Evaluation of Gaelic Language at Primary School (GLPS)


Professor Richard Johnstone , Hannah Doughty , Robert McKinstry


Consortium of local authorities






GLPS represents a model of provision that is very different from the better-known Gaelic-medium primary education. It is much more akin to the sort of provision that is made in Scotland for modern (foreign) languages at primary school (MLPS). The teaching tends to be limited to 50-80 minutes per week and tends to begin in the mid-to-later stages of the primary school rather than in Primary 1. The teachers are not native-speakers of Scottish Gaelic and in several cases had no Gaelic at all until they voluntarily undertook a special Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course in order to learn a sufficient amount of Gaelic language and culture to be able to introduce this to their pupils.

A key feature of GLPS is that in those primary schools where it has been introduced, this is in addition to and not instead of MLPS, with the consequence that by the end of their primary school education pupils have been exposed to a minimum of three languages: English, Gaelic and a modern foreign language. An aim of the project is to take the language back to those parts of Scotland where it had once been used as a community language and where there may still be some native speakers (likely to be of the older generation).

The evaluation was commissioned from Professor Johnstone by a consortium of local authorities which had introduced GLP, and the evaluation team also included Hannah Doughty and Robert McKinstry . It consisted of an initial survey by telephone of the teachers who had been taking the CPD preparation course and who were beginning to introduce the language to their pupils. The attitudes of the teachers were found to be clearly positive. This applied particularly to the benefits which they thought they themselves were gaining from the CPD course, but there were also initial indications of positive attitudes shown by their pupils.


Johnstone, R. M., Doughty, H. and McKinstry, R. (2004). Evaluation of GLPS: University of Stirling : Scottish CILT



Latest News

View all news

The benefits of learning a new language More...

Arsenal Double Club 2018 World Cup Competition More...

Scots language initiative hopes to celebrate our unique tongue More...

15 Years On, The Time For A BSL Act Is Now More...