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5 September 05
The importance of phonics in the teaching of reading in all languages is now widely recognised and teachers have warmly welcomed the publication of Facal agus Fuaim, the first time such a scheme has been available to Gaelic education. "Gaelic has a more complex sound system than English, with many more sounds", explains Dr MacLeod, "so it was important to produce original materials centred on an understanding of Gaelic phonetics. We feel it will very much assist in the teaching of Gaelic reading."
The new scheme, which uses the principle of synthetic phonics, was based on original research undertaken by Ionad Chaluim Chille ╠le, the Gaelic centre on Islay, and was published as part of the inter-authority funded publications programme produced by St˛rlann each year. It includes teachers' notes, an extensive folder of classroom materials, colour workbooks for pupils and a book of rhymes. These items are complemented by a CD, funded by B˛rd na GÓidhlig, which gives pupils the opportunity to listen to key Gaelic sounds as well as to have some fun trying out various activities and games. "We have had very good feedback already on the scheme", says Mairead MacDonald, Director of St˛rlann. "Teachers have been very enthusiastic and I'm sure the pupils will enjoy using the new materials."
B˛rd na GÓidhlig
has now provided further funding to allow more CDs to be produced,
covering more sounds.
Tha nise tuigse ann cho cudromach 's a tha fuaimneachadh ann an teagasg leughaidh agus tha tidsearan a' cur fÓilte air foillseachadh Facal agus Fuaim, a' chiad uair a tha sgeama den t-se˛rsa seo air a bhith ann am foghlam GÓidhlig. "Tha siostam fuaime na GÓidhlig nas ioma-fhillte na Beurla, le m˛ran a bharrachd fhuaimean", mhýnich an t-Ollamh D˛mhnall Iain MacLe˛id, co-¨ghdar nan stuthan, "agus mar sin bha e cudromach gum biodh stuthan ¨ra air an ullachadh stŔidhichte air bunait na GÓidhlig. Tha sinn a' smaoineachadh gum bi e na chuideachadh m˛r do theagasg leughaidh."
Tha an sgeama ¨r
stŔidhichte air rannsachadh a chaidh a dhŔanamh le Ionad Chaluim Chille
╠le agus chaidh fhoillseachadh mar phÓirt den phr˛gram foillseachaidh a
tha St˛rlann a' deasachadh Ós leth nan ¨ghdarrasan ionadail gach bliadhna.
Tha e a' gabhail a-steach n˛taichean tidsear, pasgan m˛r de stuthan clas,
leabhraichean-obrach do sgoilearan agus leabhar rannan. An cois nan
stuthan sin tha CD, a mhaoinich B˛rd na GÓidhlig, a tha a' toirt cothrom
do sgoilearan Ŕisteachd ri na fuaimean GÓidhlig agus air beagan fealla-dhÓ
fhaighinn a' feuchainn a-mach diofar ghnýomhan is gheamannan. "Tha
tidsearan air deagh mholadh a dhŔanamh air an sgeama mar-thÓ," thuirt
Mairead Dh˛mhnallach, Sti¨iriche St˛rlann, "agus tha sinn cinnteach gun
c˛rd e ris a' chloinn cuideachd."
15 August 05
The Code provides guidance on responsible behaviour for recreational users, and on the responsible management of land in relation to public access.
Scotland's outdoors contributes to quality of life health, and environmental education. Everyone has the right to be on most land and water for recreation, education and for going from place to place, providing they act responsibly. These rights and responsibilities are explained further in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. A leaflet, summarising the code is now also available in Gaelic.
Mairi Gillies, SNH's Gaelic communication officer said: "As an organisation which conducts much of its business in rural Scotland, including many Gaelic speaking areas SNH is a strong supporter of the language. It's great to be able to increase the amount of Gaelic we use, particularly in publications, and I am sure the Gaelic version of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code will be a welcome addition to the increasing amount of material now available in Gaelic.
The full Gaelic version of the SOAC can be downloaded from the SNH website www.snh.org.uk/gaelic
17 June 05
OFCOM say that the best way to serve the Gaelic audience is through a dedicated Gaelic digital channel, instead of Gaelic programming on the standard channels. They agree that a new Gaelic channel should be set up by a partnership of the BBC and the Gaelic Media Service.
Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chairman of Highland Councilĺs Gaelic Select Committee said: "We welcome a dedicated Gaelic digital channel, provided that the channel is adequately funded as the quality of Gaelic programming must be equal to that of main stream programmes. This requires realistic and sustained financial support. Gaelic broadcasting and multi-media services support the work of Gaelic Education and the cultural sector, as it brings the language alive for people of all ages; Gaelic is being used within cutting edge technology.
I am very disappointed that SMG will not broadcast Gaelic programmes in peak viewing times. We know from statistics supplied by independent audience, they are ignoring the number of people watching Gaelic programmes during peak times is substantial.
"When SMG (Grampian) cease to broadcast Gaelic programmes they will loose a substantial amount of audience support. They are ignoring the voice of the community that they serve.
"It is also important that the issue of equipment, required to receive a digital channel, is addressed and that there is a system in place to ensure that all those who wish to continue receiving Gaelic broadcasts are not financially burdened as a result of this change. It is equally important that the government address the issue of Gaelic radio transmission and reception throughout Scotland and fulfil the expectations of the Committee of European Experts, in relation to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, that all of Scotland can receive Radio nan GÓidheal."
Dr Michael Foxley, Vice Convenor of The Highland Council said: "It is obvious that OFCOM has ignored the input they have received from the Gaelic community, their own research findings, the recommendations of the Gaelic Media Service, which reports to OFCOM and also the views of Highland Council.
"To deprive the Gaelic audience of programmes during peak viewing hours before the switchover to digital television is an affront to the Gaelic community, especially when there is no assurance that an adequately funded digital channel is going to materialise. This ia a particularly bitter message in the month that the Gaelic Bill received itsĺ Royal Assent."
30 May 05
"Growth in Gaelic could help
boost local tourism"
The Highlands and Islands MSP, who spoke last week in a debate on the Gaelic Language Bill, said survival of the language was critical and added that any increase in the number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland could lead to major boosts to local tourism.
Said Mr McGrigor "We only have to look at the map of Scotland to understand the importance of Gaelic. Scotland should encompass its own language, which has been well used in promoting songs and poetry that are unique in their excellence and individuality.
"It was the Conservatives in the early 1980s who poured ú16 million into Gaelic and kick-started the engine into life, creating interest and jobs in an area that had stagnated and had been ignored for far too long.
"It is high time that a further injection of enthusiasm was directed towards Gaelic by the first Scottish Government for 300 years. The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Bill is a golden opportunity to develop Scotland's linguistic and cultural diversity and to advertise the richness of Scotland's cultural history.
"Gaelic should be linked to history teaching. Archaeological and historical tourism are growth areas that could be linked to Gaelic. Gaelic could be very important indeed for Scottish tourism.
"This LibDem/Labour Executive must pick up from where the Tories left off and ensure that the language is preserved. It is an important historical and cultural part of the fabric of Scotland".
Meeting in Portree on Thursday 7th October 2004, the Council approved the draft of a four-pronged plan of action, which will be circulated to interested groups for consultation.
In addition to ensuring that
Highland is a lead authority in relation to
1. Increase the number of
Gaelic speakers in the Highlands;
Councillor Hamish Fraser,
Chairman of the Council's Gaelic Select
He said: "The Executive are to
be congratulated on progressing the
Earlier, Councillor Fraser expressed his concern about the minimal level of additional funding provided to the Gaelic Media Service by the Scottish Executive.
He said: "There is no increase in 2005/2006 and there has only been a minor increase in the two subsequent years and I know that this is a major disappointment to the Gaelic community. We in Highland are taking major steps in Gaelic and cultural development and it is disappointing that the Scottish Executive is n ot recognising that the Gaelic Media plays an important role in language development."
5 August 04
21 March 04
9 February 04
9 January 04
Gaelic plays a central role in creating the special identify of the Highland area but for the language and culture to prosper Gaelic must be given legal status on a par with English and must be adequately funded.
