25th September 2009 at 01:00

Gaelic education

Posted by versingetorix

Am I alone in thinking that giving Gaelic education a national priority status is misguided? It's a dying language. There is no practical purpose in trying to "save" it, other than perhaps for tourism. It is sentimentality, nostalgia and notions of patriotism which fuel attempts to revive it. I'm not saying Gaelic should be eradicated. I just think that with most urban schools unable to maintain a grass sports pitch, fears for literacy (in our first language) and numeracy, a recession which is slashing school budgets and a host of more practical and relevant needs for learners in Scotland, there must be better things for taxpayers to spend their money on.

Posted by Old_Pa_Grumpinuts

Amen to that . I could never figure out why BBC Scotland spends so much on a language that only some 40,000 speak. The Scottish people have voted with their feet (and tongues) over the past 100 years and it has become an anachronism. If kids are learning Gaelic at school, what else has to make way in an already overcrowded curriculum?

Posted by RailroadGin

Gaelic speaking is on the increase. I can't see the problem. We, as in "the authorities", are legally bound to provide services in all "non- indigenous" languages, so what's wrong with "looking after your own"? If we can fret over whales dying out, what's wrong with concern over a native language dying out?

Posted by grunwald

I regret the erosion of Doric so support Gaelic as a community language. Unlike other European countries, we're not good at looking after our cultural heritage.

Posted by Raymagnol

When a language dies out, the oral traditions, the histories and music and rhythms of a culture die too. To suggest languages be allowed to wither for "practical" reasons is as shallow-souled and short-sighted as letting endangered species die out for economic ones. This planet has been successful because of its vast, gorgeous diversity - and you don't want to pay a few quid preserving that?

Posted by seonaidhadams

The census states that around 100,000 Scots have at least "some knowledge of Gaelic". Gaelic-medium pupils have greater attainment, not least in English. Part of the reason for the decline stems from the education act of 1882, which made it illegal to teach in Gaelic - even when it was the only language of the community. Let's hear less bigotry on TES. Suas leis a Ghaidhlig.

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