2.1 Gaelic Medium Education
2.1.1 Nummer o responses
Responses relatit tae views on Gaelic Medium Education covered answers tae the follaein questions. The table sets furth the nummer o responses received for ilka question.
|Questions on Gaelic Medium Education||Nummer o responses|
|Q1 – Thinkin aboot barriers, obstacles and solutions – whit are the maist important aspects that should be includit in a new strategic approach tae Gaelic Medium Education?||612|
|Q2 – Whit steps should be taen tae forder and uphaud Gaelic education and mak siccar that ony new strategic approach tae GME is implementit?||600|
|Q3 – Are there ony ither pynts ye’d like tae mak aboot providin Gaelic Medium and Gaelic lairner education in Scottish education?||525|
2.1.2 Qualitative insichts
This section sets forrit the maist common responses that cam oot unner the category o Gaelic Medium Education durin the analysis.
Maist common themes
Barriers, obstacles and solutions for a new strategic approach tae Gaelic Medium Education
1. Widespreid uise and uphaudin o the Gaelic leid
2. Mair accessibility and provision o Gaelic educational services
3. Mair fundin and investment in human resoorces for Gaelic Medium Education
4. Campaigns and community engagement tae forder Gaelic Medium Education
Weys tae uphaud Gaelic Medium Education
1. Management and accoontability for Gaelic Medium Education
2. Investment in teachin resoorces tae increase access and quality o Gaelic Medium Education
3. Information campaigns tae mak Gaelic mair kenspeckle
4. Uphaudin o bilingualism
5. Cultural activities tae forder the uise o the Gaelic leid
Views aboot the provision o Gaelic Medium Education in Scottish Education
1. Preservation o Gaelic as pairt o Scotland’s cultural uniqueness
2. Monitorin and accoontability o Gaelic Medium Education provision
Table 2: Maist common responses for Gaelic Medium Education
Question 1: Thinkin aboot barriers, obstacles and solutions – whit are the maist important aspects that should be includit in a new strategic approach tae Gaelic medium education?
The follaein themes stood oot as the maist common responses regairdin barriers, obstacles and solutions regairdin a new strategic approach tae Gaelic Medium Education.
Widespreid uise and uphaudin o the Gaelic leid as an opportunity. The muckle feck o respondents are ahint a new strategic approach tae Gaelic Medium Education. For a widespreid uphaudin o the Gaelic leid, respondents referred tae:
- forderin forrit o public signage in Gaelic in public infrastructure,
- improved teachin curricula in primary and secondary schuils,
- forderin o and easy access tae immersion lairnin, and
- prioritisation o Gaelic as a compulsory subject in Scottish education systems.
Forby, for mair significant forderin o Gaelic linguistic abilities, respondents suggestit the provision o advanced-level classes alang wi beginner’s classes.
Mair fundin and investment in human resoorces for Gaelic Medium Education. Twa ither common barriers tae Gaelic Medium Education set furth were lack o fundin and no eneuch human resoorces (maistly teachers). For teachers, respondents pyntit oot that lack o guid-eneuch trainin and qualification in teachin Gaelic hinders the provision o Gaelic Medium Education, and sae the nummer o Gaelic spikkers in Scotland. Comparin wi the nummer o English spikkers and wi an ambition tae increase Gaelic spikkers, a respondent threaped that ‘there should be linkages atween the Gàidhealtachd framewark and ettles tae forder Gaelic Medium Education. A strategic plan and timetable should be follaed tae phase oot English Medium Education awthegither in the Western Isles and ither core Gàidhealtachd areas. Aw English Medium staff left-ower in thir areas should be alloued tae acquire Gaelic skills if they hivnae got them awready and inpit tae the Gaelic Medium sector’ (Respondent # 428)
Mair accessibility and provision o Gaelic educational services. Respondents wha had strang feelins aboot the widespreid forderin o Gaelic and relatit educational services suggestit the additional provision o Gaelic educational services tae pupils ootside o schuil. This could be in the form o clubs and lairnin events. Ithers shared their howps tae see mair availability o Gaelic Medium Education in ilka schuil or at least in the Hielands and Islands at nurseries and primary and secondary levels.
Local authorities were seen as responsible pairties tae mak weel-kent the availability o Gaelic Medium Education locally. For proponents o Gaelic Medium Education, Gaelic should be the default (subject) in major Gaelic communities. Respondents affirmed forby that there wis mair demand for Gaelic Medium Education than there wis availability. Sae, lack o accessibility and provision wis ane o the maist common barriers for maist respondents.
Community and cultural initiatives tae forder Gaelic Medium Education. Some respondents pyntit oot that there has aft been an awfie lack o kennin aboot the importance o Gaelic as Scotland’s traditional leid. Tae uphaud local uise and forderin forrit, community engagement should be boukit up by organisin cultural events, includin music, dance, and literary festivals, tae immerse the population intae the Gaelic leid. A respondent suggestit ‘increased resoorces for Gaelic Medium residential sports camps sic as skiing as Gaelic spikkers and Gaelic Medium educatit bairns are unner-representit at a national level’ (Respondent # 319). Sic activities and initiatives will increase Gaelic’s visibility.
Question 2: Whit steps should be taen tae forder and uphaud Gaelic education and mak siccar that ony new strategic approach tae GME is implementit?
Forby the references tae some o the themes frae Question 1, the follaein themes stood oot as the maist common responses regairdin specific steps tae forder Gaelic education.
Mair strang management and mair accoontability for Gaelic Medium Education. Respondents supportin Gaelic Medium Education threaped o a want for mair transparency and accountability aroond implementin Gaelic Language Plans. The authorities at the national level maun coordinate and jyne thegither for better resoorcin and staff development. The ettles bein makkit the noo are ‘fragmentit and ineffective’ and need better plannin. Ane respondent pyntit oot that ‘real commitment and investment is needit afore ony new strategy is promotit. Provision the noo is ower fragile for gleg, widespreid expansion. Ongawin improvement maun be nurtured and sustained tae mak stieve foonds tae big on gawin forrit (Respondent # 434). Forby, the government maun mak mair strang the legislation tae bield the public’s richts tae Gaelic education.
