GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Gaelic Class of 2021

A passion for Gaelic has taken some teachers back to school.

Scottish Gaelic is one of Scotland’s unique cultural and linguistic assets. It is a living language spoken by almost 60,000 people and with official status under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005. Gaelic has experienced a long history of oppression and neglect, but the 21st century has seen a revitalisation as a result of the increase in availability in Gaelic education.

GTC Scotland is committed to helping with the provision of Gaelic teachers across Scotland. Hear we speak to teachers who are undertaking a National 5 for Gaelic Learners course at e-Sgoil. Here’s what they had to say about going back to school to learn one of Scotland’s official languages.

Suzanne Armour, Ballantrae Primary, South Ayrshire

“I have recently completed the GLPS course which was challenging but really enjoyable. I get a lot of pleasure from learning Gaelic and it has made me more interested in learning about Scottish history and culture.

“Learning Gaelic is challenging but rewarding and it is interesting being a learner with little experience rather than the teacher. It has made me reflect on my own teaching practice and empathise with the pupils that I teach.

“I currently teach Gaelic to my P6/7 class and children in the nursery. I will be teaching Gaelic from early to second level across my school in the new term. I would love to fluently read, write and speak in Gaelic and this a steppingstone towards that.”

Suzanne Moretti, St Brigid’s Primary, Glasgow

“I have always been interested in learning languages and found it crazy not to have learned a language native to my own country.  It is important to understand our own culture and history.

“I want to be equipped to confidently teach Gaelic to pupils in my school through games and songs, as well as use it when travelling in the Highlands or to take part in Gaelic culture events.

Kirsteen Havlin, Auchinleck Primary, East Ayrshire

“I initially saw learning Gaelic as a professional interest and completed the GLL course through Bord na Gàidhlig. Through networking, I found out about this opportunity for further study to boost my own language skills and confidence in my classroom practice.

“I moved up the school to P5 to most effectively deliver the 1+2 framework and intend to include Gaelic in my current practice. My long-term goal is to potentially move into Gaelic Medium Education. If it becomes commonplace in schools then we would have scope for all pupils to become bilingual, learn more languages and open the world for learners.”

Virginie Bradbury, on secondment as Education Support Officer for 1+2 Pan Tayside, Dundee City Council

“I am a native French speaker and keen language learner. Last September, I was given the opportunity to take part in Gaelic Language for Primary Schools (GLPS) run by North Lanarkshire Council. After completing the course and immersive weekend, I completely fell in love with the Gaelic language. As part of GLPS, I have already had the opportunity to teach Gaelic as L3 to a P5/6 class in Tayview Primary School in Dundee.

“I arrived in Scotland in 2002 and travelled around, but since I started learning Gaelic I feel I have been able to understand more of Scotland’s culture and heritage. Through this course I hope to improve my knowledge, pronunciation and gain new teaching ideas and professional relationships.

“Gaelic is a fascinating language that is well and truly alive globally.”

Further information

Find out more about routes into Gaelic teaching in our So you want to teach in Gaelic? booklet. Available in Gaelic and English.