Gaelic


Gaelic

Glasgow's West End Festival 2019

11 June 2019 (West End Festival)

This year's West End Festival is in full swing and with a range of events ongoing until 30 June there's still chance to sample some Gaelic culture or Spanish bilingual storytelling sessions for children.

Visit the West End Festival website for more information.

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Scotland's National Centre for Languages reviews where we are with Gaelic language learning in Scotland

31 May 2019 (GTCS)

Learning languages can have cognitive benefits for learners of all ages

Research by Bilingualism Matters at the University of Edinburgh explains that children exposed to different languages have a better awareness of other people’s perspectives; tend to be better than monolinguals at multitasking; are often more precocious readers; and generally find it easier to learn other languages. More recent research suggests that learning another language may have benefits in later life, delaying the onset of dementia symptoms and slowing cognitive aging.

Given the benefits of pluri-lingualism, demand for Gaelic Medium Education (GME) is increasing.  Glasgow Gaelic School opened in 2006 with only 33 pupils.  Now it has 343.  Education Scotland Parentzone (see bit.ly/parentzone-gme) states that:
“Gaelic Medium Education is available in 14 out of 32 Scottish local authorities … It is available in about 60 primary schools and their associated secondaries, including dedicated Gaelic Medium schools. An increasing number of early learning and childcare centres, secondary schools and further education centres also provide learning through the medium of Gaelic.”

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Outlander's Scottish words and expressions explained

31 May 2019 (Screen Rant)

The Outlander series brings the world of 18th Century Scotland to life with startling accuracy... and that includes much of the language spoken, barely translated out of the Gaelic and Scottish slang. We're here to help fans learn the names, terms, and expressions they'll need to know.

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A voice for Scotland or an irrelevance of history?: Why Gaelic interest is on the rise in Fife…

21 May 2019 (The Courier)

Michael Alexander hears about efforts to promote the Gaelic language in Fife. 

[..] According to the last major census of Scotland in 2011, only 57,375 people (1.1% of the Scottish population) speak Gaelic including just 0.3% of Dundee’s population (474 people out of 148,000) with some of its lowest use recorded in Angus and Fife where just 0.7% of residents were familiar with the language.

But more than 1500 years after the ancient language of the Scots first entered Argyll via the Gaels, more than 900 years after it reached its zenith as the language spoken the length and breadth of the country, and almost 300 years after the routing of the Jacobites at Culloden made the Scots tongue illegal before the Highland Clearances almost wiped it out completely, are centuries of Gaelic decline finally being halted?

Debate about the relevance of Gaelic in the modern world has reignited in Fife – formerly the Pictish kingdom of Fib – after figures revealed that one in every 30 speakers of Scottish Gaelic is now living in the Kingdom.

Fife Council’s Gaelic development officer Kirsty Strachan highlighted the statistic while outlining the region’s Gaelic Language Plan to councillors.

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N5 Gaelic (Learners) course

20 May 2019 (eSgoil/SCILT)

Would your pupils like to learn Scotland’s oldest living language with like-minded pupils from across Scotland?

eSgoil, in partnership with SCILT, are offering a course specially designed for Senior Phase pupils across Scotland who do not currently have the opportunity to learn Gaelic in their own school. It will be delivered in real-time by a qualified teacher, using the browser-based VScene web-conferencing platform.

The Nat 5 Gaelic (Learners) Course is an exciting opportunity to learn Scotland’s native language in an innovative way.

More information is available in the attached flyer.  Register through the link below by 31 May 2019.

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Children great Gaelic Visual Art exhibition in East Ayrshire

28 April 2019 (Cumnock Chronicle)

The Dick Institute is delighted to present Gaelic Visual Art: Project Exhibition, an exhibition by pupils from East Ayrshire’s Gaelic language provision primary school ‘Sgoil na coille nuaidhe’, translated as ‘New Beginnings School’ which will be on display from Friday 24 May until Saturday 22 June in the Young People’s Gallery.

Guided by visual artist and Gaelic speaker Eòghann MacColl, the pupils have been responding to themes from the exhibitions Michael Morpurgo, A Lifetime in Stories and Karl Blossfeldt, Artforms in Nature to create their own new artwork featuring video, large-scale charcoal works and illustrations.

Now in its second year, this unique creative learning project aims to promote the use of Gaelic and the development of Gaelic language skills utilising visual arts and culture, and is supported by Bòrd Na Gaidhlig and Creative Scotland.

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Former SNP MSP: English not a 'proper language' of Scotland

28 April 2019 (The Herald)

The leader of a new ‘“inclusive” campaign group for independence has told most Scottish voters they do not speak a “proper language”. 

Dave Thompson, chair of Voices for Scotland, risked insulting electors by suggesting at the SNP conference that only Gaelic and Scots had true standing.

Mr Thompson, who was a Highlands & Islands MSP from 2007 to 2013, used the two languages to introduce himself to delegates at the start of Sunday’s session in Edinburgh.

He then said: “Apologies to those who do not have the two proper languages of Scotland."

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Related Links

Former Highlands MSP suggests English not a ‘proper’ language of Scotland (The Press and Journal, 28 April 2019)

Scottish Education Awards 2019 - Finalists announced

26 April 2019 (Education Scotland)

Congratulations to the schools who have made it to the final stage of the Scottish Education Awards 2019 in the 1+2 Languages and Internationalism and Gaelic Education categories:

The 1+2 Languages and Internationalism Award
  • Lockerbie Primary School, Dumfries and Galloway
  • Newtonhill School, Aberdeenshire
  • Neilston Primary School, East Renfrewshire
Gaelic Education Award
  • Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar, The Highland Council 
  • Sgoil Stafainn, The Highland Council
  • Sgoil Bhaile a' Mhanaich, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

The results will be announced at the award ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Glasgow on 5 June. Good luck everyone!

For information on finalists in all the categories, visit the Scottish Education Awards website.

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Award in Leadership for Teachers in Gaelic

25 April 2019 (SCEL)

This is a bespoke leadership programme, designed to meet the needs of emerging leaders in Gaelic Medium Education and Gaelic Learner Education. Gain invaluable insight into your own leadership style and qualities, and a range of tools and techniques to use in your future career.

The programme runs for four days across November and December 2019.

It is aimed at teachers and educational professionals who would like to gain confidence in their ability to be effective, progressive, and self-aware leaders, potentially progressing their careers into head teacher or principal roles.

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

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Online National 5 Gaelic (Learners) course

18 April 2019 (e-Sgoil)

e-Sgoil are looking for expressions of interest from school pupils who would be interested in doing National 5 Gaelic (Learners) as a live online course in 2019-20.

Priority will be given to those based in the Northern Alliance Scotland region.

E-mail e-sgoil@gnes.net for more information. 

Improver level Gaelic classes

11 April 2019 (Newbattle Abbey College / Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

Improver Gaelic classes are starting on 25 April at St Thomas of Aquin's RC High School and Tollcross Community Centre in Edinburgh. Classes run on Thursdays for 8 weeks.

See the attached flyers for more information and to book.

Go Global! Theatre languages show for primary pupils

21 March 2019 (North Ayrshire Council)

Go Global in North Ayrshire

Take a Culture and Creative Team, a 1+2 Team and a Children’s Theatre Company and what do you get?  ‘Go Global’, a theatre show specifically designed for primary school pupils based on the 1+2 Languages Approach covering phrases in French, Spanish, Mandarin, Gaelic and Scots tongue.

It was all aboard The McDougalls Tour Bus as hundreds of pupils from across North Ayrshire made their way to the Harbour Arts Centre to join Max, Auntie Aggie and a host of magical characters on a globetrotting musical mission to learn the lingo!

From the Highlands of Scotland, to the Mountains of China, from Sunny Spain to a fancy French Cafe, pupils and teachers joined the gang on the trip of a lifetime, packed with original music and some well-known singalong songs.

One parent commented: “That was absolutely brilliant! We need more shows like this, teaching our children about places around the world.”

Creative director Ruairidh Forde said, “We had great fun performing for two weeks at the Harbour Arts Centre. We welcomed early years and school groups who participated fully with the action and adventure. Through working in partnership with the Harbour Arts Centre, we were able to produce a memorable and educational live theatre experience for the young people.”

The musical show is set to tour primary schools in Scotland from April 2019. See the attached flyer for booking information.

Scotland 2019 Tour Dates

East, South and North Ayrshire 15-18 April

North Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire 29 April - 3rd May

Fife 7-10 May

Inverclyde 13-17 May

East Lothian 19-23 Aug

Highland 26-30 Aug

Dumfries and Galloway 1-4 Oct

Renfrewshire 7-10 Oct

Midlothian/West Lothian/Edinburgh 4-8 Nov

Aberdeen 11-15 Nov

Related Files

Pupils who learn lessons in Gaelic come top of the class

20 March 2019 (The Herald)

An ever-present amongst the top schools in Scotland over the past few years has been the Glasgow Gaelic School.

This year is no exception with the school coming top for council-run state schools in Glasgow and tenth overall after 68 per cent of school-leavers secured five or more Highers.

Although located to the west of the city centre, the school is unusual because its catchment area covers the whole of Glasgow and all lessons are taught through the medium of Gaelic.

When the secondary opened in 2006 it only had 33 pupils, but there are now 343 and numbers are growing.

Donalda McComb, the school’s headteacher, said the bilingual nature of the education on offer helped boost attainment and provided a special atmosphere.

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News Release: New Grammatical Guidance for Gaelic

19 March 2019 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig / University of Glasgow)

Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the University of Glasgow have today (19 March 2019) published new grammatical guidance to help aid Gaelic speakers, including teachers, broadcasters and other Gaelic professionals.

The 27-page document is the first attempt to draft collaborative grammatical guidance for today’s users with input from Gaelic language professionals, traditional speakers, and academic linguists.

The guidance will benefit all people who are working with Gaelic or learning Gaelic by providing a comprehensive, authoritative source of acceptable usage in modern Scottish Gaelic, and will provide the foundations for future work on a comprehensive grammar of the language.

The new resource, hosted by the University of Glasgow’s Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic (DASG), covers 11 of the most challenging topics in Gaelic grammar as identified by a survey of Gaelic language professionals and teachers.

It was drawn up in response to a wide-ranging consultation project in 2013 (Dlùth is Inneach) in which Gaelic users and learners identified access to reliable guidance on modern Gaelic grammar as one of their most important needs.

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Authors lined up for first Soutar Festival

19 March 2019 (Daily Record)

A stellar line-up of best-selling authors has been announced for a new literary festival in Perth.

Authors Alex Gray, Bernard MacLaverty, Ajay Close and Douglas Skelton will all be part of the line-up for the inaugural Soutar Festival of Words next month.

The weekend-long festival will celebrate Scots language, Gaelic and contemporary Scottish culture at a number of venues across the city, such as AK Bell Library, Perth Museum and Art Gallery and St John’s Kirk.

Running from Friday, April 26 until Sunday, April 28, over 20 events will be held, including poetry slam, children’s events, music and a chance to try out creative writing.

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Higher Gaelic (Learners) @ James Gillespie’s High School Learn Scotland’s oldest living language in the heart of Scotland’s capital

19 March 2019 (James Gillespie's High School)

James Gillespie’s High School has long been a centre of excellence for Gaelic Medium Education in Edinburgh, and is now delighted to offer Gaelic (Learners) Higher to school pupils in the senior phase across Edinburgh and Lothian in the travel column for Session 2019/20. James Gillespie’s High School staff, in a supportive, yet immersive and intensive environment, will deliver this course.

Knowledge of Gaelic opens up many opportunities for young people in employment, music, culture and history and allows pupils to progress towards further study at college or university. Previous Gaelic (Learner) students who have travelled to James Gillespie’s High School have gone on to fluency, and gained many awards, including National Gaelic Learner of the Year.

This course may be of particular interest to those pupils who have already studied a language at Higher level, have some prior knowledge of Gaelic, or are involved in traditional music.

If you, or someone you know, would be interested in taking part in this exciting opportunity, contact Jeff Warden, Depute Head Teacher at James Gillespie’s High School.

Jeff.Warden@jamesgillespies.edin.sch.uk                       

0131 447 1900

Masters level learning in Gaelic Medium Education (Streap)

15 March 2019 (University of Aberdeen)

Applications are now invited for this 60-credit programme on Gaelic Medium Education.

The programme is delivered by Aberdeen University and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, and is fully-funded by the Scottish Government. It is delivered over an academic year via blended learning, with three face-to-face inputs, telephone tutorials and online support and delivery.

Visit the University of Aberdeen website for more information.

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Playwright says Scotland has ‘lost the Gaelic language war’

10 March 2019 (The Scotsman)

The Glasgow-born author of a play connecting the Scottish and Quebecois independence referendums has praised the French Canadian province for “hanging on to” its language as a symbol of the independence movement.

Linda McLean, who co-wrote Premiere Neige/First Snow with Davey Anderson and Quebecois playwright Philippe Ducros, said Scotland had “lost the language war” two centuries ago and it was “kind of great” that Canadian Francophones, who are more likely to support Quebec becoming an independent state, have kept their language.

The bilingual play, which was performed at the Edinburgh Festival last year in a project linking the National Theatre of Scotland and Quebec theatre groups Theater PÀP and Hotel-Motel, is currently showing for the first time in Montreal.

“In Scotland we lost the language war 200 years ago,” she said. “There’s still a lot of people concerned with how quickly Gaelic is disappearing. I know that my great-grandparents spoke Gaelic before they came to Glasgow and within a generation it was gone, apart from the odd word passed down. But I was struck by just how strong is the identification with language in Quebec independence."

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Argyll and Bute Council’s Gaelic gathering a success

5 March 2019 (Buteman)

The second Argyll Gaelic Gathering took place at Corran Halls in Oban on Saturday (March 2).

More than 60 delegates enjoyed a packed full day, with a call to increase the pace of Gaelic language development delivered by keynote speaker John Swinney MSP, the Deputy First Minister.

The theme was picked up by policy and practice experts who included Shona MacLennan for Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Dr Gillian Munro for Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The value of Gaelic to Scotland’s heritage and its economy was discussed by Ruairidh Graham from Historic Environment Scotland and Rachel MacKenzie from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The importance of keeping Gaelic of continued appeal to young people was ably demonstrated by Dòmhnaill Morris of Spòrs Gàidhlig and Arthur Cormack from Feisan nan Ghaidheal, and not least by young advocates of the language themselves – musicians and broadcasters Kim Carnie and Iain Smith.

