Strengthening language at Gaelic college

Pictured are some of the staff involved in the preparation of Sabhal M�r Ostaig's new Gaelic Plan: Janni Diez, Prof Boyd Robertson, Nicola Thomson, John Norman MacLeod and Dr Tim Armstrong.

Pictured are some of the staff involved in the preparation of Sabhal M�r Ostaig's new Gaelic Plan: Janni Diez, Prof Boyd Robertson, Nicola Thomson, John Norman MacLeod and Dr Tim Armstrong.

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Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Gaelic Language Plan was recently published aims to further promote and strengthen Gaelic in every area of the work and operations of the college, which is the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture.

Sabhal Mòr, along with a number of other colleges and universities, was asked by Bòrd na Gàidhlig to prepare a plan under the auspices of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005. The Plan was created by the College’s Language Development Officer, Janni Diez, and other college staff who are expert in the field of language development and planning.

It builds on the College’s Language Policy and strengthens Gaelic usage among students and staff at the College. The Plan increases the already-strong status of Gaelic at the college, and will enable Sabhal Mòr to introduce projects and initiatives which will encourage even greater use of Gaelic in a variety of settings and situations.

Professor Boyd Robertson, Principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, commented: “Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has a special responsibility, as the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, to promote Gaelic and to strengthen the fabric of the language.

“This Plan builds on the College’s Gaelic policy which is based on language planning principles. Sabhal Mòr is a Gaelic workplace and community and we have an appropriate infrastructure in place to enable the objectives of the Plan and the Policy to be put into effect. Sabhal Mòr Ostaig believes strongly in partnership working and we will collaborate closely with the Government, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and other public bodies and establishments to implement the aims of the National Plan for Gaelic.”

Bòrd na Gàidhlig Ceannard (CEO), John Angus MacKay, said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig congratulates Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the publication of its first Gaelic Language Plan. This is another significant milestone in our journey to achieving the aim of the Gaelic Language Act of seeing the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of the whole of Scotland, commanding equal respect to the English language.

“Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is already a fine example of an institute for Gaelic education in Scotland, and it is important that they continue to be an excellent model of best practice in the learning and usage of the Gaelic language.”

Janni Diez, the college’s Language Development Officer, said: “With this plan we have established a foundation which will enable us over the next five years to further increase the usage of Gaelic at the college, and it will ensure that we remain at the forefront of promoting and, more importantly, using Gaelic. We are especially keen to help encourage students and staff to have the confidence to use Gaelic all the time.”

The plan was submitted to Bòrd na Gàidhlig for approval last year following a public consultation where people could submit opinions on the plan. The plan will last five years before being reviewed.

A copy of the Gaelic Language Plan can be viewed at: website