Project looks at minority languages

Pupils from Sgoil an Taobh Siar
Pupils from Sgoil an Taobh Siar

A dissemination event took place in Stornoway recently with members from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Sgoil an Taobh Siar and Comunn na Gàidhlig joining with peers from France and Ireland who have been working together on a minority languages (Gaelic; Occitan and Gaelige) Erasmus project.

Local partners have made friends and forged partnerships in France and Ireland through seminars, study visits and staff and pupil exchanges and the project has allowed partners to compare and exchange different regional teaching approaches as well as the resources developed by the different institutions and associations.

The aim of the project was to develop and replicate good practice which may be inter-changeable in the teaching of any regional language. One of the outcomes of the project has been the publication of a book – Gael-Òc - which reflects the life, language and culture of the regions which respective partners represent. Acair, Comunn na Gàidhlig and staff and pupils at Sgoil an Taobh Siar have been instrumental in bringing this book to fruition.

The dissemination event took place at Lews Castle college and was held as part of their ‘Latha na Gàidhlig’. The purpose of the day was to raise awareness of the College’s Gaelic courses and degrees while Gaelic agencies were present to inform prospective students, undergraduates and graduates about future employment opportunities in the Gaelic sector.

There were sixty five in attendance in total. These included forty senior pupils with Gaelic skills from The Nicolson Institute, seeking information about Gaelic college courses/degrees and employment opportunities using Gaelic skills. Seven Gaelic organisations were in attendance: Lews Castle College/UHI, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Comunn na Gàidhlig, BBC Radio nan Gàidheal, MacTV, Acair, and Sgoil an Taobh Siar.

The Comhairle gave presentations on the outcomes of the Erasmus + project, demonstrations of the digital toolkit and fielded questions relating to the project itself and about work opportunities for students with both Gaelic and digital skills.

Angus Murray, Corporate Policy Manager at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, who led on the project, said: “It has been a very interesting and worthwhile exercise to compare and contrast how the three regions are approaching the issue of protecting a minority language.”