Investment in teachin resoorces tae bouk up access and quality o Gaelic Medium Education. Mony respondents socht efter initial teacher trainin, incentives, and opportunities for teachers tae lairn Gaelic. Accordin tae them, the quality and diversity o the teachin staff can mak aw the odds tae improvements in the provision o Gaelic Medium Education. Incentives could be gien tae mak siccar o teacher retention in the current warkforce and the creation o new teachin staff. Teachin oors and salaries should be thocht ower again forby for tae herten fowk in takkin mair Gaelic teachin roles and tae match the cost o livin in sindry pairts o Scotland. Respondents suggestit forby trainin and recruitin language assistants tae add tae the quality o Gaelic Medium Education and support for pupils.
Information campaigns tae mak Gaelic mair kenspeckle. Tae uphaud Gaelic Medium Education, respondents suggestit that locally organised information campaigns can be a guid wey tae normalise the uise o Gaelic in ilkaday life. Thir campaigns can target the ‘ongawin negativity and disinformation surroondin the leid and its teachin’ (Respondent # 495). Ettles tae raise awaurness will mak it easier for the public tae ken mair aboot whit wey Gaelic is necessar tae preservin the traditional culture o Scotland.
Uphaudin o bilingualism. Respondents were o the mind that an emphasis on bilingualism could encourage mair fowk tae be at ease wi Gaelic as their local leid. Bilingual road signs should be available aw ower. Forby, yin respondent pyntit oot that ‘haein aw bairns lairnin in Gaelic, Scots, and English frae the ootset o their schuilin wad finally get rid o the stigma surroondin thir leids’ (Respondent # 181).
Cultural activities tae forder the uise o the Gaelic leid. Cultural activities sic as community lairnin opportunities that are available tae adults as weel as bairns can forder Gaelic lairnin. Thir activities can include occasions tae celebrate minority language festivals, celebrate Gaelic airtists daein weel, and provision o multilingual cultural resoorces.
Question 3: Are there ony ither pynts ye’d like tae mak aboot providin Gaelic Medium and Gaelic lairner education in Scottish education?
Unner Question 3, respondents wance mair affirmed the themes set oot unner Questions 1 and 2. As can be seen ablow, respondents shared some new responses regairdin providin Gaelic medium education and lairnin in Scottish education.
Preservation o Gaelic as pairt o Scotland’s cultural uniqueness. Some respondents stressed the importance o Gaelic Medium Education as pairt o Scottish Education tae bield the culture and history o the country. Accordin tae them, in the current system o education, ‘the sair-needit emphasis on STEM subjects jyned wi the parin doon o chyce o subjects at a schuil level hae endit up wi no sae mony students choosin Gaelic (and ither non-STEM subjects) at the higher levels (Respondent # 62). Forby, some respondents reflectit on how independent schools in Scotland dinnae offer Gaelic as a subject in Scotland. The Scottish authorities should recognise Gaelic at a Nat 5 or higher level and then open up future pathweys for employment for Gaelic spikkers.
Monitorin and audit o Gaelic Medium Education provision. Accordin tae respondents, Bòrd na Gàidhlig should be accoontable for Gaelic lairner education. There needs tae be a mair straicht-forrit strategy tae airt oot, uphaud and follae lairners through their journey. Respondents suggestit forby that this monitorin and audit can be implementit by makkin the office o a ‘Gaelic Commissioner.’ Accordin tae them, the Gaelic Commissioner wad owersee the national policy implementation at the local level, actin as an ombudsman. They will mediate atween the national policy framewark and implementation by local authorities.
Less common themes
Ablow are ither responses mentioned across the three questions regairdin Gaelic Medium Education.
Social stigmas aroond the Gaelic language. Respondents’ reluctance tae engage in Gaelic has been affectit by the social stigmas associatit wi the uise o the leid. They reportit a lack o confidence in spikkin the leid, especially amang younger fowk.
Revised legislative framewark. Respondents identified the need tae upbig a national Gaelic language policy that recognises the importance o Gaelic and gies a framewark for its integration intae local authority policies. This new framewark should emphasise 1) pre-schuil and early Gaelic lairnin, 2) Gaelic-medium primary and secondary education, 3) Gaelic education at the tertiary level includin college, vocational and university education, and 4) Gaelic as a second leid.
Strang leadership tae mak siccar o better management o local authorities. Respondents suggestit an emphasis on makkin strang leadership and management that 1) hauds local authorities accoontable for fulfillin Gaelic language plans, 2) appynts officials that ken Gaelic weel and are empathetic tae the leid, and 3) steys connectit wi local authorities tae uphaud them in a coordinatit, hale-heidit wey.
Information campaigns tae publicise Gaelic. A clear campaign tae spreid information aboot Gaelic, the benefits and the availability o opportunities open tae aw.
Multilingualism. Accordin tae respondents, multilingualism should be promotit at an official and public level. The benefits o bilingualism should be publicised and associatit wi Gaelic Medium Education.
Restrictions tae Gaelic Medium Education. A few respondents suggestit that Gaelic Medium Education shouldnae be rowed oot aw ower Scotland.
Chynges in the curriculum. The resoorces available as pairt o the Gaelic curriculum should be siccarly luikt at wance mair. There should be a separate curriculum for Gaelic Medium Education.
Secondary-level education. There is a want for mair provision o Gaelic education at a secondary level. The secondary curriculum is seen as foremaist tae the development o Gaelic Medium Education.
Tertiary-level education. The authorities should invest in tertiary-level Gaelic education. Daein this wad allou a mair coordinatit approach atween schuils and universities tae promote careers foondit in Gaelic or the uise o Gaelic.