Councillor Robin Currie, policy lead for Gaelic, said: “It was great to see academics, professionals, learners and ordinary members of the community get together to share our passion and commitment for increasing the use of Gaelic both in our communities and in the fields of tourism and heritage.

“Argyll and Bute Council was pleased to see the variety of good ideas and hope to build on them going forward.”

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Gaelic newsletter

28 February 2019 (Education Scotland)

The most recent Gaelic newsletter from Education Scotland has been published.

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Posted in: Gaelic

Is the spread of Gaelic inexorable?

27 February 2019 (The Courier)

Language is a tool, an implement. Used in a certain way you might even describe it as a weapon. It can shape the way you think, perhaps without you realising it is doing so.

It is a fictional example, but if you are unconvinced try reading George Orwell’s magnificent Nineteen Eighty-Four, which depicts a state imposing language control to remove even the vocabulary required to express dissension.

The terms you use are important.

Consider, then, the spread of Gaelic names on road and rail station signs, and police car decalcomanias, throughout Scotland.

This is in line with the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, passed by the then-named Scottish Executive (now the Scottish Government), under the First Ministership of Labour’s Jack McConnell.

Might it be possible that the use of Gaelic, from this kernel, could grow to become widespread?

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Celebrating Scotland's Indigenous Languages in 2019

21 February 2019 (British Council)

Three years ago, the UN proclaimed that 2019 was to be the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019). The announcement came in response to a recommendation by the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Languages, which stated that 40% of the world’s languages were in danger of disappearing – that’s 2680 languages!

The IYIL2019 is an opportunity to help promote and protect indigenous languages, to improve the lives of speakers, and to achieve the objectives of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Led by UNESCO, activities throughout the year will include international conferences, training courses, festivals, exhibitions, online events and film screenings.

We all use language to communicate, to define our identity, and to preserve our history and culture. Language is crucial to good governance, peace building, sustainable development and the protection of human rights. 

Read on to find out about events taking place to celebrate Scotland’s indigenous languages in 2019.

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In pictures: FilmG Awards winners

12 February 2019 (BBC)

A short film about domestic violence has won two top prizes at the 2019 FilmG Awards.

Sòlas won its creator Lana Pheutan the best drama accolade and Lewis-based actor Mairi MacLennan the prize of best performance.

Held annually since 2008, FilmG is a Gaelic-language short film competition.

[..] The theme for 2019 entries was "In the Blink of an Eye", and the full list of winners can be found on FilmG's website.

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Gaelic support service to inspire Scots to speak the language

8 February 2019 (The Scotsman)

Young people will be able to access a range of support services provided in Gaelic as part of a new initiative.

The project, launched by Young Scot, will offer advice online about topics including financial management, puberty and internet safety. It aims to help inspire more young people in Scotland to speak the language.

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Cameron calls on Westminster to sign UNESCO convention

28 January 2019 (Oban Times)

The Highlands and Islands MSP, who also sits as vice convenor of the Cross Party Group on Gaelic, made the call on the same day that Bòrd na Gàidhlig hosted an event in the Scottish Parliament to mark 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

In March 2018, the Scottish Parliament unanimously agreed to the motion that ‘the parliament notes the terms and purposes of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Culture Heritage, which was adopted by UNESCO in 2003, and calls on the UK Government to ratify it’.

Donald Cameron has written to the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Jeremy Wright QC MP, to urge him to look again at the convention and has asked him, if the UK does decide to ratify it, whether the UK Government will lobby for the inclusion of Gaelic language and culture on the list.

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How our Scotland-Canada collab is celebrating indigenous languages

27 January 2019 (The National)

This week, Glasgow will get a little taste of Canada’s indigenous renaissance when four of the country’s most inspiring indigenous cultural leaders rock up during Celtic Connections to exchange ideas, dialogue and practice with some exceptional Scottish Gaelic talent.

This indigenous creators exchange marks the launch of Indigenous Contemporary Scene – a two-year creative enquiry in both Scotland and Canada, opening up space for artist-led responses to the 2019 Unesco International Year of Indigenous Languages and giving artists space and time to interrogate how Scotland and Canada’s shared colonial histories manifest within contemporary creative practice.

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MSP urges young Gaelic speakers to pass on language to next gen

24 January 2019 (The Herald)

Young Gaelic speakers have a duty to pass on the language to the next generation, according to SNP MSP Kate Forbes.

Ms Forbes made the comments ahead of delivering the first annual address in memory of John Macleod, the former president of An Comunn Gaidhealach - the Highland Association.

She will deliver her lecture in Gaelic at the University of Edinburgh later on Thursday.

The organisation was set up in 1891 to help support and promote the Scottish Gaelic language, culture and history at local, national and international level.

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Related Links

Young Scots have a duty to protect Gaelic, says SNP MSP (The Scotsman, 24 January 2019)

FilmG

7 January 2019 (FilmG)

The Gaelic short film competition, FilmG, encourages young people across the country to create short Gaelic language films. Entries for the 2019 competition are now in and voting is underway!

Visit the website to view the entries and register your vote by the end of January 2019.

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Bioran is festive Gaelic story treat for youngsters

21 December 2018 (Stòrlann)

It’s a Gaelic story with a difference – the narration of a translation of Julia Donaldson’s popular Stick Man tale – that will have a real appeal for children and families over the festive season. 

The story, ‘Bioran’, has been brought to life by Donald ‘Ryno’ Morrison in a Santa suit, who read and performed it to great effect in a short film clip that can now be accessed on YouTube.

The narration is the first contribution in a new online resource of Gaelic ‘Jackanory-style’ stories which is going to be further developed over the coming year by the Multimedia Unit, part of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Department of Education and Children’s Services.

Bioran, the first recording for e-Stòiridh, is the result of partnership working across three agencies involved in creating resources for Gaelic. 

The Multimedia Unit had the original idea and went to Acair Books, who publish Gaelic co-editions of popular English language books as well as original Gaelic works, to decide on a suitable text.

After deciding on Bioran, which had been translated by Morag Stewart, they then approached Donald ‘Ryno’ Morrison, the Chief Executive of Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig.

As well as having him in mind as the narrator, Stòrlann’s involvement was also important because they run the website gaelic4parents.com, which features hundreds of audio files on it, for parents and children to access so they can learn how Gaelic books they are reading should sound. 

The video of Donald Morrison’s narration of Bioran can be found on the YouTube channel for e-Storas. 

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Scottish Education Awards 2019

20 December 2018 (Scottish Education Awards)

The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education.

Those who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms are recognised at the annual event.

The Scottish Education Awards were first launched in November 2001 by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Daily Record, with the specific aims of celebrating the successes and recognising the achievements taking place within Scottish education.

Nominations are now invited in each of the award categories, including the Gaelic Education and The 1+2 Languages and Internationalism Awards. Deadline: 14 February 2019.

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Education Scotland Gaelic Newsletter

19 December 2018 (Education Scotland)

The December 2018 edition of Education Scotland's Gaelic newsletter is now available online.

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Gaelic speakers must step up their efforts

8 December 2018 (The Press and Journal)

The first female MSP to make a plenary address in the Scottish Parliament chamber in Gaelic has warned the language’s future will only be secured for the next generation if all speakers step up their efforts.

Kate Forbes MSP believes that more Gaelic speakers should be using the language “loudly and noticeably” in the public square.

Delivering the prestigious Oraid an t-Sabhail lecture last night at Scotland’s national centre for Gaelic language, culture and the arts, Sabhal Mor Ostaig on the Isle of Skye, she follows in the footsteps of four serving Scottish First Ministers (Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond, Jack McConnell and the late Donald Dewar).

Ms Forbes said: “Great progress has been made in the last few decades to secure the future of Gaelic, but we need to go further and faster.

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Gaelic teachers encouraged to share resources via new website

6 December 2018 (Stòrlann)

A website for Gaelic teachers to share resources has been created by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig. Material can be uploaded and downloaded via the website Seo Sibh.

The website is aimed at saving teacher time and effort through the sharing of resources. All resources that are uploaded will be quality assured by Stòrlann staff for vocabulary, grammar and good design, before being made available for download.

The resources are split into sections – early years, primary, secondary, parents and general resources – and teachers are encouraged to contribute towards building a bank of material that can be accessed by colleagues across the country.

Some of the Seo Sibh resources are also editable files, so they can be tailored to suit.

Teachers who submit their resources will be clearly credited for the work, although they can also opt to be anonymous.

Neil Smith, Head of Development Services for Stòrlann, said the site had been created “to meet a need and respond to teacher feedback” and added: “We want to encourage people to use the sharing site and share their work with others to help each other out.”

Visit the website for more information.

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Gaelic education: is it effective?

6 December 2018 (Holyrood)

“Teachers in Gaelic medium are exceptional because they have to instil this language that will be new to most pupils,” Donalda McComb, headteacher of Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu in Glasgow, tells Holyrood.

“The experience [the children have] had in the nursery, a Gaelic nursery, will help give a baseline, but they’ll still go through processes for language learning where a lot of it is understanding before they’re actually speaking it.”

In Gaelic-medium education, children are fully immersed, taught solely through Gaelic, in primary one and two. English literacy is then introduced during primary three or four, with elements of Gaelic and English taught throughout the rest of the primary years.

Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu (SGG) is currently the biggest provider of Gaelic-medium education (GME) in Scotland and the only end-to-end Gaelic school delivering nursery, primary and secondary education through the medium of Gaelic. McComb has more than 30 years’ experience in Gaelic-medium teaching, which began in Glasgow and Inverness in 1985 with 24 pupils, and now sees around 5,600 children being educated in Gaelic in 13 local authority areas.

In that time, the profile of the pupils has changed significantly, from most being the children of Gaelic speakers to now a majority of children coming from non-Gaelic-speaking households.

This in itself presents challenges. At one end, some children arrive at school having been exposed to Gaelic at home and been through croileagan (Gaelic toddler group) and sgoil àraich (nursery), while others have not heard a word of Gaelic before they start.

This year, SGG is piloting two separate classes, one for children with a background in Gaelic and another for those with no Gaelic. The school has also brought in play-based learning in primary one, because the school was finding that some children “weren’t ready for that more formal side of things”.

This is already used in Bun-Sgoil Taobh na Pàirce in Edinburgh. Anne MacPhail, headteacher there, says the play-based approach works well because it means the teachers have opportunities to take small groups of children, work with them and encourage them to “become confident in trying Gaelic”.

Gaelic-medium education is considered a success story and the benefits of it, and its encouragement of bilingual competency in general, have been well publicised. Research shows it provides improved cognitive development and pupils going through GME perform at least as well, if not better, in English than their monolingual peers. Academically, for example, Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu has the highest attainment in the city, with around half of sixth years achieving five or more Highers.

There are plans to expand GME as part of a drive to secure the future of the language. The Scottish Government’s Gaelic language plan aims to double the intake into GME primary to 800 and increase the range of subjects taught in Gaelic at secondary, while expansion of GME has been among Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s key priorities in successive national Gaelic language plans.

But there are serious challenges. Firstly, in achieving the aim of Gaelic-medium education creating a new generation of Gaelic speakers – with much of the focus of discourse around GME levels of attainment in general, particularly in English, rather than on levels of attainment in Gaelic – and secondly, the needs that go with the planned expansion, given a serious shortage of Gaelic teachers and other resources to meet existing and future demand.

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Runrig honoured for services to Gaelic at Scots Trad Music Awards

1 December 2018 (The Scotsman)

Rock group Runrig have been honoured for their services to the Gaelic language at Scotland’s annual traditional music Oscars – months after bowing out from playing live. The band, who appeared for the final time before 45,000 fans in Stirling in August, were formed in the Isle of Skye in 1973.

[...] Simon Thoumire, founder of the "Na Trads," said: “Runrig forged the way for so many other bands. They showed how Gaelic could be used in many different ways and wasn’t just something that was spoken in living rooms or used at ceilidhs. They also showed that Gaelic songs could be performed in stadiums and taken around the world." 

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Comann nam Pàrant newsletter

26 November 2018 (Education Scotland)

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

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Virtual virtues

23 November 2018 (TESS)

Through remotely taught lessons, e-Sgoil gives pupils in often isolated communities a wider choice of subjects while also providing much-needed flexibility for teachers. And in a time of squeezed budgets and recruitment challenges, the model is increasingly finding favour beyond its Western Isles base, reports Emma Seith.

Mairi MacKay is a secondary teacher with a more comfortable working environment than most. There is no long walk down endless corridors to get to the toilets. And while jeans would be frowned upon in most Scottish schools, she is wearing a pair today because, by and large, her pupils will only ever see her from the waist up.

MacKay, who teaches from her living room in Perth using a laptop, delivers Gaelic lessons to learners in Argyll and Bute, Highland and the Western Isles with the aid of videoconferencing software. She is employed by the Western Isles e-Sgoil, which launched in 2016 and which recently inspired the Welsh government to start beaming lessons into its own schools. To meet her pupils in person would take MacKay the best part of a working day by road and sea.

The ambition of e-Sgoil is to provide equal access to courses and subjects for pupils, irrespective of whether they are able to attend the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway, which has more than 1,000 pupils, or Castlebay Community School on the island of Barra, with its secondary roll of just 65.

It came into being because the council was struggling to deliver on its goal that all pupils should have access to six secondary subjects through the medium of Gaelic. However, the potential of the virtual-teaching model at a time of staff shortages had long been recognised, and the Scottish government invested £550,000 in the project.

Now, e-Sgoil headteacher Angus Maclennan – who was a depute head at the Nicolson Institute before taking up his current post in 2016 – says the virtual school has a steady presence in eight of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, and has been used in 13.

The initiative has also spurred on other authorities to establish similar initiatives. 

Read more...

Outlander: the Scottish phrases used on the show – and what they mean

16 November 2018 (i News)

Many words of both the Gaelic and Scots language have made it into Outlander – the part-historical, part-fantastical TV show that has won a dedicated following in recent years, and is based on the popular series of novels.

Here’s the meaning of some of the most commonly used words in the TV drama.

Read more...

Duaisean na Gàidhlig – The Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018

14 November 2018 (Scottish Gaelic Awards)

SCILT’s Gaelic Professional Development Officer Eòghan Stewart was amongst a range of winners at Duaisean na Gàidhlig – The Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018 at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow on Wednesday 14th November. 

