Gaelic education anyone?

(139 Posts)
harrisey Sun 12-Mar-06 20:09:40

My dh and I are only English speakers but our dd1 (6) is in Gaelic medium education and ds (40 in Croligean (Gaelic nursery.
Just wondered if anyone else had Gaelc-educated kids, whether or not you speak it yourself? My dd has been in total immersion for 7 months and is already fluent, I wish I could keep up.
Anyone else doing it. Tapadh leat!

harrisey Sun 12-Mar-06 20:10:08

Ds is 4, not 40!!

brimfull Sun 12-Mar-06 20:12:06

wow.impressive.where do you live in scotland .IS there a lot of gaelic speakers there?

My friends children in canada go to french ommersion school.It's such a wonderful gift to give your children.

bran Sun 12-Mar-06 20:50:54

There are schools in Ireland where all the teaching is done through Irish, it used to be that if you did exams through Irish you could get a few percent extra on your score, I'm not sure if that's still the case though.

I've been wondering about whether I should expose ds to Irish as we will probably be moving back (from London to Dublin) for his secondary education and Irish is compulsary there. What made you decide to go for a Gaelic school? Do you have worries about being unable to help with homework etc in the future?

harrisey Mon 13-Mar-06 14:34:35

We had the option as we live in a Gaelic speaking area (NW Scotland), though there are schools offering Gaelic all over scotland and when we move to Glasgow in August she is going to the Gaelic primary school there.
The opportunity of bilingual education seemed too good to miss - there are so many advantages - kids who learn a 2nd language at this age do better in every way academically, and are also better at picking up the next language, or so I read when I was researching it.
My dd1 will start English in primary 3 (year 2) and they say most kids are equally good in reading and writing both languages by the end of p5, adn certainly by the time they go to secondary.
My dd's teacher is good and sends home directions in English, and at the new school in Glasgow they have a parent network so you can contact a gaelic speaking parent to help with homework if you dont get it yourself! I'm also picking up a lot myself and starting to understand a bit of what people are saying in gaelic.

A Sat 27-May-06 21:46:14

Hi Harrisey, I have just read your posting with interest. We have also embarked on Gaelic medium for our dss. We are also non speakers (although starting to learn some). We would be interested to know how you have found supporting reading etc

harrisey Mon 05-Jun-06 16:32:35

Hi A, just saw this
Dd is only in P1 so so far it has been pretty easy. SHe is in a small class (only 8 pupils) so her teacher is able to give plenty time to translating things for me. She is using the 'Storyworld' reading scheme which comes with a tape for every book and her teacher puts her words on to tape for me so I can hear how they should be said.
Next session we are moving to Glasgow and she is going to the Gaelic primary school there, with much bigger classes but they have a parent network to help with homework
I am so impressed with how she has learnt it and amazed at her fluency after such a short time, it seems like suych a good idea I dont know why eveyone doesnt do it! Where are you based that you have had the option - we're in the western isles. It would be lovely to keep in touch about this!

expatinscotland Mon 05-Jun-06 16:36:48

Am considering it for our DDs. This year she will go to English-speaking nursery and then we will see from there.

DH is quite keen.

I have an Irish friend who was educated in Gaelic. She's a PhD and a lecturer who said her education helped her in many ways - she finds languages easy to pick up now, and as a traditional musician it's helped her as well.

I also work w/a professor whose son has attended the Gaelic primary unit and will be continuing on to secondary school in the Autumn. He, too, has nothing but praise for it.

trix1 Mon 05-Jun-06 17:03:48

I went to school in the west of Ireland and was taught Gaelic at school. My son is now 4 and I would love to get him languge lessons put was thinking of Spanish or Grench. Does anyone know whats the best way to go about finding a languages tutor?

trix1 Mon 05-Jun-06 17:05:05

Language (not Languge) and French (not Grench)

harrisey Mon 05-Jun-06 20:10:06

expat - I looked into it in some detail and learning another language at this age can help a lot not only with learning the next language but with all kinds of verbal and non verbal reasoning later at school - my dd has also turned out to be a whizz at maths, and I think its partly that she is having her brain stimulated so much by doing the 2nd language - and its not s if Gaelic is an easy option either.
Its one of the great secrets of the scottish education system, most large towns will have a gaelic unit and the cities have schools - expat IIRC you are in Edinburgh, the school there is at Tollcross (I think?) and has a great reputation, Glasgow is opening a Gaelic secondary in August - bilingual education is there for the taking! Yes, I know its Gaelic and have had all the 'what use is it?' conversations but I would have gone for it no matter what language it was for the multi benefits it offers.

expatinscotland Mon 05-Jun-06 20:31:08

Yes, it is Tollcross. The head's great, too. Also, they go into secondary at James Gillespie, regardless of their catchment area. It's automatic entry. I especially like this as well.