Gaelic Lairner Education. Respondents believed that ony developments relatit tae Gaelic Lairners wad hae an important role in promotin the Gaelic leid. Focusin on Gaelic Medium Education shouldnae minimise investments in Gaelic Lairner Education. Accordin tae respondents, opportunities and available provisions tae be involved in Gaelic Lairner Education micht spark interest and virr amang fowk that michtna want tae tak on a halely immersive Gaelic Medium Education.
Apolitical approach taewards Gaelic Medium Education. Accordin tae a respondent, politicians shouldnae hae a say in decisions regairdin the national curriculum. Education experts maun be fully involved in sic decisions.
2.2.1 Nummer o responses
Responses relatit tae views on a Gàidhealtachd covered answers tae the follaein questions. The table sets furth the nummer o responses received for ilka question.
|Questions on a Gàidhealtachd||Nummer o responses|
|Q4 – Dae ye hae ony thochts on whit meisures should be in place tae uphaud Gaelic spikkers in areas wi a guid nummer o spikkers?||556|
|Q5 – Dae ye hae ony thochts on how sic areas should be defined?||476|
|Q6 – How wad ye balance the commitment tae pit meisures in place in areas wi significant Gaelic spikkers wi the principle that Gaelic should be a national leid for the hale o Scotland?||526|
|Q7 – Are there ony ither pynts ye’d like tae mak aboot the commitment tae luik intae the makkin o a Gàidhealtachd and the associatit commitments relatit tae Gaelic uise in the faimily and community?||396|
2.2.2 Qualitative insichts
Maist common themes
Meisures tae uphaud Gaelic spikkers in areas wi a guid nummer o spikkers
1. Developments in a Gàidhealtachd
2. Ony meisures should be restrictit tae a Gàidhealtachd alane
Definin areas wi Gaelic spikkers
1. Geographical definition based on the historical presence o the leid
2. Nae definition is necessar syne Gaelic spikkers bide aw ower Scotland
3. A flexible definition for Gàidhealtachd is necessar
4. Definin Gàidhealtachd isnae necessar
5. Community consultations are needit
Balancin the commitment tae pit meisures in place in areas whaur there’s a guid nummer o Gaelic spikkers wi the principle that Gaelic should be a national language for the hale o Scotland
1. Public, infrastructural and economic uphaudin for a Gàidhealtachd at the local level
2. Aw o Scotland should be a Gàidhealtachd wi Gaelic as the national leid
3. Scotland is a bilingual nation wi English and Gaelic as official leids
4. Gaelic shouldnae be a national leid o Scotland
Thochts aboot the commitment tae luik intae the makkin o a Gàidhealtachd and the associatit commitments relatin tae Gaelic uise in the faimily and community
Table 4: Maist common responses for Gàidhealtachd
Question 4: Dae ye hae ony thochts on whit meisures should be in place tae uphaud Gaelic spikkers in areas wi a guid nummer o spikkers
Developments in a Gàidhealtachd. Respondents shared that the government should gie mair funds tae uphaud Gaelic spikkers, especially ben thon pairts wi a guid nummers o spikkers. Economic and infrastructural meisures should be pit in place tae uphaud Gaelic spikkers in a Gàidhealtachd. Respondents statit that language policies are relatit tae socioeconomic policies. Accordin tae them, withoot the socio-economic uphaudin for communities in a shilpit set, language transmission in a Gàidhealtachd will continue tae loss new generations o Gaelic spikkers. As yin respondent pyntit oot, economic meisures could help tae stem the teem o young Gaelic spikkers that aft flit awa frae Gaelic areas. Thir meisures micht include providin affordable hooses and employment opportunities. Local tourism should be improved forby, makkin possible an ongawin preferential provision o jobs for local Gaelic spikkers or fowk wi Gaelic qualifications (Nat5 and Higher).
Forby, some respondents wantit tae see the uise o cultural initiatives sic as Gaelic language clubs, that allou baith auld and young community members tae engage and connect. On tap o thon, the integration o Gaelic intae ilkaday life is like tae uphaud Gaelic spikkers. Respondents suggestit forby haein Gaelic available as a leid on sel-serve machines in supermairkets and organisin Gaelic Medium clubs and activities sic as Gaelic knittin groups as ither initiatives. In terms o media, radio and TV programmes and print literature wad help forby wi uphaudin the uise o Gaelic amang the local communities and empouer local spikkers. As weel, cooncils, the NHS, and the public sector should tak the steps necessar tae offer aw their services in Gaelic.
Ony meisures should be restrictit tae a Gàidhealtachd alane. Accordin tae respondents, areas wi a guid nummer o Gaelic spikkers include the Hielands and Islands and the Western Isles. In Gàidhealtachd regions, Gaelic should be the heidmaist leid in aw statutory and public service provisions. A respondent suggestit that ‘the meisures should be upbiggit and uphaudit anely in thon pairts whaur Gaelic has been historically spoken, but no in the Northern Isles whaur their dialect should be retained’ (Respondent # 172). Anither respondent suggestit that Gàidhealtachd areas should be the priority, whaur a focus on Gaelic communities and their cohesion is o foremaist importance. Ony investment or meisures for a Gàidhealtachd should be meticulously directit acause, as yin respondent statit, the proportion o Gaelic spikkers is reducin, and incomin faimilies and individuals are maistly English-spikkin wi nae real reason that they should spik Gaelic (Respondent # 511). Some respondents felt that ony meisures in the country’s central belt wad be misguidit and a waste o public resoorces.
Question 5: Dae ye hae ony thochts on how sic areas should be defined?
A geographical definition based on the historical presence o the leid. Maist respondents favour definin areas wi Gaelic spikkers as thon areas wi mony spikkers. Thir include areas whaur Gaelic wis historically present but, as yin respondent pit it, ‘systematically malafoustert by certain political groups/them in pouer’ (Respondent # 431). The definition, houaniver, shouldnae be restrictive and should focus forby on areas whaur there’s potential for ongawin growth.
