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gaelic education

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by versingetorix, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. So, why, then, is Gaelic a dying language?
  2. Rhetorical question, innit?
  3. misterroy

    misterroy New commenter

    The parents of a Gaelic Medium child have made a choice. These could be the children of motivated parents. If there was say a Music Medium school, would that too attract choosing parents and the pupils do better than average?
    Just because pupils who are in GME do well, does not mean it is the GME that makes them do well.
    I made the choice, my oldest daughter is in P2 Gaelic Medium, and she loves it.

  4. "Just because pupils who are in GME do well, does not mean it is the GME that makes them do well. "
    Evidence suggests otherwise. Bilingualism has been shown again and again to increase attainment. Check out the research mentioned earlier. It replicates studies from Wales and the Basque Country.
    I once asked a head from a Gaelic unit where most of the kids where from the neighbouring council scheme and again their attainment outstripped those who only had one language.
    As to music, it could be argued that reading and writing music IS another language - it's certainly a type of text.
  5. Jimmy - it's great that you can just make random statements like that. It really supports our arguments that bilingualism builds better brains.
    Some evidence would go a long way and i doubt if the educationalists and linguists mention would agree with you - wherever you get your 'opinion' from. Maybe it IS just predjudice?
    For arguments sake, is 'English' dying? And can you really call 'English' a language? According to Michel Thomas, some two thirds of it is borrowed from French. Add to that, it's Germanic roots and, well, where IS the 'English' bit? Then add lots of other borrowed words, even from Celtic tongues such as car, ceilidh, loch, whisky etc... sounds like a mongrel to me. But, fortunately, some of can appreciated the value of other languages.
  6. I personally believe that we should not be wasting taxpayers' money on Gaelic. I absolutely agree with those who claim that bilingualism can raise attainment, but I believe that this would be better achieved by immersing children in a language that is actually useful in the modern world. The knowledge of Gaelic is increasing among those who are interested in it for cultural reasons, but the actual use of it as a day to day means of communication is in terminal decline.
    My great great grandfather was a native speaker of Gaelic, but he came south for work and all of his descendants have been English speakers. It is easy to be sentimental, but having visited the fishing village on the north east coast where he came from, I am glad he left the bitter cold and isolation in search of a better life. I am also pleased that I was raised to speak the most useful language in the world, English.

  7. Oh dear, what a stramash!
    Firstly, "random statement"? No, direct and pointed question. What's random about "why, then, is Gaelic a dying language?". If there are a kazillion benefits* as claimed in the <u>immediately preceding posts</u> ("random statement"!) then why do so few of our citizens speak it, why does it have to be being kept going artificially? It really supports my argument that you can't have a decent debate without resorting to irrelevant personal insults. And, the question remains unanswered but, hey, I won't hold my breath.
    *Moot point maybe but can't the same be claimed wrt French and German and other modern languages?
    Secondly, how do you know that I cannot speak more than one language? A bit presumptious on your part, eh? But, nothing new or unexpected. It really supports my argument blah blah blah. I'll leave you in Gaelic limbo on that one.
    Thirdly, sure, your comments wrt English, agreed, can't argue against that. If you are seriously claiming that English isn't a language then consider why your postings are of limited credibility.
    Finally, you obviously have a great passion for Gaelic and I have no problem with that whatsoever, zilch. Now's the time to remind you that the only negative statement I've mentioned wrt Gaelic is that it will die out. Nothing you or your pals have posted has convinced me otherwise. Of course, unless you want to do that now?
  8. Didactatube strikes again.
    Tell me, what should Gaelic taxpayers waste their money on?
    Tell me, if bilingualism enhances the learning of third, fourth and fifth languages, does it matter what the first two languages are?
    Tell me, do Latin, ancient Greek, Aramaic and ancient Egyptian have a use in the modern world?
    Tell me, are "cultural reasons" not acceptable uses of taxpayers' money?
  9. I object to my tax being used to pay for the booze'n'smoke culture so pervasive in this, the best wee country in the world.
    Another thread?
  10. I am always relieved when Raymagnol and I are on opposite sides, because then I know I am right.
    Gaelic taxpayers, like any other taxpayers, are free to waste their money on anything they like. Tax which is taken from them should only be used for necessary, or at least socially useful, projects, and not wasted at all.
    Few state schools in Scotland teach Latin these days and none teaches the other ancient languages you mention. None offers a Latin-medium education, so it is hardly a sensible comparison. Many independent schools do teach Latin, so evidently it is seen as having value by those who pay directly for their children's education and, presumably, demand value for money.
    Children routinely learning two, three or four languages to any serious level is far removed from the Scottish experience, unfortunately. Actually, yes, it does matter what the languages are. Latin and Classical Greek, for example, have had a huge influence on English and other European languages and culture, therefore I would be perfectly happy for schools to teach them. A grounding in Latin makes the acquisition of Spanish and Italian a doddle.
    Gaelic has influenced nothing: Gaelic culture led to vast overpopulation and the consequent famine and poverty of a Third World economy which precipitated the 18th and 19th Century emigrations from the Highlands and, indeed, Ireland. It was a language of losers. English, by contrast, was the language of the Scottish Reformation, the Industrial Revolution and Scotland's part in the greatest Empire the world has ever known. It is now the language of the Internet and worldwide trade. No contest.
  11. So the preservation of culture, history, music, narrative and language is not "socially useful"? That is an extremely fascist doctrine - and that is not hyperbole.
    No, you miss the point, perhaps because you haven't been following the thread. Such languages are useful: indeed, essential, since we glean our understanding on ancient cultures from them. We know more about the ancient Egyptians as a result of translating the Rosetta Stone. We know more about the time of Jesus through understanding Aramaic writings. We know nothing of the Minoan culture because we do not understand their language. Therefore, the preservation of languages in school is an investment in the future, a bulwark against the loss of knowledge a society suffers when a language dies out.
    Ah. So you are in favour of the teaching of dead language for the benefit of the majority speaking population, but are NOT in favour of teaching live languages for the benefit of the minitory speaking population. Again - and I really do not exaggerate - that is a fascist policy, particularly one favoured by Franco in his dealing with the Catalan language and culture.
    I'm unaware of any economic philosophy that blames a LANGUAGE for famine and poverty. Still, if Gaelic is the language of losers, then so too is the language of the Scandinavians whose predecessors lost the Viking empire; so too is Latin, the language of the losers who lost the Roman empire; so too are the Native American languages of the Sioux, the Cree, the Apache, who succumbed to the genocidal and colonialist policies of the US. So, too, is Yiddish, which is extinct in Eastern Europe because of the gas chambers. Therefore, your argument - that might is right, that winners take all and losers can head for extinction - is, once more, tinged with fascism.
    Yes, I think I've established you're right. Very, very far right.
  12. Question for those in favour of Gaelic being taught in schools as a way to improve attainment (multi-lingualism etc)
    Since text shorthand is becoming a 2nd (3rd? ) language to our children, should we be funding the development and use of this language in schools? The thought crossed my mind today, and if multilingualism is so important for attainment and overall education of the child, it would be logical to assume that study of such a language would be good for helping understand our present culture?