A Mon 05-Jun-06 21:35:31

It's so good to hear positives about gaelic medium. We get mixed reactions when we say we are putting dss into GM, (ds1 starts P1 in August - We have just moved to Wester Ross from Argyll ).

harrisey Tue 06-Jun-06 10:25:46

A - do you have the option for ds's to go to Croiligean (Gaelic nursery)? Obviously a bit late for ds1 but maybe good for others? My ds is 4 - not starting school for another year and has been in Croligean since he was 3 - he knows all his colours, numbers, basic instructions (sit down!), weather etc in Gaelic. He translates little bits for me eg in the docs waiting room, when people are talking about the weather!
I think like all education so much of it being a good experience depends on the teacher, we have been blessed with a fabulous newly qualified teacher who is brilliant and enthusiastic. But I dont think you will regret it. If you are inWester Ross you shoud benefit from small class sizes like we do inthe Western Isles.
Feel free to CAT me if there are any other questions or just post here. Its nice to meet someone else on MN doing the same thing.

harrisey Tue 06-Jun-06 10:28:05

ps Wester Ross must be gorgeous today! Its so sunny in the hebrides! We are through there a lot (Ullapool) as its our ferry port. Hope you enjoy living there.

A Thu 08-Jun-06 20:42:49

Really enjoying life here (the weather is amazing at the moment). We are lucky as ds1 was able to access both gaelic and english pre schools where we were before (he did 1 - 2 sessions a week gaelic which was great). Where we are now, we are hoping that we will be able to do the same for ds2.

harrisey Mon 12-Jun-06 23:15:11

A - so glad to hear you like it in Wester Ross (were you affected by the earthquake last week, btw?)
We are moving from the Outer Hebrides to Glasgow in August and I spend half the time looking forward to it and the rest of the time listing all the things I will miss. Luckily dd1 is going to the Glasgow Gaelic Primary school and just heard this week that ds has a place at teh Croligean (nursery) at the same school. We have loved living here adn we are keeping our house (renting it) and hoping to return eventually, as it has become home in the 10 years we have lived here - despite the insular nature of the place and the fact that everyone knows your business (dh is a local GP, so we are a bit prominent!!!)
Sounds like the Gaelic ed provision is good for you there. My dd1 id busy practicing tor the Mod (do you know what that is - many dont - gaelic music and poetry competition festival) which is on in Harris this week. She can say this great little poem about a cat and I am SO PROUD of her. Its amazing what she has picked up in under a year. I'm so glad I did it, she has thrived on it.

moondog Mon 12-Jun-06 23:17:08

Lovely thread.
I am a Welsh speaker with children in Welsh medium education.
Go for it girls,the rewards are enormous.

harrisey Mon 19-Jun-06 00:12:26

Thankyou moondog!!
Just had to add that dd1 came top in her poetry competition (out of 19 children) and performed last Friday night her poem in front of about 800 people - not bad for a primary 1!! I think she is a wee star - even though I didnt understand her, all the geelic speakers in the audience laughed at the right point in her poem.
This is rhe right way to go for her - its brilliant and I will do the same for the other 2, even if they are living in Glasgow, as there is so much to gain fromthe whole experience!

A Thu 22-Jun-06 12:14:41

Sounds like your dd1 is doing fantastically well (v. confident too with 800 people). Thanks for your encouragement Moondog. It makes me even more sure it is the right choice for ds1.
The small numbers are the only downside. He will be the only child in P1 in his class (I think there are around 10 children between P1 and P7 next year). Also ds2 and another boy are the only 2 requesting nursery at the moment.

harrisey Fri 23-Jun-06 01:18:59

My dd was the only one in p1 in her class this year, it was a class of 8 girls, her in p1, 1 in p2 and 3, 2 in p4 and p5 and 1 in p7. it is in a school with 3 other classes - 1 for p1-2, 1 for p 3-5 adn 1 for p6-7. So she has art, music, gym with the other p1-2 children and obviously mixes well with them at break, lunch etc. Moving to a big p2-3 class in Glasgow after the summer is going to be a bit of a shocker for her I think!
She has done so well - the advantage of being the only one in the class is that she can work at her own pace, she has been able to learn gaelic from scratch without the pressure of native speakers working with her, and has also been able to complete 2 years worth of maths in 1 year (she really has a gift for maths).
I wouldnt worry too much. The teachers will be used to it and will be the experts at helping the children to adapt.

harrisey Mon 03-Jul-06 12:13:35

Just thought I'd add that my dd'd teacher suggested keeping Gaelic going in the holidays by watching TV! There are a whole lot of kids programmes dubbed into Gaelic (Postman Pat - Padraig Post, Bob th Builder - Calum Clathair) as well as a few made by BBC Scotland in Gaelic (Mire Mara, Dotaman, De-a-nis?). Might be worth thinking about to give your kids the exposure to gaelic and you might even pick up some of it yourself.
We are also getting books out of the library but only the ones that come with a tape as it is almost impossible to read Gaelic aloud if you're not a speaker, as the pronunciation is WEIRD!

bramblina Mon 03-Jul-06 12:21:11

I haven't read all posts but will come back to this thread with interest. We are english speakers but considering putting ds (11months only!) in to Gaelic medium. My niece did this and is now 14 and fluent in Gealic, wnats to be a Gealic teacher. Nephew hates it though and has no interest. My sister had no gaelic but picked it up from Croileagan etc. We're in Gairloch btw, where are you, A?
I'm so glad to hear you aren't a speaker, harrisey, and that it is possible for the kids to do well!

A Tue 04-Jul-06 20:05:31

Thanks for the TV idea - I think we will try that over the summer (we were videoing some of the programs before but then got out of the habit). Also had some children's song tapes as well, which have been great for me as well as dss (especially if there is a book with the words as well)!

Bramblina, we are in Lochcarron. Did your nephew go through gaelic medium as well?

moondog Tue 04-Jul-06 20:07:08

Oooh I love eavesdropping on this thread!!

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