Eòghan was awarded the prize for Innovation in Education, thanks to his involvement in Gaelic Learners’ resource Gàidhlig Gu Leòr which uses Apple’s Clips app to create short, snappy Gaelic learning videos.

Others honoured included rock legends Runrig who received the Urram nan Gàidheal (Honour of the Gael) Award and Professor Boyd Robertson (formerly of University of Strathclyde) and John Norman MacLeod for their work over many years for Gaelic, but over the last decade together at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI.

The Awards were sponsored by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Daily Record.

photo of Eoghan Stewart receiving his award at the Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018

Visit the website for the full list of winners.

Read more...

Related Links

Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018: Runrig honoured for inspiring generations (Daily Record, 19 November 2018)

Gaelic education: your ideas wanted

14 November 2018 (GTCS)

In issue 76 of the GTCS publication, Teaching Scotland, read about the role Gaelic Medium Education (GME) is playing in delivering Bòrd na Gàidhlig's National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-2023 (see pages 20-21). 

GTCS is committed to supporting the Gaelic education agenda and readers are invited to submit their suggestions on what more might be done to take Gaelic education forward.

Read more...

Change Scotland with coffee and cake! #Gaelic sessions in the Scottish Parliament #gaidhlig

12 November 2018 (Scottish Parliament)

We will be holding a Gaelic week in the Scottish Parliament in the week commencing 26 November.

We’ll be busy with activities to raise the profile of the language amongst the public and staff alike.

Events include the final of the School Debate – Deasbad nan Sgoiltean, a Gaelic information session and an informal Gaelic coffee afternoon where you can learn how to make your voice heard in the Scottish Parliament. 

Visit the website for more information and to register for the information session.

Read more...

Benefits of being bilingual highlighted in new video

8 November 2018 (Highland Council)

The Highland Council is to launch a new video this week “Educational Growth” aimed at parents who are thinking of enrolling their children in Gaelic Medium Education.  The video will be viewed by parents, pupils and staff at Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis on Thursday 8 November 2018.

The video features a range of different people who explain the benefits of Gaelic Medium Education and of being bilingual.

Professor Antonella Sorace from the University of Edinburgh gives an insight into how young children can pick up languages quickly and the skills a person can gain from learning more than one language.

The video also features the experiences of parents who enrolled their children into Gaelic education without speaking the language themselves. It answers fears and questions parents may have about the opportunity, such as how they are able to help with homework and how they can still feel very much included in their child’s education.

Read more...

An Comunn Gaidhealach's newsletter

1 November 2018 (An Comunn Gaidhealach)

The organisers of the Royal National Mòd have published their latest newsletter which is available to view online.

Read more...

Glasgow's Gaelic heritage forms part of Celtic Connections festival

30 October 2018 (Glasgowist)

Glasgow’s Gaelic heritage is celebrated every year as part of the Celtic Connections festival. This year, there was also the Glaschu festival in August, with Gaelic poetry in Queens Park and a Ceilidh on Glasgow Green. Every year, the city is filled with the spirit of Scots Gaelic heritage, as tourists and Glaswegians unite for a celebration of Scottish tradition.

With song and dance at the heart of Gaelic culture, it is no wonder that it continues to fascinate the world. Recent books and television series have prompted a surge in interest in the Gaelic language, while Betfair hosts a slot game called Gaelic Luck. The University of Glasgow has been teaching Gaelic to undergrads for 50 years, and a recent literary festival and ad hoc lessons in Gaelic have responded to a surge in interest.

Read more...

Gaelic Medium Leadership Award for Teachers & Education Professionals

25 October 2018 (Social Enterprise Academy/SCEL)

There are still a few spaces left on the bespoke leadership programme endorsed by SCEL, designed to meet the needs of emerging leaders in Gaelic Medium Education and Gaelic Learner Education. 

We will explore specific leadership issues faced by the sector, such as implementing CfE, supporting ASN pupils and managing transitions, all within the context of contemporary resource challenges.

You will gain an invaluable insight into your own leadership style and qualities, and a range of tools and techniques to use in your future career.

The programme is for teachers and educational professionals who would like to gain confidence in their ability to be effective, progressive, and self-aware leaders, potentially progressing their careers into head teacher or principal roles.

It will be delivered in Gaelic medium with learning materials provided in both Gaelic and English.

Read more...

Gaelic is the talk of the town for Scottish tourists

25 October 2018 (Press and Journal)

Gaelic could add more than £82 million per year to tourism, Visit Scotland revealed yesterday.

Cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop officially launched The Gaelic Tourism Strategy for Scotland 2018-2023 at The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh alongside Lord Thurso, chairman of VisitScotland and Shona Niclllinnein, chief executive of Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

The five-year plan is aimed at boosting the use of Gaelic in the tourism industry and using the language as a “unique selling point” to market to visitors.

The strategy will focus on using the language in everyday use with tourists, and developing the major benefits to businesses that come from the culture and arts associated with Gaeldom.

It will see the introduction of Gaelic ambassadors in every area of Scotland, and “Gaelic spoken here” badges for businesses, in a bid to promote the language to visitors.

Read more...

Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018: The fantastic finalists are revealed

24 October 2018 (Daily Record)

The finalists have been announced for this year’s Daily Record and Bòrd na Gàidhlig Scottish Gaelic Awards.

The awards pay tribute to all aspects of Gaelic culture, education and language.

And the winners will be revealed on Wednesday, November 14, in Glasgow.

Read more...

Youth committee to lead Mod into the future

16 October 2018 (Press and Journal)

A youth committee is working with An Comunn Gàidhealach to shape the Mods of the future.

The group was set up this year giving a nod to The National Year of the Young Person – and so far has set its sights on modernising the way in which the historic organisation communicates with the public to secure its future.

The committee of three – Shannon MacLean, 21, Padruig Morrison, 22 and Katie MacInnes 18 – is supported by 25-year-old Alison Bruce who is also employed by An Comunn Gàidhealach.

Miss MacLean, from Mull, said: “Being on the committee has been very interesting. Our main goal is to get more young people to come to the mod and get them involved in local mods around the country.

“This is my third mod in Dunoon, and it is certainly the competitions that have helped me, as a non-native speaker, take the language seriously.

“My job is to make sure it survives for a long time yet.”

Read more...

Related Links

Top Gaelic learner blooms at the Mòd (The Scotsman, 17 October 2018)

Celebration of Gaelic begins in Dunoon

14 October 2018 (Argyllshire Advertiser)

It’s Mòd time again, and the Gaelic party is well and truly up and running in Dunoon.

Storm Callum and well-publicised road closure problems at the Rest and be Thankful were never going to prevent Gaels from all over Scotland and beyond from enjoying themselves.

Friday saw the the Royal National Mòd (Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail) get into full swing with an energetic night of live music and celebrations, as Scotland’s biggest Gaelic cultural festival arrived in the Argyll town.

The Mòd is set to bring thousands of people to Dunoon as visitors and competitors until Saturday October 20.

Read more...

Gaelic Ambassador of the Year announced at Royal National Mod

13 October 2018 (BBC)

A 22-year-old singer from Skye has been named Gaelic Ambassador of the Year, as the Royal National Mod gets under way.

Eilidh Cormack, from Portree, said she was "absolutely delighted".

The Gaelic cultural festival began in Dunoon on Friday night, with a special celebration honouring Scotland's Year of Young People.

Over the next eight days there will be more than 200 competitions and events in Highland dancing, sport, literature, drama, Gaelic music and song.

Read more...

Edinburgh Council to open new Gaelic schools by 2024

10 October 2018 (The Scotsman)

The city council will press ahead with proposals to open new primary and secondary Gaelic schools despite a “problematic” shortage of teachers who speak the language.

The authority hopes to open a new primary school in 2023 where pupils are taught through the medium of Gaelic - while a secondary school could follow by 2024. A host of short-term improvements will also be taken forward.

The council is facing a growing demand for Gaelic education but council officers admit that at the Bun-Sgoil Taobh na Pairce primary school, “as the school has grown, the recruitment of sufficient Gaelic-speaking teachers has proven to be problematic.”

Conservative education spokesman, Cllr Callum Laidlaw, said: “Clearly, there’s a demand for it in Edinburgh for primary expansion. There’s a problem with the citywide catchment area for the current primary school with transport, which is provided by the council. If we move forward with any expansion of primary GME, I would like to see that geographic problem tackled by building it in the south west of the city.

“As it stands, the plan demonstrates ambition rather than reality. There’s a significant recruitment challenge the council has to address first before it moves forward. We need to focus on delivering the six priority high schools in the Wave 4 funding before we commit to the GME secondary school.”

The primary school in Bonnington now has 20 Gaelic-speaking teachers. At James Gillespie’s High School, the city’s Gaelic Medium Education (GME) secondary school, a recruitment drive has helped fill vacancies – but fewer lessons than expected have been taught in Gaelic.

Read more...

Agenda: Youth will be to the fore with Gaelic at the Mod

8 October 2018 (The Herald)

When cult Gaelic rock group Runrig signed off at their final concerts at Stirling some weeks ago their popularity with fans of all ages was abundantly evident. Forty years earlier these young Gaelic speakers launched their band and captured the lasting interest of many in their language and the challenging history of their people.

The group instilled new confidence and self-esteem among young Gaels and in communities in other countries. Runrig’s appearance coincided with renewed interest in Gaelic language revival and their music complemented and supported education and other cultural initiatives that have grown since.

Gaelic music’s international success reflects natural talent and continuing cultural confidence from the Runrig phenomenon of the 1970s. All involved in the promotion and revitalisation of Gaelic are acutely aware that the future of the language and culture depend on the interest and enthusiasm young people take in it.

Read more...

The Pushkin Prizes 2019

4 October 2018 (The Pushkin Prizes)

Somewhere out there, in an S1 or S2 class in a school in Scotland, there are ten writers worthy of the title Pushkin Prize-winner. Are you one of them?

What can you write about? ANYTHING! We're looking for stories, poems, plays, articles, memoirs - anything you like on a subject of your choice. You can write in English, Scots or Gaelic.

Visit the website for more information and submit your entries by 20 December 2018.

Read more...

Gaelic centre plan has backing of Inverness public

4 October 2018 (Inverness Courier)

A survey has shown that there is significant public support for a new Gaelic cultural centre in Inverness.

The research, which was carried out by the Alba Heritage Trust with the aim of establishing the level of interest in a project celebrating Gaelic heritage, was met with “overwhelming” backing from members of the public.

Alba Heritage Trust director Alastair Forbes says the reaction has from businesses and individuals across the board has been significant.

“We are delighted to have had so many responses to the survey,” he said.

“The reaction from the public and private sectors and from members of the community for the establishment of a Gaelic cultural centre has been extremely positive which has given us great confidence in moving forward with the project.”

Read more...

National Gaelic Schools Debate 2018

3 October 2018 (Deasbad)

The announcement of the preliminary rounds of the National Gaelic Schools Debate competition has been made and the 2018 competition looks set to be another excellent year! The first two rounds will be held at the Town Hall in Stornoway, on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th of November 2018. Last year, for the first time ever the first rounds from Stornoway were available online, through e-Sgoil’s You Tube channel and the Deasbad Committee will be making sure that this year’s first round will also be live streamed to a potentially global audience!

Sixteen teams from fourteen schools are due to compete in the 2018 competition. Following on from the positive feedback received from the new competition format, all the schools will participate in debates over the two days, with the four teams with the highest points, across the two days, progressing to the final stages which will be held in Edinburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday the 27th and 28th of November 2018. The Committee welcome Agnes Rennie and Boyd Robertson who will join Iain Stephen Morrison as judges.

Read more...

Gaelic Medium Education promotional film previews at An t-Alltan 2018

3 October 2018 (Highland Council)

The 10th annual conference for Gaelic education practitioners, which took place in Aviemore last week, has been hailed a great success.

Around 200 delegates from all over the country attended the conference, held in the MacDonald Aviemore Conference Centre last Wednesday and Thursday (September 26 and 27), which was organised by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig, with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Scottish Government.

Through a programme of talks and workshops, the conference provides delegates with an overview of current best practice and a look at new initiatives for teaching and learning. It caters for staff from the Early Years sector as well as primary and secondary schools.

This year, the conference had a focus that was very much on the whole learner journey through the Gaelic Medium Education system, right from the beginning with Cròileagan and play groups through to developing the young workforce.

A powerful new film which has been created to promote Gaelic Medium Education was shown for the first time at the conference. The film has been made by Fàs Foghlaim – Highland Council’s social media vehicle for promoting Gaelic education – and will be made available to the public later in the year but delegates got a welcome preview of it.

Entitled ‘Gaelic Medium Education – A New Perspective’, the film lasts eight minutes and features testimonies from GME parents and teachers as well as perspectives from leading bilingualism academic Professor Antonella Sorace, of the University of Edinburgh, and Tidelines singer and songwriter Robert Robertson, who came through GME himself.

With 90 per cent of connections in the brain being formed by the age of three, the role of Cròileagan and other Gaelic-speaking pre-school groups has long been recognised for their importance in getting learners started on their journey to bilingualism.

As such, the Early Years sector is seen as an important part of the Alltan conference and representatives from that sector said they gained a lot from this year’s event.

Read more...

Highland schools come out top at Shinty@the Bught

1 October 2018 (Highland Council)

Iomain Cholmcille – the Gaelic Shinty Project – has worked in partnership with The Highland Council’s Gaelic Team to organise a six aside national Shinty event for P4 to P7 Gaelic Medium pupils from schools across Scotland.

In August Iomain Cholmchille announced funding of £8000, from Bord na Gàidhlig in order to help develop the use of Gaelic in youth Shinty. The project was launched at Bun- Sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh and pupils were presented with new Gaelic strips for the school Shinty team. The funding for community projects aims to build on Iomain Cholmcille’s successful work, in partnership with the Highland Council’s Gaelic Team running Cupa Iomain na h-Òige.

Cupa Iomain na h-Òige – Youth Shinty Cup - is in its third year and although based in the Highlands, the competition, which is held entirely through the medium of Gaelic, is open to schools from across Scotland. This year the competition took place at the Bught Park in Inverness which is a national stadium and 14 teams have entered with approximately 100 pupils participating in the event.

