, Gaelic (Learners), and Gaelic Medium mathematics, Lifeskills mathematics, geography, history, modern studies.

Posted in: Gaelic, Resources

SB 15-19 Education (Scotland) Bill

23 April 2015 (Scottish Parliament)

The Education (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on 23 March 2015. It covers a range of school policy issues, in particular school attainment and Gaelic-medium Education. This briefing sets out the legislative and policy context of the proposals.

Read more...

Gaelic pupils helping tackle dementia

8 April 2015 (BBC News)

Pupils in Inverness are helping native Gaelic speakers who have been diagnosed with dementia.
A care home has been welcoming the Gaelic-speaking school children to help residents retain their memories.

Watch the video report from BBC Scotland's Huw Williams.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic conversations help Inverness dementia sufferers (BBC News, 8 April 2015)

Stars of big screen out for Gaelic film awards

31 March 2015 (Stornoway Gazette)

Stars of the big screen turned out in Glasgow on Friday to present a number of awards at the seventh National Gaelic Film Awards ceremony.

MG ALBA, the Gaelic Media Service, was celebrating another successful FilmG competition, its prestigious Gaelic screen talent awards, which were held at The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow and hosted by Fiona MacKenzie, face of BBC ALBA, and Niall Iain Macdonald, TV & radio presenter.

Read more...

Insular, parochial and narrowly nationalist: Scotland's anti-Gaelic bigots

26 March 2015 (The Herald)

It's been a decade since a Labour-led Holyrood gave Gaelic "equal respect" with English.
But still - in these times of shrill constitutional politics - the language is far from equal and far from respected.

Only this week columns of a rightist newspaper were filled with talk of "subsidising" Gaelic education - as if English-medium schools were not paid for by the public purse too.

Recently a senior advisor to Jim Murphy, former No 10 spin doctor John McTernan, tweeted his ire that Gaelic signposts were put at railway stations with purely English names.

This from a senior official in a party that - to its great credit - drove through the legislation that enshrined "parity of esteem" for Gaelic and thus paved the way for bilingual signage.

He is not alone. Scotland is still soaked with largely unexamined anti-Gaelic sentiment that, at times, spills in to self-hating bigotry.

The Gaelophobe rhetoric is easy to spot: funding for the language is to slow down its inevitable death, very probably as part of some kind of "narrow nationalist" SNP plot.

Gaelic supporters will tell you such bilious comment is subsiding. Scots, they reckon, are wisening up to the now well-evidenced educational and cultural advantages of bilingualism.

Read more...

Church of Scotland holds conference to promote Gaelic language

21 March 2015 (The Herald)

The Church of Scotland is holding a conference designed to promote the Gaelic language.

Around 50 delegates have gathered in the centre of Glasgow for the event, the first of its kind to be hosted by the Kirk.

The conference was organised after the Church's future Moderator, Rev Dr Angus Morrison, identified an "urgent need" for the Kirk to do more to promote the language.

Those attending the event at St George's Tron Church in Buchanan Street are hearing speakers on topics such as developments in Gaelic broadcasting, worship and resources.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic push by Church of Scotland (Stornoway Gazette, 24 March 2015)

Gaelic e-bulletin March 2015

20 March 2015 (Education Scotland)

The latest Gaelic e-bulletin has been published by Education Scotland. Stories include:

  • Publication of 'Advice on Gaelic education'
  • 1+2 updates
  • Audit to ascertain priorities for Professional Learning for Gaelic education
  • Glow TV and GME
  • Support for Gaelic across all stages

Related Files

Gaelic adaptation of Compton MacKenzie's Whisky Galore

18 March 2015 (BBC News)

A new modern re-telling of Compton MacKenzie's book Whisky Galore in Gaelic is to be taken on a tour of village halls and arts centres.

The sinking of the cargo ship SS Politician off Eriskay in 1941 was the inspiration for MacKenzie's story. The book was later adapted for a famous Ealing comedy of the same name.

The story has now been turned into a play by Iain Finlay Macleod and will be performed across the Highlands and also in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

It will be performed almost entirely in Gaelic, with English subtitles, and adult audience members will be offered a dram at lunch-time and evening performances.

Read more...

Gaelic drama Bannan to get 10 new episodes

17 March 2015 (BBC News)

Gaelic drama Bannan has been re-commissioned for a further 10 episodes.

The BBC Alba series, filmed on Skye, is the first Gaelic drama to be made since Machair in the 1990s.

The first episodes were aired last autumn and five new episodes are in post production. The 10 others are in development.

Bannan has been shortlisted alongside Sherlock and Shetland in the drama series award at next month's Celtic Media Festival in Inverness.

Read more...

Post graduate certificate - Streap (Gaelic Medium Education)

17 March 2015 (University of Aberdeen)

Aberdeen University and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig invite applications for the post graduate certificate, Streap, from practitioners in early learning and childcare centres, primary and secondary schools.

This distance-learning course forms part of master-level learning. It has a particular focus on terminology, skills and knowledge connected to teaching in Gaelic Medium Education.

For more information, please contact sp.smo@uhi.ac.uk or visit the Aberdeen University website. This course is fully funded by the Scottish Government.

Read more...

Audit of Career-Long Professional Learning (CLPL) - Primary GME

2 March 2015 (Education Scotland)

As part of the Gaelic Language Plan, Education Scotland is auditing the CLPL needs of staff both in the Gaelic Medium and Gaelic Learner settings. The findings of this audit will be used to plan future programmes of professional learning for staff. Please take a few moments to complete the survey.

Read more...

Fife councillors want to keep close eye on Gaelic spending

25 February 2015 (The Courier)

Councillors have called for regular monitoring of any costs associated with the promotion of the Gaelic language in Fife.

While members of Fife Council’s environment, finance and corporate services scrutiny committee were assured by council officials that there would be no costs in excess of a recently received £12,000 grant, a consensus was reached that monitoring should still take place.

The matter was referred to the scrutiny committee after a heated debate at the council’s executive committee on February 3. During that meeting, battle lines were drawn over whether Scottish Government efforts to safeguard Gaelic will be a drain on cash-strapped local authority resources or an invaluable opportunity to safeguard the future of a declining language.

The council has a statutory responsibility under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 to publish a Gaelic Language Plan by February 28.

Read more...

New resource for Gaelic Medium Education: Weather & Climate Change and Media

24 February 2015 (Education Scotland)

The Education Scotland website, Weather and Climate Change, is now available through the medium of Gaelic. This is aimed at providing practitioners with resources to help them include climate change within the curriculum for Gaelic Medium Education.

Resources for Media Studies National 3, National 4, National 5 and Higher for GME are now also available on Glow (login required).

Other Education Scotland websites that are available through the medium of Gaelic are: Scotland's HistoryScotland's Songs, Scotland's Stories, and Scots and Canada.

Read more...

Lewis community given Gaelic development officer

23 February 2015 (The Scotsman)

A Gaelic development officer has been appointed in a Lewis community - where 70 per cent of the population already speak the language. Euan Macleod has taken on the role at Bragar and Arnol Community Trust, set up in 2012 to benefit the area’s 600 population.

The new post is being funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Bòrd na Gàidhlig as a pilot collaborative project which aims to develop a sustainable community hub, with Gaelic at its core.

Read more...

Donald Meek Award 2015

23 February 2015 (Education Scotland blog)

The Gaelic Books Council is inviting submissions for the Donald Meek Award 2015 which aims to encourage new and creative writing. This may be poetry, short stories, novels or drama. Academic works and research studies written in English related to Gaelic are also invited.

Applications must be submitted by Friday 3 April 2015.

Read more...

Advice on Gaelic Education

18 February 2015 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has just published Advice on Gaelic Education.  This Advice provides important information on the national context, and describes best practice to support practitioners and local authorities in evaluating and planning for improvement in Gaelic Education. It is based on evidence from inspections, reviews and validated self evaluation, covering all sectors of Gaelic Education; and other engagements with a wide range of stakeholders over the period 2012-14.

Education Scotland will use this Advice in inspections to support professional dialogue and learning when engaging with practitioners; and as an agenda for discussion with partners.

Download the resource from the Education Scotland website.

Read more...

Gaelic play portrays the guilt of a headmaster who encouraged young islanders to head to the trenches

17 February 2015 (The Herald)

A play in Gaelic that portrays the grief and guilt of an island headmaster who encouraged pupils to fight in the First World War, will tour across Scotland for the first time next month.
[..] The 60 minute play is performed in Gaelic but is designed to be fully assessable to all, with live simultaneous translation via headphones for people who do not speak Gaelic. Afternoon workshops and performances suitable for schools in each region will also be provided.

Read more...

Education Scotland Gaelic e-bulletin

13 February 2015 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has published its latest Gaelic e-bulletin. The e-bulletin includes information on Gaelic and the 1+2 policy, including 1+2 in Gaelic Medium Education, 1+2 with Gaelic Learner Education and the promotion of Learning about Gaelic Language and Culture as part of Scotland's identity.

Read the bulletin below.

Peak practice: Lessons offered on hills' Gaelic names

10 February 2015 (BBC News)

Climbers and hillwalkers unsure about how to pronounce Gaelic names of Scotland's hills and mountains are being offered lessons.

The Fort William Mountain Festival and Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, have teamed up to offer the class.

Read more...

Related Links

Walkers get Gaelic lessons (The Herald, 11 February 2015)  

Fort William festival Gaelic session will help you sort a meall from a sgurr (Grough Magazine, 10 February 2015) 

Six Western Isles primary schools given Gaelic status

6 February 2015 (BBC)

Six primaries where lessons are mainly taught in English will switch to learning in Gaelic later this year.

Bernera, Breasclete, Castlebay, Iochdar, Leverhulme Memorial and Sgoil an Taobh Siar on the Western Isles have been given Gaelic Schools Status.

Learning and Scotland's Languages Minister Dr Alasdair Allan made the announcement during a visit to Breasclete School.

In 1986 it was the first school on the islands to offer pupils Gaelic.

Dr Allan said: "The Scottish government has been happy to provide the capital support to the project and hopes that other schools will see the benefit from the status that Gaelic can bring.

"This is a milestone in the delivery of Gaelic primary education in Scotland, which has an important role in developing future generations of speakers."

Read more...

Next Moderator wants more Gaelic in the Kirk

5 February 2015 (The Herald)

Scotland's national church should embrace imaginative new initiatives to promote the use of Gaelic, according to the man who will next lead the Kirk.

Rev Dr Angus Morrison, the Moderator Designate of the Church of Scotland, will speak at a conference in Glasgow next month to encourage the use of the language in the church. He is urging those with an interest in promoting Gaelic to register for the event.

Read more...

Related Links

Church to host Gaelic conference (Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra, 5 February 2015) 

Church announces event to promote Gaelic language and worship (Stornoway Gazette, 3 February 2015)

Claims of ‘bigotry’ as councillors clash over promotion of Gaelic in Fife

4 February 2015 (The Courier)

Councillors have been accused of “vile and bigoted” behaviour in a furious row over promotion of the Gaelic language in Fife.

Battlelines were drawn over whether Scottish Government efforts to safeguard Gaelic will be a drain on cash-strapped Fife Council’s resources or an invaluable opportunity to safeguard the future of a declining language.

Councillors were split over whether the promotion of Gaelic language and culture in Fife could be justified.

Read more...

Related Links

Accusations of bigotry in clash over Gaelic language (Fife Today, 4 February 2015)

Fife’s Gaelic debate ‘not a party political issue’ (The Courier, 11 February 2015)

Record entries to Gaelic's FilmG short film competition

28 January 2015 (BBC News)

The national Gaelic short film competition FilmG has had its highest number of entries since the contest first launched in 2008.  The 79 submissions include 51 to the youth category.

Read more...