Nae definition is necessar syne Gaelic spikkers bide aw ower Scotland. Anither common opinion mangst respondents regairdin definin areas wi Gaelic spikkers wis that there shouldnae be ony definition in terms o geography. Ane o the respondents statit that ‘leid loyalty in the cities is heidmaist tae the smeddum and enjoyment o a leid’ (Respondent # 296). The leid maun bide accessible aw ower. The role o media and digital technology has assistit in keepin the leid accessible and available across sindry regions o Scotland. Anither respondent shared thochts that were sib, statin that syne ‘online resoorces can be accessed onywhaur, makkin a defined Gàidhealtachd area wad be a step backarties’ (Respondent # 471).
A flexible definition for Gàidhealtachd is necessar. A sma segment o respondents thocht that a flexible definition o Gàidhealtachd wad mak siccar that uphaudin o the leid in a Gàidhealtachd daesnae hinder ony forderin forrit on offer tae communities ootside a Gàidhealtachd. A flexible approach allous for the widespreid forderin o Gaelic ootside a Gàidhealtachd, openin opportunities for expandin the Gàidhealtachd region. Forby, it wad include online communities tae be pairt o a Gàidhealtachd.
Definin areas wi Gaelic spikkers isnae necessar. A guid nummer o respondents thocht the agenda o definin areas wi Gaelic spikkers wis pyntless. This idea wis motivatit by Gaelic’s relative lack o status compared tae English or the precedence o ither policy/development issues for fowk bidin in Scotland. Directin funds tae the forderin o Gaelic as a national leid wis seen as pairt o a political agenda by respondents.
Mair community consultations are needit. A nummer o respondents believed that definin areas wi Gaelic spikkers for policy should be based on consultations wi local communities. Respondents suggestit that this definition needs tae be groondit in research, especially regairdin the education model in Wales for the Welsh leid.
Question 6: How wad ye balance the commitment tae pit meisures in place in areas wi significant Gaelic spikkers wi the principle that Gaelic should be a national leid for the hale o Scotland?
Status o Gaelic as a national leid o Scotland. Some respondents, for yin reason or another, wirnae siccar o Gaelic’s status as a national leid o Scotland. Amang them that were mair or less ahint the ettles tae forder forrit the leid, there wis noo and then a view that national policies shouldnae be prioritised ower meisures that could address the needs o the leid at a local level. On the ither haun, ither respondents felt that, gien the economic climate the noo and ither national priorities, Gaelic maunna be a priority, and statit that maist fowk in Scotland arenae interestit in Gaelic.
Aw o Scotland should be a Gàidhealtachd wi Gaelic as a national leid. Some respondents shared their interest in Gaelic as a national leid o Scotland. Suggestin that there maun be nae geographical boonds tae a Gàidhealtachd, they believed that the uise o the leid should be equally uphaudit in areas wi sma nummers o spikkers. A respondent lat ken o their enthusiasm through this stieve comment: ‘Ah think Gaelic is an important pairt o the national identity, even though it wis anely spoken in the Hielands and Islands in recent history. Revivin the leid and shapin an identity sindert frae English (if thon is whit’s wantit) leid is a byspiel tool for bringin fowk thegither (Respondent # 430).
Public, infrastructural, and economic uphaudin for a Gàidhealtachd at the local level. For them that believed in the intentions ahint makkin and forderin a Gàidhealtachd, Gaelic spikkers want access tae benefits, incentives, and aw-ower recognition for the leid tae bide on through its spikkers. This uphaudin wad imply mair language visibility through infrastructural signage and public services.
Scotland is a bilingual nation wi English and Gaelic as official leids. Some respondents believed in a mair balanced approach tae uisin multiple leids in Scotland. For them, there should be equal opportunities for aw English, Scots, and Gaelic spikkers. Reinstatin Scotland as a bilingual nation wad require aw bairns tae lairn Gaelic, Scots, and English frae the verra stairt o their education. It wad help get rid o ony stigmas attached tae the uise o ony leid and growe braider cultural acceptance o aw leids.
Question 7: Are there ony ither pynts ye’d like tae mak aboot the commitment tae luik intae the makkin o a Gàidhealtachd and the associatit commitments relatit tae Gaelic uise in the faimily and community?
New-fangelt initiatives for the forderin o Gaelic. Respondents suggestit pittin intae place new-fangelt strategies tae uphaud Gaelic. Thir include inventin or adaptin toys and digital technologies like Alexa that integrate Gaelic as a leid. By addin an element o ‘lairn through play’, bairns will like as no immerse themsels mair in the leid in their early years.
The makkin o a Gàidhealtachd micht bring aboot division. The aspect o division has been a recurrin theme in some o the responses providit abuin. Some respondents thocht that it is necessar for the government tae forder Gaelic in weys that arenae divisive. They added that drawin lines and designatin some pairts o Scotland as an official Gàidhealtachd wad proclaim Gaelic spikkers bidin in thon areas as mair authentic and vital than Gaelic spikkers bidin onywhaur else in Scotland. Accordin tae respondents, ony makkin o a Gàidhealtachd through policy maun be groondit in actual evidence and consultation wi traditional Gaelic-spikkin communities themsels. Failin tae dae thon micht lead tae an imposition o an identity tae which Gaelic spikkers michtna want tae attach themsels.
Less common themes
Ablow are ither responses mentioned across the fower questions regairdin a Gàidhealtachd.
Community Initiatives. Respondents stressed that community events or cultural activities could be a guid wey forrit for extra-curricular Gaelic engagements. Mair fundin and resoorces should be gied oot tae community-led initiatives tae forder the uise and growth o Gaelic.
Hielands and Islands as a Gàidhealtachd. The Hielands and Islands were identified as the main Gàidhealtachd areas. Accordin tae respondents, Gaelic Medium Education should be institutit as default ben thir regions.
Tier system. A few respondents pyntit oot that a tiered system for interventions micht be haundy in forderin Gaelic based on the nummer o spikkers in ony particular area. Different levels o Gaelic in regions will need different initiatives. Likes o, Tier 1 mairks oot areas whaur Gaelic is spoken richt noo (Ooter Isles, Skye), and Tier 2 mairks oot areas whaur Gaelic wis spoken traditionally but isnae commonly spoken noo (Argyll, Hielands, and Islands). Tier 3 wad include areas whaur anely a puckle o fowk spik the leid (Central Belt – Aiberdeenshire, Lothian, and Soothern Uplands).
