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This page is introduced and overseen by Anne Thirkell, Programme Course Co-ordinator (Primary) for PGDE Distance learners and MA/BSc with Education Degrees at the University of Aberdeen.


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Bilingual issues


Dyslexia in other languages

Ag Ionnsachadh na GÓidhlig mar ChÓnan Eile

A’ Toirt cothrom do Gach Sgoilear GÓidhlig Ionnsachadh

DŔ tha ann am Foghlam tro Mheadhan na GÓidhlig?

‘S e d˛igh ionnsachaidh a th’ ann far a bheil sgoilearan air am bogadh ann an cÓnan GÓidhlig bho aois sgoil Óraich gu aois Órd sgoile. Chan fheum GÓidhlig a bhith aig an sgoilear mus t˛isich iad an sgoil agus togaidh iad an cÓnan mar dhÓrna cÓnan tro bhogadh. Airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh mu Fhoghlam tro Mheadhan na GÓidhlig, seall air

DÓ-chÓnanas le GÓidhlig – DŔ na buannachadan a tha ann?

  • Tha foghlam tro mheadhan na GÓidhlig a’ toirt an aona chothrom do gach sgoilear GÓidhlig ionnsachadh, clann a tha fileanta agus clann nach eil
  • DÓ dh˛igh air coimhead air Alba agus air an t-saoghal
  • Tuigse air cultar eile – tha ceangalaichean lÓidir aig a’ GhÓidhlig ri cultar agus eachdraidh na h-Alba, agus tha seo a’ tabhann tuigse nas fheÓrr air cultar dhaoin’ eile
  • Barrachd air aona chultar agus tuigse air cultaran eile – tha GÓidhlig beartach ann an cultar agus ann an eachdraidh
  • Soirbheachadh ann am foghlam – tha rannsachadh ag innse dhuinn gu bheil clann a tha a’ dol tro fhoghlam tro mheadhan na GÓidhlig a’ coileanadh aig an aon ýre neo aig ýre nas Óirde na clann ann am foghlam tro mheadhan na Beurla
  • Leasachadh pearsanta agus s˛isealta
  • Barrachd mothachaidh air a’ chiad chÓnan
  • Tro bhith dÓ-chÓnanach, tha e nas fhasa gluasad gu bhith ioma-chÓnanach
  • Buannachdan eaconomaigeach - barrachd chothroman cosnaidh

DŔ na d¨bhlain a tha an l¨ib foghlam tro mheadhan na GÓidhlig?

  • Doirbh aithneachadh a bheil duilgheadas a tha aig sgoilear a’ tighinn bho dhýth tuigse no bho dhuilgheadas leis a’ chÓnan
  • Goinnead de thidsearan aig a bheil GÓidhlig a chuireas taic ri ionnsachadh chloinne aig a bheil feumalachdan s˛nraichte
  • Ma tha duilgheadasan cÓnain aig sgoilear na chiad chÓnan, neo d¨bhlan mar autism neo feumalachdan s˛nraichte eile, dh’fhaodadh seo a bhith na dh¨bhlan do dh’ionnsachadh cÓnan an sgoileir mur e GÓidhlig a chiad chÓnan. Ma tha d¨bhlan mar seo aig sgoilear, thig pÓrantan, an sgoil agus a’ chomhairle gu co-dh¨nadh a bheil foghlam tro mheadhan na GÓidhlig freagarrach don sgoilear a rŔir nam feumalachdan s˛nraichte.
  • Dýth taic anns an dachaigh mur eil GÓidhlig aig na pÓrantan
  • Diofar ýrean fileantachd anns an aon chlas
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For Gaelic as an
additional language
click here

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[27.10.13] NEWS
The latest adventure of the French comic book hero AstÚrix is called AstÚrix chex les Pictes (AstÚrix and the Picts). As usual, it has been translated into many languages including, for the first time, Gaelic: Asterix Ann an Duthaich Nan Cruithneach

Learning Gaelic as an Additional Language

Providing Opportunities for all Children to Learn Gaelic

What is Gaelic Medium Education?

Gaelic medium education is a form of education where children are immersed in Gaelic language from nursery age through to secondary schooling. There is no requirement for children to speak Gaelic before starting nursery school and they will learn Gaelic through immersion in the language. For more information, see:


Bilingualism and Gaelic medium education – What are the benefits?

  • Gaelic medium education is inherently inclusive as it is open to Gaelic speakers and non Gaelic speakers
  • It gives children two windows on Scotland and the world
  • Understanding of a different culture – Gaelic language has strong ties with traditional culture and history, as well as greater understanding of the culture of others
  • Success in education – research indicates that children educated through the medium of Gaelic achieve at the same level and higher than children educated through English
  • Social and personal development opportunities
  • Learning an additional language raises awareness of the mother tongue
  • Being bilingual means learning an additional language is easier
  • Twice the choice and therefore better career opportunities

What are the challenges in Gaelic medium teaching?