Related Links

Media Release: Highest number of entries yet for Gaelic short film competition (All Media Scotland, 29 January 2015)

Holyrood launch of Gaelic spell checker

28 January 2015 (The Herald)

A Gaelic spell checker for Microsoft Office has been officially launched at the Scottish Parliament.
The resource, containing a database of approximately 547,000 forms, was funded by statutory language body Bòrd na Gà idhlig and created as a writing support material for the language. The project was conceived by linguist and lexicographer Leo McNeir and Gaelic scholar the late Dr. Roy Wentworth.

Their hopes were that the spell checker would provide users of Microsoft Office services such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, more confidence to use the language in a wide range of formal and informal settings such as in education and business and via social media. Also that it would help standardise Gaelic spelling which, until fairly recently, varied from region to region.

Read more...

Related Links

Microsoft Office Heads North Of The Border With Scottish Gaelic Support (Tech Week Europe, 28 January 2015)

Minister for Scotland’s Languages Launches Gaelic Spell-checker (Stornoway Gazette, 29 January 2015)

Gaelic recognised in Arizona

20 January 2015 (The Herald)

A university research scientist has been honoured for her work for the Gaelic cause in an unlikely outpost of the language, the US city of Tucson.

Muriel Fisher, who works in an area best known for its arid climate, has just been awarded the prize at a ceremony in Arizona.  Ms Fisher, who is a native speaker from Skye, is based at the University of Arizona in its linguistics department. She has now been awarded the Excellence in Community Linguistics Award from the Linguistic Society of America.

Ms Fisher has been teaching Gaelic there for many years, privately in her Tucson Gaelic Institute. But since 2008, she has also been working with various linguists at the university.

Read more...

Yakety Yak Language Cafés

15 January 2015 (Yakety Yak Language Café)

Want to improve your conversational skills in another language?  Yakety Yak Language Café offers opportunities to speak French, Spanish, German, Italian, Gaelic, Portuguese, Chinese or Russian in Edinburgh.

Sessions are held in cafés, bistros and bars and are suitable for those with a basic knowledge of the language and the ability to hold a simple conversation.  A number of options are available both daytime and evening.

Check out the Yakety Yak Language Café website for more information.

Read more...

Get to grips with Gaelic

13 January 2015 (STV News)

Dundee University is offering learners a chance to brush up on their Gaelic, with a number of courses in the language.

Read more...

Google urged to go Gaelic

23 December 2014 (The Courier)

Internet giants Google are being urged to add the Gaelic language to the database of its widely used online translation service.

It follows a successful campaign in New Zealand which resulted in the search engine service agreeing to include Maori to its translator app, despite a core number of just 30,000 speakers.

Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser called on the Scottish Government and the taxpayer-funded Gaelic Board to work with Google to feature the centuries-old Celtic tongue alongside Welsh and Irish.

Read more...

Experts call for BBC Alba subtitles in Gaelic

21 December 2014 (The Scotsman)

Aspiring Gaelic speakers could be helped by adding Gaelic subtitles to programmes broadcast on BBC Alba, language campaigners claim.

The move is supported by the website Gàidhlig TV, which promotes the learning of the language. Lisa Storey, the writer behind the campaign, said the absence of Gaelic subtitles on the Gaelic television channel hinders the ability of people to become fluent in all aspects of the language. Currently only English subtitles appear on screen.

Read more...

SQA External Examiner's Higher Modern Languages reports 2014 - key messages

18 December 2014 (SCILT)

We have extracted and summarised the key messages from the SQA external examiner's reports for Higher Modern Languages 2014, which can be found on our website.

Read more...

Jimmy Begg gives Alice in Wonderland a Scots revamp

10 December 2014 (Cumnock Chronicle)

An author from New Cumnock is taking part in a worldwide attempt to translate a classic children’s story into as many languages as possible — by using the Mithir Tung o’ Rabbie Burns.

Dr Jimmy Begg had taken on the challenge, which will mark the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, written by Lewis Carroll in 1865, and involves a group of internationally renowned academics.

Since the first German and French versions of the tale were published in 1869, it has been translated into 48 different languages, including Maori, Swahili, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Hungarian, Korean, Bengali, Esperanto, Thai, Hebrew, Hindi, and Urdu.

As part of the anniversary project, more will be added including 11 Scots languages, and three Gaelic, as well as some more obscure versions such as Tongan and Zulu.

Read more...

Scottish and Irish gaelic website launched

9 December 2014 (The Scotsman)

A new website aimed at increasing Gaelic cultural tourism between Scotland and Ireland has been launched in the Highlands.

TurasG will build on the links between the Scottish Gaidhealtachd and Ireland’s Gaeltacht.

World-renowned singer Julie Fowlis, fresh from the Scottish Music Awards, where she became the first Gaelic artist to be recognised alongside stars such as Annie Lennox, Paulo Nutini and Simple Minds, unveiled the new website at the HighlandLife Archive Centre in Inverness.

TurasG is an initiative of the European Union funded CeangalG project which has been working since last year to enhance business components to the cultural links already in existence between the Gaelic speakers of Scotland and their Irish Gaeilge-speaking counterparts.

The aim of TurasG is to inform the visitor to Scotland’s Gaidhealtachd or Ireland’s Gaeltacht of the opportunities available to explore the unrivalled heritage and culture of their destination.

Read more...

Consultation on Gaelic Medium Education Bill: Analysis of written responses

9 December 2014 (Scottish Government)

A consultation paper was issued in July 2014 seeking views on proposals on how best to introduce an entitlement to Gaelic Medium Education. The responses will help inform the development of the policies, the guidance and draft legislation.

Access the analysis of responses on the Scottish Government website.

Read more...

A new book club to support Gaelic Medium Education

9 December 2014 (Cuilean Craicte)

A new book club, Cuilean Cràicte, is being established to support children and young people in Gaelic Medium Education (GME). It will be run by a group of volunteers which includes professional publishers, translators and parents of those in GME. The book club will make available each month a Gaelic chapter book. This will feature hot off the press translations of books by popular authors such as Terry Deary and Frank Cottrell Boyce. The benefits to children and young people include

  • fostering an interest in reading 
  • encouraging independence in reading 
  • supporting skills in literacy and Gaelic 
  • helping to improve vocabulary 
  • helping to increase fluency in Gaelic.

If you wish to join the club, please do so by 15 December 2014. A minimum number of subscribers is required to enable this club to run. For additional information, please visit the Cuilean Craicte website.

Read more...

Gaelic ‘at Glasgow University for over 500 years’

8 December 2014 (The Scotsman)

One of Scotland’s oldest universities has had a continuous presence of Gaelic speakers for more than 500 years, a new study has found.

Researchers found that the Gaelic presence at the University of Glasgow dates back to the 15th century, 450 years before Gaelic was available as a subject of study at the institution.

The findings were made during research for the Sgeul na Gaidhlig aig Oilthigh Ghlaschu’ / ‘Gaelic Story at the University of Glasgow’ project which reveals the “untold history” of the language at the institution.

Read more...

A future for Gaelic, medium to long term

27 November 2014 (The Herald)

As Gaelic-speaking students from Edinburgh, Dingwall and Stornoway battled for honours in the BT Scotland National Gaelic Schools Debate at Holyrood this week, they demonstrated the worth of every penny spent on Gaelic, whether in education, broadcasting or extra-curricular activities.

Read more...

Whisky Galore in Gaelic and a tour of America as the National Theatre of Scotland reveal 2015 programme

26 November 2014 (Daily Record/Scotland Now)

Two American transfers and a Gaelic version of classic Scots tale Whisky Galore are among the offerings for National Theatre of Scotland's 2015 programme, it was announced today.

A new version of Compston Mackenzie’s legendary liquor yarn is one of several new projects revealed by NTS Artistsic Director Laurie Sansom in Glasgow this morning.

Uisge-Beatha Gu Leòr will be a collaboration between Gaelic theatre company Robhanis and the popular A Play, A Pie and a Pint company. It will tour across Scotland for a month from 9 April.

Read more...

Related Links

National Theatre of Scotland unveils new programme (The Herald, 26 November 2014)

Gaelic Awards: Scots presenter Cathy MacDonald hails our language ahead of prestigious ceremony

18 November 2014 (Daily Record)

The Scottish Gaelic Awards celebrate businesses, teachers, artists, sports groups and young people who promote traditional culture all over the country.

Read more...

Video: Outlander's Gaelic coach Àdhamh Ó Broin gives us a crash course in the beautiful language

17 November 2014 (Daily Record / Scotland Now)

With Outlander expected to be shown on TV in Scotland sometime in 2015, we invited Àdhamh to prepare Scotland Now journalist Paul English for the series' arrival, with a bespoke language crash course.

Read more...

Research reveals value of Gaelic to businesses and communities

11 November 2014 (Stornoway Gazette)

The economic and social value of Gaelic as a unique asset for Scotland is the focus of a pioneering study which is published today (Tuesday).

Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has led a partnership project to research ways in which Gaelic is currently being used to deliver economic and social benefits and how its impact can be maximised.

Entitled Ar Stòras Gàidhlig (Our Gaelic Resource), the report demonstrates how the language is currently being used to add value in a wide variety of circumstances and highlights its considerable potential to bring further benefits.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic could be worth nearly £150million a year (Press and Journal, 12 November 2014)

Gaelic language worth up to £148.5m a year to economy, new study reveals (Scotland Now / Daily Record, 12 November 2014)

Word Wizard 2015 now launched!

30 October 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

Our exciting spelling competition Word Wizard has now officially launched for school session 2014-15!

Visit our Word Wizard 2015 webpage to download the Teacher's Pack and registration form. School are advised to register to take part by Friday 28th November.

Read more...

e-Stòras Shortlisted for Gaelic Award

29 October 2014 (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar)

e-Stòras, which was launched at the beginning of this year, has been shortlisted in the Education in Innovation section at the upcoming Gaelic Awards. The website, which was created by the Multimedia Unit of the Education and Children’s Services Department of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, is part of their remit to create educational resources for pupils in Gaelic Medium Education.
There are 3 main sections to the website; Pre-school, Primary School and Secondary School. The different sections focus on a range of subjects from History, Songs, Language, Culture and Drama. The Secondary section has additional focus on literature and there are a series of short videos about Iain Crichton Smith and Dòmhnall Ruadh Phaislig in addition to An Sgeulachd Ghoirid (The Short Story) which was created over a year ago. All 3 sections are constantly being updated with new materials which will enhance young people’s Gaelic learning opportunities.

The Gaelic Awards will be held in Glasgow on 19 November 2014.

Read more...

Countdown to Gaelic Debate

29 October 2014 (Stornoway Gazette)

With just a week left before the 2014 BT Alba Gaelic Debate begins competitors across the country are busy preparing for this prestigious competition.

Twenty two teams from seventeen schools will be taking part in this year’s competition.
This year sees the competition celebrate its fifteenth birthday with the first competition having been held in 1999.

Since its inception the competition has gone from strength to strength and is now seen as one of the highlights in the academic calendar of Scotland’s secondary schools.

Read more...

Landmark archive of 10 million Gaelic words launched

29 October 2014 (Phys Org)

Researchers have completed the first phase of the world's most extensive digital archive of Scottish Gaelic texts as part of a landmark project to revolutionise access and understanding of the language to public around the world.

The Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic (DASG) project is already the most comprehensive publicly accessible reference point for the Gaelic language and culture, having been worked on by researchers from Celtic and Gaelic at the University of Glasgow for the past eight years.

Read more...

Related Links

First phase of Gaelic archive is put online (The Herald, 30 October 2014)

Young people get advice on pursing a career using their Gaelic skills

29 October 2014 (Skills Development Scotland)

Siuthad! Invites S2 and S3 students to hear about Gaelic careers.

Up to 300 Highland pupils are expected to attend an event designed to inform young people about career options they could pursue using their Gaelic skills.

Siuthad! will bring together a wide range of organisations including the BBC, MG Alba, Feisean nan Gaidheal and Sabhal Mor Ostaig.

Representatives from several industry sectors such as education, television, arts, music, childcare, film, radio, translation and drama will be offering interactive and fun activities for the young people to get involved in.

Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages will also be there to address the S2 and S3 pupils.

Read more...

Comann Luchd-Teagaisg Àrd-Sgoiltean (CLAS)

28 October 2014 (Education Scotland blog)

Visit the CLAS blog for the Association of Teachers of Gaelic for useful information on Gaelic Education, resources and CLAS meeting minutes.

Read more...

Meagre funding for Gaelic learning speaks volumes

24 October 2014 (TESS)

A bid to double the number of Scottish pupils who are taught entirely in Gaelic has fallen prey to “hopeless tokenism”, according to the original minister for the national language.

Brian Wilson, the former Labour MP and minister in the UK government for Scottish education and Gaelic, accused the SNP of lacking commitment to the cause, despite his successor, Dr Alasdair Allan, announcing an extra £50,000 to support the five-year campaign.

Read more...

Former Dundee lord provost says money for Gaelic promotion could be better spent

24 October 2014 (Courier)

Dundee’s former Lord Provost has slammed controversial plans to promote the Gaelic language.

Read more...

Talking point — Dundee reveals plans to make Gaelic part of daily life

23 October 2014 (The Courier)

Dundee City Council has launched plans to introduce Gaelic language into everyday life — despite a tiny amount of the city’s population speaking the language

The plans will see a massive push to boost the popularity of the language, with major changes including Gaelic translations being introduced to Dundee road signs.

There will also be steps taken to make Gaelic a part of the education system, as parents will receive a consultation on whether they want the language taught in schools.

Read more...

Related Links

Only 474 folk speak Gaelic in Dundee, but it could be on signs everywhere (Evening Telegraph, 24 October 2014)

Word Wizard - returning for session 2014-15!

23 October 2014 (SCILT/CISS)

Scotland's National Centre for Languages and Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools, in partnership with The University of St Andrews, are proud to announce the return of Word Wizard for its second year!

Following on from the success of last year's competition we are once again inviting S1-S3 learners of French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish to take part in this spellbinding competition.

We are currently taking registrations of interest from schools and the competition will officially be launched at the end of October 2014. If you would like to receive updates on the competition please email scilt@strath.ac.uk indicating which languages you are interested in entering.

Visit our Word Wizard webpage to download our 2014-15 flyer with more information on the competition. 

Read more...

Gaelic thesaurus of the historical environment launched

23 October 2014 (Island News & Advertiser)

Gaelic speakers and learners can now access specialised Gaelic terminology relating to the historical environment, via an online thesaurus which has been launched as a joint project by Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, with financial support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

The thesaurus contains more than 4,000 terms and is aimed at Gaelic speakers, learners and schools, as well as the general public. It provides terminology relating to areas such as architecture, archaeology and history as well as place-names for many historical sites.

Read more...

Related Links

Past brought to life via Gaelic web thesaurus (Herald, 24 October 2014)

Girlguiding Scotland launches new Gaelic resource

21 October 2014 (Stornoway Gazette)

A Gaelic version of the activity book used by girls when they join local Rainbow units has been launched by the charity Girlguiding Scotland.

‘Ready for Rainbows’ is a resource available to all new Rainbows when they join a local group. The book explains things such as the Rainbow song, uniform and promise to girls who are new to the group, along with activities to complete and games for the girls to play.

The new Gaelic translation – ‘Deiseil Airson Boghan-Froise’ – was developed after several Gaelic-speaking girls joined a Rainbow unit in Skye.

Read more...

University to promote Gaelic language on campuses

20 October 2014 (Scotsman)

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) has announced new plans to promote Gaelic at its 13 centres.

Read more...

Youngsters shine at Mod as Gaelic medium teaching goes on growing

14 October 2014 (Herald)

The growth in the number of children entering Gaelic-medium education in their first primary year is continuing, with a rise of at least 11 per cent to be confirmed for this session.

Read more...

Royal National Mod ready to welcome the world to celebrate Gaelic music and culture

9 October 2014 (Scotland Now)

Inverness is gearing up to give the Royal National Mòd a great welcome as the annual celebration of Gaelic arts, music, culture and language takes place in the Highland capital for the first time since 1997.

Historically, the Gaelic word mòd refers to any kind of assembly, with local mòds as well as the annual national mod, which is organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach (The Highland Association) which was founded in Oban in 1891 and has HM The Queen as its Patron.

The Royal National Mòd is Scotland’s premier festival celebrating its Gaelic linguistic and cultural heritage, with opportunities for people of all ages to perform across a range of competitive areas which include Gaelic music and song, Highland dancing, instrumental, drama, sport and literature.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic's Royal National Mod to start in Inverness (BBC News, 10 October 2014)

Glasgow puts Gaelic on the map

3 October 2014 (Glasgow City Council)

A map highlighting the various Gaelic language classes available across the city has been developed to encourage more people to learn the language and to promote the broad range of opportunities in Glasgow 2014-15.

Read more...

Factfile Pupil Power

23 September 2014 (The Herald)

Exposing pupils to Gaelic education in Scottish schools is seen as essential to the preservation of the language.

According to the 2011 census, the number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland fell by 1.2 per cent over the past decade from 59,000 to 58,000. However, the results show the sharp decline in Gaelic speakers highlighted in the 2001 census - which recorded an 11 per cent drop - has been halted.
And there was also a 0.1 per cent increase in Gaelic speakers aged under 20, which has been welcomed by Scottish ministers.

Iain Campbell, chairman of Gaelic language organisation Bord na Gaidhlig, said at the time that the "marked decrease" in Gaelic speakers recorded in 2001 was now being addressed.

Read more...

Expansion of Gaelic schools hit by lack of fluent staff

23 September 2014 (The Herald)

The rapid expansion of Gaelic school education is providing a major challenge, Scotland's largest local authority has warned.

Glasgow City Council said there were insufficient teachers and support staff to deliver growth - while officials warned funding issues remain concerning. As a result, the council warns it would be foolhardy for the Scottish Government to pass legislation to force councils to meet future demand for Gaelic Medium Education (GME).

The comments from Glasgow City Council - in an official response to a Government consultation on the future of the language - follow a sharp increase in GME across Scotland.

In 2012/13 more than 3000 pupils were receiving GME after a rise of six per cent in primary and an increase of seven per cent in secondary. In 1985 just 24 pupils were in GME.

Glasgow has been at the forefront of the expansion, opening Scotland's first Gaelic campus for three to 18 year olds in 2006.

Read more...

Related Links

Challenges to confront on the learning of Gaelic (The Herald, 23 September 2014)

Isle of Lewis: Language and life inside the Outer Hebrides

16 September 2014 (BBC News)

Inside the Glasgow Rangers football supporters' club there is the usual décor - union flags, team photos, even a portrait of the Queen. Diehard Rangers fans sit in a booth discussing the new season. They are joined by friends kitted out in the green and white of their long-time rivals, Glasgow Celtic. Not a word of English is spoken; the conversation is entirely in Scots Gaelic.

Read more...

How The Inbetweeners Movie triggered a Gaelic film and TV new wave

12 September 2014 (Guardian)

Success as producer of The Inbetweeners has allowed Chris Young to energize the entire Gaelic-language moving-image industry

Read more...

Related Links

Skye view: Behind the scenes of Gaelic TV's Bannan (BBC News, 18 September 2014)

Scottish Gaelic Awards 2014

11 September 2014 (Education Scotland)

Entries are being sought for the annual Gaelic Awards that recognise the contribution the language and culture make to Scottish life. Following the success of the 2013 Gaelic Awards, The Daily Record are proud to launch the 2014 campaign with sponsors Bord Na Gaidhlig. Education Scotland is delighted to sponsor the Innovation in Education Award.

Last year's awards celebrated dozens of individuals and community organisations who had made a huge difference to the Gaelic world. With 10 categories, this year’s awards will highlight education and language and the excellent work done to maintain growth and heritage.

To place a nomination please visit the Scottish Gaelic Awards website.  The deadline for nominations is Friday 26 September.

Read more...

New Gaelic drama Bannan to be screened in September

9 September 2014 (BBC News)

BBC Alba will screen its first drama from 23 September, it has been announced.

Called Bannan, it follows the story of a young woman's return to the island she left when she was a teenager.

Read more...

Related Links

Five things about new Gaelic drama Bannan (BBC News, 10 September 2014)

BBC Alba unveils Gaelic TV’s answer to The Killing (The Scotsman, 10 September 2014)

BBC Alba's Gaelic drama Bannan is set to go global (The Herald, 10 September 2014)

Could Bannan be Scotland's answer to The Killing and The Bridge? (Radio Times, 11 September 2014)

New Gaelic song competition

9 September 2014 (Creative Scotland)

Hands Up for Trad are delighted to announce our first Gaelic songwriting competition. We invite submissions for a brand new Gaelic song, as part of our Scotland Sings – Renewing The Tradition Series.

This song, along with two further songs will be the first 3 entries in our Scotland Sings – Renewing the Tradition Songbook which will be available to choirs from across Scotland as part of Scotland Sings.

The criteria for the song is that it is to be based on an old poem or lyrics where the songwriter ‘upcycles’ and renews the existing ideas, to reflect modern themes which are relevant to new singers and audiences. The winning song will be arranged for 4 part harmonies by Scotland Sings’ choir leaders ahead of Scotland Sings Choir Meets where the Song will be sung across Scotland in January 2015.

Entry deadline is 31 October 2014.

Read more...

Launch of Gaelic immersion course for teachers

5 September 2014 (University of Strathclyde)

Gaelic language teaching in Scotland's schools is being boosted by a University of Strathclyde training programme. The Gaelic Immersion for Teachers (GIfT) course at Strathclyde offers qualified teachers who have learned Gaelic to intermediate level the chance to become fluent speakers of the language and learn the specialist skills needed for working in Gaelic medium classrooms.

Read more...

Related Links

Teachers to start Gaelic course (Evening Times, 6 September 2014)

Gaelic education sessions available for Gaelic Language Day

5 September 2014 (Scottish Parliament)

As part of our programme for Gaelic Language Day here in Holyrood on 27 November 2014, the Scottish Parliament will be offering all school education sessions in Gaelic.

Read more...

An Cogadh Mòr (1914-18)

2 September 2014 (Education Scotland)

Please visit the Education Scotland website for resources to support learning in Gaelic Medium Education about World War I. These resources include looking at the causes of the war, stories from veterans and reflections on the impact of the conflict.

Read more...

Scottish Jehovah's Witnesses start preaching in Gaelic

24 August 2014 (The Herald)

THEY do not celebrate Christmas or Easter and are best known for their door-to-door evangelism and controversial teachings, including refusing blood transfusions.  But now Jehovah's Witnesses are embracing modern technology to bring Scots Gaelic speakers to the sect.

Read more...

Which children's books define the Scottish identity?

23 August 2014 (Guardian)

What do you read when you feel both Scottish and British? In the lead up to the independence referendum in September, site member Firebird journeys back through children's books to see what it means to be Scottish.

[...] The same could be said of the various Scottish languages and dialects – all different, but all Scottish. Given the Scottish government's emphasis on Gaelic, one might be excused for thinking that Gaelic was the sole language of Scotland, but in fact Gaelic (which originates from Irish) was only ever spoken in the Highlands and Islands, plus a little in the West of Scotland. In 1755, just 23% of Scots spoke solely Gaelic, and nowadays only 1.1% of Scots speak any Gaelic at all. As for the East of Scotland, they have always spoken Scots, which brings up another question – what on earth do we mean by Scots?

Read more...

Gaelic broadcaster MG Alba secures extra funding

19 August 2014 (BBC)

Gaelic broadcaster MG Alba will receive an additional £1m in funding over the next two years.

MG Alba was set up to ensure that high-quality Gaelic television programmes are made available to viewers in Scotland.   It runs the digital television channel BBC Alba in partnership with BBC Scotland.