This is the view of The
Highland Council, who welcome the Scottish
Bord na Gaidhlig (Alba), says the Council, should be given a clear remit in promoting the language and culture and a primary responsibility should be the production of a National Plan for Gaelic, which would be reviewed four-yearly. The Bord would also offer advice, guidance and assistance to public agencies to draw up and produce relevant Gaelic plans with realistic and achievable objectives.
The Council believes that education is the most important vehicle through which the decline of the language can be arrested and the route through which a renaissance in the language and culture can be promoted. It strongly believes that responsibility for Gaelic Education and Gaelic Education developments should remain as part of the core remit of the Scottish Executive, HMIE and local authorities. The role of the Bord should be advisory and outwith the terms of the 2000 Education Act.
Broadcasting plays a vital role in Gaelic development and the Council argues that the draft Bill should provide an opportunity to clarify funding available for this while the Bord should be able to support and develop Gaelic broadcasting in terms of the quality and quantity of radio and television outputs. Councillor Andrew Anderson, Chairman Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Committee, said: "We believe that this proposed legislation could be the basis for a positive change for the fortune of Gaelic within 21st century Scotland. If our suggested amendments to the draft Bill are adopted by the Scottish Parliament, it should assist in developing and safeguarding our language and culture for our young people. We are a country of many cultures. Let's make sure that we make them flourish."
Councillor Hamish Fraser, the Council's Gaelic spokesperson, added: "A Bill for Gaelic will be a very significant milestone for the future of the language. If enshrined in law, it will give the language the status it deserves. In Highland, we wish to continue to encourage Gaelic development especially with our young people, as they are our future, therefore the Scottish Parliament and the Executive must give their utmost support."
11 November 03
Members have agreed that following discussions with other local authorities, such as Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (the Western Isles Council), the Committee will prepare an official response on behalf of all services of the Council. This will then be presented to the full council on the 19th December for approval before been forwarded to the Scottish Executive.
The key provisions of the Bill include;
in legislation Gaelic as a language of Scotland
B˛rd Na GÓidhlig have organised the following public consultation meetings in the Highland area to raise awareness and to gather information. All the meetings start at 7.30pm. People are urged to attend, if people can not attend please place your comments on the Highland Councils discussion forum on Gaelic related issues www.highland.gov.uk or the B˛rd na GÓidhlig website.
10 November Thistle Hotel, Inverness
6 November 03
20 October 03
15 October 03
1 September 03
The mid-festival 'Skye Night' concert received particular praise, for the quality of the performers and the organisation of the event. Two members of the Scottish Arts Council staff travelled to Skye to assess their funding of the event and classed FŔis an Eilein as 'Excellent'. "The production was extremely successful as a showcase for the quality and talent that exists on Skye and in attracting local audiences and visitors."
The Festival is run by a voluntary committee who offer a considerable amount of time to arrange Island's leading festival. This was noted in the report. "Although the Festival is organised on a voluntary basis, and an administrator\co-ordinator is appointed only for the period of the festival, it is very well managed."
Last year the FŔis undertook a review to move away from this voluntary structure and is working with its funders to provide paid administration by 2004. Skye and Lochalsh offered considerable funding for the events themselves in 2003.
A successful pilot project this year allowed two major events to be duplicated in north Skye through FŔis Trodairnis. Since then other communities have shown an interest in being part of the Skye Festival in 2004. A major local business has opened discussions about funding for next year.
The Skye Festival is based in the stunning campus at Scotland's Gaelic College in south Skye. It is not surprising that FŔis an Eilein has a reputation of introducing visitors to Gaelic language and culture in a unique and friendly manner. In particular this year the FŔis presented a tri-lingual concert with simultaneous translation from Gaelic and Irish Gaelic into English, for the concert that included young Skye performers, Michael McGoldrick, Gaelic Stories from Martin Macintyre, and the Armagh Rhymers. The Skye Festival is believed to be the only event that offers such a service to non-Gaelic speaking audiences.
Gaelic music and song is at the heart of the festival, it also
22 August 03
Gaelic Arts Tuition
17 August 03
12 June 03
12 August 03
Fiona has been invited by the Highland Village on Iona, Nova Scotia to teach at their Annual August Gaelic programme, ĹEilean nan Ogĺ and also to present a song lecture on Mairi Mhor nan Oran herself.