A Gàidhealtachd awready exists. There were mony pynts o view on the stairtin up o a Gàidhealtachd. Respondents threaped that Scotland awready had a Gàidhealtachd syne this term is uised in Scots Gaelic in direct reference tae the region o the Hielands. Ithers were o the mind that the Gàidhealtachd existit whaurever Gaelic spikkers are tae be fund. Some respondents were agin the norrie o a Gàidhealtachd bein defined ootside o the leid’s modern day hertlands sic as the Western Isles. Ithers felt that definin a Gàidhealtachd wad wirk against the leid’s claim tae national status and lea oot spikkers in ither pairts o Scotland.
Investment the noo is eneuch. Respondents statit that investment levels in Gaelic the noo are mair as eneuch.
2.3 Bòrd na Gàidhlig
2.3.1 Nummer o responses
Responses relatit tae views on Bòrd na Gàidhlig covered answers tae the follaein questions. The table sets oot the nummer o responses received for ilka question.
|Questions on Bòrd na Gàidhlig||Nummer o responses|
|Q8 – Dae ye hae ony thochts on the current duties o Bòrd na Gàidhlig and ony suggestions o how thir could operate mair eidently or efficiently?||451|
|Q9 – Dae ye hae ony thochts on structural chynges at Bòrd na Gàidhlig that could mak mair o the uphaudin and forderin o Gaelic in Scotland?||390|
|Q10 – Are there ony ither pynts ye’d like tae mak aboot reviewin the functions and structure o Bòrd na Gàidhlig, which seeks tae mak siccar Scotland has the maist effective leadership body and netwark o organisations for forderin Gaelic?||343|
2.3.2 Qualitative insichts
Maist common themes
Thochts on the current duties o Bòrd na Gàidhlig and suggestions
1. Bòrd na Gàidhlig needs mair fundin for its effective operation
2. Bòrd na Gàidhlig should be mair visible and efficient in forderin Gaelic
3. Bòrd na Gàidhlig should be restructured as an organisation wi mair legal pouers
4. Bòrd na Gàidhlig should engage wi communities mair
Thochts on structural chynges at Bòrd na Gàidhlig
1. Bòrd na Gàidhlig should hae mair influence in decisions regairdin the forderin o Gaelic
2. A culture o accoontability for language plans should be instilled ben the organisation
Thochts on review o the functions and structure o Bòrd na Gàidhlig
1. Wirkin wi significant organisations, includin cooncils, universities, and charities, tae update Gaelic Language Plans
2. Commission mair research on the effectiveness o ither language plannin bodies for best practices
Table 6: Maist common responses for Bòrd na Gàidhlig
Question 8: Dae ye hae ony thochts on the current duties o Bòrd na Gàidhlig and ony suggestions o how thir could operate mair eidently or efficiently?
Bòrd na Gàidhlig needs mair fundin for effective operation. Respondents identified how Bòrd na Gàidhlig needit mair fundin and resoorces tae eidently implement the forderin o Gaelic education, community events, extra-curricular activities, and provision o public services wi an active integration o Gaelic. Some statit that the budget allocatit for Bòrd na Gàidhlig means it is faur frae easy tae achieve the expectit ootcomes and duties.
Bòrd na Gàidhlig should be mair visible and efficient in forderin Gaelic. Respondents pyntit oot that they didnae ken aboot Bòrd na Gàidhlig and that a ‘mair muckle explanation o the setup the noo is owerdue tae the braider non-Gaelic spikkin populations (Respondent # 493). They were takkin a lend o an example frae Wales; ane respondent reflectit on the appyntment o a Language Commissioner responsible for mitigatin the misinformation that spreids regairdin a leid. They will mak siccar forby o bidin leal tae ony legislation on the uise and forderin o Gaelic. The language plannin system in place the noo, wi nae effective enforcement meisures, is ower ‘shilpit’.
Bòrd na Gàidhlig should be restructured as an organisation wi mair legal pouers. Apairt frae the limitit fundin and invisibility that mak fykie the operations o Bòrd na Gàidhlig, no haein eneuch legal pouers and influence haes an impact forby on Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s credibility, accordin tae respondents. Respondents thocht that ane o the foremaist issues tae dae wi Gaelic language plannin is the lack o legal pouers that the Bòrd na Gàidhlig has tae haud organisations or local authorities tae accoont for the uise and forderin o the Gaelic leid. Forby, the government should mak mair strang the enforcement pouers o Bòrd na Gàidhlig for ony language plans. Respondents jaloused that Bòrd na Gàidhlig wis anely an advisory body wi nae real pouer tae implement chynge.
Ither respondents statit their satisfaction wi the structure and duties o Bòrd na Gàidhlig as it stauns. They commentit that the organisation gies oot professional advice and uphaudin on aw issues relatin tae Gaelic tae Scots Ministers, the Scots Government, and national and regional agencies, as weel as uphaudin Gaelic communities.
Bòrd na Gàidhlig should engage wi communities mair. A need for mair engagement frae Bòrd na Gàidhlig wi the local Gaelic communities wis yin o the foremaist themes for this question. Respondents statit that while they kent aboot Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s wark, they wirnae happy wi whit sma engagement there is wi the Gaelic communities. Ane respondent statit that ‘makkin siccar that Bòrd na Gàidhlig is near tae the significant Gaelic spikkin communities really maitters’ (Respondent # 184). Accordin tae respondents, the lived, generational experiences regairdin the leid and culture, in general, are invaluable and micht gie valuable insichts for the faurer forderin o Gaelic. Respondents stressed forby the need for mair public consultation wi Gaelic-spikkin communities tae mak siccar their vyces are heard weel.
