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Gaelic-Is It Necessary

  • Date Submitted: 11/30/2013 04:40 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 51.7 
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Gaelic –is it necessary?
The majority of Highlanders and a growing number of people in Southern Scotland want to keep Gaelic Language and culture alive. At the same time some would say it was a waste of money and resources when money could be spent on music, sports and basic education in these difficult economic times. Should Edinburgh Council be thinking of building a new Gaelic school?   Gaelic is important for tourism and promotes an aspect of national identity. There is undoubtedly growing interest in Gaelic, with the introduction of BBC Alba, and “Radio nan Gaidheal”.   This essay, through the discussion of these issues will demonstrate the need to encourage and make available Gaelic learning to the general population. This will, of course, require continuing investment.
In the Western Isles during 1940-1970’s children were discouraged from speaking Gaelic. In some cases, children were “belted” if they spoke Gaelic. Most of these youngsters couldn’t speak English when they reached school age. The majority of them got a rude awakening on their first day when they were told they could only communicate in English as educationists believed Gaelic was a “second class language”.   Sandra O’Dwyer, one of these children and bilingual, says “I was often belted in primary for answering my teacher in Gaelic. It made me turn my back on Gaelic for many years, and only now, I feel the language should be preserved.”   Fortunately, Gaelic heritage has witnessed a comeback over the last twenty years with money being poured into Gaelic education.
Lowland Scots would argue that Government money should not be spent on Gaelic Education as it was never their language. The general opinion is that Gaelic is “elitist”; being available to a small section of the community   through Gaelic Medium Schools(G.M.S), where pupils are taught in Gaelic, with English as a secondary language. Some would see the irony of calling Gaelic “elitist” nowadays, if you recall how in the 1950’s it was a...

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