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Gaelic immersion opportunities expanded in Scotland

Gaelic immersion opportunities expanded in Scotland

29 Oct 2019

Photo caption: Gillebride MacMillan, Head of Celtic & Gaelic, Dr. Sìm Innes, Lecturer Celtic & Gaelic and Fiona Dunn, Gaelic Development Manager, // Gillebrìde Mac ’IlleMhaoil, Ceannard Ceiltis is Gàidhlig; Dr Sìm Innes, Òraidiche Ceiltis is Gàidhlig agus Fiona Dunn, Manaidsear Leasachaidh Gàidhlig.


                   

The University of Glasgow has been awarded £455,000 to establish a new Gaelic language immersion year to provide an intensive language learning experience for students and adult learners, it was announced today (29 October 2019).

The new language immersion year, funded by the Scottish Funding Council, will be piloted over three years from September 2020.

Based in the main University of Glasgow campus, the immersion course will involve eight months of intensive language tuition. This will be followed by a three-week residential experience in South Uist, one of the strongest Gaelic-speaking communities in Scotland, facilitated by Ceòlas Uibhist.

The University of Glasgow has been at the forefront of Gaelic development in the Higher Education setting for the last 10 years. The introduction of an immersion year adds to the portfolio of unique opportunities that exist at the University to support and promote the use, learning and visibility of Gaelic.

Fiona Dunn, the University of Glasgow’s Gaelic Development Manager and Principal Investigator for the project, said:

“The development of this immersion year is a direct response to how the student community has changed in recent years with more learners entering Gaelic programmes. 

“We are delighted to receive this award from the SFC as it will support more students in achieving fluency in the language and help to realise one of the primary commitments in our current Gaelic Language Plan.”

The immersion year will be available to undergraduate students on Gaelic programmes at the University prior to entering honours level studies. It will offer the choice to study either a four-year or a five-year degree depending upon the language abilities of individual students.  

In addition, the immersion year will be available as a standalone Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) qualification on either a full-time or a part-time basis over two years.

Ms Dunn added:

 “As Gaelic-medium education continues to expand across the central belt, the ability to offer this year as a CertHE is particularly important with more parents and adult learners in need of intensive learning opportunities.”

In addition to Ceòlas in South Uist, the University will work closely with partners in the city, including the Gaelic Books Council, to deliver aspects of the course and a new lecturer will be recruited in January 2020 to deliver the course as part of the Celtic & Gaelic team based at the College of Arts.

The University’s College of Arts commissioned a feasibility study in 2017 to consider an immersion experience in Glasgow and this revealed a demand for more intensive language opportunities amongst students and adult learners.

Gillebrìde MacMillan, Head of Celtic & Gaelic and Project Co-Investigator, said:

“This is a hugely exciting development for the subject area that will ensure parity for Gaelic students with those studying on modern language programmes.

“We are particularly pleased to be working closely with a traditional Gaelic-speaking community to deliver aspects of this course and going forward, we also anticipate unique opportunities to support students wishing to pursue careers in Gaelic teaching who may have studied a range of other subjects.”

The proposal for this course is an alternative approach to immersion from previous national Gaelic summer schools and has been developed over a number of years by a dedicated development team including, Fiona Dunn and Gillebrìde MacMillan as well as, Dr. Sìm Innes, the Learning and Teaching Convener for Celtic & Gaelic, and Project Co-Investigator.

Morag Campbell, SFC Assistant Director, Gaelic Policy said:

“Language immersion is vital for students’ fluency and confidence in a language, particularly at the levels required for professional careers.

“Demand for highly skilled and fluent Gaelic-speaking graduates has never been higher, and the University of Glasgow is well placed to expand opportunities for Gaelic immersion in Scotland. Glasgow is home to the largest concentration of Gaelic speakers outwith the Western Isles and has a growing number of new Gaelic speakers, as a result of the success and demand for Gaelic-medium education.

“We are delighted to fund this initiative in support of the National Gaelic Language Plan, and increasing the number of Gaelic speaking professionals in Scotland.” 

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Chaidh ainmeachadh an-diugh (29 Dàmhair 2019) gun deach £455,000 a bhuileachadh air Oilthigh Ghlaschu gus bliadhna bhogaidh ùr sa Ghàidhlig a stèidheachadh airson suidheachadh ionnsachaidh tro bhogadh sa chànan a sholarachadh do dh’oileanaich agus do dh’inbhich a tha ag ionnsachadh na Gàidhlig.

Thèid a’ bhliadhna bhogaidh cànain a fhuair maoineachadh bho Chomhairle Maoineachaidh na h-Alba, a chur air adhart mar phìleat thairis air tri bliadhna bhon t-Sultain 2020.

Stèidhichte air prìomh làrach Oilthigh Ghlaschu, bidh ochd mìosan de dh’oideachadh dian cànain anns a’ chùrsa bogaidh. Leanar seo le suidheachadh còmhnaidheach fad thrì seachdainean ann an Uibhist a Deas, aon de na coimhearsnachdan as làidire airson na Gàidhlig ann an Alba, air a dhèanamh comasach le Ceòlas Uibhist.

Tha Oilthigh Ghlaschu air a bhith aig fìor thoiseach leasachadh na Gàidhlig ann an suidheachadh Foghlam Àrd-Ìre thar nan 10 bliadhna a chaidh seachad. Tha a bhith a’ tòiseachadh air bliadhna bhogaidh a’ cur ris an àireamh de chothroman gun choimeas a tha rim faotainn san Oilthigh gus cleachadh, ionnsachadh agus faicsinneachd na Gàidhlig a chuideachadh agus adhartachadh.