The channel which started in 2008 features news, documentaries, comedy and children's programmes.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic broadcasters given extra £1m (The Courier, 19 August 2014)

UK government pledges £1m to gaelic broadcasting (The Scotsman, 19 August 2014)

Danny Alexander: Gaelic TV, radio can thrive in UK (The Scotsman, 19 August 2014)

Leadership Award for Gaelic Medium Education (GME)

18 August 2014 (Education Scotland Learning Blog)

Education Scotland has worked with Social Enterprise Academy to develop a bespoke leadership award for teachers of Gaelic Medium Education who aspire to be principal teachers, depute headteachers and headteachers of nursery, primary and secondary GME provision. On this programme, you will gain invaluable insight into what it takes to be an effective leader. The leadership award will support teachers to:

  • reflect on your role and identify your key strengths and areas for growth
  • gain clarity on setting direction and developing confidence in communicating change
  • gain confidence in your abilities as a leader
  • develop your skills and knowledge to prepare you for being in a leadership role in GME provision, for example, leading the curriculum, self-evaluation, support those with additional support needs, professional development and review
  • learn to use participatory techniques and other skills to improve your ability to engage in partnership working
  • gain a nationally recognised qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)

The programme will be delivered in two sessions, 16 & 17 September and 4 & 5 December 2014 at Columba 1400 on the Isle of Skye.

For more information and to apply, please contact Kate McArdle on 01463 238 088 or kate@theacademy-ssea.org.

Read more...

Gaelic teacher recruitment

13 August 2014 (Stornoway Gazette)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has launched the redevelopment of its teacher recruitment initiative to further meet the growing demand for Gaelic teachers.

Read more...

Related Links

Scotland bolsters Gaelic teacher recruitment drive (Recruiter, 14 August 2014)

Parents facing £1300 bills as Gaelic nursery funding is cut

11 August 2014 (Herald)

Parents of children attending Glasgow's only private Gaelic nursery claim they will be £1,300 per year per child worse off after the city council decided without warning not to award it a new contract.

Read more...

In my mother's tongue

10 August 2014 (Herald)

When Karen Matheson was growing up in the small Argyll village of Taynuilt, her mother refused to speak Gaelic to her.

Read more...

Gaelic (Learners) Higher - Route map

8 August 2014 (Education Scotland)

The route map for Gaelic (Learners) Higher is now available on the Education Scotland website.

Route maps are a sequential list of the key guidelines, advice and support for qualifications at N4, N5 and Higher. They include important information about assessment, learning and teaching. These papers are for teachers and other staff who provide learning, teaching and support as learners work towards National 4, National 5 and Higher.

Read more...

Related Links

The route map for Gàidhlig Higher is also available on the Education Scotland website (Education Scotland, 25 June 2014)

‘The Scottish Play’ is in Gaelic at the Fringe starring Western Isles actors

30 July 2014 (Island News & Advertiser)

Mac Bheatha, a new Gaelic adaption of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is heading to the Edinburgh Fringe, with South Uist actor David Walker in the title role, and Lewis’s Catriona Lexy Campbell as Lady Macbeth.

The new adaption based on Gaelic writer Ian MacDonald’s translation, was first previewed at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow last October to a sellout audience.

This success has led Edinburgh producers White Stag Theatre Company to take it to the fringe in August 2014 following selection as part of Made In Scotland.

Read more...

World’s first Gaelic superhero comic book released

30 July 2014 (Stornoway Gazette)

A groundbreaking new Gaelic language graphic novel, Saltire: Ionnsaigh, will be launched at the Edinburgh Book Festival on August 14th. The first in a series centring round Scotland’s first comic book superhero, the dark and gritty world of the main character is a pseudo-history of the country and its mythology.

Set entirely in the landscape of Scotland during pivotal moments from the past the comic books will be familiar to those who enjoy the rich legends and traditions of Scotland.

Creator John Ferguson said: “I’m looking forward to the launch and really believe that Saltire can grow in Scotland to rival the wonderful superhero franchises from across the Atlantic.

Read more...

Gaelic education helps reverse language decline

27 July 2014 (Stornoway Gazette)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has published its Annual Report for the 2013/14 financial year. And as well as demonstrating a positive and productive year for the Bòrd, it also highlights the growth of Gaelic education in the early years, primary and secondary sectors. 

Gaelic-medium education has seen a growth of 6.1% at primary school level with the number of children entering into primary one rising by 13% to 486 entrants. The number of pupils also doing Gaelic-medium education at secondary level rose by 7% totalling 1181.

Read more...

Related Links

College promotes Celtic Studies in Scotland (Stornoway Gazette, 22 July 2014)

More learn Gaelic but language declines in heartland

9 July 2014 (The Herald)

THE number of young people learning to speak Gaelic has shown encouraging increases, but decline in its heartlands threatens the language's long-term viability, it has been warned.

Read more...

Related Links

Growth of Gaelic education hailed a success (The Scotsman, 8 July 2014)

James Robertson: Scots Literature speaks to all

5 July 2014 (The Scotsman)

Shall There Be a Scottish Literature? It may seem that the question, posed to hundreds of international delegates gathered in Glasgow for the first World Congress of Scottish Literatures, is redundant. But it is worth asking, for three reasons.

First, there was certainly a time when a Scottish Literature did not exist. Second, even when its existence was asserted, it was often disputed. Third, prior or present existence does not guarantee future existence.

Read more...

Inverness Gaelic school head quits after 8 months

4 July 2014 (The Scotsman)

The headteacher of a flagship Gaelic School in Inverness - appointed just eight months ago after a controversial and protracted four-year search - is to leave. The shock decision by James Lyon means Highland Council must start a staggering ninth recruitment drive to hunt for a new permanent head, whose salary will be £48,120. The local authority took an astonishing eight attempts to finally fill the post last November. The appointment had been a contentious episode for the authority, with a handful of parents demanding a fluent Gaelic speaker be given the job.

Read more...

Consultation Paper on a Gaelic Medium Education Bill

2 July 2014 (Scottish Government)

Views are invited on Gaelic medium education in general and specifically on the proposal to introduce legislation to the Scottish Parliament aimed at expanding and improving access to Gaelic medium education in Scotland.

The principal SG proposal in this paper is that a clear, transparent and consistent process should be put in place whereby authorities can assess parental requests for Gaelic medium education. There are also proposals about the promotion of Gaelic medium education and the preparation of guidance on these matters.

Read more...

Successful school Gaelic tuition project in Lochaber

2 July 2014 (Island News & Advertiser)

Between January and April this year around 400 pupils in Lochaber received tuition in Gaelic through Fèisgoil in a ten-week pilot project developed by Fèisean nan Gàidheal.

The pilot ran in ten schools and was delivered by tutors Anne Martin and Ann Stewart. It was funded by Highland Council and the Scottish Government.

The pupils said they enjoyed learning Gaelic with 95% saying how much they enjoyed the lessons and 87% indicating their wish to learn more.

Read more...

Viewers rise on catch-up for gaelic TV

27 June 2014 (The Herald)

BBC Alba, the gaelic TV channel, has seen a 65 per cent increase in the number of people catching up on its programmes via its iplayer.

Read more...

Gaelic Bookbug sessions go from strength to strength

26 June 2014 (Argyll & Bute Council)

The establishment of Argyll and Bute Council’s Furan centre in Oban encourages existing Gaelic speakers to meet up to maintain their language skills, provides workshops for new learners and hopefully sparks interest in children and their parents.

As part of this promotion of the use of the Gaelic language, Gaelic Bookbug sessions for very young children and their parents have been established in Oban and Lochgilphead, with strong interest being expressed in Dunoon where a pilot session has been organised.

Read more...

Gàidhlig Higher - Route map

25 June 2014 (Education Scotland)

The route map for Gàidhlig Higher is now available on the Education Scotland website.  This paper is for teachers and other staff who provide learning, teaching and support as learners work towards Gàidhlig Higher.

This route map provides a link to Education Scotland’s support materials together with a number of other subject-specific links staff may find useful as they develop programmes of learning.

Read more...

HIAL launches five year Gaelic Language Plan

25 June 2014 (Stornoway Gazette)

Regional airports group HIAL has launched a new five year Gaelic Language Plan.

In common with other public authorities, HIAL is required by the Scottish Government to produce a Gaelic Language Plan under the terms of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.

The approved Plan outlines a series of measures by HIAL to support and promote the Gaelic Language and culture, in line with the aspirations and objectives set out in the National Gaelic Language Plan.

Read more...

Briefing on Gaelic Education

20 June 2014 (Education Scotland's learning blog)

Please visit our website for Gaelic Education for the latest information on:

  • Gaelic Learner Education
  • Gaelic Medium Education 
  • learning about Gaelic language and culture as part of Scotland’s identity

Read more...

Word Wizard Final photos and video

20 June 2014 (SCILT)

Photos from the Word Wizard Final, featuring all of our great winners, and now available to view via our Word Wizard Final webpage. 

We also have a short video, filmed throughout the day, giving some background to the competition and showcasing the wonderful skills demonstrated by all of our spellers.

Read more...

Historic Gaelic collection to be recognised

19 June 2014 (The Scotsman)

A historic Gaelic collection is today being recognised as one of the world’s most important archives.

When Hebridean excise officer Carmichael Watson realised the impact that industrialisation and the Highland Clearances was having in the region, he carried out 50 years of research which is now regarded as one of the best sources for Gaelic history and language.

Read more...

Related Links

Unesco honour for Edinburgh's Carmichael Watson archive (BBC News, 19 June 2014)

Word Wizard Final 2014 webpage

13 June 2014 (SCILT)

Following the announcement of the Word Wizard winners last week we now have a web page celebrating the final. We will be publishing photos from this fantastic event soon! 

Details of the 2015 competition will be announced later this year so stay tuned.

Read more...

Gaelic disapora to inspire new Glasgow live show

13 June 2014 (The Scotsman)

A major new live show inspired by the Scots Gaelic diaspora is to take centre stage on Glasgow Green during the Commonwealth Games before being taken on tour around the world to showcase the historic language.

Around 25 singers, musicians and dancers will perform in the “epic” new production Children of the Smoke, which will feature entirely new material inspired by centuries of Gaelic heritage across five continents.

Read more...

Big Song Relay Sing Along

11 June 2014 (Education Scotland)

As part of the Commonwealth Games, Culture 2014 and the Big Song Relay, Robyn Stapleton and Maeve Mackinnon are coming together to teach the official Big Song Relay song ‘Here’s To All Our Common Wealth’.

We will be teaching it in English, Scots and Gaelic. The song is being sung all over Scotland following the Queen’s Baton and maybe you could join in when it passes.

Join us to find out more on Friday 13th June, 9.45 am, in Glow TV (login and password required).

Read more...

Word Wizard finals

6 June 2014 (SCILT)

Last Friday, 30th May, saw the final of our new Word Wizard competition take place in the prestigious venue of the Scottish Parliament. 60 pupils from schools across Scotland took part in the semi-finals in the morning, and over 100 pupils, teachers and guests enjoyed the final in the Members’ Restaurant. The day opened with an inspiring speech from Maureen Watt MSP and ended with a vote of thanks from Annette Zimmermann of the University of St Andrews, who supported us in running the competition. We were delighted to have Graham Blythe from the European Commission and Ms. Lv Yanxia from the Chinese Consulate present the shields and cups to the winners. The pupils demonstrated excellent skills in spelling, vocabulary and character recognition, and displayed great confidence in doing so in front of an audience.

