ITV News in the UK has a headline-grabbing story on its website: “Exclusive poll: 64% oppose compulsory Welsh to age 16”. The article goes on to state that: “…nearly two-thirds of people oppose the current situation where it is compulsory for schoolchildren to learn Welsh [as a] second language up until the age of 16.… Read More 58% Support Welsh Teaching For Children In English-Speaking Schools
For the last four or five years of An Sionnach Fionn I have been promoting the potential benefits of “language tourism” for Ireland’s economy. The indigenous culture of this island nation represents a largely untapped source of prosperity for the national economy, and not just the education sector or the Gaeltachtaí. As I stated in the second month of ASF’s existence, way back… Read More Putting The Éire In Ireland
There is an old saying in the history of Ireland that relates to the waves of immigration our island nation has witnessed, a saying that many Irish people take a quiet pride in. Describing the invaders, colonists and settlers that have made our country their home it is said that they became, Níos Gaelaí ná na Gaeil féin “More Irish than the… Read More A Republic Of Equals
From Glasgow’s Evening Times newspaper: “Christine and Iain Agnew are keen to support Scotland’s language and so sent son Archie to a Gaelic nursery school in Anniesland. But the four-year-old has now been denied a place at Glasgow Gaelic School. Christine, 39, said: “My son has been going to a Gaelic nursery for the past… Read More Demand For Scottish Medium Education Outstrips Supply
Thanks to @MisneachNYC for a heads-up on this video from Angelica Galante of Niagara College in Canada. It makes some interesting points.
Since this is generating some internet buzz I thought I’d post it: How to learn any language in six months, Chris Lonsdale at TEDxLingnanUniversity. I’m always suspicious about “fast-track” learning. Most are gimmicks and as I know from experience learning a new language when in adulthood is as much about a person’s intuitive abilities as anything… Read More Learn A Language In Six Months?
That perennial red herring, the manner in which the official national language of the nation-state of Ireland is taught in its education system, is raised yet again in the Irish Times newspaper: “Why, with 13 or 14 years of instruction and learning in Irish, does research show standards continue to fall? A 2006 report by… Read More The Ghettoization Of The Irish Language
Here is a story on the Scottish language (Scottish Gaelic) that has been rumbling away for the last couple of weeks in Nova Scotia (Albain Nua) but which has now erupted into a major row that is encompassing academics, language activists and politicians in the easternmost Canadian province. From the Globe and Mail: “In a controversy… Read More The Not So Royal Gaels
Some very good news for the Scottish-speaking community and citizens of Skye who are to see a substantial investment in local education by the government in Edinburgh. From the Scotsman newspaper: “Highland Council is to receive £3 million over two years to build a new Gaelic school in Portree, on the isle of Skye. Minister… Read More Big Investment For Local Education Through Scottish Language
The Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn has launched the Chief Inspector’s Report on quality and standards in primary and post-primary schools for 2010-12 and on the issue of Irish language teaching in the English-medium education system it makes for depressing reading. “How good is the teaching and learning of Irish in primary schools?… Read More The Anglophone Machine – The Systemic Failure To Teach Irish
Today saw the opening in Edinburgh of Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce, a new Scottish-medium primary school, in yet another sign of the resurgence of Scottish Gaelic as a community language in Scotland’s capital city. From STV: “Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce has 30 Gaelic speaking staff teaching 213 pupils – 53 of them who started school… Read More The English Disease, Or Anti-Gaelic Racism
Some further news on Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce, the new Scottish medium school for Edinburgh, via the website Premier Construction News: “A new school dedicated to keeping Gaelic education alive is currently being built in Edinburgh. The £3.5 million scheme is currently being conducted on the site of the old Bonnington Primary School in Leith,… Read More Scottish Medium Education In Edinburgh
Big news for the Scottish-speaking community of Glasgow as the establishment of a second school teaching through the medium of the Scottish language is announced. From the BBC: “A second Gaelic school is to open in Glasgow to meet spiralling demand for bilingual education. The £800,000 facility, which will house up to 200 pupils, will be located… Read More Second Scottish-Medium School For Glasgow
After a long wait the first phase of the new online English-Irish dictionary, Foclóir, is now up and running. The current platform contains 30% of the planned content but this matches 80% of expected general English usage (though a number of my searches did draw a blank). As someone who works in the IT industry I have to say that I am seriously impressed… Read More Foclóir, The New Online English-Irish Dictionary
Two stories highlighting good news for our fellow Gaels in Scotland as the declining population of Scottish speakers begins to stabilise and we start to see signs of a small resurgence, in part attributable to the official recognition and promotion of Scotland’s native tongue by the SNP government in Edinburgh. From the Scotsman newspaper: “A… Read More Bravetongue
The Belfast Telegraph has got into the polling gimmick in a big way recently (blame it’s “sister” paper, the Oirish Independent, which positively thrives on them). The results have been mixed to say the least, and there is a lot of criticism both of the methodologies and the interpretations made of the results derived from… Read More Ulster-Scots – Full Marks For Invention
A new survey of local secondary students by Derry City Council has found a fair degree of both use and support amongst pupils from both communities for the Irish language while providing scant evidence for the existence of the so-called Scots-Ulster language (the dialect of English invented by certain fringe elements from the British ethnic minority in Ireland which has contributed, amongst other things, this gem as the official term for children with… Read More Minding Your Language In Derry
I’ve discussed the popularity of the Irish language in North America before but it’s not the only Gaelic tongue enjoying a renaissance there. In Canada they take their Gaelic heritage, Irish and Scottish, very seriously and in recent years it is the Scottish language that has seen substantial investment by the regional government in the easternmost province of Nova Scotia. Halifax… Read More Gaelic North America
In Ireland a significant number of government departments and other public bodies, along with many public officials, have spent much of the last decade actively opposing the nation’s Official Languages Act of 2003, a piece of legislation introduced eighty years after independence with the objective of ensuring some form of limited equality for Irish-speaking citizens… Read More Scotland Moves Forward – While Ireland Goes Into Reverse
Just a quick post to note and recommend the wonderful, informative and always entertaining Irish Blog at Transparent Language. Its idiosyncratic nature is its joy. There are more Irish language online resources here and here. If you like languages (and just plain wisdom) then also have a look at the Omniglot Blog, which is part of the Omniglot website. Related articles Institutional… Read More Words Of Wisdom
On Tuesday I discussed the slow but steady linguistic change currently taking place in Wales, with increasing numbers of Welsh people returning to their native language, largely due to a positive political environment in which equality legislation and clearly defined language policies have shaped the cultural landscape of the nation. Over the last two decades… Read More Speak English! Or Else…
A new report on the administration of primary schools in Ireland and the teaching of religious studies has been published by the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector, a state advisory group on education. Among its recommendations is the recognition of the high demand for teaching through the Irish language, both in dedicated schools and within the broader educational system.… Read More A Pluralist Ireland? Does That Include The 1.7 Million Irish-Speakers?