Thuirt Fiona Dunn, Manaidsear Leasachaidh Gàidhlig an Oilthighe agus am Prìomh Sgrùdaire don phròiseact:

Tha leasachadh na bliadhna bhogaidh seo mar fhreagairt dhìreach air mar a tha coimhearsnachd nan oileanach air atharrachadh thar nam bliadhnaichean mu dheireadh, le barrachd luchd-ionnsachaidh a’ dèanamh phrògraman Gàidhlig.

“Tha sinn air leth toilichte am maoineachadh seo fhaighinn bhon SFC oir bheir e taic do bharrachd oileanaich faighinn gu fileantas sa chànan, agus cuidichidh e gus aon de na prìomh dhealasan sa Phlana Ghàidhlig againn a thoirt gu buil.”

Bidh a’ bhliadhna bhogaidh do dh’oileanaich fo-cheum a tha air prògraman Gàidhlig san Oilthigh mus inntrig iad ionnsachadh aig ìre urraim. Bidh a’ bhliadhna a’ tabhann na roghainn a thaobh ceum ceithir-bliadhna no còig-bliadhna a ghabhail os làimh a rèir comasan cànain nan oileanach fa leth.

A thuilleadh air an sin, bidh a’ bhliadhna bhogaidh ri faotainn mar Theisteanas Foghlaim Àrd-Ìre (CertHE) air leth, air bhunait làn-ùine no pàirt-ùine thairis air dà bhliadhna.

Thuirt a’ Bh-uas Dunn:

 “Mar a bhios foghlam tron Ghàidhlig a’ leantainn air a’ leudachadh tarsainn meadhan na h-Alba, tha an comas air a’ bhliadhna seo a thairgsinn mar CertHE gu h-àraid cudromach, le barrachd phàrantan agus luchd-ionnsachaidh inbheach agus feum aca air cothroman ionnsachaidh dian.” 

A thuilleadh air Ceòlas ann an Uibhist a Deas, bidh an t-Oilthigh ag obair gu dlùth le com-pàirtichean sa bhaile a’ gabhail a-steach Comhairle nan Leabhraichean gus diofar earrannan den chùrsa a lìbhrigeadh agus bidh òraidiche ùr air fhastadh san Fhaoilleach 2020 airson an cùrsa a lìbhrigeadh mar phàirt den sgioba aig Ceiltis agus Gàidhlig, stèidhichte ann an Colaiste nan Ealain. 

Rinn Colaiste nan Ealain san Oilthigh coimiseanadh air sgrùdadh iomchaidheachd ann an 2017 gus beachdachadh air suidheachadh bogaidh ann an Glaschu, a nochd iarrtas airson barrachd chothroman cànain dian am measg oileanaich agus luchd-ionnsachaidh inbheach.

Thuirt Gillebrìde Mac ’IlleMhaoil, Ceannard Ceiltis is Gàidhlig agus Co-Sgrùdaire a’ Phròiseict:

“ ’S e leasachadh fìor bhrosnachail a tha seo don roinn againn agus bidh e a’ ciallachadh gum bi co-ionannachd ann eadar oileanaich Ghàidhlig agus oileanaich a tha ag ionnsachadh air prògraman nan nuadh-chànanan.

“Tha sinn gu h-àraid toilichte a bhith ag obair gu dlùth le coimhearsnachd Ghàidhlig thraidiseanta gus taobhan den chùrsa seo a lìbhrigeadh, agus a’ dol air adhart tha sinn a’ sùileachadh chothroman gun choimeas gus taic a thoirt do dh’oileanaich a tha airson dreuchd a leantainn ann an teagasg Gàidhlig agus as dòcha a tha air raon de chuspairean eile a sgrùdadh.”

Tha am moladh a thaobh a’ chùrsa seo na mhodh-obrach eile air bogadh a thàinig bho sgoiltean samhraidh Gàidhlig nàiseanta roimhe seo, agus a chaidh a leasachadh thar grunn bhliadhnaichean le sgioba leasachaidh dhealasach sa bheil Fiona Dunn agus Gillebrìde MacIlleMhaoil a thuilleadh air an Dr Sìm Innes, Stiùiriche Ionnsachadh agus Teagasg ann an roinn Ceiltis is Gàidhlig, agus Co-sgrùdaire a’ Phròiseict.

Thuirt Mòrag Chaimbeul, Leas-Stiùiriche an SFC airson Poileasaidh Gàidhlig:

 “Tha bogadh cànain deatamach do dh’fhileantachd is misneachd oileanaich ann an cànan, gu h-àraid aig na h-ìrean a tha riatanach airson dhreuchdan proifeiseanta. 

“Chan eil an t-iarrtas airson ceumnaichean àrd-sgileil agus fileanta ann an Gàidhlig a-riamh air a bhith cho àrd, agus tha Oilthigh Ghlaschu ann an suidheachadh math airson cothroman a leudachadh do bhogadh Gàidhlig ann an Alba. Tha Glaschu na dhachaigh don dùmhlachd sluaigh le Gàidhlig as motha taobh a-muigh nan Eileanan Siar le àireamh a tha a’ sìor fhàs de luchd-labhairt ùr le Gàidhlig, mar thoradh air soirbheachadh agus iarrtas airson foghlam tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig.

“Tha sinn air leth toilichte an iomairt seo a mhaoineachadh mar thaic do Phlana Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig, agus an àireamh de phroifeiseantaich le Gàidhlig a mheudachadh ann an Alba.”