The winners in each category were:

French Beginner:

  • 1st Elspeth Nicol – Ross High School
  • 2nd Amelie Davidson – St Joseph’s Academy
  • 3rd Robert Brewer – The Glasgow Academy

French Intermediate:

  • 1st Owen Wilson – Greenwood Academy
  • 2nd Steffi Graham-McGill – James Hamilton Academy
  • 3rd Emma Rattray – Dollar Academy

Gaelic Beginner:

  • 1st Anna Gallagher – St Ninian’s High School (East Renfrewshire)

German Beginner:

  • 1st Fraser Anderson – Stewart’s Melville College
  • 2nd Charlotte Caskie – Lomond School
  • 3rd Florence Macgregor – The Mary Erskine School

German Intermediate:

  • 1st Eilish Murphy – St Margaret’s School for Girls
  • 2nd Freja Arnlund – The Mary Erskine School
  • 3rd Fiona Todman – Queen Anne High School

Mandarin Beginner:

  • 1st Francesca Tassieri – Hillhead High School
  • 2nd Charlotte Johns – Dollar Academy
  • 3rd William Cox – Perth High School

Mandarin Intermediate:

  • 1st Ines Bertaso – St Ninian’s High School (East Renfrewshire)
  • 2nd Ivan Myachykov – Hillhead High School
  • 3rd Jack Mitchell-Luker – Williamwood High School

Spanish Beginner:

  • 1st Paul Gillon – John Ogilvie High School
  • 2nd Georgie Cassidy – Dollar Academy
  • 3rd Erin McIntyre – The Glasgow Academy

Spanish Intermediate:

  • 1st Rosie Hutcheon – The Glasgow Academy
  • 2nd Caitlin Barrie – John Ogilvie High School
  • 3rd Ella McPherson – St Margaret’s School for Girls

We would like to congratulate all pupils who reached the finals and every pupil who took part in the competition in their schools over the past year.

We hope to see lots of you entering the competition next year!

Motion congratulates SCILT and CISS on Word Wizard competition 2014

5 June 2014 (Scottish Parliament)

Maureen Watt, MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, has lodged a parliamentary motion congratulating SCILT and CISS on the Word Wizard competition 2014. The motion states:

"That the Parliament congratulates Scotland‘s National Centre for Languages and the Confucius Institute for Scotland‘s Schools on the Word Wizard Competition 2014, which was held in the Parliament on 30 May 2014; recognises the S1-S3 pupils, including those from Bucksburn Academy and Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen, who impressed the judges with their French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Gaelic skills; notes that, in partnership with the University of St Andrews, and with the support of the Goethe-Institut, the contest encourages pupils nationally to improve their vocabulary, and highlights what it sees as the importance of language and learning."

Motions are used by MSPs to initiate debate or propose a course of action, or simply to generate support, and many other MSPs have signed up in support of this motion. It's very encouraging to have SCILT/CISS work acknowledged in this way.

Read more...

Anger as no primary slot available for Gaelic nursery boy

27 May 2014 (The Evening Times)

Parents who sent their son to a Gaelic nursery have slammed city education bosses for denying him a place at Gaelic primary school.

Christine and Iain Agnew are keen to support Scotland's language and so sent son Archie to a Gaelic nursery school in Anniesland. But the four-year-old has now been denied a place at Glasgow Gaelic School.

Christine, 39, said: "My son has been going to a Gaelic nursery for the past two years. "To get into the Gaelic school they say you have to show commitment to the language. Well, I'm not sure how else I could have shown that commitment. We haven't been given a straight answer as to why Archie has been refused a place and I would really like the council to reconsider."

Christine, from Clydebank, said she has lodged an appeal, as have two other mums who are in a similar position. But she believes there should be enough primary provision in the city to accommodate all children who are in the city's Gaelic nurseries.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic is part of Scotland's heritage (Evening Times, 29 May 2014)

Free workshop - writing through the medium of Gaelic

19 May 2014 (Gaelic Books Council)

The Gaelic Books Council, with the Scottish Book Trust, are hosting a free workshop for those interested in writing through the medium of Gaelic.  The workshop will be led by  Catriona Lexy Campbell on Saturday 24 May at 1200-1600 at the Gaelic Books Council, 32 Mansfield St, Glasgow, G11 5QP.  Participants will be given an opportunity to write stories, poetry, songs or plays.  If you are interested in this workshop, please e-mail rosemary@gaelicbooks.org or storiesofhome@scottishbooktrust.com

e-Stòras, a new resource for Gaelic Medium Education

19 May 2014 (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar)

The Multimedia Unit of the Education and Children’s Services Department of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has developed a new website to support 3-18 Gaelic Medium Education. Resources support Gàidhlig as well as a range of other curricular areas. The website is being continuously updated with new materials to enhance young people’s learning opportunities through the medium of Gaelic.  For more information, visit the website or contact evelyn.coull@cne-siar.gov.uk.

Read more...

Annual writing competition for Gaelic Medium and Gaelic Learner Education

14 May 2014 (CLAS)

CLAS, the Professional Association for Secondary Teachers of Gaelic, is pleased to launch their annual writing competition for Gaelic Medium and Gaelic Learner Education.

Young people in S1 and S2 are being encouraged to write on a choice of topics related to the significance of the year 2014 for Scotland. Schools should submit their entries by 9 June 2014.

For more information on the competition, please visit the CLAS website. For general information on CLAS, which celebrates its 10th anniversary later this year, visit their Facebook page.

Read more...

Gaelic to take centre-stage for top Fringe event

11 May 2014 (Scotsman)

Scotland's ancient lang­uage is to take centre-stage during this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe in one of the city’s most historic buildings.

St Giles’ Cathedral, a place of worship for around 900 years in the Old Town, will be playing host to a new theatrical production showcasing centuries of Gaelic tradition.

Read more...

Posted in: Gaelic

New bid to get us speaking in Gaelic

9 May 2014 (Press and Journal)

THE Scottish Government is launching a drive to get more people to talk Gaelic – in the heart of Doric country.

SNP ministers have asked Aberdeenshire Council to find ways to revive the ancient language after it emerged the region had the fastest-rising number of speakers in the country.

Read more...

Scottish Book Trust launches search for Top Young Gaelic Writer

7 May 2014 (Stornoway Gazette)

Scottish Book Trust is poised to help a Gaelic teenager move one step closer to their dream of becoming a published author, with the launch of the Young Writers Awards 2014.

The Young Writers Awards offer three awards to people between 14 and 17 who write in English or Scots and a fourth award is available to a person between 14 and 17 writing in Gaelic.

[..] Budding authors are invited to submit a piece of creative writing, such as a poem, short story or extract of work, which is no longer than 2,000 words, and a personal statement of 1,000 words explaining why they would benefit from this programme. The closing date for applications is June 27th.

Read more...

Global Gaelic multimedia project launched

1 May 2014 (Scottish Government)

Gaels around the world are encouraged to link up through an exciting multimedia project that celebrates and explores identity, language and culture - and you don’t have to speak Gaelic to get involved.

The ‘Struileag Stories’ Transmedia Project is being launched today (Thursday) in Toronto, Canada, by Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison.
Gaels, their descendants and those who strongly identify with Scots Gaelic culture are invited to put themselves and their ancestors on the global map - electronically - via everything from photos, family stories, video and audio clips, to poetry and even recipes.

Struileag, run by Edinburgh-based charity La Banda, aims to capture where people and their ancestors are from, if the latter spoke Gaelic too, and what life has been like for different generations.

Read more...

Gaelic broadcaster MG Alba gets £2.1m boost

16 April 2014 (The Scotsman)

The Gaelic broadcaster MG Alba has won an additional £2.1million in funding from the Scottish Government.

First Minister Alex Salmond announced the extra cash, which will support the production of new programmes, as he officially opened the organisation’s new £2.5million headquarters in Stornoway.

Read more...

We’re working with island communities, says First Minister

13 April 2014 (The Island News & Advertiser)

The Scottish Government is working with island communities to boost economic returns on unrivalled natural, cultural and economic assets, the First Minister said ahead of a Cabinet meeting in Stornoway on April 16.

Support for the Gaelic language, measures to support renewable energy investment, and assistance for the islands tourism industry will be among the measures that Ministers will highlight in the coming days.

Read more...

Inverness to host Celtic Media Festival

9 April 2014 (Northern Times)

Key figures from the worlds of television and film will gather in Inverness next year when the Highland Capital becomes the first city to host the Celtic Media Festival for a third time.
Inverness was revealed as 2015 venue at the end of the 2014 Festival held in St Ives in Cornwall, with four days of talks, workshops and screenings, as well as the annual awards ceremony celebrating the best in film and television from the Celtic nations and regions.

The festival previously visited Inverness in 1987 and 1991, but as Festival producer Catriona Logan pointed out, much has changed in Celtic broadcasting over the last 20 years, not least the creation of Gaelic-language television channels TG4 in Ireland and BBC Alba in Scotland.

Read more...

Gaelic Poetry Competition....!

8 April 2014 (Creative Scotland)

Struileag has launched a major new poetry competition, giving you the chance to win great prizes!

Struileag is a multi-faceted project, creating a live stage event to be performed during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games as part of the year of Homecoming, an interactive story-telling website, a TV programme, a book, a CD album and many other exciting elements, such as this competition!

Poems must be in Scottish Gaelic, be unpublished and under 50 lines in length. The deadline for entry is the 17th of May.

For full details visit the Creative Scotland website.

Read more...

Education Secretary Michael Russell – Celebrating language learning

28 March 2014 (Engage for Education)

This week I had the pleasure of meeting pupils and staff at Newton Central School in Auckland. Within the school there is the Te Whānau Rumaki O Te Uru Karaka specialist Māori immersion education unit which teaches all pupils Māori, in a similar system to our own Gaelic medium education units and schools.

Read more...

Gaelic strategy

25 March 2014 (Teaching Scotland)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has two key aims –to increase the P1 intake from 400 to 800 and see an annual rise of pupils learning the language in English-medium schools.

Download PDF of Issue 54. Article is on page 44.

Read more...

Census 2011: Identity, Language and Religion in Scotland

19 March 2014 (Scottish Government)

The statistics published today by the Registrar General for Scotland on the Scotland’s Census website, present further details from the 2011 Census in Scotland on Ethnicity, Identity, Language and Religion, from national to local level.

Other tables in this release, within the Standard Outputs menu, present information on: 

  • Gaelic language skills by sex by age 
  • English language skills by sex by age 
  • Language other than English used at home by sex by age

Read more...

Related Links

Graphical data on languages in Scotland (Scotland's Census 2011)

Resource pack for GME to develop learning on Commonwealth Games

17 March 2014 (Education Scotland/Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig)

Education Scotland have supported Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig with a resource pack for Gaelic Medium Education to develop learning on Commonwealth Games.

The pack includes: 

  • posters illustrating the Commonwealth flags 
  • posters illustrating the 17 sports which will be at the Glasgow Games
  • fact cards about the sports 
  • fact cards about  the Commonwealth countries.
This pack has potential to be used as part of interdisciplinary learning for which the Commonwealth Games are used as a context. The resource presents opportunities for applying learning in numeracy and mathematics and literacy and Gàidhlig.   

Read more...

Posted in: Gaelic, Resources

Finding a voice in another language

16 March 2014 (Herald)

It's a style that's ingrained in a certain type of Scottish indie: California in the late 1960s via Bellshill in the early 1990s. But those words… what are those words? The song is called Fir Chlis, the album is called Dalma and, yes, that really is Gaelic we're hearing.

Read more...

Doune Castle film set ‘besieged’ by Outlander fans

13 March 2014 (The Scotsman)

A historic castle is already being besieged by fans of a new US TV fantasy series set in Scotland - before a single episode has even aired.

Doune Castle in Perthshire has been welcoming droves of American devotees of Outlander, the show dubbed Scotland’s answer to “Game of Thrones,” after it was chosen as the main outdoor location for the show, standing in for fictional Castle Leoch at the time of the Jacobite Rebellion.
Actors appearing in the show are being taught to speak Gaelic - but audiences will be kept in the dark over what they are saying when it goes on air.

Producers have brought in Gaelic language and Scottish dialect experts to ensure Outlander, which is partly set during the Jacobite Rebellion, is as authentic as possible.

Read more...

Language as activism: the big Gaelic comeback

6 March 2014 (The New Statesman)

The native tongue of the Highlands and islands seemed to be dying out – until the latest figures were released.

Read more...

