The 120th Royal National Mòd kicks off in Dunoon this evening (Friday) with over 1,200 young people expected to take part in the junior competitions.
John Macleod, President of An Comunn Gàidhealach will welcome the Mòd to the Argyllshire town at an opening ceremony tonight and urge the public to use Gaelic not just in the classroom but in the home and in the community.
He welcomed the moves by national organisations to develop services in Gaelic and also the increase in bilingual signs on commercial premises.
He said: “These developments reinforce the very personal responsibility that rests on us all as Gaelic speakers to support the promotion of our language as one that is appropriate for daily use in all situations. The value of bilingualism is constantly highlighted in research reports, and this is undoubtedly leading to an increased uptake of both Gaelic-medium education and Gaelic learning at school and adult levels.”
He added: “The challenge for the education system is to manage these developments and ensure that sufficient teachers, support staff and resources are available to meet this demand. The challenge for us as a community is to find ways of supporting young and adult learners of Gaelic outwith the classroom. Too often, for many GME and GLPS pupils, their use of Gaelic is limited to the time they spend at school. We need to remember that tuition in school is only part of the process of becoming fluent in Gaelic. We must ensure that Gaelic usage is maintained at home, in the community, in recreation, in worship and in the workplace so that the language is given its proper place as a language of value in day-to-day life.”