Schools from across Scotland entered which include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dingwall, this is the first time that the smaller schools in Skye have taken part.

Iomain Cholmcille is a project dedicated to encouraging the use of Gaelic in the Shinty world and regularly organises international exchanges with Irish-speaking hurling teams for both men and women.

Read more...

SQA course reports for Advanced Higher Modern Languages 2018

1 October 2018 (SQA)

The course reports for Advanced Higher Chinese, French, Gaelic (Learners), German, Italian and Spanish are now available on the SQA website.

Read more...

Runrig-inspired school resource launches in Gaelic schools

22 September 2018 (The National)

A new schools resource which celebrates the contribution Runrig have made to the Gaelic language and culture has been launched.

The unit focusing on the Scots band is from Gaelic educational resources organisation Storlann Naiseanta na Gaidhlig and is being hailed as a key addition to the Gaelic resource corpus.

Read more...

SCHOLAR online tutor sessions for Modern Languages

19 September 2018 (SCHOLAR)

The schedule of online tutor sessions for Higher and Advanced Higher Modern Languages 2018-19 is now available online.

Read more...

Scottish Parliament publishes new Gaelic promotion plan

19 September 2018 (Daily Mail)

A new five-year plan for promoting Gaelic has been unveiled by the Scottish Parliament.

The proposals set out how the language will be supported between 2018 and 2022 within Holyrood.

They include providing awareness training to all front-of-house staff, showing it as much respect as English as well as creating a space where the Gaelic business community can raise issues with representatives.

Read more...

Related Links

Parliament publishes new 5-year Gaelic plan (Holyrood, 20 September 2018)

Castles light up in celebration of Gaelic and Scots (The Scotsman, 19 September 2018)

Scottish Parliament publishes new Gaelic promotion plan (Evening Express, 19 September 2018)

eLearning conference aims for digital revolution in Gaelic learning

19 September 2018 (SCILT)

Twenty representatives from seven local authorities across Scotland attended a conference on digital learning in Gaelic Learner Education at the University of Strathclyde on 14 September 2018. The forum discussed provision for Gaelic language learners online, with the aim of improving the digital offer and increasing the number of Gaelic learners in Scottish secondary schools.

Phyllis Green, who attended the conference on behalf of West Lothian Council, said: “The conference helped raise awareness of how we could support Gaelic learning within our authority. Following on from this event, we plan to make links with e-Sgoil, and with other local authorities, to look at how digital can be exploited to support learning within West Lothian Council.”

Jo Ellson, representing Aberdeenshire Council, commented: “It was particularly valuable to discover what is available in a wider context to support learners digitally, and to see the will of all those attending to take Gaelic learning forward.”

The event was facilitated by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages. Delegates included representatives from Further and Higher Education as well as national education organisations, SQA and Scottish Government.

SCILT Professional Development Officer, Eòghan Stewart, said: “The conference allowed us to bring colleagues from Comhairle nan Eilean’s e-Sgoil to meet with representatives from other local authorities in order to build links with one another and with Further and Higher Education institutions. There is an appetite to learn Gaelic amongst young people but it can be unclear how to go about doing this if there is no teacher in the school. With a good digital learning strategy nationally, we hope to increase the numbers learning and, eventually, speaking the language, in line with the aims of the Scottish Government Gaelic Language Plan.”

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s e-Sgoil was established in August 2016. Through a network of staff who deliver online learning, e-Sgoil aims to support the expansion of Gaelic Medium Education locally and nationally. e-Sgoil recently launched an on-line class for National 5 and Higher Gaelic (Learners). This has attracted 12 candidates for the 2018-19 session.

Posted in: Gaelic, CPD

The Gaelic Language Promotion Trust

19 September 2018 (GLPT)

The purpose of the Gaelic Language Promotion Trust is to support and promote the teaching, learning and use of the Gaelic language in Scotland. The Gaelic Language Promotion Trust offers assistance to full-time and part-time students taking Scottish Gaelic language courses or courses through Scottish Gaelic. 

Currently, the main activity of the Trust is the provision of grants to students of Gaelic at diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels. However, the Trust recognises the importance of Gaelic pre-school provision, and following a generous legacy from Urras Gnìomhachas nan Gàidheal, Career Development Funding is now available for Gaelic students studying for an HNC in Childhood Practice, for Gaelic pre-school workers and GLPS primary teachers wishing to improve their Gaelic language skills. Priority is given to individuals currently employed in Gaelic pre-school establishments who are completing their HNC Childhood Practice modules on a part-time basis and primary teachers delivering Gaelic L2.

The Trust acknowledges the contribution that primary schools across Scotland are making to the promotion of the Gaelic language through the 1+2 language model and welcomes applications from GLPS schools for designated funding for Gaelic books. The Trust also provides grants in respect of Gaelic publishing, including digital and traditional printed books, and junior drama projects.

The Cameron Fund, a separate funding stream from the general fund, has been created to support community-based media projects. To this end, the Trust welcomes applications from individuals / communities / organisations for projects involving new media. This might include short films and vlogs which the GLPT would showcase on their website.

The next deadline for grant applications is 19 October 2018. 

Read more...

Into Film Festival 2018

18 September 2018 (Into Film)

The Into Film Festival is a free, annual, nationwide celebration of film and education for 5-19 year olds.

This year's festival takes place from 7-23 November with UK-wide events and screenings. There are some foreign language options included in the 'Visions of Europe' selection of the programme.

Visit the website for more information and to find events near you.

Read more...

Gaelic talent provide new video game's soundtrack

18 September 2018 (BBC)

Gaelic musicians, including an 82-year-old Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame inductee, have provided the soundtrack to a new video game.

The Bard's Tale IV Barrows Deep is a follow up to the 1980s game Bard's Tale.

Its soundtrack features celebrated piper and Gaelic singer Rona Lightfoot, and Peigi Barker, 16, who was the voice of Young Merida in Disney film Brave.

Simple Minds bass player Ged Grimes composed and produced the music.

Dundee-born Grimes was responsible for bringing together the Gaelic musicians.

The soundtrack features more than 30 songs. Among those singing on the tracks is a 40-member Gaelic choir.

Read more...

Agenda: Let’s raise a toast to a decade of BBC Alba

17 September 2018 (The Herald)

In a world dominated by media the importance of broadcasting cannot be overemphasised in efforts to revive lesser used languages and so the 10th anniversary of the establishment of BBC Alba – launched on September 19, 2008 – is cause for celebration for all committed to the survival and advancement of the Gaelic language. That it was set up under the aegis of the BBC was a crucial achievement especially in the context of that year’s global financial crisis and the inevitable questions around the licence fee, charter renewal and the like. Therefore, to have our Scottish Gaelic channel on the first screen of the BBC iPlayer – located between the Parliament channel and S4C (the Welsh language channel) – remains a source of pleasure to language activists.

Indeed the creation of a dedicated Gaelic channel is now acknowledged as one of the key cultural developments of the new millennium in Scotland (cf National Theatre of Scotland, Dundee V & A) and crucially complements Gaelic-medium education; and arguably, in terms of impact, more significant than the Gaelic Language Act (2005).

Read more...

Youngsters wow crowds at Highland festival finale

17 September 2018 (Press and Journal)

A thousand young people took to the stage to sing an inspiration Gaelic song during a celebration of young musicians in Inverness on Saturday.

They brought the Blas Festival to a stunning close in front of a packed audience at the Northern meeting park.

Their performance came at the end of a day of outstanding music and song that featured some of the biggest names in Scottish traditional music.

Gathered together for the festival showcase Oran Mor – which means Great (or Big) Song – were young musicians from Feisean and various youth initiatives from across Scotland including the Highland Council Youth Music Groups, the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music and City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band.

Read more...

CBeebies, CBBC go Gaelic

13 September 2018 (Kidscreen)

BBC Studios has inked a deal with Scottish channel BBC ALBA to bring content from CBeebies and CBBC into Scotland starting on September 17. The Gaelic-language channel is run by Gaelic media service MG ALBA, in partnership with the BBC.

Preschool channel CBeebies will run on ALBA for an hour every evening, ending with a nightly bedtime story, and followed by an hour of Gaelic CBBC content.

The partnership effectively quadruples the amount of original Gaelic children’s content on BBC ALBA, where the CBeebies and CBBC branded blocks will have a similar look and feel to their English-language versions, but with some new talent presenting in the Gaelic children’s zones alongside existing BBC personalities.

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Dunoon gears up for Royal National Mòd

12 September 2018 (Oban Times)

Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd) will return to Dunoon next month (Friday 12 October – Saturday 20 October) for the eighth time – with a very special focus on Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.

The nine-day spectacular of Gaelic music, arts and sport will take place in Dunoon for the first time since 2012, with a host of initiatives aimed at encouraging more young people to get involved already under way.

Throughout the year, Dunoon schools have welcomed tutors from FèisSgoil to help them prepare for Mòd competitions, as part of An Comunn Gàidhealach’s Mòd Academy initiative, which aims to help youngsters learn and develop their musical and Gaelic skills.

Local drama workshops for Dunoon’s youngsters were hosted in recent months in a bid to inspire more children to get involved with Gaelic drama, with a group set to perform at this year’s festival; and organisers have been working closely with the Camanachd Association to arrange a junior shinty Mòd Cup match before the annual senior match.

This year also saw the establishment of the first ever Young Person’s Committee, supported by the Year of Young People 2018 Event Fund, which has allowed young Gaels the opportunity to get involved in the Mòd planning process, and to have their say on what they would like to see.

Read more...

Curriculum for GLE and GME

10 September 2018 (Education Scotland)

e-Sgoil is an interactive, real-time teaching facility which uses Glow, Office 365 and Vscene to support the teaching of Gaelic and through Gaelic in any school in Scotland. It supports the curriculum for 1+2, Gaelic Learner and Gaelic Medium Education. A short promotional video is available on the Education Scotland learning blog.

Read more...

Maths Week Scotland - Mathématiques sans frontières / Maths wi nae borders

7 September 2018 (North Lanarkshire Council)

As part of Maths Week Scotland, pupils of all ages can participate in the 'Maths wi nae borders' competition, which requires students to respond to one of the questions in either Gaelic or Scots.

The new competition is inspired by 'Mathématiques sans frontières'. North Lanarkshire Council, the University of the West of Scotland and Heriot Watt University work together to encourage young language learners to apply their knowledge in a Maths setting.

This stimulating and light-hearted competition for secondary schools combines Maths and Modern Languages and aims to motivate pupils in both their Maths and Language Learning.  S4 classes attempt 10 questions and S5 classes 13 questions.  Ideally a whole class should tackle groups of questions in order to complete the test within the 60 minutes allowed.

The first question require an explanation in a foreign language.  It is hoped that this competition will encourage cross-curricular working and teamwork.

This year 42 teams from 27 schools took part in 'Mathématiques sans Frontières', the winning team in S4 was Girvan Academy and the S5 winners and overall winning school was Grange Academy.

Look out for the e-mail invitation inviting you to take part in January 2019.

Still Game director creates new Gaelic sketch show

6 September 2018 (BBC)

A new Gaelic language sketch show created by Still Game director Michael Hines has been announced as part of BBC Alba's autumn season.

Func will feature new acting and writing talent.

Read more...

Fifth dedicated Gaelic school officially opened

4 September 2018 (Holyrood)

A new Gaelic primary - the fifth school dedicated to the language in Scotland – has been officially opened in Skye.

Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh in Portree is the third Gaelic medium school in the Highland Council area.

It opened to its 133 primary and 47 nursery pupils in April this year, with Education Secretary John Swinney attending a special opening ceremony on Monday.

He said: “It is a pleasure to be involved in supporting Highland Council to realise their vision for the Gaelic language. 

“We are seeing growing demand from parents for access to Gaelic medium education across the country which clearly demonstrates that the Scottish Government’s commitments to supporting the language are a having a positive result. 

“I commend Highland Council for their actions and look forward to working with them on future projects.”

Gaelic medium education is available in 14 out of 32 Scottish local authorities to all children and young people.

Read more...

Education Scotland Gaelic Newsletter

31 August 2018 (Education Scotland)

The latest edition of Education Scotland's newsletter for Gaelic education is now available online.

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Narrowing of secondary options hits Gaelic

30 August 2018 (TES)

A leading light in Gaelic-medium education is calling for the Scottish government to investigate the impact of the narrowing of the curriculum in senior secondary.

He says teenagers are being “lost to the language” and that the teacher supply pipeline is “in danger of drying up” as a result.

(Note - subscription required to read full article).

Read more...

Related Links

Call for the right to be taught in Gaelic (TES, 31 August 2018) Subscription required to read full article.

Where next for Gaelic as it gains ground in education? (TES, 31 August 2018) Subscription required to read full article.

Gaelic archive of songs and stories unlocked for first time

27 August 2018 (The Scotsman)

Their songs and stories speak of a different time.

Now an audio archive which documents the traditions of crofters, farm workers and fishermen - in English and Gaelic and some Scots - has opened up to the public for the first time.

More than 40 audio files are being published online by Glasgow University as it works to make traditional Gaelic speech more accessible to speakers and learners of the language.

Read more...

Gaelic Language plan brings forward a host of new volunteers

28 August 2018 (Press and Journal)

Gaelic speakers, and those with an interest in the language, are being invited to showcase bespoke tours for visitors at sites including Dunstaffnage Castle near Oban, Arnol Blackhouse on the Isle of Lewis and Urquhart Castle, near Inverness, to promote the historic origins of the language and its place in Scotland’s rich history.

The Gaelic volunteer programme is part of the organisation’s five-year Gaelic Language Plan.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland, said: “Gaelic is a distinct and unique part of Scotland’s history and culture which attracts visitors from all over the world, contributing significantly to Scotland’s economy.

Read more...

Related Links

Historic sites to offer bespoke Gaelic tours (The Herald, 28 August 2018)

Talking up Gaelic at historic sites (Stornoway Gazette, 27 August 2018)

Historic sites to offer bespoke Gaelic tours

28 August 2018 (The Herald)

It was once a language which had been pushed to the margins, spoken only in isolated communities and far-flung outposts.

But now Gaelic is undergoing something of a renaissance in Scotland with a fresh interest apparent in the country's songs, signposts and schools.

(Note - subscription required to read full article).

Read more...

