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Learning native languages should be compulsory in the U.K
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RainCloud · 06/08/2022 08:45

aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cudGhlZ3VhcmRpYW4uY29tL2NvbW1lbnRpc2ZyZWUvMjAyMi9qdWwvMjUvd2h5LWktcXVpdC1nYWVsaWMtbGFuZ3VhZ2UtZm9yZWZhdGhlcnMtdm9jYWJ1bGFyeT9DTVA9U2hhcmVdXVtbwww.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/25/why-i-quit-gaelic-language-forefathers-vocabulary?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other iOSAppp_Other

I saw this article earlier and it made me sad that the number Scottish Gaelic speakers are declining. I think it should be compulsory for us all to learn Scottish Gaelic and Welsh at school, all over the U.K. I'm not saying that we should all be fluent but we should learn the basics. It might inspire more people to become fluent and stop the languages dying out.

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Ducksinthebath · 06/08/2022 08:52

Right and at the same time pupils in England creep ahead of those in Scotland because they can spend equivalent time learning useful stuff instead of a very much minority language? Where’s the budget for all these Gaelic teachers coming from?

Get real: kids are leaving school ill-equipped for the job market and teachers are stretched to breaking point as it is.

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LubaLuca · 06/08/2022 08:58

What a silly suggestion. It would be as pointless as putting blacksmithing on the national curriculum.

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JessicaBrassica · 06/08/2022 08:59

Welsh is compulsory in Wales though. Are you saying that people in Kent should also have compulsory Welsh, Cornish, Scottish Gaelic, cumbrian, and old English? That doesn't leave so much curriculum time in school for other subjects.
Was Scottish Gaelic traditionally spoken through the whole of Scotland?
I'm surprised that Scottish Gaelic isn't compulsory in Scotland as welsh is in Wales.

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Happylittlethoughts · 06/08/2022 09:02

It would fantastic to offer this in throughout the school years , from nursery onwards. Some great pockets of work but a systematic approach would be great.
Languages are already on the curriculum and no set language is prescribed so why not?
I wonder if the Irsish model could help us here? Maybe Irish MN could give us the benefit of their experience.
I'm not sure what happens about the Welsh language, is this integrated throughout the educational system?
We are not in an educational race with England 🤣or if we are, someone has failed to tell any of the schools or teachers I have worked with for 30 odd years!

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Ducksinthebath · 06/08/2022 09:07

JessicaBrassica · 06/08/2022 08:59

Welsh is compulsory in Wales though. Are you saying that people in Kent should also have compulsory Welsh, Cornish, Scottish Gaelic, cumbrian, and old English? That doesn't leave so much curriculum time in school for other subjects.
Was Scottish Gaelic traditionally spoken through the whole of Scotland?
I'm surprised that Scottish Gaelic isn't compulsory in Scotland as welsh is in Wales.

It was never used country-wide. It was introduced to rural areas, largely west coast, from Ireland in the fifth century CE. So why should, say, an Aberdonian school child learn it when arguably they have more use for Doric, an even less widely spoken language? Absolutely batshit idea.

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icebearforpresident · 06/08/2022 09:08

Lots of schools are teaching Gaelic in Scotland and Glasgow has a primary school which is exclusively Gaelic speaking. As far as I know, and I could be wrong so happy to be corrected, it has the highest demand in the city.

My kids get an hour of Gaelic teaching a week. It’s utterly pointless and my eldest, now in P5 and been having lessons since P1, can only say orange, which in Gaelic is orange pronounced with an accent. I think it’s a student who comes in to teach them, not sure where the funding comes from. Personally I’d prefer they learned makaton/BSL, both kids have deaf children in their class and something like BSL actually will be useful in the future.

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RainCloud · 06/08/2022 09:09

I was thinking of learning the basics as part of a citizenship / history / culture of the U.K. class. With the option to progress further for those who become interested.

It could be taught remotely via Zoom, rather than expecting Gaelic / Welsh teachers to suddenly appear in the middle of England.

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PriamFarrl · 06/08/2022 09:10

Ok. So what should be dropped from the timetable to find time for this?
Also, there are a large number of children who start school unable to speak English, and I’m not just talking about children with English as an additional language.

Speak to many Welsh people and they will tell you they studied Welsh in school, while living in Wales and still don’t speak a word of it.

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ChuckItBucket · 06/08/2022 09:12

More worthwhile to learn sign language. I’m very unlikely, in Kent, to meet a Gaelic speaker who can’t speak English fluently so when would I ever need it?

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User478 · 06/08/2022 09:13

There aren't enough Welsh teachers for Wales!

You can't get a civil service job in Wales without a Welsh language qualification despite many Welsh schools not being able to offer Welsh GCSE as they don't have the teachers to teach it!

(There was a case locally a few years ago where a vendor at an Eisteddfod wasn't allowed to sell as he didn't have a Welsh language qualification as it wasn't offered at his (Welsh) School. Welsh was his first language!

