Scots becomes an issue;Letter

27th August 1999 at 01:00
TOM BRYCE and Walter Humes (TESS, August 20) take me to task for claiming in my article the previous week that there is no reference in their book Scottish Education to the role of the Scots language in the curriculum. I stand by that criticism.

In their defence, Bryce and Humes cite scattered and brief references to Scots in the text. The fact that a number of contributors have made passing reference to the Scots language does not constitute, in my judgment, a clear, considered and focused examination of the role of the Scots language in the curriculum. Why was this kind of detailed treatment reserved just for Gaelic?

David Eastwood in his review of the book (August 20) expresses the view that it "is largely the professional establishment's view of itself and its social context". Recent history strongly suggests that the establishment - education and political - finds considerable difficulty in knowing how to treat the Scots language.

One obvious strategy is not to give it serious consideration so that it becomes a non-subject, a non-issue.

But I take some comfort from the fact that in their letter Tom Bryce and Walter Humes concede that debating the place of the Scots language in the curriculum is an important educational issue. That being so, am I entitled to conclude that when Scottish Education comes to be revised, a chapter will be devoted to the Scots language?

Robin Jackson

Deeview Gardens



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