Scots - A language in its own right

15th January 2010 at 00:00

A campaign by an author in Moray to have the Scots language included on the 2011 census may succeed.

The draft questionnaire, which has to be approved by the Scottish Parliament, includes the additional question about competency in the Scots language. Until now, people have been asked only whether they can read and write in English and Gaelic.

Margaret Cruickshank, from Keith, has been campaigning for the last nine years for the question to include competency in Scots - but she wants the census question to be more specific and ask householders "do you speak a Scots dialect", because she believes many people do not know what the Scots language is.

"My generation were not aware that it was a language in its own right. We were educated to believe that it was a corruption of English," she said. "People need to understand what they are being asked and that wording makes it clearer."

There are an estimated 1.5 million active Scots speakers with many more using the language passively, understanding Scots and using a number of Scots words in their daily discourse. It is increasingly becoming part of classroom learning, particularly in primary.

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


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