Chinese or Russian would be much more useful to learn!

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Ducksinthebath · 06/08/2022 09:15

icebearforpresident · 06/08/2022 09:08

Lots of schools are teaching Gaelic in Scotland and Glasgow has a primary school which is exclusively Gaelic speaking. As far as I know, and I could be wrong so happy to be corrected, it has the highest demand in the city.

My kids get an hour of Gaelic teaching a week. It’s utterly pointless and my eldest, now in P5 and been having lessons since P1, can only say orange, which in Gaelic is orange pronounced with an accent. I think it’s a student who comes in to teach them, not sure where the funding comes from. Personally I’d prefer they learned makaton/BSL, both kids have deaf children in their class and something like BSL actually will be useful in the future.

Yes, from a certain type of West End McTiger parent, not by and large actually people who would ever use Gaelic in day to day life outside the school environment.

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Offandonagain · 06/08/2022 09:15

I have a gcse in Welsh. Welsh born and bread and I can barely string a welsh sentence together. I went to an english speaking school, first language english and everyone in Wales
speaks english so I’ve never needed to use Welsh.

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RainCloud · 06/08/2022 09:17

It isn't about needing to use it. It's about protecting the languages, so they don't die out.

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Shade17 · 06/08/2022 09:17

Languages evolve and some sadly die. Artificially keeping a dying language alive is a waste of time and money. Leave those languages for those that want to study them, like Latin for example, at least that’s useful in everyday life.

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User280905 · 06/08/2022 09:18

Gaelic was never spoken in my area of Scotland. Its not my native language, I have no interest in learning it or my kids learning it.

Agree with a pp, I'd rather they learned BSL.

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midgetastic · 06/08/2022 09:18

Latin died out

I don't think it did the world any harm


Time would be far better spent learning Spanish or sone Chinese as that will help children communicate with others

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midgetastic · 06/08/2022 09:19

We already lost Northumbrian

I see that the Doric and lowland Scots don't feature in your languages to protect - why ?

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Recycledcurtains · 06/08/2022 09:19

Well OP you are clearly not aware of the issues in NI in relation to the Irish language act… it would be fun trying to impose your idea over here!

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Fleur405 · 06/08/2022 09:19

Not sure about this….I definitely think there should be investment to keep the language alive in the western isles and other areas where it was traditionally spoken (by which I mean having a population of fluent speakers). But not sure why people in places where it was never spoken (including large areas of Scotland) should randomly start learning a smattering of words…

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MrsOwainGlyndŵr · 06/08/2022 09:20

Most Welsh people who went through school in Wales know a bit of Welsh. And they will all know Welsh hymns, understand Welsh road signs, what Welsh town names mean etc. I wasn't at a Welsh medium school, but we always said the Lords Prayer in Welsh at assembly, for example. You can't help picking up bits, and gaining an understanding even if you don't speak the language.
Welsh is a difficult language to learn.
I'm currently (re) teaching myself via DuoLingo. The ap makes it surprisingly easy.

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GrandSlamFinalee · 06/08/2022 09:21

I come from a bilingual area in Spain and our schooling was 50/50 in both languages. I think the minimum legal requirement is a third of subjects must be taught in the minority language (which depending on each town, might be Spanish or the co-official one). I personally did sciences, geography and PE in the co-official language. Maths, history, music, art and RE were in Spanish. End of school (A-level) exams included a 2 hour written essay in the co-official language.

Welsh should be compulsory in Wales, Scottish Gaelic in Scotland, Irish in NI. Children should achieve a decent level of proficiency in them.

Everywhere else in the UK, a foreign language such as French / German / Spanish should be compulsory all throughout school. The UK is one of the very few countries that doesn’t have an MFL as a compulsory subject. Ideally you start teaching MFLs in primary schools. But for this you’d need a government that actually cares about the kids’ education.

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MythicalBiologicalFennel · 06/08/2022 09:22

You can't get a civil service job in Wales without a Welsh language qualification

Absolute bollocks and nothing new on MN where every day is bash the Welsh language day.

OP the idea has merit. Celtic languages are a part of British heritage that is shockingly undervalued.

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RainCloud · 06/08/2022 09:23

midgetastic · 06/08/2022 09:19

We already lost Northumbrian

I see that the Doric and lowland Scots don't feature in your languages to protect - why ?

Scottish Gaelic and Welsh came to mind because of the article in my OP but other languages (that I'm not aware of) could be included.

Cumbrian died out. My grandparents spoke a bit of it but weren't fluent. It was more that they used certain words interspersed with English.

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wandawhy · 06/08/2022 09:23

If it was important then parents would commit to it and organise it after school in a similar way to Muslim communities teaching religion in Madrassas.

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Whadda · 06/08/2022 09:25

This is quite an ignorant thread.

OP- why no mention of NI and all of the issues the DUP are causing there due to the Irish Language Act?

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