Runrig say farewell as Stòrlann launch rocking resource

20 August 2018 (Stòrlann)

Legendary Gaelic rock band Runrig said farewell at the end of a 45 year career with a two-night event which attracted 50,000 people to Stirling Castle. At the event were showcases for FilmG, the Gaelic Sort Film Project, and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College. FilmG’s theme this year is “In the Blink of an Eye.” Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig have also launched a newly developed Runrig resource for use in schools, alongside redeveloping their Fileanta website for Gaelic Medium Education in Secondary.

Access the resources via the following links:

Gaelic eLearning by eSgoil available to learners all across Scotland

20 August 2018 (eSgoil)

Comhairle nan Eilean’s eSgoil is offering National 5 and Higher Gaelic (Learners) via computer - these will be open to school pupils and adult learners anywhere. All you need is a computer with internet access.

Get in touch with Angus MacLennan or Catriona Currie at esgoil@gnes.net if you or learners within your school would be interested in this opportunity

This is the timetable for the classes.

  • Monday 8:50-10:30 
  • Wednesday 14:00-14:45 
  • Thursday 13:55-15:35 
  • Friday 12:25-13:15

Leadership Award for Gaelic Education: 2 and 3 November 2018, 30 November and 1 December 2018

19 August 2018 (Education Scotland)

We are delighted to announce that the Leadership Award for educators of Gaelic Medium Education (GME) organised by Social Enterprise Academy, in collaboration with Education Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig, is being offered in November and December 2018. This is a professional learning opportunity which is tailored to build leadership capacity in GME. It is delivered through the medium of Gaelic. The Leadership Award is endorsed by the Scottish College of Educational Leadership (SCEL), with accreditation by the Institute of Leadership and Management Award at SCQF level 9 and is funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Visit Education Scotland's learning blog for more information.

Read more...

The lessons Gaelic schools can teach us about learning

15 August 2018 (The National)

[..] Gaelic medium education succeeds in producing new generations of fluent Gaelic speakers because, as its name suggests, it makes use of the Gaelic language to teach other subjects. Kids don’t sit in classes where they are taught Gaelic in the same way that French or other foreign languages are taught in schools.

The difference in the fluency level that is achieved is stark. I was taught Gaelic the old-fashioned way, and am the proud possessor of a Gaelic Learner’s O Grade and a Gaelic Learner’s Higher. I was taught Gaelic in much the same way kids in modern Scottish schools are taught French or German, in a dedicated class, a couple of hours a week. The result is that although I can puzzle out a written text in the language and have a reasonably sized Gaelic vocabulary, I struggle to follow a Gaelic conversation and can’t express myself orally.

Read more...

Scotland experiencing 'mass movement' of parents seeking Gaelic schools

10 August 2018 (The Herald)

Scotland is experiencing a “mass movement” of parents who want their children to be educated in Gaelic, creating increasing demand for more specialist schools to be built.

Allan MacDonald, chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the public body responsible for Gaelic, said there had been a “significant” boost in the number of families interested in Gaelic education in towns and cities.

He said the language was experiencing a “shift in emphasis” away from its heartlands and towards the Central Belt as populations continue to plummet in Scotland’s most rural areas.

He added: “The numbers are growing in the cities and the bigger towns all the time. And that contrasts quite significantly with the economic situation – not just in the Western Isles, but in other areas of the Highlands as well.”

t comes as a series of commitments aimed at boosting the strength of Gaelic were unveiled at a milestone meeting of public bodies chaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

This includes plans to publish the first ever Gaelic tourism strategy this autumn to help bring visitors into contact with the language.

Officials also want to increase the number of school subjects which can be taught in Gaelic.

Read more...

Related Links

Perth summit pledges action to accelerate use of Gaelic language (The Courier, 10th August 2018)

Scottish Gaelic Awards 2018

7 August 2018 (Scottish Gaelic Awards)

The Daily Record, alongside headline sponsor Bòrd na Gàidhlig are proud to launch the 2018 campaign to celebrate Gaelic culture, education and language highlighting the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage.

Visit the website for more information and submit your nomination by 25 September 2018.

Read more...

Can £27m a year bring a language back from near death?

1 August 2018 (BBC)

The feeling of walking barefoot across a beach in summer and the sun-warmed sand chafing my toes takes me the length of this sentence to describe. My great-great-grandfather, Angus Morrison, would have used one word: driùchcainn. 

That’s because, born and bred on the fringes of Western Europe, on Lewis, in the archipelago of the Outer Hebrides, his mother tongue was Scottish Gaelic.

It’s the ancient Celtic language heard by TV audiences tuning into the Highlands time-travelling saga Outlander.

In real life, working together crofting, fishing, weaving or cutting peat for fires, my ancestors spoke in Gaelic. It was spoken at home, sung at parties, used at church. But education in Angus’s day was strictly in English. As late as the 1970s, children were sometimes punished for speaking Gaelic at school.

Raised alongside Atlantic surf and storms, he became a sailor. Then, in the mid-nineteenth century, moved to Glasgow, and settled there working as a ship’s rigger. Among the principles he instilled in the family was the importance of education. But he did not pass on his cradle tongue.

My family story illustrates what linguistics experts call intergenerational breakdown. In 2018, along with about half of the world’s estimated 6,000 languages, Scottish Gaelic is considered at risk of dying out.

Read more...

Glasgow University hears its first Gaelic graduation speech in 567 years

28 June 2018 (The Herald)

Glasgow University has heard its first graduation speech in Gaelic in its 567-year history.

The ancient seat awarded a former moderator of the Church of Scotland with an honorary degree partly because of his commitment to the Celtic tongue.

And the Very Rev Dr Angus Morrison accepted with an oration partly in Gaelic.

Read more...

Swimming lessons in Gaelic a first for Scotland

26 June 2018 (BBC)

Swimming lessons have been offered in Gaelic for the first time in Scotland.

More than 30 young Gaelic speakers have signed up for the classes at the High Life Highland-run Lochaber Leisure Centre in Fort William.

Eilidh Mcarthur, a student teacher working at the pool, suggested the idea after she found out that 11 of the site's staff were Gaelic speakers.

Read more...

Stòrlann put Runrig and Sporting Hero resources on-line for Gaelic Medium Education in Secondary

20 June 2018 (Stòrlann)

Stòrlann have also published new literacy resources for Gaelic Medium Education, including a resource about legendary Gaelic rockers Runrig. This multimedia unit comes as the band prepare for their swan song gig in Stirling in August, bowing out after 45 long and successful years promoting Gaelic song and music. It is hoped the resource will teach learners about Runrig’s important legacy for many years to come. There is also a new resource about Highland Sporting Heroes - Laoich Spòrs Gàidhealach.

Read more...

Ceumannan 5 - New Health and Wellbeing unit on-line for Gaelic Learners by end of session

20 June 2018 (Stòrlann)

Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig are about to publish online the second unit of the final book in the Ceumannan series for Gaelic Learners. Like all the resources in the series which launched in 2009, Ceumannan 5 Aonad 2 - Slàinte agus Sunnd, has been written by Emma Christie. It is aimed at Higher and Advanced Higher Gaelic (Learners). When the resource becomes available at the end of June 2018, it will be available on the Stòrlann website.

Read more...

FilmG

20 June 2018 (FilmG)

The successful Film G project which encourages the use of Gaelic through film-making has entered it’s 11th year. Film G is run by MG Alba in partnership with CGS and has been a very popular event for Gaelic Learners and Fluent speakers alike over the last decade. Film G organise school visits and more information can be found on their website.

Read more...

CLAS - Successful Gaelic teachers conference held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig 2/3 June

20 June 2018 (CLAS)

CLAS - Comann Luchd-Teagaisg Àrd-Sgoiltean, the professional body for Gaelic Secondary Teachers in Scotland, held a successful CLPL conference at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College in the Isle of Skye on 2 & 3 June. SCILT was in attendance along with other speakers, as colleagues took the opportunity to share their hopes and concerns about Gaelic Education in the present time.

If you are a Gaelic teacher or a teacher who speaks Gaelic and would like to be come a member, contact Catriona MacPhee via CLAS’ facebook page.

Read more...

e-Sgoil wins top praise from Swinney

15 June 2018 (We love Stornoway)

Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP has praised Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s e-Sgoil project in a review document of its first year which has been circulated to all schools in Scotland.

Mr Swinney said “e-Sgoil makes use of our national education intranet, GLOW and it is effectively using this to bring teachers and learners together no matter their location. I would like to congratulate those involved at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for their vision, energy and commitment in bringing this project forward in such a short period of time.

“In concluding I would like to commend this report to you and hope you are encouraged by the success set out in the following pages.”

e-Sgoil is offering National 5 and Higher Gaelic (Learners) provision on-line to Local Authorities.

e-Sgoil e have identified the following periods for the delivery of National 5 and Higher Gaelic (Learners):

  • Mon - 08.50 to 09.40 and 09.40 to 10.30 
  • Wed - 13.35 to 14.45 
  • Thurs - 13.55 to 14.45 and 11.45 to 15.35 
  • Fri - 12.25 to 13.15

Any learners wishing to access these courses can do so using Glow, Office 365 and Vscene. 

e-Sgoil also has capacity to deliver weekly Gaelic Learner classes for any schools requiring support with the 1+2 agenda.

If your school or authority is interested in exploring these options contact e-sgoil@gnes.net or phone 01851 822850.

Read more...

Gaelic manuscripts join Unesco Memory of the World Register

9 June 2018 (The National)

The United Nations has paid Scotland’s Gaelic tongue a huge compliment by adding some of the earliest manuscripts in the language to the Unesco Memory of the World Register.

The National Library of Scotland (NLS) announced yesterday that its renowned collection of early Gaelic manuscripts will go on the register – which aims to preserve the world’s most important documents.

The Gaelic collection will join the likes of the Domesday Book, Magna Carta, the Churchill archives and Scotland’s own Declaration of Arbroath on the register.

Read more...

The 50-Word Fiction Competition

8 June 2018 (Scottish Book Trust)

Can you write a story in just 50 words? Each month we’ll provide a prompt to get you started, but where the story goes from there is entirely up to you.

The competition includes four categories, Adult Writers, All-age Gaelic Writers, Young Writers 5-11 and Young Writer 12-18. The entries will be judged by a panel and the four winning stories will be published on our website two weeks after the closing date.

Entries for our June competition are currently open. The prompt is to 'write a story set on a beach'. Submit your story by Tuesday 3 July 2018 at noon. 

Visit the Scottish Book Trust website for more information.

Read more...

Briefing on Gaelic Education

7 June 2018 (Education Scotland)

Education Scotland's latest briefing on Gaelic Education is now available on their website.

Read more...

Exclusive: National tests to be offered in Gaelic

30 May 2018 (TES)

Literacy and numeracy assessments to be offered to Scottish Gaelic schools from August after government investment.

Read more...

1+2 Advice - Gaelic (Learners)

30 May 2018 (Education Scotland)

The 1+2 Advice has been updated with information on Gaelic (Learners) as L3 and challenge questions. The challenge questions are designed to support senior leaders and teachers with self-evaluation. They are based on the Quality Indicators of How good is our school? The Gaelic version of the 1+2 Advice is available .

Scots-Gaelic railway map uncovers meaning of station names

23 May 2018 (Scotsman)

Railway stations can tell you a lot about a country, from its economic development to its population centres. But their names also provide an insight into how language and its meaning evolves over time, from describing little more than fields to vanished religious centres.

Read more...

Related Links

Word Wizard Final 2018: Motivating young people in their language learning

18 May 2018 (SCILT/CISS)

S1-S3 pupils from across Scotland took part in the national final of Word Wizard at the Scottish Parliament on 11 May 2018. Word Wizard is a multilingual spelling competition for pupils learning French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish. Forty-eight learners from ten local authorities and independent schools competed in the final in front of an audience of teachers, supporters and guests.
 
Each year pupils and teachers report that the competition increases motivation, enhances language performance and improves attitudes to language learning. Word Wizard promotes literacy skills amongst pupils and helps schools develop partnership working with universities.

A teacher entering pupils into the final commented: “It provided our pupils with a huge sense of motivation and excitement for learning languages.” 

A pupil competing in the final said: “I liked learning new vocabulary and getting to show it off to everyone.”

Word Wizard is organised by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages based at University of Strathclyde, in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland. 

Fhiona Mackay, Director of SCILT said of the competition: “It’s wonderful to see so many young people taking part in the Word Wizard competition representing a wide range of local authorities. Having an understanding of another language can really transform a person’s life and encourages the development of a whole range of important skills. Through such events, SCILT aims to offer teachers really motivating ways of enhancing the curriculum so that Scottish young people can reap the benefits of learning languages.”

Word Wizard supports the Scottish Government initiative, “Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 approach” by offering a diversity of languages as recommended by the report. The targets laid out in the Scottish Attainment Challenge are about achieving equity in educational outcomes, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap. One of the key drivers is improved literacy. 

In March 2018, 190 pupils from 14 local authorities and independent schools competed in semi-finals in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh to battle it out for a place at the prestigious final. 

Word Wizard is supported by the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS) and the final was sponsored by Joan McAlpine MSP

Full details of the winners and further information on the competition can be found on the SCILT website.

Read more...

A tongue-lashing over teacher shortage as Gaelic plan agreed

16 May 2018 (The Scotsman)

Parents and pupils at Edinburgh’s only Gaelic high school have demanded action to address a teacher shortage and to stand up for children facing discrimination. The calls came as the city council yesterday agreed its Gaelic Language Plan for 2018-22.

It was revealed the authority only has one Gaelic teacher in employment for Gaelic medium education (GME) at James Gillespie’s High School where pupils are taught primarily through the medium of Gaelic. Speaking at a meeting of the council’s corporate policy and strategy committee, which unanimously agreed the plan, parent Marion Thompson raised worries about protection for GME pupils.

Read more...

Related Links

Edinburgh Council agrees new Gaelic Language Plan (The Scotsman, 15 May 2018)

An Cuan Sgith / The Little Minch art project connecting islands with Gaelic

14 May 2018 (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig)

A two year visual arts project has connected school pupils from Skye and Benbecula.

The pupils from Bunsgoil Shlèite, Skye and Bunsgoil Baile a' Mhanaich, Benbecula worked with professional artists through the medium of Gaelic.