Fiona MacKenzie, said: ôWe applied to The Scottish Arts Council for a research grant as we thought it would be interesting to do some research into methods of teaching Gaelic Song in Nova Scotia and compare it to our methods here in Scotland.ö
She added: ôThey have many other Gaelic orientated events organised such as Ĺmillingsĺ or waulkings, Gaelic Fun Days, a big piping concert at which I shall be singing Pibroch Songs, puirt a beul workshops, square dances and something called a Ĺcod fish supperĺ.ö
Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chairman of The Highland Councilĺs Gaelic Select Committee said: ôWe are sure that there are many things we can learn from our counterparts in Cape Breton just as we are sure we can help to encourage the singing of Gaelic songs and the learning of the language.ö
Councillor Andrew Anderson, Chairman of Education, Culture and Sport Service, said: ôI am sure we can learn a tremendous amount about the Gaelic culture there and about what happened to our forefathers when they left the shores of Scotland in the 1800ĺs.ö
Fiona added: ôWhile the traditional music scene is very vibrant in Cape Breton, the language itself needs to be strengthened and encouraged and the best way of doing this is by working with the young people of the Community. We hope to establish an exchange program for young Gaelic singings with a similar group in Cape Breton.
I am very grateful to the Arts Council for giving me this chance to explore our culture, on another continent.ö
The Highland Council and The Council of Nova Scotia have recently co- signed a Memorandum of Understanding, in a move designed to strengthen cultural, linguistic, heritage, arts and cultural tourism links between the two areas.
For more information on the Fellowship,
Fiona can be contacted via email at:
at Area Education Office, 13, Castle Street, Dingwall tel 01349 893 441.
7 July 03
Alasdair Lawson, Scottish Rights of Way Officer said, ôthe development started at the Sound of Mull, this work has progressively covered Argyll, Lochaber, Inverness Area, Wester Ross, finally, this year, an ambitious project in the Skye and Lochalsh Area has just been completed. This would not have been achieved without the co-operation of The Highland Council, especially the Skye and Lochalsh Area.
Alasdair continued, ôThe next phase, will be the area north of the Glen Moriston / Glen Shiel road and up to the Garve / Kyle road, including glens Affric, Cannich and Strathfarrar and lochs Mullardoch and Monar.ö
Throughout this whole vast area, the message on the familiar green and white signs has been bi-lingual.
The Chairman of The Highland Councilĺs Gaelic Select Committee, Councillor Hamish Fraser, said ôI am delighted to see the Skye and Lochalsh Area phase is now complete, and I am sure localĺs and visitors to the area will enjoy our new signs. Nearly all the place names are Gaelic or were originally Gaelic, so it is appropriate that we include Gaelic on the signs, this is also in keeping with the Councilĺs Gaelic Policy.ö
In all instances, the owners of the ground have been contacted in advance and their particular requirements considered. The attitude has invariably been one of understanding for the needs of recreational visitors, with one or two obvious provisos, usually concerning parking and the control of dogs.
Donald Kennedy, Foot Path Officer, Planning and Development Service, said ô We are very pleased with the new signs, and we have enjoyed working with the Scottish Rights of Way in taking the planned development to fruition.
Funding for the work came from Scottish Natural Heritage and from The Highland Council, and the Rights of Way Society is duly grateful to both for their willing support.
Having been working in the interests of public access since 1845, the Society is delighted to see another significant piece of the national jigsaw fall into place, and it is hoped that locals and visitors alike will benefit from these newly-signed routes.
1 July 03
An early and poignant event will emphasise the them of 'migration. The area's Countryside Ranger will lead a walk on Wednesday July 9 , to visit the cleared village of Boreraig in Strath. Two young Skye children, Roanaid and Fiann MacLeod, will join the group and present some Gaelic songs in the ruins of the village, from where their own great-great-grand-mother was evicted on a cold January morning in 1853.
