Meadowburn Gaelic Unit (Bishopbriggs) ...

(45 Posts)
ScarlettCrossbones Mon 05-Oct-09 13:04:15

... anyone have a child here? Good/bad? (Especially the composite classes aspect.) Would be v grateful for any opinions! Thx.

macmam Tue 06-Oct-09 10:14:18

Contact the school itself and ask to speak to the head of Gaelic Unit. Composites are fairly common in GME. Do you have Gaelic background? My kids are in GME (not Meadowburn) because we are a Gaidhlig speaking family. they aren't learning Gaidhlig but learning, iykwim...

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 06-Oct-09 10:38:29

can't help, sorry, but my wee girl is LOVING her gaelic nursery.
macmam, can i quiz you about attitudes of gaidhlig speaking families to learners? is it true that some of them are a bit sniffy about us newcomers to the language? (must stress have seen no evidence of this as yet where we are, but i'm assured that it will come. it'll probably go right over my head, mind you). if you feel it, or know about it, i'd love to explore in more detail why that is etc. smile

macmam Tue 06-Oct-09 15:13:00

Feel free to quiz...I am not "sniffy" with newcomers to the language. I am all for people wanting to get a greater knowledge of Gaidhlig and it's culture. Generally I am welcoming and chatty to any and all that I come across whenever I am at the school...

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 06-Oct-09 17:10:10

so you've never overheard any sniff? (like i say, i haven't either, but then i haven't spoken so much with the gaelic speakers cos they're generally speaking gaelic.)

do you think the others are imagining it? (they may be, tbh, like i say i've not noticed myself).

macmam Tue 06-Oct-09 18:18:42

Do you mean fluent speakers not being nice/inclusive to the non fluents/learners? Looking down on them as it were? Do you think that because the Gaidheals are talking in Gaidhlig to one another that they are being sniffy? I do talk to other Gaidhlig speakers usually in Gaidhlig if there are no other Gaidhlig speakers in the company. If you stood by me and chatted I wouldn't continue in Gaidhlig....

I have to say that I teach my kids to be nice to the non Gaidhlig speakers and to remember that not everyone has Gaidhlig. I am trying to give them a real sense of pride in their language and culture that was beaten out of my parents and other family in the decades and centuries that have passed...

It does bug me when parents don't make any effort at all to learn the basics, and I don't think that just knowing the phonics is enough. After all, would you send your children to a mainstream school and not help them with their homework?

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 06-Oct-09 18:47:30

ah see you'll have to help me here, what's 'knowing the phonics'? dd's only at nursery.

weegiemum Tue 06-Oct-09 18:59:08

I have no trouble with the composite class thing - in fact, in my dd1's first school for P1 she was in a Gaelic unit in a school and was in a p1-7 class of 8 pupils - and it was fabulous! I would highly recommend Gaelic education - the linguistic and cultural elements are both fantastic.

I have children in p2, 3 and 5 at Sgoil Ghaidlig Ghlaschu and it is great. I think there is more of a problem with "sniffiness" in bigger schools are there are more people to be sniffy with, tbh. There were mums at the nursery esp when my ds was there who never spoke in English at all adn woudl address you in Gaelic even when they knew you were a learner/non speaker, every time. Which I did find a bit rude. Its not a big problem, but it is there. It was a much bigger problem in Lewis!

I have done my total best to learn Gaelic. I've done 2 lots of classes and worked really hard at it and I am good at languages, but I have never got to grips with speaking it. I do know more than just the phonics, and can understand a good bit of what my kids say/read, but have had to accept I will never be fluent, I just don't seem to be able to make it happen!!! But I want the children to have the language/culture, and have been amazed at what they have picked up - d1 in p5 is fluent, as is ds in p3, pretty much. Dd2 has found it a little harder going but is doing well too. Dd1 plays the accordion at school and ds the chanter.

Just spoke to dd1 who came through to see what I am doing. I asked her if anyone should send their kids to Gaelic school. Her answer was "yes yes yes yes yes and a million times yes!!!" (Tha tha tha tha tha ceud tursann tha!)

macmam Tue 06-Oct-09 19:19:40

The phonics are the letter combinations that make up the sounds of the Gaidhlig alphabet which has no j k q v w x y z, 18 letters in total, so eg the v sound is formed using bh or mh, the y sound is made using dh/gh and on and on..

These are the phonics.

Am I sniffy if I talk to Gaidhlig speaking friends/relatives in Gaidhlig? Or if I say hello to people outside the school in a friendly manner but in Gaidhlig, eg "Ciamar a tha thu Weegiemum/Aitch?"

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 06-Oct-09 20:42:54

nah, i'd quite like that, tbh, so long as you completely and utterly didn't expect me to answer anything but the pleasantries in gaelic. is it annoying you that i keep writing gaelic? grin

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 06-Oct-09 20:46:18

oooooooooh. and will you teach me how to speak gaelic? can we do an online class on here? go ON, it'd be great.grin

tell me how to say 'see you tomorrow', for starters. i can kinda nearly say it phonetically but i've never seen it written down and then broken down.