Question 9: Dae ye hae ony thochts on structural chynges at Bòrd na Gàidhlig that could mak mair o the uphaudin and forderin o Gaelic in Scotland?
Bòrd na Gàidhlig should hae mair influence in decisions regairdin the forderin o Gaelic. Bòrd na Gàidhlig should hae mair pouers tae intervene in education maitters. Local authorities should speir Bòrd na Gàidhlig when thinkin aboot structural or institutional chynges in the ootpit o Gaelic Medium Education. Accordin tae respondents, Bòrd na Gàidhlig wirks weel ben its remits but daesnae mak siccar the implementation o Gaelic Language Plans and policies. Mair pouer and influence can be brocht tae beir by employin community development officers tae owersee the implementation.
A culture o accoontability for language plans should be instilled ben the organisation. This accoontability can tak the form o speirin for participation frae as mony sindry organisations as possible for Gaelic’s ultimate forderin and uphaudin. Due tae whit’s seen as a want o accoontability and fushionless plannin and implementation, there wis a view amang some respondents that Bòrd na Gàidhlig had undergaed ‘muckle reputational damage’, causin a want o trust mang the Gaelic communities. Tae mak siccar o the eident implementation o Language Plans and relatit operations, respondents suggestit sinderin the Bòrd’s current functions atween at least twa bodies for language forderin, regulation, and enforcement. Respondents shared that it micht mak mair sense tae identify community actors tae uphaud the work o Bòrd na Gàidhlig. They reflectit on the example o the Doric Board in Scotland’s North-East, which acts as a local agent, giein oot funds frae national soorces tae gressruits actors. Sic a decentralised mechanism can mak siccar o community ownership ower Gaelic initiatives.
On the hale, respondents agreed on mair organisational transparency o Bòrd na Gàidhlig, which is crucial in biggin up the trust o the Gaelic communities. Bòrd na Gàidhlig maun gie oot information frae official discussions, mak connections wi ither authorities, and mak fundin accessible for community initiatives.
Question 10: Are there ony ither pynts ye’d like tae mak aboot reviewin the functions and structure o Bòrd na Gàidhlig, which seeks tae mak siccar Scotland has the maist effective leadership body and netwark o organisations for forderin Gaelic?
They wirk wi major organisations, includin cooncils, universities, and charities, tae update Gaelic Language Plans. A puckle o responses pyntit oot the need for Bòrd na Gàidhlig tae wirk wi ither bodies for a mair eident forderin o Gaelic and implementation o Gaelic Language Plans. It wis thocht that their darg taks place in silos, hinderin them frae eidently cairryin oot n their duties. Ane respondent scrieved that mair emphasis on pairtnership wirkin and bringin mony mair public agencies [and even private organisations] on Board tae wirk alangside ony Gaelic development agency wad be fittin the noo (Respondent # 380).
Commission mair research on the effectiveness o ither language plannin bodies for best practices. Respondents suggestit that studies should be commissioned tae luik intae the wark and effectiveness o ither language plannin bodies aw ower the warld. Thir research insichts will be wirth muckle in upbiggin a language policy that micht wirk best in the case o Gaelic. O note wis a respondent wha pyntit oot that the example nearest tae hame, the uise o Gaelic in Ireland, michtna be the best example tae follae. Accordin tae them, the research shows that Irish medium education attainment in terms o Irish language skills is waur in the Gaeltacht areas than in ither pairts o Ireland.
Less common themes
Ablow are ither responses mentioned across the three questions regairdin Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Lack o awaurness regairdin the functions and structure o Bòrd na Gàidhlig. Respondents identified the need for mair clarity on the roles and functions o Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Satisfaction wi Bòrd na Gàidhlig. Some respondents pit on the record their satisfaction wi the darg bein led and uphaudit by Bòrd na Gàidhlig. Accordin tae ane respondent, Bòrd na Gàidhlig has been mair public-facin, open, and engaged as faur as its wark for the Gaelic leid gangs.
Dissatisfaction wi Bòrd na Gàidhlig. A puckle o respondents scrieved that the Gaelic community hasnae awfie muckle trust taewards Bòrd na Gàidhlig. They were o the mind that Bòrd na Gàidhlig should loss their remit tae forder Gaelic Education seein as their plans for the forderin o Gaelic hinnae led tae ony significant ootcomes.
Staff at Bòrd na Gàidhlig. Accordin tae twa respondents, staff at Bòrd na Gàidhlig should be young Gaelic spikkers that can inpit tae implementin Gaelic Language Plans ambitiously and eidently.
Negative views aboot Gaelic Medium Education, Gàidhealtachd and Bòrd na Gàidhlig
Some respondents scrieved in wi negative opinions aroond the forderin o Gaelic and relatit aspects o Gaelic Medium Education, development o a Gàidhealtachd and Bòrd na Gàidhlig. Follaein are the themes that were howked oot frae the analysis.
Gaelic isnae important tae maist fowk bidin in Scotland. Respondents statit that ony investment in forderin the Gaelic leid is pyntless syne fowk in Scotland dinnae uise the leid awfie muckle. Ony steps taen should be restrictit tae Gaelic-majority areas. Ane respondent set oot their concerns by suggestin tae ‘prioritise lairnin whaur the leid is aye spoken – Western Isles, Hielands, Glesga, Embra. We’re strauchlin tae fund ither basic services, and haein Gaelic taucht in the likes o [named local authority] is pyntless, tae ma mind (Respondent # 281).
Redundancy o ony uphaudin for Gaelic spikkers. Mony respondents had strang views aboot the redundancy o ettles tae uphaud the Gaelic leid. They felt that the funds can be better spent in ither priority areas ben the education system.
Redundancy o Gaelic Medium Education. The want o belief in Gaelic Medium Education wis amang the common responses. Accordin tae respondents, an emphasis on normalisin Gaelic Medium Education chimes wi makkin divisions in the country. On tap o thon, they were o the mind that the government should spend resoorces allocatit for Gaelic Medium Education on ither national priorities sic as English-medium education and healthcare. Ane respondent shared their views by notin how the forderin o Gaelic michtna be haundy tae young fowk, as ‘the priority athin education is tae gie young fowk employability skills, whether that’s eneuch academic qualifications tae gang ontae faurer education or higher education or saft skills, cannae see how Gaelic helps wi thon in ony wey’ (Respondent # 20).