The project, entitled An Cuan Sgìth/The Little Minch, was led by Lasair Ealain and supported by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The aim of the project is to inspire and empower young people to draw their own environment, working with professional artists to encourage their individual forms of expression and a greater understanding of where they live.

After a series of drawing and painting workshops in their own landscapes the children from Bunsgoil Shlèite visited the pupils in Benbecula for 3 days enabling the children to work together with the artists in different sites, share evening activities through Gaelic and make new friends. At the end of the visit, the Balivanich pupils made the ferry journey across to Skye over An Cuan Sgìth (The Little Minch) drawing on the ferry with the Skye pupils and their teachers.

The pupils were able to work with professional artists, such as Julie Brook, Kate Macdonald and Kath MacLeod (Arts Development Officer SMO).

Subsequently each group learnt how to create compositions of specific areas of their landscape based on a number of their sketchbook drawings, enabling the children to collaborate and work together on large scale charcoal drawings.

The sketchbooks, framed A1 drawings, large scale charcoal compositions and a film of the project will form the exhibitions that express their artistic and physical journey, in Taigh Chearsabhagh, North Uist and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye on 11 May to 23 June 2018.

The project has been funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Western Isles Council, Young Films, Lasair Ealain.

Taigh Chearsabhagh is funded by Creative Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and Highlands & Islands Enterprise.

Read more...

Public consultation on list of Gaelic shellfish names

8 May 2018 (BBC)

A public consultation on recommended Gaelic names for the most common shellfish in Scotland's seas has been launched.

Scottish Natural Heritage has published a list of 85 marine mollusc names, Gaelic terms for parts of the animals and for different seashell shapes.

The meanings of many of the names have also been explained in English.

The recommendations have been produced by a team from Scottish Natural Heritage and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Gaelic-speaking environmental educator Roddy Maclean has been leading the project.

He interviewed 14 older Gaelic speakers, mostly from the Western Isles, to obtain guidance on the names they use for marine mollusc species.

Mr Maclean said: "There was a general agreement on the names for the most common species.

"But there were some species where people had different terms, or none at all. This challenged us to make a choice and also provide names for species with no recorded Gaelic form."

Some of the suggested names and terms include:

Mollusc - Moileasg
Seashell - Slige mhara
Filter feeder - Sìoltachair
Shellfish harvested by moonlight - Maorach-èalaidh

Read more...

“Beairteas” seeking to add richness to Gaelic education

2 May 2018 (Fèisean nan Gàidheal)

Fèisean nan Gàidheal have launched a new initiative through their Fèisgoil project to help increase Gaelic language skills by creating and strengthening inter-generational links. 

With support from the Scottish Government, Fèisean nan Gàidheal is now seeking assistance from Gaelic speakers to establish Beairteas.

What is it?

Beairteas is an intergenerational programme to match community-based fluent Gaelic speakers with schools and community groups. Their richness of language, specialist knowledge of Gaelic culture and many other subjects about which they could speak in Gaelic, would provide a valuable resource for pupils. This would complement the sterling work being done by teachers in Gaelic education.

Why?

Gaelic education is very successful and an essential component in growing a new generation of Gaelic speakers. Teachers work extremely hard to immerse children in the language and deliver a range of subjects through the medium of Gaelic.

Gaelic speakers involved in almost any walk of life have a tremendous amount to offer Gaelic education. The Curriculum for Excellence encourages work and engagement with people in communities.

Beairteas aims to complement schoolwork, offering opportunities for children to communicate in Gaelic with people other than their teachers. Engaging them with Gaelic speakers with specialist knowledge of the work they do or have done, as well as any interesting pastimes in which they may have been involved, will strengthen the language skills of the young people giving them a breadth of vocabulary they may not pick up through their daily schoolwork.

You may be a police officer, involved in the health service, community work or a trade. You may have specialist knowledge of Gaelic songs, history, traditional stories, war, sport or working in other countries. You may be involved in fishing, crofting, gardening, photography, weaving, cooking or almost anything in which you could engage young people through the medium of Gaelic.

Would you be willing to be involved?

If you would enjoy working with young people and are passionate about the revitalisation of Gaelic, Fèisean nan Gàidheal would like to hear from you. Work will be paid, but dependent on schools engaging with the Beairteas scheme. If you have any questions, please call Eilidh Mackenzie, Fèisgoil Manager on 01463 225559 or e-mail any queries to beairteas@feisean.org.

More information is available on the organisation's website.

Read more...

#IsMiseGàidhlig spreads throughout the World

1 May 2018 (BBC)

A twitter hashtag #IsMiseGàidhlig took the Scottish internet by storm last week as members of the Gaelic community, fluent speakers and learners alike gave their positive experiences of Scotland’s oldest native language in response to negative stories in the press.

Thug an taga-hais #IsMiseGàidhlig os làimh Twitter na h-Alba an t-seachdain seo nuair a bha buill de choimhearsnachd na Gàidhlig, fileantaich agus luchd-ionnsachaidh le chèile, a’ sgaoileadh sgeulachdan togarrach mun a’ chànan mar fhreagairt air droch sgeulachdan anns na meadhanan.

Read more...

Gaelic TV channel secures £5.2m of new content

27 April 2018 (The Herald)

A series of international deals has secured programmes worth £5.2 million for Scotland's Gaelic language channel.

Gaelic media service MG Alba said it had agreed the additional content for BBC Alba through deals led by its supplier companies.

(subscription required to read full article)

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Tories attack language teaching ‘failures’

26 April 2018 (The Times)

The number of pupils taking Higher French and German has fallen as interest in Italian and Chinese rises.

The number of pupils studying any Higher modern languages fell 6.2 per cent between 2016 and last year. Pupils studying Higher French fell by 14 per cent to 3,918 and German was down 13 per cent from 1,020 to 89. The number of students taking Higher Spanish hit 2,809, up 8 per cent on 2016; Italian rose 21 per cent to 264; Chinese languages grew in popularity by 16 per cent to 129; and Urdu rose by 13 per cent to 104. Those learning Gaelic at Higher level fell by 18 per cent, to 69.

(Subscription required to read full article).

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New funding of £2.5m for next phase of Gaelic dictionary

24 April 2018 (BBC)

Funding of £2.5m has been put in place for the next phase of the development of the first comprehensive Gaelic dictionary.

Faclair na Gàidhlig aims to document the history, development and use of every single word in the language.

It would be far more detailed than any dictionary available in bookshops.

The production is being made possible through a collaboration between several universities and the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture.

The latest funding announced by the Scottish government will be managed by the Scottish Funding Council.

The new dictionary is a long-term project and would be the equivalent of the multi-volume resources available for English and Scots.

It could take 30 years to produce and is likely to have around 100,000 entries.

The universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig are involved in the project, which has the support of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the national public body with responsibility for Gaelic.

Read more...

Glasgow set for third Gaelic school in Government language drive

24 April 2018 (The Scotsman)

John Swinney has announced that a third Gaelic school is to open in Glasgow as part of the Scottish Government’s drive to increase the number of speakers of the language. 

The new school will provide Gaelic medium education (GME) and is expected to open in the Cartvale area of the city.

Nearly 900 pupils are enrolled in Glasgow’s two existing GME schools at Glendale and Berkeley Street – both of which are now at capacity. The plans for the new school were announced during a Holyrood debate on the National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-23.

Read more...

£8.7million Gaelic School opens in Portree

16 April 2018 (Press and Journal)

Pupils from Portree will today attend different primary schools for the first time as a new Gaelic School opens its doors.

The school becomes the fifth dedicated Gaelic specific school across Scotland – and the third in the Highland region – to offer pupils the opportunity to be educated in the form of Gaelic medium education.

The construction phase of the £8.7million project began in September 2016 and concluded this month as parents and friends of the school will gather at the end of this week to celebrate the schools opening with a family ceilidh.

Read more...

Related Links

New beginnings as Gaelic school opens in Portree (West Highland Free Press, 19 April 2018)

Row over £10m Gaelic school opening on Isle of Skye (The Scotsman, 20 April 2018)

Isle of Skye's Gaelic-only school 'will divide community' (The Herald, 21 April 2018)

Call for Gaelic to be included on Duolingo

13 April 2018 (Stornoway Gazette)

Western Isles Alasdair Allan is calling for Scottish Gaelic to be added to Duolingo, the world’s most popular online language learning service. 

Duolingo’s 200 million worldwide users can choose to learn minority languages Welsh and Irish as well as fictional languages from Star Trek and Game of Thrones for free on the app, however there are no Scottish languages currently on offer.

Read more...

Together arts project for schools

10 April 2018 (UK-German Connection)

Together is a creative arts project, which invites young people to produce poetry, art, or songs on the themes of hope and unity, inspired by the shared history between the UK and Germany to mark the WW1 Centenary.

Open to all young people aged 9-16 working in groups or individually, projects should be on the theme of hope and unity, inspired by the First World War. Poetry and songs can be in English, German, Gaelic or Welsh.  Art work can be in any medium.

Visit the UK-German Connection website for more information. Entry deadline is Friday 15 June 2018.

Read more...

Agenda: Our politicians should be doing more for Gaelic

7 April 2018 (The Herald)

Followers of social media and Scottish print media would be forgiven for thinking that there is widespread hostility toward Gaelic in Scotland. Yet, this does not appear to be the case. In 2012, for example, the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey indicated that 76 per cent of respondents felt that Gaelic was either very or fairly important to Scottish heritage, and only four per cent felt it was not at all important.

Read more...

MSP to give Holyrood address in Gaelic to raise language profile

29 March 2018 (The Scotsman)

An MSP is seeking to raise the profile of Gaelic by delivering an entire speech in the language at Holyrood. 

Kate Forbes will become just the second female MSP, and the first in the current Scottish Parliament chamber, to deliver a whole contribution in Gaelic during a plenary debate. 

Ms Forbes, who chairs Holyrood’s cross-party group on the language, will speak as MSPs consider a motion on Scotland’s support for the (Unesco) convention for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. 

Read more...

Launch of the new National Gaelic Language Plan

28 March 2018 (Bòrd na Gàidhlig)

The new National Gaelic Language Plan, which sets out the framework for the faster growth of the language across Scotland, has been launched today (Wednesday 28th March) at the Scottish Parliament.

The central purpose of the Plan is to encourage and enable more people to use Gaelic more often and in a wider range of situations. The key messages, aims, priorities and new commitments contained in the Plan all contribute to achieving this increased use of Gaelic.

Read more...

Plans submitted for multi-million pound Gaelic cultural centre on Uist

20 March 2018 (Press and Journal)

The £7 million Cnoc Soilleir Project is a joint venture between Lews Castle College UHI and Ceolas Gaelic, the arts and heritage organisation in Daliburgh, South Uist.

It will receive investment from the Scottish Government’s Gaelic Capital Plan and is expected to create 40 jobs.

The area is recognised as a key community for the revitalisation of the Gaelic language in Scotland and Cnoc Soilleir has a significant role in leading this development.

Read more...

Council’s plan aims to ensure language thrives in 21st century and beyond

16 February 2018 (The Falkirk Herald)

To some its a dead language of the past while others see it as a vital part of Scotland’s heritage. Whatever your feelings, no one can deny the Scottish Government is keeping it firmly front and centre in the national consciousness, making it a legal requirement for all local authorities in the country to create a plan outlining how they will support and increase Gaelic language culture in their area. 

At a meeting of Falkirk Council’s executive committee on Tuesday members gave their backing to the local authority’s draft Gaelic Language Plan. 

Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: “It’s very important our young people learn about our local history and our local heritage. Gaelic is not just a North of Scotland or Western Isles language – it was used in the Central Lowlands as well. There is an increase in interest in the Gaelic and it’s not just about language. It’s the whole culture as well and it’s something we should encourage where we can.”

Read more...

£500,000 funding boost for Gaelic media firm behind BBC Alba

10 February 2018 (The Herald)

THE media company which provides services in Gaelic across Scotland has awarded £500,000 from the Gaelic Capital Fund. 

MG ALBA said it would use the investment to redevelop the Seaforth Road Studio in Stornoway to provide improved facilities for programming, which will be used to increase training in creative digital media, learning, arts and cultural heritage.

Funding will enable MG ALBA, which operates BBC Alba in partnership with the BBC, to develop a training programme for young people with an interest in working in the media.

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Kirk consults on Gaelic Plan

23 January 2018 (Stornoway Gazette)

A comprehensive survey on the use of Gaelic within the Church of Scotland is being launched. 

The Kirk’s Gaelic Group is laying the groundwork for a new plan that will look at how the language is currently being used in ministry. The audit will help determine how Gaelic-led ministry could be supported in future. 

It will include a questionnaire for ministers, including student ministers, probationers and ordained local ministers, that is designed to build a complete picture of Gaelic ministry within the church today. 

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Gaelic language something to embrace: Readers' Letters

16 January 2018 (The Courier)

I was motivated to write in to your letters page following a number of negative comments featured recently relating to the Gaelic language. While I can appreciate individuals’ concerns, I have to say that my own experience within the past year has been very different.

Since travelling around Scotland and taking an interest in local history and culture, I have become aware of the opportunities to learn more about Scots Gaelic. There are many myths that are perpetuated around the money spent on promoting and supporting Gaelic without thinking of the social, cultural and economic benefits to all.

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Breakthrough in quest for Book of Deer monastery

6 January 2018 (The Scotsman)

The search for the lost Pictish monastery where the first examples of Scottish Gaelic were written down has made a major breakthrough ten years after the quest began. 

Recent finds in Aberdeenshire have brought archaeologists closer to pinpointing the whereabouts of the Christian site which was home to the Book of Deer before the monastery disappeared about 1,000 years ago.

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Posted in: Gaelic

Gaelic row over Scotland’s hygge campaign

14 December 2017 (Scotsman)

It was meant to sum up that feeling of being all cosy, warm and settled indoors as the cold and the dark lurk outside. But the Gaelic word picked by VisitScotland to promote its’s own version of Danish hygge - a way of life characterised by candlelight, warm glows and logs on the fire - appears to have ruined the moment for some.

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Related Links

VisitScotland campaign sparks war of words that’s far from cosy (The Herald, 16 December 2017)

High school move paves way for city's first secondary dedicated to Gaelic

8 December 2017 (The Herald)

Plans to move a Gaelic school in Edinburgh will pave the way for the city's first high school dedicated to the language, if demand grows.

