30 years ago

25th March 2005 at 00:00
In a front-page article on "the symbolic decline of Gaelic" (TESS, March 28), sociologist Kenneth MacKinnon considers the anglicising effects of education on island children, including life in school hostels:

Hostel life is anglicising - in some hostels to a greater extent than others.

In some hostels, the tradition has been perceived as one in which the older boys require a swift switch to English by the new boys. In other hostels, older girls are promoting a more strongly Gaelic culture and younger boys entering the hostel maintain their Gaelic.

Young women away from home may adopt a very strong commitment to their language and culture, often using it as a cultural support or prop, and developing almost a sense of Gaelic ethnicity. It is ironic that, in the social processes affecting such Gaelic communities as Harris, the most overtly loyal to their mother culture are the brighter young women who will almost inevitably marry away from the island community.

In a study of language loyalty undertaken among the adult community, it was by contrast found that the least loyal group comprised the younger women remaining on the island.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now