Bòrd na Gàidhlig should be disbandit as it wastes public resoorces. A guid nummer o respondents gied their views that Gaelic as a leid shouldnae be imposed on the fowk o Scotland. They were o the mind that investments should insteid be spent on giein bairns and young fowk the chance tae be mair skeelie in English. Ane respondent statit that ‘bairns are missin oot on life opportunities acause o the failure tae mak siccar o basics sic as readin and scrievin English’ (Respondent # 57).
2.4 Scots Leid
2.4.1 Nummer o responses
Responses relatit tae views on Scots leid covered answers tae the follaein questions. The table sets oot the nummer o responses received for ilka question.
|Questions on Scots leid||Nummer o responses|
|Q11 – Thinkin aboot the wark o the main Scots bodies as referred tae in the paper – Whit are yer thochts on the wark o the Scots bodies? How wad ye mak mair o the wark o thir bodies?||445|
|Q12 – Whit are yer thochts on the next steps that should be taen tae uphaud the Scots leid?||489|
|Q13 – Are there ony ither pynts ye’d like tae mak aboot the commitment tae uphaud the Scots leid?||424|
2.4.2 Qualitative insichts
Maist common themes
Views on the work o Scots bodies
1. Social stigmas aroond the uise o Scots should be debunked.
2. Lack o Scots educational services.
3. Mair fundin and legislative pouer tae uphaud Scots.
Next steps tae uphaud the Scots leid
1. Scots leid should be uised in mainstream media and day-tae-day life.
2. Mair visibility for Scots wi mair resoorces at haun.
Thochts on a commitment tae uphaud the Scots leid
1. Mair vital legislation and statutory provisions are needit tae uphaud the Scots Leid.
2. There isnae a strang eneuch commitment tae the Scots Leid in the Bill.
Table 8: Maist common responses for the Scots leid
Question 11: Thinkin aboot the wark o the main Scots bodies as referred tae in the paper – Whit are yer thochts on the wark o the Scots bodies? How wad ye mak mair o the wark o thir bodies?
Social stigmas aroond the uise o Scots should be debunked. For the leid tae thrive, the leid should be fordered forrit in a wey akin tae Gaelic. Respondents thocht that the Scots leid is aye a leid o their forebeirs’ history and inheritance. Ony stigmas or norries aroond the inferiority o Scots anent English should be debunked. Respondents hielichtit how Scots leid spikkers hae aye been depictit as less educatit and wirthy than English leid spikkers. They suggestit that there is a need tae show how staunardisin Scots as a leid can add tae its legitimacy and mak lairnin the leid mair streamlined, preservin the idiosyncrasies o the sindry Scots byleids and cultures.
Lack o Scots educational services. It wis statit that the leid had lost its smeddum and credibility due tae a want o educational provision through Scots. Respondents suggestit that the educational authorities should bring in and forder a range o free and peyed-for curricula wi sindry forms o accreditation and recognition. Respondents forby tuik tent o the need for a Scots Languages Bill.
Mair fundin and resoorces tae uphaud the Scots Leid. As pyntit oot in the previous theme, mony respondents believed that the Scots leid should be uphaudit wi mair fundin. A puckle o ideas suggestit by respondents include the appyntment o Local Education Authority advisors for indigenous languages tae mak siccar thir policies for language forderin are cairried oot, language awaurness trainin for aw teachers in Scotland, the establishment o an umbrella body sic as a Scots Language Board that could serve as a repository o information, a link tae specialists and proposals, and implementin agency for the delivery o ony legislation or Scots language policy.
Question 12: Whit are yer thochts on the next steps that should be taen tae uphaud the Scots leid?
Scots language should be uised in mainstream media and day-tae-day life. Respondents suggestit that official documents and publications should be furthset in the Scots leid. Regairdin educational provision in Scots, integration o the leid in schuil and university curriculums and Introduction o national exams and educational services/coorses in the Scots leid should be thocht o as a priority. Scots leid maun be normalised in public, administrative, and professional contexts. On tap o thon, respondents had strang feelins forby aboot the forderin o Scots in media, social media, and news braidcastin through the normalisation o its uise and the makkin o information campaigns tae mend ony misinformation that’s connectit tae the uise o the Scots leid. Mair-ower, a respondent advised that regional Scots Language centres can be set up tae act as bases for a netwark o Scots coordinators wha wirk wi schuils and businesses in the area, helpin tae bring aboot local chynge.
Mair visibility for Scots bodies wi mair resoorces tae haun. Yin o the weys tae increase the visibility o Scots bodies and their darg is tae fund netwirkin, and information-sharin sessions whaur sindry bodies gaither tae share guid practices and systematically draw on the expertise frae ben the Scots Leid professional community. Respondents identified how the Scots bodies tend tae wirk in silos and in areas that arenae aye accessible tae mony fowk wirkin ootwith the academic and cultural circles. Tae brek oot o the silos, mair collaborative, community-driven approaches are needit.
Question 13: Are there ony ither pynts ye’d like tae mak aboot the commitment tae uphaud the Scots leid?
Mair vital legislation and statutory provisions are needit tae uphaud the Scots Leid. Respondents statit that ony actions taen regairdin the Scots Language Bill maun be lang-term, flexible, and fit tae uphaud the Scots Leid. Tae uphaud thir actions, the Bill should set up a statutory body, sic as a Scots Leid Board, chairged wi developin a lang-term strategic approach or vision for Scots leid policy. A respondent notit that sic a meisure is like tae ‘bring existin Scots bodies unner its umbrella tae wirk taewards a common strategy, sicweys encouragin cross-sectoral cooperation and active ootreach tae the public’ (Respondent # 170).