  • If the child is a Gaelic learner, it can be challenging to determine whether difficulties are due to a lack of understanding of a concept or of the language itself
  • There is a lack of learning support teachers who can provide necessary support
  • If children have language difficulties in their first language, autism or specific needs in relation to language, this could prove a challenge if in a Gaelic medium environment if Gaelic is not the child’s first language. In a situation such as this, parents, the school and the local authority would decide what was best for the individual child according to his/her needs.
  • There can be a lack of language support at home if parents do not speak Gaelic
  • Teachers have to deal with varying levels of fluency within the same class


Policy and Practice in Education; Nicolson, M. and MacIver, M. (Editors) (2003). Gaelic Medium Education, Dunedin Academic Press, Edinburgh.


including examples of language immersion in other countries

[links last checked 11.7.11 unless otherwise indicated]

Gaelic Education: Building on the Successes, Addressing the Barriers
Published by HMIe, 21 June 2011

Gaelic Language Plan
Published by HMIe

Improving Achievement in Gaelic
Published by HMIe, 2005

The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005

B˛rd na GÓidhlig
B˛rd na GÓidhlig advises Scottish Ministers and others on Scottish Education

Comann na GÓidhlig
Comann na GÓidhlig co-ordinates various Gaelic initiatives at local, national and international levels.

Gaelic Medium Education in Scotland: Choice and Attainment at the Primary and Early Secondary School Stages
Fiona O’Hanlon, Wilson McLeod and Lindsay Paterson. University of Edinburgh, 2010.

The national network for Gaelic research

St˛ras na GÓidhlig
Learning and Teaching Scotland's support for Gaelic education.

National Plan for Gaelic
The Plan covers the period 2007-2012

Sabhal M˛r Ostaig
National Centre for Gaelic language, culture, education, research and economic development.

Youth Clubs for Gaelic speaking children aged 5 to 12.

[30.8.11] St˛rlann NÓiseanta na GÓidhlig
St˛rlann co-ordinates production and distribution of Gaelic educational resources throughout Scotland.

[14.10.11] Streap
This is a post-graduate training programme for primary and secondary teachers who are teaching, or who wish to teach, through the medium of Gaelic.

Teaching in Gaelic medium education: Recommendations for change
A Report to the General Teaching Council for Scotland on Initial Teacher Education Arrangements for Teaching in Gaelic Medium Education

Comann nam PÓrant
Provides information and support to parents with children in Gaelic medium education.

An Seotal
Gaelic Terminology Database covering terms for teaching a range of secondary subjects in Gaelic.

[6.8.11] Blog PÓrlamaid na h-Alba
On this blog you can follow the latest news and information about the Scottish Parliament in Gaelic.
The blog is written in simple Gaelic so that it can be used by learners as well as fluent speakers. Difficult or technical words are glossed in English.

[6.8.11] The role of Gaelic in the Language Faculty
An article by Lynne Horn of Tobermory High School in the Scottish Languages Review

[19.8.11] Attitudes towards the Gaelic language
This report presents the findings of a survey designed to obtain the views of adults in Scotland towards Gaelic, its use and perceptions of its value as a language in Scotland today. Published 18.8.11.

[13.11.11] Identifying and managing additional support needs in Gaelic medium education
Highland Region's guidance for schools.

[14.11.11] Foghlam
BBC Alba's Learn Gaelic page

[25.11.11] A new Gaelic Thesaurus / Co-fhaclair ¨r GÓidhlig
A thesaurus of synonyms and related concepts.

[27.1.12] Early intervention in Gaelic-medium education
A report on research carried out by Fiona M Lyon. in Issue 24 of the Scottish Languages review. Scroll down to find the Abstract and a link to the whole article.

[10.9.12] Bilingual children better at problem-solving
Bilingual children outperform children who speak only one language in problem-solving skills and creative thinking, according to a new study.

[10.1.14] Routes into Gaelic Medium Education
Read about the GIFT programme:

[30.1.15] Newsletter: Gaelic Medium Education
Comann nam PÓrant, the national organisation that advises and supports parents/carers of those in Gaelic Medium Education (GME), has recently published a newsletter.  In this newsletter you will learn of:

Activities to raise awareness of the benefits of GME
Partners working with schools to help children use Gaelic beyond the classroom
Forthcoming conference for parents/carers of children and young people in GME
Useful information to help parents/carers support their child’s learning.

[15.5.15] New Dyslexia Scotland publication in Gaelic




[21.12.11] Immersion, learning disabilities and minority languages
This MEd thesis from British Columbia investigates issues around the inclusion of learners with disabilities, gifted and talented learners, and learners from minority language backgrounds in the context of immersion. In this case the language of immersion is French.



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