Nine schools back Gaelic learning initiative

28 February 2014 (Lochaber News)

A new approach to Gaelic teaching is to be piloted in a number of Lochaber primary schools. Pupils at nine local primaries are being given the opportunity to begin learning Gaelic through the Fèisgoil project delivered by Fèisean nan Gàidheal in partnership with Highland Council. Eight schools in Caithness and Sutherland are also involved in the scheme which involves pupils in p5-p7 receiving tuition from Gaelic-speaking tutors who visit the schools each week and use a number of interactive activities, games and songs.

Read more...

Parents are going for Gaelic lessons

14 February 2014 (Edinburgh News)

Some parents already have trouble understanding the lingo used by their children, but imagine they were speaking a different language?

Concerns that family communication could be lost in translation have led parents and grandparents of children signed up for Gaelic school to start taking lessons themselves.

Read more...

Gaelic Immersion course for Teachers - GIfT

30 January 2014 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

Are you a qualified teacher considering a career in Gaelic-medium education? If you already speak some Gaelic, the Gaelic Immersion course for Teachers may be for you.  See the website flyer for details.

Deadline for expressions of interest extended to 17th February 2014.

Read more...

Inside Track: Lost in translation: why Gaelic has a bad press

29 January 2014 (The Herald)

Earlier this month the Council of Europe published a report assessing the extent to which laws and practices in the UK are in line with the country's binding commitments under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.  The UK had ratified this in 2001.

The report was compiled by a Committee of Experts, based on information provided by the Government, independent sources and on-the-spot visits.

On Scots it said: "There is a need for an assessment of the number of Scots speakers as an essential basis for developing a comprehensive language policy."

While on Gaelic the development of BBC Alba was seen as a success, the report was clear that considerable practical difficulties remained in education, where there was still a serious shortage of teachers that needed resolute action to address.

But the report continued: "The Committee of Experts was concerned to learn that speakers of regional minority languages continued to be portrayed in a negative way in the media. No information was provided by the authorities about steps taken to combat this problem
"There is still a need to raise the awareness of the English-speaking majority about the UK, regional or minority languages as an integral part of the UK's cultural heritage."

Read more...

Argyll and Bute Council formally opens Gaelic language centre

17 January 2014 (Argyll & Bute Council)

Argyll and Bute Council’s Gaelic language centre Furan – which means ‘a very warm welcome’- is to be officially opened today (Friday 17 January). Argyll and Bute councillors and community members active in the usage and promotion of the Gaelic language will join with leading figures and practitioners from Gaelic organisations. Mike Russell MSP cabinet secretary for education and lifelong learning will perform the formal opening.

The event will be accompanied by the lilt of Gaelic music and song provided by pupils of Rockfield Primary School and local musicians.

Argyll and Bute Council’s policy lead for Community and Culture, Councillor Robin Currie, said, “The Gaelic language has played a huge part in the formation of Argyll and Bute’s history and culture, and the preservation of the language and the encouragement of its usage is of vital importance.

Read more...

SCHOLAR – Modern Languages Events

12 January 2013 (Glow Scotland)

Glow TV is delighted to offer Higher Students the opportunity to join sessions on Modern Languages provided by SCHOLAR on Tuesday 14th January. These sessions will be presented by Douglas Angus, SCHOLAR Online Tutor for Modern Languages.

There will also be an opportunity for students to participate in a Q&A session at the end of the session.

Higher students: Prepare for Speaking Test – 7.15pm

Advanced Higher students: How to prepare for External Examiner – 8.15pm

Read more...

Gaelic Immersion for Teachers (GIfT)

9 January 2014 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

The success of Gaelic-medium education over the last 30 years has resulted in the expansion of opportunities for Gaelic-speaking teachers in 3-18 education.  A new route into Gaelic teaching is to be piloted in 2014.

If you already possess some Gaelic language competences on which you would like to improve and are considering a career in the Gaelic-medium classroom, then this could be the CPD course for you.

Download the attached brochure for further details and to express your interest in taking part in the GIfT programme.

The LearnGaelic Beginner's Course

6 January 2014 (LearnGaelicNet)

Why not try LearnGaelicNet’s new online course as an introduction to the language?

Read more...

New £3m Gaelic school to be built on Skye

16 December 2013 (The Scotsman)

Highland Council is to receive £3 million over two years to build a new Gaelic school in Portree, on the Isle of Skye.

Minister for Scotland’s Languages Alasdair Allan made the announcement during a visit to the site of the new school, where building work will begin in 2015.

An additional £250,000 will also be invested in Gaelic learning for early years, to encourage sustained growth in the number of pupils going through Gaelic medium education (GME) and encourage parents to choose bilingual schooling.

Read more...

Related Links

Funding offered for new Gaelic school (BBC, 16 December 2013)

A new route into Gaelic Teaching to be piloted

16 December 2013 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

Teachers currently employed in English-medium education have the opportunity to partake in an exciting new course that would enable them to develop their Gaelic language skills to such a level that they would be able to teach through the medium of Gaelic.

A Gaelic Immersion Course for Teachers (GIfT) will be piloted in 2014, offering a Gaelic immersion experience leading to advanced competence in Gaelic and professional development opportunities for qualified teachers with intermediate level Gaelic (Higher Gaelic or equivalent) wishing to work in Gaelic-medium education.

Read more...

£20k campaign produces one extra Gaelic teacher

13 December 2013 (The Scotsman)

A major new recruitment drive has been launched to attract more Gaelic teachers into Scotland’s education system – as the number of registered teachers rose by only one in the last year.

A £20,000 advertising campaign promoted by the government’s Gaelic quango Bòrd na Gàidhlig aims to find new teachers and help teachers who may wish to transfer their skills from mainstream schools.

The organisation insists it has been succeeding in attracting more people to train in the medium, and says it takes time for those in the system to qualify.

Read more...

Related Links

'Scandalous' failure to find Gaelic teachers (The Herald, 14 December 2013)

Make your nominations for the 2014 Scottish Education Awards

11 December 2013 (Engage for Education)

Nominations for the 2014 awards are now open, visit the Scottish Education Awards website for more information and to submit your nomination.

The Awards celebrate the hard work and success in Scottish education. They recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the value work and innovation in learning environments across Scotland. Award categories include ‘Global Citizenship’ and ‘Gaelic Awareness’. If you know of a school or teacher that deserves to be recognised for their hard work in these categories submit a nomination by Friday 21 February 2014.

Read more...

Gaelic debaters take centre stage

27 November 2013 (Scottish Parliament)

Moilidh MacGregor and Sarah McDonald of Glasgow Gaelic School won the BT Scotland National Schools Gaelic Debate that took place at the Scottish Parliament last night. They debated with Lionacleit School from Benbecula whether the Referendum will be the most important event in the coming year for Scotland's young people.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic debaters take centre stage (Scottish Parliament, 27 November 2013)

Pupils to compete in Gaelic schools debate at Holyrood (The Herald, 25 November 2013)

Gaelic Awards: Winners hailed for their role in keeping language and culture alive at landmark ceremony

22 November 2013 (Daily Record)

A shinty-playing teacher, a German author and a classroom cookery book were among the winners at the first Scottish Gaelic Awards.

The celebration of Gaelic culture and the contribution the language makes to Scottish life attracted more than 180 nominations from Scotland and as far away as the US.

The event was sponsored by the Daily Record and the Gaelic language agency Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Read more...

Related Links

University's Fiona wins Gaelic award (Evening Times, 22 November 2013)

Gaelic Awards 2013: BBC host Kirsteen MacDonald hails our language ahead of landmark ceremony

20 November 2013 (Daily Record)

BBC Scotland presenters Kirsteen MacDonald and Alasdair Fraser have both seen Gaelic’s profile raised since they were children. The pair are familiar faces on our screens from Reporting Scotland to BBC Alba, and tonight they host the first Scottish Gaelic Awards at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. And having both begun learning Gaelic at an early age, they’re looking forward to honouring those who have played a part in its growth.

Read more...

Related Links

Botanics to host Scottish Gaelic Awards this week (The Edinburgh Reporter, 18 November 2013)

Botanics to host Scottish Gaelic Awards this week

18 November 2013 (The Edinburgh Reporter)

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), has been chosen to hold the inaugural Scottish Gaelic Awards, on Wednesday this week. 180 guests are expected to attend the ceremony, sponsored by Bord na Gaidhlig, which works with the Scottish Government to promote Gaelic language and culture. Sodexo Prestige, which provides catering and hospitality services at the venue, has tailored a bespoke menu for the event, reflecting traditional Scottish cuisine, with a modern twist.

Read more...

Census shows Gaelic declining in its heartlands

15 November 2013 (BBC News)

Use of Gaelic in the language's traditional heartlands has continued to decline, according to the latest analysis of the 2011 Census.

The Western Isles was the only place left with parishes where most people said Gaelic was their first language.

On Skye, another traditional stronghold, just one parish had a majority of Gaelic speakers.

Read more...

Gaelic science fiction novel wins literary prize

15 November 2013 (The Scotsman)

An American writer has landed one of Scotland’s flagship literary prizes - with the first ever Gaelic science fiction novel.

Tim Armstrong, a former singer in a Gaelic punk rock band, has scooped the Saltire Society’s prestigious “first book” prize with his book “Air Cuan Dubh Drilseach” (On a Glittering Black Sea).

Read more...

Critics query cost of Edinburgh Gaelic signs

11 November 2013 (The Scotsman)

Gaelic will appear on entry signs welcoming visitors to ¬Edinburgh’s iconic tourist and cultural attractions under multi-million-pound plans to revive the under-threat language.

Bilingual signage at sites such as Edinburgh Castle could join “Fàilte gu Dùn Èideann” – Welcome to Edinburgh – messages at entry points on key arterial routes into the city as part of a drive to transform the profile of the ancient Celtic tongue, currently spoken by around 6000 of the Capital’s 500,000 inhabitants.

Read more...

A brighter future for Gaelic Sabhal Mòr Ostaig marks 40th anniversary

9 November 2013 (Engage for Education)

The massive reduction in the decline in the number of Gaelic speakers is the culmination of decades of work by the Gaelic community, Cabinet Secretary Michael Russell has said.

Speaking at the 40th anniversary dinner and ball of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (SMO) on Saturday, Mr Russell spoke about how the college’s development reflected the improving picture for the language.

Read more...

Posted in: Gaelic

Trend of Modern Language Entries at SCQF Levels 4-5

01 November 2013 (SCILT)

SCILT have produced a document with statistics on Modern Language Entries at SCQF Levels 4-5 from 2009-2013. This is in addition to the statistics previously published:
 
- Trend of Modern Language Entries and Attainment at Higher in French, German and Spanish
- Trend of Modern Language Entries and Attainment at Higher in the lesser studied languages (Italian, Gaelic for Learners, Mandarin, Urdu and Russian)

Visit our Statistics on languages in Scotland page to download the PDFs.

Government looks to double Gaelic learners

15 October 2013 (The Scotsman)

A new Gaelic resource to encourage greater uptake of the language was launched at the Royal National Mod yesterday.

The new Fios is Freagairt [Information and Answers] packs are targeted at parents who may want their children to learn Gaelic, as well as prospective teachers of the language.

Containing DVDs, CDs and literature about the resources in Gaelic-medium education, the project aims to highlight the benefits of bilingualism.

Read more...

Allan Massie: Gaelic will only be a hobby language

15 October 2013 (The Scotsman)

The indulgent pretence surrounding Gaelic does nothing to halt the language’s decline and amounts to intellectual dishonesty, writes Allan Massie.

Read more...

Royal National Mod being staged in Paisley for first time

11 October 2013 (BBC News)

The Royal National Mod - being held in Paisley for the first time in its 121-year history - is getting under way.

The eight-day event is a celebration of Gaelic music, dance, drama, arts and literature.

Read more...

Related Links

A Gaelic festival for all (The Herald, 11 October 2013)

Word Wizard competition now launched!