Edinburgh City Council is consulting on plans to move its existing Gaelic medium education (GME) provision from James Gillespie's High School in Marchmont to Drummond Community High School in Bellevue. The informal consultation is to begin in the new year after reports that projections for James Gillespie's suggest it will have issues accommodating pupil intake in the future.

The council said transfer of GME provision to Drummond Community High School means it could become a dedicated Gaelic secondary in several years' time.

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Map: How the number of Scottish Gaelic speakers has changed since 1891

8 December 2017 (The Scotsman)

The prevalence of Scottish Gaelic speakers has waned dramatically in the last 100 years. The language was once widely spoken across much of the Highlands and western regions of Scotland but now only around 1 in 100 Scots can speak it.

This video from UK Languages Mapping charts the decline in the language from 1891-2011 using census date.

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James Eglinton: Why Gaelic speakers talk about God in English

7 December 2017 (The Scotsman)

At present, the Gaelic language is both blossoming and vulnerable. The number of young and new Gaelic speakers is increasing, although this upturn is overshadowed by the declining number of elderly speakers.

In its commitment to grow the number of fluent speakers, the Scottish Government continues to support Gaelic in education and the media. In 2017, Gaelic is doing fairly well as a language of education, media and entertainment: it is heard in news broadcasts, spoken in classrooms across the country, and enjoyed by children in the form of cartoons like Peppa and Charlie is Lola. 

Against this backdrop the Scottish Bible Society has unveiled a new translation of the New Testament in modern Scottish Gaelic.

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Glasgow home to largest number of Gaelic speakers outwith highlands and islands

7 December 2017 (GlasgowLive)

A public consultation has been launched on Glasgow City Council's draft Gaelic language plan for the next few years. Views are being sought for the 2018 - 2022 proposals, designed to ensure a sustainable future for the language in Scotland's biggest city and recognise its contribution to the history of the local area. Glasgow City Council currently operates three Gaelic nurseries, two primary schools and one secondary school. There are more than 1,000 young people aged from three to 18 years in Gaelic Medium Education in the city and, in response to demand, the council is currently in discussions about the creation of another school.

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Scottish pupils release Gaelic Christmas song to highlight its importance in North Lanarkshire

2 December 2017 (The National)

A new Christmas song is highlighting the importance of Gaelic in North Lanarkshire.

’S e Nollaig a th’ ann! (It’s Christmas!) was recorded by Làn Chomais, a rock band made up of pupils from Greenfaulds High School in Cumbernauld, with the backing of almost 1000 young voices from the area.

Gaelic teacher Kevin Rodgers mentored the young musicians and helped them make their first recording, and was supported by North Lanarkshire Council and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Rodgers said: “At Greenfaulds High School, we have been searching for a way to make the North Lanarkshire community more aware of the fact that Gaelic is alive and well in our area.”

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Gaelic (Learners) conference materials

30 November 2017 (Education Scotland)

Materials from the conference Gaelic (Learners) in a 1+2 Approach to Languages are now available online and includes a keynote address from the Deputy First Minister.

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Video: Ten Gaelic phrases you can use every day

28 November 2017 (The Scotsman)

On November 30, the Scottish Parliament will be hosting a number of Gaelic pop-up facilities to help you brush up on your conversational Gaelic.

A pop-up stall in the main hall will be erected charged to give you a crash course in the native Scottish language in five minutes. Challenge accepted. Then there’s a free one-hour tour of the Parliament for Gaelic speakers and learners, followed by a beginner’s level Gaelic speaking class in the Parliament’s Chat Room.

[...]We’ve picked ten everyday, run-of-the-mill phrases to test your mettle as a warm-up to Thursday’s activities at the Parliament.

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University explores benefits of speaking Gaelic in business

14 November 2017 (The Scotsman)

A university is to discuss whether speaking one of Scotland’s mother tongues could offer an advantage to businesses. 

International business expert Seonaidh MacDonald will talk about his experiences of using Gaelic in a global business context at a lunchtime seminar offered by the University of the Highlands and Islands.

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The Scottish Gaelic Awards are a night to celebrate the surge in Gaelic speakers

13 November 2017 (Daily Record)

The Scottish Gaelic Awards bring together the very best in learning, achievement and development and celebrate the great work being done by Gaels in every corner of Scotland.

From inner cities to the Western Isles, traditional language and culture is being developed and promoted by amazing people from every walk of life.

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Word Wizard 2018 - new semi-final added!

3 November 2017 (SCILT/CISS)

SCILT's Word Wizard competition is returning for its fifth year and we are delighted to announce we are adding a fourth semi-final date!

In addition to the semi-finals already taking place at the Universities of Strathclyde, Aberdeen and Dundee, in collaboration with the UCMLS, this year we will be holding another semi-final at Edinburgh College. 

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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Dual language police van hits the road in Dumfries and Galloway

1 November 2017 (BBC)

The first new police vehicle carrying the logo in both English and Gaelic has hit the road in Dumfries and Galloway. Police Scotland introduced the new branding earlier this year.

The change is being made as part of the force's commitment to its five-year Gaelic Language Plan.
It said it was keen to ensure that Gaelic-speaking communities across the country were "well served and ably represented" by the national police service.

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Leadership opportunity for Gaelic teachers

27 October 2017 (SCEL)

Are you a Gaelic teacher or middle leader looking to enhance you leadership capacity? The SCEL endorsed Award in Leadership programme from Social Enterprise Academy is running next month on 3 and 4 November. This programme empowers practitioners to positively influence the teams in which they work.

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‘Sing songs to learn Gaelic’, say education experts

23 October 2017 (Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig)

A second language can be learned more easily when it is taught through music, was the message given out at the Royal National Mod in Lochaber earlier this month.

Jackie Mullen, a consultant trainer for the Go! Gaelic programme being run by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann, has seen first hand how effective music is as a learning tool. The Go! Gaelic programme includes a comprehensive programme of online resources that are used in primary schools across the country to teach some Gaelic to children who are in English Medium Education.

Visit the website or see the attached press release for more information.

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'I fell in love with these words, and despite my efforts to move on and let go of the past, Gaelic would not let me do it'

22 October 2017 (The Herald)

“Dad, I’m going to tell it to you straight,” I said at the dinner table, aged 17 and ready to jump into the big wide world. My parents put down their cutlery in preparation for whatever was to come. “I’m not going to do Celtic Studies,” I blurted out, and I remember their faces still, choking on their sprouts in their efforts to hide their amusement.

Celtic Studies was my father’s all-consuming passion, and 16 years after his early retirement from Edinburgh University, it still is. We have no family connections to the Highlands and Islands – growing up in a house in Glasgow full of French, English and Italian (and a smattering of Arabic), my father took an interest in the Gaelic he heard about him in the trams and streets and classrooms of the city.

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Double Gaelic Awards nomination for GME teachers’ resource web-site

20 October 2017 (Stòrlann)

A website of resources for Gaelic Medium Education, run by two primary school teachers from Skye, has been shortlisted for a Scottish Gaelic Award for the second year running.

The website, Lasadh, is managed by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig and led by teachers Gwen Culbertson and Mairi Macdonald, who both teach in Sleat Primary School (Bun-sgoil Shleite).

Lasadh is up for the Innovation in Education Award in the Daily Record’s Scottish Gaelic Awards, as it was last year, but is also nominated in the Learner Award category this year.

The awards, sponsored by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, will be held in the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow on November 15 and aim to “reward all aspects of our Gaelic culture, education and language” and “highlight the excellent work undertaken to maintain growth and heritage”.

Lasadh is an online, digital and interactive resource for primary school pupils and teachers, created several years ago by Gwen and Mairi who had realised there was a shortage of language-related re-sources for Gaelic Medium Education (GME). Found online at www.lasadh.co.uk, the website focuses on literacy activities and provides a range of resources for use in the classroom or at home and for individual use or group work.

There are many downloads which can be edited as required and the number of available downloads, digital games and other resources is growing all the time.

Recent additions to the website include spelling games, modelled on the ‘look, say, cover, write and check’ system used in schools, as well as jigsaws for the early years.

Use of the website’s resources has been increasing across Scotland. To support this demand, the Stòrlann team including Project Officer Sarah MacEachan, who is based in Uist, have delivered training sessions on Lasadh via video link to teachers on the mainland.

Another new development is that Gwen and Mairi have been seconded onto Lasadh since August for a day a week, thanks to support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig via the Gaelic Language Act Implemen-tation Fund (GLAIF). The money means Stòrlann can fund the necessary class cover for Gwen and Mairi. Previously, the pair were working on Lasadh in their own time. Gwen said: “The day a week each out of class for this year means that we can have a clear focus for development of materials and dedicated time to research and create them. Up until now it has been quite a juggling act with my young family of three and teaching full time, trying to fit it all in.

“Our secondment is only newly established, however thus far it has provided us with much needed opportunities to work together with Stòrlann to meet, discuss and plan the road ahead for Lasadh.”

All GME teachers are warmly invited to contribute their own resources for possible inclusion in Lasadh. The best way to contribute these resources is via a second website, also managed by Stòr-lann, which functions as a repository.

Stòrlann Project Officer Sarah MacEeachan explained how that website, called Seo Sibh!, works. Teachers can upload files to various collections — primary school, high school, etc — on the web-site, www.seosibh.storlann.co.uk. Again, this is a website for GME.

Once the resources have been checked by Stòrlann they will then be uploaded for widespread use, either via Lasadh or the main Stòrlann website, www.storlann.co.uk.

Sarah said: “It’s for teachers to send materials in and we can proof them. We’ll quality assure mate-rials and then they can be made available for other teachers.”

Sarah, whose other projects including the popular www.gaelic4parents.com website, warmly wel-comed the news that Lasadh was again up for an award.

She said: “I was delighted to get the nomination, pleased that they’re recognising Lasadh as some-thing valuable. We’re pleased to be nominated for the second year in a row and looking forward to the grand ceremony in Glasgow.”

Teacher Mairi said: “It’s a great feeling to be nominated again. It’s great to get good feedback on the project and it is an exciting project to be part of.

“The website and project have been growing over the years. More and more resources are being cre-ated and becoming available online. Digital games have become more available and now that Gwen and I have a day a week to work on the project, we hope it will continue to grow and resources will be available quicker and there will be a greater volume available.

“We are getting great feedback from teacher all over the country. This is the only online, accessible resource for Gaelic Medium teachers. They would like to see more resources over the curriculum so that’s something we are hoping to develop with Stòrlann in the future.”

Gwen added: “The response from teachers online and at our workshops has been very positive. This additional time allows us, with support from Stòrlann and their design team at Lumberjack Digital, to address and follow their ideas and further develop Gaelic Medium literacy resources.

“We both hope to attend the award ceremony and are very much looking forward to it. We are not entirely sure who might have nominated us, but Lasadh is very grateful. Fingers crossed for Lasadh on the night!”

In its nomination, Lasadh was described as a “fantastic and much-needed Gaelic Medium language resource”, with resources for reading, writing, talking and listening which were “high quality, easy to use, fun and have filled many of the gaps we had in language resources”.

It added: “They (Gwen and Mairi) are open to suggestions too. They know the struggles that GME teachers have because they are class teachers and resources are made to support us.

“This award would say thank you from all of us for all their hard work and give them the recogni-tion that they deserve.”

Oor Wullie gets a new life as Uilleam Againne

17 October 2017 (Press and Journal)

Stories about one of the most popular Scottish characters of all time have now been translated into Gaelic.

The Oor Wullie – or Uilleam Againne – book is being launched today at the Royal National Mod in Fort William.

The book, described as a “huge piece of work” was a labour of love for Dr Domnhnall Uilleam Stiubhart of the University of the Highlands and Islands who is based at the Gaelic college, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, on Skye and colleague, Mairi Kidd.

The young rascal, who has immortalised catchphrases such as Jings, Crivvens and Help ma Boab, and is always getting into mischief, set his translators quite a challenge – especially with the speech bubbles that come out of his mouth.

Dr Stiubhart said: “Every speech bubble had to be changed and made as simple as possible so that a child could read them. We felt that all the young Gaelic speakers were missing out by not having stories such as these in their language.

“My two sons, Alasdair who is 10 and Seumas, seven, just love Oor Wullie, so we thought it would be great to do a book on him that youngsters can start reading by themselves. Lots of adults love the Oor Wullie adventures too, so it can really be for everyone.”

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Call for Gaelic language czar for Scotland

16 October 2017 (The Herald)

A Gaelic tsar would ensure Scotland’s mother tongue flourishes in the classroom in the wake of a controversial failed bid to create a new Gaelic primary school, an academic has claimed.

Professor Rob Dunbar, chair of Celtic languages at Edinburgh University, said the current mechanism to force councils and other bodies to promote the language was too weak.

It comes after a bid by parents for Gaelic primary school education was rejected by East Renfrewshire Council despite new laws designed to encourage the spread of the language.

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Gaelic study sees decline in its heartland of the Outer Hebrides

12 October 2017 (The Herald)

The long-term future of the Gaelic language in the Outer Hebrides is under threat, according to a leading academic.

The warning came after new figures showed a decline in pupils studying Gaelic in parts of the Western Isles.

Once regarded as the traditional stronghold of the language, numbers sitting Gaelic exams in the third and fourth year of secondary school have fallen from 78 to just 24 in the past decade.

The decline mirrors a drop across Scotland with a nine per cent fall in entries for all Gaelic exams in 2017 including National 5 and Higher.

Professor Rob Dunbar, chair of Celtic languages at Edinburgh University, said he was concerned for the future of the language.

Read more...

Related Links

Sharp drop in island learners raises fears for future of Gaelic (The Times, 12 October 2017)

The week ahead: The Mod

9 October 2017 (The Herald)

Behold Alba, the peculiar country. One of Scotland’s peculiarities is the way that people get their drathais in a twist about language.

And when we say language we mean Gaelic. Only last week, announcements that Gaelic would appear on road signs in Edinburgh and efforts made to revive the language in Tayside gave rise to frothing of the mouth and gnashing of the teeth therein from the usual suspects.

Odd thing: a desire to kill a language. Fair enough, it has declined on its own, as it were, submerged in a larger culture that for a while outlawed it. But it isn’t dead yet, and the urge to kick it when it is down is a strange aspect of the Scottish character, one with which we are familiar in its wider context of national self-loathing.