GO ON, teach ME! <jumps up and down>

and also what do people actually say when people ask 'how are you?'?

kirmcc Tue 06-Oct-09 20:52:41

have u forgotten that already??
i can't remember it either mind you....its something a-marach but can't remember the other bit!

dunno if i said to you the monday afternoon class is on next week and they'll be covering how to tell time- i won't be here but will be going back the following week

weegiemum Tue 06-Oct-09 21:05:44

No I don't have a problem with the pleasantries, I do have a problem with more than that. I have stood with a bunch of gaelic speaking mums and heard a joke told in English with the punch line given in Gaelic, though, which I thought was very rude as they all laughed and I couldn't. Just seems a bit ill-bred to me!

In fact, when you phone our school they answer in Gaelic and I always try to say hello and who I am in the language before swapping to English. The only non-speaker in the whole school is the janitor, and as it is a Gaelic "place", I try as much as I can to use it, though I don't find that easy!!

I do remember that a good response to "how are you?" is Gle mhath! (which I can remember as it is Glayva which I do like a wee nip of now and again!). Its not an easy language to speak or read, though my reading is pretty good now that I have done the litreachan (phonics) 3 times through!

If anyone is interested there is also one of the Glasgow churches offering services in Gaelic with simultaneous translation into English. We haven't been able to go as they have clashed with our own church commitments but if anyone wants the details I'll post them.

teach us something though macmam! A phrase a day!

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 06-Oct-09 21:10:22

i thought i remembered it, but the last person i spoke to said something different than the first (imo).

from memory, and phonetically, it's something like hay shoo muh oo marroch but i've no doubt got that completely wrong. <cosies up to macmum hopefully>

and the point is that i don't freaking well know which is the verb, which is the noun etc. that class kinda annoys me, i want to see stuff written down more i think.

mind you, i totally forgot about the class on monday, my internal schedule was totally buggered up by the sept weekend.

macmam Tue 06-Oct-09 21:17:00

No it doesn't annoy me that you say Gaelic, I take that as the Irish form as do Gaidhlig speakers in general..Gaidhlig being the Scottish form....

Chì mi a' marach thu - Chee mee u maarach oo...
I'll see you tomorrow.

In response to "Ciamar a tha thu?", you can reply, routinely, "Tha gu math!" (very good) - Haa gu ma..or Chaneil gu math...chaan ayl gu ma..(not good)

Much better to go to a class and hear the language spoken. The phonetics are not always easy and dialects differ form area to area, and island to island.

weegiemum Tue 06-Oct-09 21:18:30

Oh yes, the Sept weekend. Pretty much put there to annoy you! ( why? 2 weeks before the October hols? Our guys had 3 days off!!!!)

weegiemum Tue 06-Oct-09 21:24:31

macmam I remember when I lived in the Hebrides. It wasn't just Lewis vs Harris Gaidhlig (check me!!) , it was west side vs Tolastadh, Stornoway vs Nis, Siabost vs Barabhas! People spoke different gaidhlig 2 miles form each other!

In many ways our kids are getting a more "mixed" experience of it in a larger, all gaidhlig school as they hear many accents/types in the course of a day as they interact with different teachers/assistants/music tutors/office staff etc. When we were back up in the Outer Hebrides for that pesky old sept weekend, they understood and spoke to people from all over the place, and even I could hear it was different - especially words for "milk" - bainne, boinne, etc etc etc ..... (all asking dd2 if she likes milk in her tea - she's 5 and truly loves a cuppa!)

macmam Tue 06-Oct-09 21:26:30

The verb is 'Chì' - to see/see, "mi" is I....

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 06-Oct-09 21:26:52

lol, yes, of course much better to go to a class... but what about doing both? wink

so what i wrote, phonetically, it doesn't seem to bear any great relation to what you wrote. is it possible we're writing two different things or is it that i just got it completely WRONG? grin

and would you break down chi mi' a marach thu, please? and definitely just say if you don't want to... but for me it would be wonderful to have someone to speak to who can write it down. at the moment i can ask the teachers something but it's like it's two different languages at the one time, the noise of it and the writing, iykwim? so if i'm repeating the noise verbatim and then forgetting it, what's the point? it's really only going to sink in when i see it written down and understand what is actuall happening in the phrase.

what do you think? would you mind? chi, for example, what is that?

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 06-Oct-09 21:27:39

oh, you did already, thanks.

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 06-Oct-09 21:27:45

oh, you did already, thanks.

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 06-Oct-09 21:29:44


i see.
chi mi?

you see
he/she/it sees
we see
you pl see
they see

how do they work? (once again, only if you don't mind).

weegiemum Tue 06-Oct-09 21:31:50

Aitch, I really found my understanding of the written language came on as I learned to read it with my kids. So once your dd starts school it will help - but I realise that is a long way off at the moment.

I now "get" things like the word order, which is different (eg Glasgow Gaelic School becomes School Gaelic Glasgow when translated), and can spot adjectives, verbs etc.

Have to admit blush dh and I still end up having a giggle about the words that sound a bit rude to English speaking ears like 'fiacann' or 'siud' (bet you can guess!). I know its childish but dh ends up creasing himself while listening to their reading!

AitchTwoToTangOh Tue 06-Oct-09 21:32:16

so why do you consider yourself not to speak gaidhlig (see, i'm trying) when you clearly have a lot of the language, weegie?

macmam Tue 06-Oct-09 21:33:03

Everyone thinks their Gaidhlig is the best! Of course I think that my dialect is way better than any of those mentioned! But tbh any Gaidhlig dialect to me is lovely. I love the differences, I hate the way any one dialect is forced as the "main" one...

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