Children and families are also invited to help create the 'migration window' during the Festival, a massive picture window overlooking the Sound of Sleat which by the end of the two weeks will be transformed into a colourful vibrant celebration of all those who have travelled the World.
During the Festival the theme of 'migration' appears in many forms. The open concert on Tuesday July 8 features Harvey Beaton from Nova Scotia who has been part of the revival of Step-dance in Scotland, after it migrated with emigrants to Cape Breton and was virtually lost back home.
In complete contrast the second concert features some 'passionate Tango' which has migrated from Spain to Latin America and now to Skye, while on the third night the highly acclaimed 'Shine' present some beautiful harmony singing and lively electric harp music.
Feis an Eilein or the Skye Festival runs
from July 8 to 19 and is based at the Gaelic College of Sabhal Mor Ostaig
in south Skye.
27 June 03
Tha meudachadh de 65% ann an Óireamh na h-oileanaich a tha a' gabhail pÓirt ann an Sgeama Greis Gnýomhachais a th'air a ruith le Buidheann Leasachaidh na GÓidhlig, Comunn na GÓidhlig (CNAG).
An t-seachdainn seo t˛isichidh 21
oileanaich GÓidhlig air obair pÓighte deich seachdainean, ag obrachadh
c˛mhla ri 16 luchd fastaidh ann an Glaschu, Inbhir Nis, ╠le, An t-Eilean
Sgitheanach agus Na h-Eileanan an Iar. An uiridh ghabh 14 oileanach pÓirt.
Thuirt Ceannard Chomunn na GÓidhlig,
D˛mhnall MÓrtainn gun robh am aeudachadh ann an ¨idh airson na Sgeama air
a thighinn bhon dÓ chuid na h-oileanaich agus na luchd-fastaidh. Thuirt
e: "Tha sinn air leth toilichte leis an adhartas agus meudachadh san
Sgeama, agus gun do dh'aontaich InaG agus PLE Na h-Eileanan an Iar
tuilleadh taic airgead a chuir ris. Se fýor dh˛igh math a th'anns an
Sgeama airson cothrom a thoirt do dh'oileanaich e˛las fhaighinn air obair
ann an suidheachadh GÓidhlig, gus meudachadh am mothachadh agus
fiosrachadh air leasachadh na GÓidhlig agus airson luchd ionnsachaidh cuir
ris na sgilean cÓnan aca. Tha e a toirt an cothrom don luchd-fastaidh
cleachdadh na sgilean s˛nraichte a th'aig na h-oileanaich airson
pr˛iseactan s˛nraichte a choilionadh agus
Thuirt Daibhidh Smillie bho Sgioba Coimhearsnachd agus Cultar InaG: "Tha an Sgeama seo air a ruith le CNAG buannachdail bho iomadh taobh. 'S ann mu dheidhinn leasachadh sgilean, mu dheidhinn leasachadh na GÓidhlig, agus gu seach Óraid mu dheidhinn cosnadh a tha e. Tha e cuideachd mu dheidhinn a bhi dearbhadh do dh'oileanaich cho feumail 's a tha GhÓidhlig ann an saoghal an lÓtha diugh. 'Se fýor dhŔagh naidheachd a th'ann gun robh na h-iarrtasan airson an Sgeama air meudachadh agus tha mise toilichte gum b'urrainn dhuinn cuideachadh."
Tha an h-uile oileanach a tha a' gabhail pÓirt a' faighinn ú180 gach seachdain, leth dhen seo a' tighinn bhon fastaiche. ThŔid measadh a dhŔanamh aig deireadh na deich seachdainnean, a' gabhail a-steach beachdan na h-oileanaich agus na fastaichean, gus Sgeama na h-ath bhliadhn' a leasachadh.
Tha oileanaich air am pÓigheadh ú180 gach seachdain le 50% de na cosgaisean air an coinneachadh leis am fastaiche agus an 50% eile le CNAG/INEPLE/InaG.