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Gaelic school rejected after council shuns parents' bid

7 October 2017 (The Herald)

A bid by parents for Gaelic primary school education has been rejected despite new laws which were supposed to encourage the spread of the language.

A group of 49 families from East Renfrewshire contacted the council asking them to explore the possibility of a Gaelic primary unit or school in the area.

However, East Renfrewshire Council sent letters to all those involved warning families children would no longer be able to attend their local catchment area school if a Gaelic facility was set up.

“Instead, your child would attend another establishment in a location yet to be decided,” the letter said.

The council also highlighted the importance of parents learning Gaelic stating: “It is considered that it is crucial prospective parents ... who are not already Gaelic speakers are committed to learning Gaelic.”

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What's your story? - Creative writing programme for teens in Scotland

6 October 2017 (Scottish Book Trust)

  • Are you 14-17 years old, living in Scotland, and care about creative writing and illustration?
  • Do you want to meet other teens interested in creative writing and illustration?
  • Do you want to improve your own creative skills?
  • Do you want to help create events and resources for other teens?
  • Do you want to show Scotland that teenagers make brilliant creative work?

If this sounds like you, read on to find out more about our What’s Your Story? Development Programme and how to apply to join us this year! It’s free to apply and to take part.

The programme invites and encourages Gaelic speakers to get involved.

Application deadline: 12 noon on Monday 16 October 2017.

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Edinburgh Council publish Gaelic language plan ahead of consultation

2 October 2017 (The Scotsman)

Edinburgh Council have released their Gaelic language plan to support and promote the language and culture ahead of consultation. The plan aims to promote a city that develops and supports more fluent and  confident Gaelic speakers as well as promoting thriving Gaelic communities and cultures.

The ‘Draft Gaelic Language Plan’ was published by the City of Edinburgh Council today and is open for consultation until December 15. It is part of the Council’s commitment to work in partnership with Gaelic communities, organisations who deliver Gaelic services, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Scottish Government to support the language and culture.

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Related Links

Gaelic learning to be expanded in Edinburgh (The Herald, 2 October 2017)

Virtual Gaelic school commended for helping to cover teacher shortages and supporting professional development

29 September 2017 (Holyrood Magazine)

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s virtual Gaelic school has been praised in an independent evaluation for helping to cover teacher shortages and supporting professional development.

A report of the e-Sgoil’s virtual school’s first year commended the council’s leadership team for its desire to help other local authorities and said the “energy and commitment” of those involved in the project had been “most impressive”.

The independent report by former Highland Council director of education Bruce Robertson and Martin Finnigan of consultants Caledonian Economics was presented to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Education, Sport and Children’s Services earlier this week.

It also praised the use of e-Sgoil for professional development in education and suggested the e-Sgoil approach could be rolled out across Scotland.

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Gaelic World War II project resource

27 September 2017 (Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig)

An interdisciplinary resource which aims to provide Gaelic Medium Education teachers with a ‘one stop shop’ of topic-specific material for the classroom was launched at the national An t-Alltan conference for GME practitioners held in Aviemore last week.

An Dàrna Cogadh was developed by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig in response to Gaelic Medium Education practitioners’ requests for a comprehensive teaching package, based online, on the subject of World War Two.

The online resource brings together many informative Gaelic texts and books— some created especially for this project — with a rich variety of other material from the wider world, including web, print and video. It is designed to support teachers delivering this subject in the primary sector.

Visit the website to access the resource and for more information see the attached press release.

Read more...

An t-Alltan conference

22 September 2017 (Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig)

Teachers involved in Gaelic Medium Education from all over the country will be gathering in Aviemore next week for the annual An t-Alltan conference.

Organised by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Naiseanta na Gaidhlig, based in Stornoway, this will be the ninth year of An t-Alltan and the number of attendees has been growing every year.

It is taking place in the Macdonald Aviemore Conference Centre, on September 27 and 28.

Around 200 teachers from the early years sector through to high school are expected to attend and the keynote speech will be delivered by Joan Mackay, assistant director at Education Scotland, on the theme of ‘developing the young workforce’ and ‘what kind of leaders we need to be’.

There will be nearly 30 workshops held across the two days and 18 exhibitors.

See the full press release attached for more information.
photos from An t-Alltan conference

Council to spend £160,000 teaching staff to speak Gaelic

20 September 2017 (The Herald)

A council plans to spend £160,000 teaching its staff to speak Gaelic.

Perth and Kinross aims to reverse the decline which has left just 1,287 locals speaking the language.

The local authority has revealed proposals for a £160,000 Gaelic Language Plan to be rolled out over the next five years.

Read more...

Police Scotland rolls out dual English-Gaelic Logo

19 September 2017 (Fife Today)

Police Scotland has today (Tuesday, September 19) introduced its dual language logo featuring both English and Gaelic.

The branding, which carries both Police Scotland and Poileas Alba, will be introduced on the service’s website and intranet.

It will also be carried on signage, stationery and vehicles, and will be introduced on these items as they are replaced on reaching the end of their serviceable life.

The changes are being made as part of the force’s commitment to implementing its Gaelic Language Plan, which sets out the service’s pledge to creating a sustainable future for the language in Scotland by integrating it within Police Scotland’s services and corporate identity.

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The e-Sgoil is ‘a reason to come back to teaching’

15 September 2017 (TESS)

A project that allows lessons to be beamed into Scottish classrooms has been described as “one of the best things” happening in Scottish education by a former education director who has conducted an independent review of the scheme.

The e-Sgoil – or e-school – based in the Western Isles became a reality at the beginning of 2016-17 to help tackle the teacher shortage, particularly in Gaelic, and to give secondary pupils in remote and rural schools a wider range of subjects.

Access the full article in TESS online, 15 September 2017 (subscription may be required).

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Weird and wonderful poster art of Gaelic's FilmG

9 September 2017 (BBC)

Gaelic short film competition FilmG is this year celebrating the running of its 10th contest. To help mark the anniversary, organisers held an exhibition of the competition's colourful posters at Tramway, an arts space in Glasgow.

The posters were created by Steven McKenzie, senior designer at Cànan Graphics Studio on Skye. The posters are designed to reflect each year's theme. Previously these have included "strì" meaning endeavour/conflict and "cliù" meaning prestige, fame or reputation. The theme chosen for the 10th FilmG is "fìrinn" meaning truth.

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Education Scotland Gaelic news

6 September 2017 (Education Scotland)

The latest edition of Education Scotland's Gaelic e-bulletin is now available.

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How relevant is Gaelic to modern Scotland today?

2 September 2017 (The Press and Journal)

Chan eil aon chànan gu leòr.

How many readers can understand this sentiment or indeed recognise the Gaelic phrase which aptly translates as one language is never enough?

Sadly, or depending in the light in which one views Gaelic, it would seem one language in Scotland is indeed enough with just 1.1% of the population speaking Gaelic.

It is no secret that Gaelic has been in decline for many years despite road signs in the Highlands and islands and even in the north-east including the Gaelic place name.

Classed as an indigenous language, it is believed Gaelic was brought to Scotland around the fourth or fifth century by settlers from Ireland, reaching its peak in 1018.

Some historians pinpoint its decline to the reign of King Malcom Canmore, although his brother re-introduced the language when he inherited the throne.

History aside, how relevant is Gaelic to modern Scotland today on both a social and economic level?

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Here’s how Outlander Sam Heughan is doing his bit to save an award-winning museum in the Scottish Highlands

1 September 2017 (Scottish Sun)

Outlander stars are doing their bit to save an award-winning museum in the Scottish Highlands.

The Gairloch Herittage Museum – dubbed “one of the best in Scotland” by the National Trust – will lose its home next year.

And telly hunk Sam Heughan is getting behind a crowdfunding campaign to raise the final £60,000 needed for its proposed new location.

Fans of the hit time travel show now have the chance to get their hands on some coveted Outlander goodies.

Some of the prizes up for grabs include a limited number of Gaelic dictionaries signed by Sam and the Outlander cast.

Fans can also win Gaelic lessons with Adhamh O’Broin, who is the Gaelic consultant on the show.

Adhamh said: “Not many people are aware but Gairloch and Wester Ross have played an integral part to the creation of the TV series, Outlander.

“We use the Wester Ross Gaelic dialect throughout the series and I often called upon Gairloch man, the late Roddy Mackenzie, for advice when we were on set.

“Roddy, who was also heavily involved in the Gairloch Heritage Museum, helped us by providing accurate translations and local sayings to ensure we were portraying the language as authentically as possible.”

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The 50-word fiction competition

31 August 2017 (Scottish Book Trust)

To celebrate the opening of the Queensferry Crossing, Scottish Book Trust are inviting writers to enter their 50-word fiction competition for September where a bridge must be incorporated in the story.

Entries in Scots and Gaelic are welcomed. Stories should be submitted by 30 September 2017.

Find out more on the Scottish Book Trust's website.

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Gaelic ‘bear hunting’ kids are internet sensations

30 August 2017 (The Scotsman)

A group of primary school children from the east end of Glasgow have become internet sensations after their Gaelic musical version of ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ went viral on YouTube. Views of the film, which features youngsters from Caledonia Primary enacting the story in their school grounds in Baillieston, have climbed to nearly 2.2 million.

The film, made with the help of the Grounds for Learning charity, is just under five minutes long and shows the pupils from P1 and 2 ‘hunting’ for a bear. Dressed in oilskins and wellies, they go splashing through the mud and creeping through concrete tunnels, while they sing the words to Tha Sinn a’ Dol a Shireadh Mathan, a Gaelic version of the kids classic story by Michael Rosen.

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Funding for Gaelic Centre

17 August 2017 (Scottish Government)

A Gaelic music, culture and heritage centre planned in South Uist has been awarded £1 million funding.

The £7 million Cnoc Soilleir project will receive the investment from the Scottish Government’s Gaelic Capital Plan and is expected to create around 40 jobs.

Cnoc Soilleir will support the growth of Ceòlas Uibhist community-led activity around Gaelic language learning, music and dance, as well as the Lews Castle College UHI music programmes. Additional creative industry courses will be provided to enable further growth in student numbers.

Established in 1996, Ceòlas Uibhist has grown from a week-long music and dance school to become one of Scotland’s leading Gaelic culture, heritage and arts organisations.

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New hub for e-Sgoil virtual Gaelic school opened in North Uist

17 August 2017 (Holyrood)

A new satellite hub for the online distance learning Gaelic school e-Sgoil has been opened in the former Carinish School building in North Uist by Education Secretary John Swinney.

The virtual Gaelic school was launched just over a year ago by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the Gaelic language board, to provide connectivity between schools in the Western Isles and beyond, and to offer improved subject access and learning opportunities for Gaelic-medium secondaries and teachers across the country.

Read more...

Scotland enjoys tourism boost thanks to interest in Gaelic

15 August 2017 (The Scotsman)

Proposals have been put forward to investigate Gaelic links with historic properties as use of the language has seen a surge in visitor interest.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has launched a consultation for its Draft Gaelic Language Plan 2018-2023.

Under its proposals are a number of strategies aimed at increasing its use and discovering links with the properties in its care.

Alex Paterson, chief executive of HES, said: “We have developed an ambitious plan, which will help to illustrate the place of Gaelic within Scottish culture, while increasing resources for Gaelic speakers and learners.

“We want this consultation to reach as many people as possible so we can ensure that the final plan is robust and representative. We very much look forward to reviewing the feedback.”

The use of Gaelic in the hit TV series Outlander has sparked increased interest amongst visitors to Scotland and historic sites linked to the show are continuing to see significant rises in tourist numbers.

Read more...

Gaelic school planned for Edinburgh as demand soars

11 August 2017 (The Times)

A dedicated Gaelic school could open in Edinburgh to cope with rising pupil numbers and soaring demand.

Edinburgh city council expects there to be more pupils than places at James Gillespie’s High School, where Gaelic education is currently provided, as soon as 2021.

The number of new pupils starting this month at Taobh na Pàirce primary, Edinburgh’s only Gaelic primary school, has also been far higher than anticipated.

Read more...

Languages under pressure after fall in pupils taking German and French

9 August 2017 (The Herald)

THE number of pupils choosing key modern languages has fallen sharply.

Figures from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) show the number of entries for Higher French dropped from 4,581 in 2016 to 3,918 this year.

The figures for German have also fallen, with entries declining from 1,019 to 890 year-on-year.

However, the increasing popularity of Spanish has continued, with entries rising from 2,600 last year to 2,809.

Entries at the lower National 5 level for French and German have also fallen.

Read more...

Related Links

'Disappointing' decline in pupils sitting Gaelic qualifications (The Herald, 10 August 2017)

Parents 'key' to securing future of Gaelic in Scotland

3 August 2017 (BBC)

The future of Gaelic in Scotland could be down to parents - even if they do not speak the language themselves, according to researchers.

The University of Strathclyde said increased use of a language at home was a "first step" in its use in wider society.

Researchers surveyed 236 parents and children on the Isle of Lewis and on Sardinia.

The study included speakers and non-speakers of Gaelic and Sardinian.

Three quarters of respondents felt speaking a minority language was equally important to speaking their national tongue.

Dr Fraser Lauchlan, of the University of Strathclyde's School of Psychological Sciences and Health, said: "Previous research from more than two decades ago found that there was almost a level of embarrassment about speaking such languages and they were discouraged for many years.

"It is only in recent times that there has been a re-emergence of the importance placed on these languages - possibly because of a better understanding of the benefits that being bilingual can bring, but also because of their promotion at national or regional level by governments, including the specific introduction of legislation."

He suggested parents could encourage their children to read and to watch TV programmes in a minority language, which may even lead to them learning it themselves.

Read more...

Related Links

Parents may hold the key to securing the future of Gaelic (The National, 3 August 2017)

Parents' encouragement could keep Gaelic alive (Press and Journal, 3 August 2017)

Future of Gaelic lies with non-speakers, study finds (The Herald, 4 August 2017)

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Gaelic e-bulletin

17 March 2017 (Education Scotland)

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

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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).

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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. 

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

£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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Related Files

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.

Read more...

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!

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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!

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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).

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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!

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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. 

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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."

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Related Files

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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'.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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'.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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..."

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

“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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Related Links

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.

Read more...

‘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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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!”).

Read more...

Gaelic signs and a bilingual logo could be introduced at airports

11 April 2013 (STV News)

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