4 October 2013 (SCILT)

We are pleased to announce the launch of our brand new spelling competition, Word Wizard! This competition is aimed at encouraging S1-S3 pupils, studying French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Gaelic, to learn vocabulary, and have fun at the same time. More details on the competition, and information on how to register your interest, are now available on the Word Wizard page on our website.

Read more...

Scottish Gaelic Awards – Nominations now open!

3 October 2013 (Engage for Education)

Nominations are now open for the Scottish Gaelic Awards. The awards celebrate and reward all aspects of Gaelic culture, education and language highlighting the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage.

Read more...

Glasgow City Council approves new Gaelic language plan

26 September 2013 (BBC News)

A four-year action plan to increase the use of Gaelic throughout Glasgow has been approved by the city council. It sets out policies for promoting the language across education, workplaces and Glasgow's cultural scene.

The city already has one Gaelic school with another planned for 2015.

Councils are required to prepare a Gaelic Language Plan under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005. Glasgow's plan will now go to Gaelic agency, Bord na Gaidhlig, for approval.

Read more...

Related Links

Gaelic language plan takes shape (The Extra, 2 October 2013)

Census shows decline in Gaelic speakers 'slowed' (BBC News, 26 September 2013)

Further Census 2011 results (Scottish Government, 26 September 2013)

Expansion of Gaelic teaching (Scottish Government, 23 September 2013)

Game On Scotland! Commonwealth Games language resources

26 September 2013 (Education Scotland/SCILT)

Learning ideas around the context of the Commonwealth Games are available at the Game On! website.

SCILT and Education Scotland have developed a learning journey designed to support the learning and teaching of modern languages at primary level.

Read more...

Statistics on language uptake and attainment

24 September 2013 (SCILT)

SCILT have produced two documents with statistics on language uptake and attainment at Higher grade from 2008-2013. One provides statistics on French-German-Spanish and one on lesser studied modern languages (Italian, Gaelic learners, Urdu, Mandarin). 

Visit our Statistics on languages in Scotland page to download the PDFs.

Expansion of Gaelic teaching

23 September 2013 (The Scottish Government)

An additional £4 million over the next two years will increase the number of places available in Gaelic Medium Education (GME) across Scotland to meet continually rising demand.

Minister for Languages Alasdair Allan announced the extra funding in the week that Edinburgh’s first dedicated GME school Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pairce will have its official opening.

Read more...

Mòd's £2.5m highland fling for host town

19 September 2013 (Evening Times)

Paisley is gearing up for a nine-day £2.5million cultural festival which is expected to bring more than 8000 visitors to the town.

The Royal National Mòd - Scotland's annual Gaelic festival - will showcase Gaelic language and culture through music, dance, drama, art and literature. The event will run from October 11 to 19.

Read more...

Word Wizard Competition! New for school session 2013-2014

17 September 2013 (SCILT)

We are pleased to announce that our brand new spelling competition, Word Wizard, will be launched very shortly.

This competition is aimed at encouraging S1- S3 pupils, studying French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Gaelic, to learn vocabulary, and have fun at the same time.

If you want to motivate your pupils, and take part in this new initiative, watch this space for details of how to register.

National Gaelic Short Film Competition, FilmG, Heads to the High Schools

11 September 2013 (Engage for Education)

Representatives from the Scottish government, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Highland Council visited Inverness Royal Academy to see first-hand some of the exceptional work being done by FilmG in high schools around the country.

FilmG, the National Gaelic Short Film Competition, runs a training scheme in parallel with its competition to gives adults and young people interested in film-making the skills needed to make their own short film in Gaelic. The 2014 training programme got under way with a story development class delivered by FilmG workshop co-ordinator and tutor Muireall Urquhart, she said: “we are very excited to be starting this year’s workshop programme and particularly happy to be here at Inverness Royal Academy, a school which has been very supportive of FilmG since it started.”

Read more...

NAR Gaelic exemplars

9 September 2013 (Education Scotland)

Over the past few weeks, Education Scotland has published a number of new assessment and moderation exemplars, produced by practitioners, on the National Assessment Resource. This includes examples of innovative assessment practice in Gaelic in both primary and secondary sectors. The Gaelic exemplars may also be of interest to teachers of Modern Languages looking for creative ways to assess the broad general education. 

Access the materials  (you will need your Glow username and password)

Read more...

Tintin editions to be released in Scots and Gaelic

9 September 2013 (The Scotsman)

His adventures have been read to children at bedtime in more than 70 languages since the 1930s, but Tintin has never ­uttered the words “glaikit” or “stramash” until now.

New editions of the treasured cartoon series are to be released in both Scots and Gaelic. Publishers say they are anticipating significant interest from schools and ­collectors.

The first adventure to be translated is The Black Island, known as LÎle Noire in French – chosen as it is set partly in ­Scotland.

Read more...

Novel will come out in English, Gaelic on same day

9 September 2013 (The Scotsman)

On one shelf of the bookshop it will be called The Girl on the Ferryboat. On another, An Nighean air an Aiseag.

Scotland will play host to a literary first later this month with the simultaneous publication of a novel in both English and Gaelic.

The novel, written by the Scottish writer and poet Angus Peter Campbell – Aonghas Phadraig Caimbeul in the Gaelic version – will be published by Luath Press in two separate editions, each with a different cover.

It is believed to be the first time an author has written a work of fiction in both languages at the same time, as well as the first time both an English and Gaelic version of a novel have been published on the same day.

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Inbetweeners producer working on new Gaelic TV drama

3 September 2013 (BBC News)

The producer of E4's award-winning comedy The Inbetweeners is involved in making BBC Alba's first Gaelic drama.

Chris Young is working on a pilot for Bannan, The Ties That Bind in English, with screenwriter Chrisella Ross and actor-director Tony Kearney. It will follow the story of Mairi Macdonald's return to the island she left when she was 18 to escape from her family and the location.

Drama has been indentified as being something that BBC Alba has lacked. One of the Gaelic TV channel's bosses said in July that the global success of Danish dramas, The Killing and Borgen, may inspire potential makers of Gaelic-language dramas.

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Scottish Gaelic Awards – Nominations now open!

29 August 2013 (Engage for Education)

Nominations are now open for the Scottish Gaelic Awards. The awards celebrate and reward all aspects of Gaelic culture, education and language highlighting the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage.

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Highland Council maps its Gaelic education provision

23 August 2013 (BBC News)

Highland Council has launched an online map showing where it provides Gaelic education in nurseries, playgroups and schools.

The local authority said it hoped the resource would be useful for parents and also help it to identify gaps in provision.

The map shows the locations of primary and secondary schools where the language is taught.

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Related Links

Highland Council unveils Gaelic schools map (The Scotsman, 22 August 2013)

New BBC Bitesize material for National 4 and 5

22 August 2013 (BBC)

New materials for National 4 and 5 covering a variety of subjects including Gaelic. Other MFL materials are available under KS1/KS2/KS3 and GCSE sections for French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese.

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Glasgow has started the journey to implementation of 1+2 languages starting at early years!

19 August 2013 (Engage for Education)

Maureen McKenna, Executive Member for Education, Glasgow City Council said: “Glasgow has been working on a sustained and planned approach in the development of languages in the city to enhance the learning and teaching in our schools.

“Glasgow was ably represented on the Scottish Government languages working group by Gillian Campbell-Thow, an experienced principal language teacher who also has a city-wide language remit and support role for our schools in all sectors.

Glasgow is in the process of proactively working to encourage the uptake of 1 + 2 languages in primary schools across the city with more and more teachers being trained. This session primary teachers have the chance to train in French, Spanish, German, Italian and Gaelic. Early years training will be available in French, Spanish, Gaelic, Polish and Arabic.

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Edinburgh opens first dedicated Gaelic school

16 August 2013 (The Scotsman)

The opening of Edinburgh’s first dedicated Gaelic school has been hailed as a “landmark day” for the capital.

A total of 213 pupils, including 53 primary one youngsters, have enrolled for the new school, where lessons will be taught entirely in Gaelic.

The school, which has 30 Gaelic-speaking staff, replaces the Gaelic medium education unit that had been based in the capital’s Tollcross primary since 1982.

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Gaelic Language Plan Consultation/ Co-Chomhairleachadh Air Plana Gàidhlig

5 August 2013 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland has published its first draft Gaelic Language Plan for public consultation. It confirms Education Scotland’s commitment to partnership working to secure and strengthen the use of Gaelic in Scotland. Education Scotland values all of Scotland’s languages.

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Language Lessons: Letter from Education Scotland Chief Executive to The Scotsman

5 August 2013 (The Scotsman)

I am concerned that your front page headline “Plan to teach Gaelic in every Primary” (2 August), may have misled your readers. Neither the government’s strategy for improving language learning in Scottish education, commonly known as the 1+2 Strategy, nor our draft Gaelic language plan, which we launched last week, seek to prescribe which specific languages should to be learned by pupils in any particular school in Scotland.

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Plan to teach Gaelic in every Scots primary school

2 August 2013 (The Scotsman)

Every primary school pupil in Scotland should be taught Gaelic, according to the government agency responsible for developing the school curriculum and carrying out school inspections.

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Related Links

‘Call Kaye’ 1+2 Language Initiative and Gaelic (BBC Radio Scotland, 2 August 2013)  Listen from 05:02. Programme is available until Thursday 8 August.

Gaelic Language Plan Consultation (Education Scotland, 1 August 2013) 

Schools to be given choice on Gaelic teaching (BBC News, 2 August 2013)

The future of Gaelic has gone from bleak to bright

2 August 2013 (TESS)

Do you believe in a Gaelic revival - or are you sceptical about the bilingual signs appearing across Scotland and the millions being poured into Gaelic education? Two years ago, I wrote an editorial in TESS expressing doubts about the prospect of any real future for the language. The problem, I believed, was that however much children were immersed in it at Gaelic-medium schools, and however much they spoke it coming out of the school gates, it would be dropped the minute they bumped into their friends from home. Today, I have changed my tune.

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Gaelic medium primary department for Caithness

30 July 2013 (BBC News)

The first Gaelic medium primary school department in Caithness is to open at the start of the new school session in August, Highland Council has said.

It will be based at Mount Pleasant Primary School in Thurso which is home to a Gaelic nursery with 19 children.

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Scottish Gaelic dictionary gets £2m boost

26 July 2013 (BBC News)

The Scottish government has given £2m funding for an online Gaelic dictionary that could take 30 years to complete.

Work has already begun collecting source material for a digital archive containing 30 million words.

The project is a partnership of Skye's Gaelic language centre Sabhal Mor Ostaig UHI and Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Strathclyde universities.

It is thought there are about 60,000 speakers of Gaelic - one of Europe's ancient languages.

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Related Links

Gaelic dictionary initiative to bolster language (The Herald, 26 July 2013) 

Dictionary to discover origin of every Gaelic word (The Scotsman, 26 July 2013) 

Funding Council provides vital resource for Gaelic language revival (Scottish Funding Council, 26 July 2013)

£2 million boost will break new ground for Gaelic (TESS, 26 July 2013) 

Factfile Gaelic in Scotland (The Herald, 26 July 2013)

Investing in the future of Gaelic (Scottish Government, 25 July 2013)

Rise in numbers of Gaelic pupils in P1

15 July 2013 (BBC News)

The number of children going into P1 Gaelic-medium education rose by 6% during 2012-13, according to the language's national body.

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Related Links

Setback for Gaelic as number of new pupils rises by just 28 (The Herald, 16 July 2013)

Gaelic board failing in bid to meet pupils target (The Scotsman, 16 July 2013)

 

Bright Future for Gaelic Education at Lews Castle College UHI

25 June 2013 (PRWeb)

The University of the Highlands & Islands [UHI] this month hosted a lecture in Stornoway entitled “Gaelic in Education.” The keynote speakers were Mr. Iain Macmillan, Principal of Lews Castle College UHI and Dr. Frances Murray, Rector of the Nicolson Institute. The event was chaired by Mr. Matthew Maciver Chair of the UHI Court and retired Chief Executive of the GTC in Scotland.