There isnae a strang eneuch commitment tae the Scots Leid in the Bill. The aspirations for the forderin forrit o Scots should match the actions needit. In biggin a coherent, sustainable, and realistic environment for the uphaudin, bieldin, and forderin o Scots across aw domains, the Scots Language Bills should pit in place practical steps tae improve the ootlook for baith Scots and Gaelic. The approach tae Scots maun be mair ambitious. Accordin tae respondents, it has tae stairt wi baurin discrimination based on spikkin Scots. Dingin doon Scots as ‘slang’ is relatit tae hie rates o unemployment or unneremployment in Scots-spikkin areas. Tae tackle this, the government maun demonstrate a commitment sib tae thon shown for Gaelic. The approach maun be coordinatit wi mair resoorces.
Less common themes
Ablow are ither responses mentioned across the three questions regairdin the Scots Leid.
Visibility o Scots bodies. The darg o the Scots bodies can be makkit mair strang by focusin on their public visibility. The visibility can be boukit up forby by makkin a Scots Board that shares parity wi Bòrd na Gàidhlig in a legal sense.
Recognition o Scots bodies. Respondents expressed their satisfaction wi the wark unnertaen by Scots bodies, which gies a haun tae fowk wha can or want tae communicate in Scots. The role o Scots bodies is foremaist in raisin awaurness and forderin the uise o the Scots leid, culture, and education.
Community Engagement. Respondents identified mair need for the Scots bodies tae engage wi communities that spik the Scots leid through consultations or fundin projects for localised community projects for faimilies, schuils, and young fowk.
Pairtnerships and collaborations. Respondent organisations scrieved that they welcome the opportunity tae wirk closely wi Scots bodies tae bring aboot plans tae forder the leid. Thir pairtnerships wad expand the reach and bring Scots tae new audiences.
Definin Scots is necessar for its forderin. Like Gaelic, Scots needs a staunard form o orthography. There needs tae be agreed-upon orthography and grammatical staunards for official purposes.
Strategy for Scots. A strategic approach tae Scots and its forderin forrit maun include a unifyin vision and lang-term mission. There should be mair opportunities tae collaborate and expand the reach for mair significant ootcomes. Lairnin maun be drawn frae the experience o Bòrd na Gàidhlig and legislative developments in Wales and Ireland.
Lack o kennin aboot Scots bodies. Some respondents didnae ken o ony Scots bodies, which affectit their ability tae comment on their darg.
Negative views aboot Scots Language
Some respondents expressed strang views aboot the redundancy o ony government ettles in the forderin o Scots leid. Ablow are the responses shared by respondents.
Wark on the forderin o the Scots Leid shouldnae be a priority. Mony respondents dinged doon Scots bodies’ ettles by cawin it a ‘politically driven initiative’ or ‘an unnecessar, misguidit step’. A respondent hielichtit forby that syne ‘there is awready a birkie Scots community that maintains the leid and culture withoot ony need for government uphaudin. Ony ettle at ‘codifyin’ this and regulatin it will strangle it wi jist a puckle o vestit interests gettin the benefit’ (Respondent # 358). Respondents spoke oot against the politicisation o the Scots leid.
Forby, respondents were in favour o retractin fundin and resoorces frae government objectives o forderin the Scots leid. Sic pynts o view were groondit in a perception that, unlike English and Gaelic, the Scots leid daesnae hae a significant status as an official leid in Scotland. It is thocht o as an English byleid raither as a leid in itsel.
2.5 Cross-cuttin themes
Best practices in language forderin. A puckle o respondents suggestit that luikin again at best practices in language forderin micht help wi upbiggin a strategic approach that micht dae maist guid tae the communities it targets. Respondents referred tae Éire (Ireland) as haein their Gaeltacht. It gies a braw example o how the concept has been upbiggit and employed weel athin their contexts. A respondent forby suggestit Wales as a guid example. Wales has managed tae preserve their leid withoot ony impacts on ‘trade and connections tae the warld’. The Welsh Government did weel in upbiggin a 10-year Welsh in Education Warkforce Plan that encourages education providers tae teach through the Medium o Welsh. Forderin Gaelic and Scots leids needs strang statutory provisions like Wales has pit in place for Welsh. Anither example shared is that o the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC). A respondent mentioned in particular that it wis due tae legal richts gien tae parents and their oweraw empouerment and engagement athin the process that led tae forms o Basque medium education becomin a norm for the feck o students in the BAC.
Relative significance for Gaelic and Scots Leids. There were twa responses regairdin the theme o relative significance for Gaelic and Scots leids. Some respondents were o the mind that baith leids are as important as each ither. Ony statutory provisions and legislations makkit for Gaelic maun forby be extendit tae the Scots leid. Respondents recognised that Scots has been dinged doon and is treatit even waur than Gaelic amang the Scottish communities. This is aboot the social stigmas attached tae the leids that misliken them in comparison tae English and stap them frae bein thocht o as Scotland’s official leids. A puckle o respondents believed that the Scots leid shouldnae be awthegither forgot aboot in Gaelic hertlands. The ither curn o respondents suggestit that gien the limitit nature o resoorces, an agenda for splittin resoorces atween the twa could end up benefittin nane. They believed that, comparin the twa, Gaelic should be gien mair importance as an official leid o Scotland.
Mair research and consultations. Anither important theme that came oot in responses tae mair than ane question wis the want o mair research and community consultations. Respondents suggestit that the relevant authorities should commission mair research tae luik intae parental attitudes tae GME tae meisure the short-term and medium-term potential for providin Gaelic Medium Education.
Forby, they emphasised that the community is an essential stakehauder in this process. It is necessar tae listen tae their plans. Frae an institutional pynt o view, mair exploration in the form o mair consultation exercises should be unnertaen tae fund oot whit resoorces wad be maist relevant and impactful for the forderin and uphaudin o Gaelic and Scots leids. For Scots, respondents suggestit forby that information-sharin sessions could help draw on guid practices and expertise frae ben the community in a systematic wey.
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