Tha na buidhnean a leanas a' gabhail
pÓirt ann an Sgeama Samhraidh 2003:
Airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh, cuireabh
fios gu: D˛mhnall MÓrtainn, Ceannard, Comunn na GÓidhlig, 71-77 SrÓid
Chrombail, Ste˛rnabhagh, Eilean
Twenty-one Gaelic speaking students will begin their ten-week paid placements this week, working with a total of 16 Gaelic employers in Glasgow, Inverness, Islay, Skye and the Western Isles. Last year 14 students took part.
The growing demand meant CNAG had to secure extra funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and from the Western Isles Community Economic Development Programme, which is funded by Europe.
CNAG Chief Executive, Donald Martin, said the increase in demand for the Scheme had come from both students and employers. He added: "We are delighted with the progress and growing popularity of the Scheme, and that both HIE and the Western Isles CED agreed to provide additional funding. The Scheme is an excellent way of providing students with the opportunity to gain experience in a Gaelic working environment, to increase their awareness and knowledge of Gaelic development and for Gaelic learners to increase fluency in the language. Employers are able to use the specific skills of the students to undertake special projects as well as assisting in the day-to-day work of the organisation."
David Smillie of HIE's community and culture team added: "The Scheme run by CNAG is beneficial on a number of fronts. It's about developing skills, it's about Gaelic development, and of course its about employment. It's also about demonstrating to students the usefulness of Gaelic in the real world. It's good news that demand for the Scheme has increased and I am very pleased we are able to provide support."
All students taking part receive ú180 a week, half of which comes from the employer. At the end of the ten-week period an assessment will be carried out, taking account of the views of both students and employers, in order to develop the Scheme for next year.
Students are paid ú180 per week with 50% being met by the employer and 50% being met by CNAG/WIECED/HIE.
The following organisations are
participating in the Summer 2003 Scheme:-
For further information contact:
18 June 03
12 June 03
The Highland Council has established a Gaelic Select Committee to recognise the significance of current developments to promote a Gaelic Language Bill and to reflect the importance which the Council attaches to Gaelic matters.
Elected Chairman of the Select Committee is Councillor Hamish Fraser, Skye Central, who is Depute Chairman of the Education Culture and Sport Committee, with responsibility for Gaelic.
Councillor Fraser said: ôI am delighted that the Council has reformed its Gaelic Working Group as a Select Committee of the Council. I see it playing a central role in strategic Gaelic development and will work closely with both the Executive and the Parliament in respect of the proposed Gaelic Language Bill.ö
Meanwhile, the Council has welcomed the continued commitment of the Scottish Executive to Gaelic Education.
September will see the start of Gaelic Teacher Training within the Highlands and Islands. Strathclyde University will start a course in Lews Castle and Aberdeen University will be introducing an innovative distance learning course in Highland. The Highland Council would welcome further discussions with the Executive and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) to ensure that potential teachers are getting the necessary financial encouragement.
Councillor Andrew Anderson, Chairman of The Highland Councilĺs Education, Culture and Sport Committee, said: ôWe recognise the significant part played by the partnership of local authorities and the Executive in improving resources for schools and would highlight as a matter of urgency the need for secondary school resources to be developed and made available using the new technologies.ö
He also added that the Council is recruiting five new Gaelic Medium teachers this summer to work in schools across Highland - the most significant increase in recruitment for sometime.
7 May 03
6 May 03
Fiona Mackenzie, Gaelic Song Fellow said: ôThis will be a purely performance based group which will meet regularly, perhaps once a month, venues depending on location of its members. The group will be very largely Ĺdrivenĺ by the members, so there will be an element of decision making and leadership skills development involved too. We feel it is very important for the young people to be closely involved in the running of the project. The project, and Gaelic Singing in general, will then be all the more relevant for them. My job ,as Coordinator, will be to organise the logistical side of the group and arrange visits by guest tutors, for example.ö
The first meeting of the group will take place in An Taigh Gaidhlig, Dingwall, on Sunday 11th May at 3pm and Fiona asks that anyone interested in coming along, get in touch with her at the Education Centre, Dingwall on 01349 863441 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
5 February 03
The Am Baile Project: Through its Library Service The Highland Council has been awarded ú900,000 from the New Opportunities Fund to digitise cultural heritage and language-related material and to promote participation in Gaelic. For full details visit the projects website at www.ambaile.org.uk