Mr. Maciver introduced the lecture by stating that UHI was hosting the lecture in Stornoway to highlight the Gaelic Medium Higher Education courses which the university offers and that UHI had now been accredited to deliver a new Post Graduate Primary Teaching course in English and Gaelic.

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Inverness Gaelic school's bi-lingual recipe book 'a first'

24 June 2013 (BBC News)

Pupils and staff at a Gaelic school in Inverness have put together a recipe book to boost learning of the language and raise money for charity.

Nineteen P4-5 pupils at Bunsgoil Ghaidhlig Inbhir Nis worked on the bi-lingual publication.

The school believes the book to be the only Gaelic-English recipe book in print.

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Gaelic plan

21 June 2013 (Irvine Herald)

Plans to expand and promote the scope of Gaelic culture in North Ayrshire are now underway.
Gaelic has been a growing part of North Ayrshire’s cultural landscape for over 20 years and North Ayrshire Council now plans to capitalise on this.

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Related Links

What is for the funding chop with North Ayrshire's Gaelic culture? (Irvine Times, 19 June 2013)

Schools from across Scotland fight it out for Cuach na Cloinne 2013

13 June 2013 (Stornoway Gazette)

More than 50 young Gaels from across Scotland will head to Inverness this week, all with their eye on some sporting glory. The Cuach na Cloinne Finals 2013 will take place on Thursday (June 13th), with schools from across Scotland battling it out for this year’s title.

[..]Gaelic-speaking Inverness City Provost Councillor Alex Graham added: “Cuach na Cloinne is a national football competition, which creates an opportunity for young people from schools across Scotland who attend Gaelic Medium Education to meet and compete against each other and combines their Gaelic linguistic and footballing skills in an inclusive and entertaining manner..."

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Scottish Education Awards 2013

10 June 2013 (Education Scotland Awards blog)

Today the Scottish Education Awards 2013 celebrated the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education. The awards ceremony at the Hilton Hotel Glasgow recognises the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and the valuable work and innovation happening in Scottish classrooms.

The winner of the Gaelic Language and Culture in Learning Award was Caledonia Primary School in Glasgow, whilst the Global Citizenship Award went to The Gordon Schools in Aberdeenshire.

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists.

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The Challenges of Publishing in Gaelic

10 June 2013 (Caledonian Mercury)

Publishing is a hard enough business. It’s even harder when the potential audience is quite small. The problem with Gaelic is that the number of native speakers is dwindling and, while there are schools in the Central Belt offering primary education in the language, there aren’t enough new speakers to provide an economic market. It’s an issue that will be discussed at an event in Benbecula next week, the last is a series of talks on Gaelic which have taken place this year.

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First French-born MSP sworn in

15 May 2013 (BBC Democracy Live)

Scotland's first French-born MSP Christian Allard has been sworn in at Holyrood, on 15 May 2013.  Mr Allard, originally from Dijon, replaces SNP backbencher Mark McDonald who resigned from his North East regional seat to contest the Aberdeen Donside constituency by-election in June. Mr Allard made his non-religious affirmation at a short ceremony at the Scottish Parliament before business got underway in the debating chamber.  The 49-year-old, who has experience in the fishing industry, made the affirmation twice, once in English and once in French.

 The use of more than one language has become more common at Holyrood. After the 2011 election, Italian, Urdu and Gaelic were heard alongside Scots and the Doric dialect.

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“Use your Gaelic”, visitors to Parliament encouraged

15 May 2013 (Scottish Parliament)

The Scottish Parliament has a push on the use of its Gaelic services, encouraging visitors, MSPs and staff to take advantage of the many opportunities to use and learn about the language.

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Gaelic studies enjoy support

12 May 2013 (Times)

Half of Scots want children to have the right to attend schools where they are taught in Gaelic rather than English. New data from the 2012 Scottish Social Attitudes survey of 1,229 people found that 48% believe pupils should be entitled to attend specialised Gaelic-medium units to learn subjects such as maths and history, regardless of where they live.

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Related articles:

Police website has 70 languages but not Scots Gaelic

5 May 2013 (Scottish Express)

Scotland's new single police force has come under fire after it emerged its website can be translated into almost 70 languages - but not Scots Gaelic.

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‘Motivate the demotivated’

26 April 2013 (SCILT)

Looking for ways to inspire and motivate your language students? Using film in the classroom is a great way to combine interdisciplinary learning and generate enthusiasm amongst your pupils for language learning.  These projects were filmed in three different Scottish schools involving pupils from P7 to S6 who worked together to create their own animated movies using skills they developed in Modern Languages, Art and ICT. Have a look at these video clips to see what can be achieved and hear feedback from some of the pupils who took part.

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Historic Scotland is celebrating Gaelic Schools Week with a series of special events

22 April 2013 (Historic Scotland)

Pupils from Tollcross Primary school in Edinburgh will be acting as Gaelic Guides and will give special historical performances in Gaelic to their peers from visiting schools around Scotland in the spectacular setting of Edinburgh Castle’s Great Hall. In addition Primary School pupils from across Scotland who use Gaelic for part or all of their curriculum, will be taking part in programmed educational activities at Holyrood Park.

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New consultation on Glasgow's Gaelic language plans launched

16 April 2013 (STV News)

Glasgow City Council put its draft Gaelic Language Plan out for public consultation on Tuesday, as the popularity of the language continues to grow.

The plan, which covers 2013 through to 2017, is the council's second and aims to build on earlier achievements to bring Gaelic to those who wish to learn it.

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Edinburgh Gaelic Primary seeks bilingual janitor

16 April 2013 (The Scotsman)

The Capital’s first Gaelic primary school is to launch a drive for bilingual janitors and dinner ladies as part of radical moves to offer “total immersion” language-learning. Teachers at Parkside Primary – or Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirc – said they hoped its dining hall and corridors would soon resound to phrases such as “Cuir air falabh na truinnsearan agaibh!” (“clear away your plates!”) and Cus còmhraidh! (“too much chat!”).

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Gaelic signs and a bilingual logo could be introduced at airports

11 April 2013 (STV News)

Regional airports group HIAL could soon feature more Gaelic signs and a bilingual logo in its facilities.  The group has launched a draft Gaelic Language Plan for consultation.

Inglis Lyon, managing director of HIAL, said: "The Gaelic language and culture is an important part of Scotland's heritage and identity. With airports across Scotland and around 1.3 million UK and international passengers, HIAL is determined to play its part in supporting the development of Gaelic, and in raising its profile across Scotland."

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Balmoral website blind to Scottish Gaelic

31 March 2013 (The Scotsman)

Buaireas* is brewing at Balmoral after the Queen’s private Scottish home snubbed Gaelic in a new marketing revamp.

For while Afrikaans, Albanian, Basque, Esperanto, Galician, Haitian Creole, Kannada*, Lao, Yiddish, ­Swahili and even Telugu* are among the 65 languages ­offered for translation on Balmoral’s new website, a glaring omission is Scottish Gaelic.

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Related Links

Balmoral website is accused of snub by giving Gaelic a miss (The Times, 1 April 2013)

Gaelic channel BBC Alba is given new slot on Sky

20 March 2013 (BBC News)

BBC Alba is to move to a more prominent position on Sky's electronic programme guide (EPG).
The channel has said the move, to a slot alongside BBC One HD and BBC Two HD, will create "better awareness" of the programmes it broadcasts. The Gaelic-language service has established a weekly reach of 500,000 viewers.

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The University of Glasgow announce Gaelic plan

13 March 2013 (The Scotsman)

A leading university has pledged to use Gaelic as part of its day-to-day functions to help secure the language’s long-term future. The University of Glasgow said, under its five-year Gaelic language plan, communications, staffing matters and publications would now be done in Gaelic alongside English.

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Related Links

Non-Scots boost university Gaelic (The Herald, 13 March 2013)

Chatting away on Gaelic day

11 March 2013 (East Ayrshire Council)

Budding Gaelic speakers enjoyed practising the language at the recent annual Gaelic Conversation Day at Shortlees Community Centre, Kilmarnock.

The event, organised by the Council’s Community Learning and Development team, was formally opened by Councillor Iain Linton, Spokesperson for Lifelong Learning. Graham Short, Executive Director of Educational and Social Services, also attended.

After the introduction and official welcome, learners moved into groups for the rest of the day.

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Boost for Gaelic

20 February 2013 (Scottish Government)

Children learning Gaelic are set to benefit from new projects to help their studies.
Speaking at a summit on Gaelic Medium Education in Edinburgh today, Minister for Scotland’s Languages Alasdair Allan said six Gaelic education projects will share £90,000.
These projects include:

  • summer schools in Gaelic communities for trainee teachers 
  • new research on how best to support pupils with additional needs 
  • the development of prelim exam papers in Gaelic

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New Glasgow Gaelic school

7 February 2013 (Scottish Government)

The Scottish Government is investing £800,000 in a new Gaelic school for Glasgow, it was announced today. The Gaelic Medium Education primary school will be part of the Glendale Campus in Pollokshields.

Read more...

Related Links

Glasgow's second Gaelic school to open in Pollokshields area (BBC News, 7 February 2013)

New Gaelic school to open in Glasgow (The Herald, 8 February 2013) 

Inverness Gaelic school set to grow in size

19 January 2013 (BBC News)

A Gaelic medium education school in Inverness at the centre of difficulties with the appointment of a head teacher looks set to increase in size.

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£4 million funding boost for Gaelic

4 January 2013 (Scottish Government)

The Scottish Government will provide an additional £4 million to support Gaelic and improve Gaelic schools across Scotland.

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New study of how Gaelic affects brain functions

20 December 2012 (BBC News)

Scientists are to investigate changes in brain functions among people who are fluent in English and Gaelic.  The study involving Glasgow and Edinburgh universities will require its test subjects to speak Gaelic exclusively for about 40 days.

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Related Links

Mapping the bilingual brain (Radio Lab blog, 12 December 2012)

CPD in Language Development

7 December 2012 (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig )

The CPD award in Language Development has been designed to meet the specific development and training needs of Gaelic organisations and public authorities required to produce and implement a Gaelic language plan under the terms of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.

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Scottish Education Awards 2013

3 December 2012 (Education Scotland)

Nominations for the 2013 awards are now open. Categories include the Global Citizenship Award, which recognises the achievements of schools and pre-schools that have adopted a whole school approach to global citizenship, and the Gaelic Awareness Award in recognition of schools and pre-schools who are providing opportunities for all children to develop fluency in the Gaelic language and culture. Visit the Scottish Education Awards website for more information and to submit a nomination.

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Roald Dahl gets the Gaelic treatment for schools

2 December 2012 (Scotland on Sunday)

His works have been translated into 34 languages but now a new market is opening up for Roald Dahl – Gaelic.

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Seventh attempt to find Gaelic school head as Swede misses out

20 November 2012 (The Scotsman)

A flagship Gaelic school is still without a headteacher after the only applicant – a Swede who isn’t fluent in the language – failed to get the job.

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Gaelic language use by families studied by university

9 November 2012 (BBC News)

Generations of families that speak Gaelic use the language in different ways, University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) research suggests.

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Gaelic numeracy questions available in NAR

7 November 2012 (Education Scotland)

The National Assessment Resource now includes approximately 200 numeracy questions in Gaelic, which can be combined to form customised packages for assessment in the classroom at first, second and third level.

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We must save Gaelic before it's too late

5 November 2012 (The Herald blog)

Did you get the cruel irony that the surname of the Barcelona player, Jordi Alba, whose last gasp goal in the Nou Camp broke Celtic hearts, means “Scotland” in Gaelic? If not, that means you know even less Gaelic than me!

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Gaelic speakers urged to ‘use it or lose it’

12th October 2012 (Scottish Government Press Release)

Gaelic speakers will today be urged to make the most of their language skills to ensure that a key part of Scottish heritage continues to grow for future generations.

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