  13. As much as I can try to countenance the "Darwinian" view that we should let a language die, I am filled with the feeling that we should try to learn from every experience that occurs in anyone's language whether it survives or not... I would, therefore, support the idea that we should keep Gaelic alive.

  14. Maths guy - as far as i'm aware this is already covered. It doesn't need funded - if a child can write in Gaelic or English, then the next step to txt language is easy. I often use 'txt' words as a quick start and get the kids to 'translate' to the full word. It even appears in one of our Gaelic reading books. Ma sn lbh n-drsta.
  15. Dictaphone said - Children routinely learning two, three or four languages to any serious
    level is far removed from the Scottish experience, unfortunately.
    Really? Most native Gaels - some 60k of them - speak English as a second language. Thousands more would speak it but 'lost' when young as it was beaten out of them. Oh, forgot 'minorities' don't count.
    Gaelic-medium is growing. Numbers of speakers have shown a slight increase. Gaelic-medium kids have greater attainment and a greater knowledge of Scotland and her culture - an intregal part of aCfE. Gaels pay taxes too.
    It's here to stay. Live with it.
  16. didactophobe don't worry about Raymagnol and his nonsense. His arguements are always flawed and filled with rage, when he realises he can't answer back or you've proved him wrong he just waits for the thread to get a few pages down the line then starts to pick on someone elses opinion. HE may sometimes make relevant points, but his crude, rude and bullying attitude means myself and many others never listen to him. He's his own worst enemy.
  17. Idiot. I take every single one of didacatube's postings and "answer back" extremely effectively. And those answers prove that his suggestions are grounded in notions that are, undeniably, fascistic. All you can do is say what a nasty person I am, simply because you don't have the intellectual wherewithal to debate properly.
    I thought I'd thrown you in the dustbin on this one, but you keep making me take you back out...
  18. Your comment: "you don't have the intellectual wherewithal to debate properly".
    Your first word: "Idiot".
  19. Come on, bj, you'd react in similar fashion if weestar's nonsense was directed against you.
    This high-mindedness from someone who once challenged another poster to meet him in Glasgow for a square go...
  20. I wonder what has happened to him in his life to make him such a bitter and angry person. I wonder why he bothers trying to have discussions here if we are all such a bunch of <*insert abusive word of the day*>. As a teacher of teachers, you would think he would set a better example.
    His arguments are based on personal attack and attempts to discredit the poster rather than the points in the discussion and as such his posts are virtually worthless in any intelligent discussion. He obviously does not see this - as an apparent narcisist, he cannot possible be wrong, ever. I can imagine if he bothers to reply to this post, it will start with a personal insult, like tube or idiot or f-wit, but it will only back up what both you and I have posted.
    Maybe he was bullied as a child? I guarantee that he does not behave like this face to face though ;) Typical forum bully - hard man as long as they are not in the same room - lowest of the low.

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