Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gaelic Medium Education - more evidence for benefits

A new report from Highland Council has detailed the higher attainment of Gaelic Medium pupils. New report, but not really 'news'.

"Pupils learning Gaelic "match and better" their peers in other subjects, Highland Council has said.

It said figures compiled from SQA exam results showed more credit level awards were attained in the language than for English.

The council said youngsters taking Gaelic medium education also performed well at maths."

It really isn't rocket science - not in this day and age. Until the 70s, when Gaelic was still being beaten and ridiculed out of kids whose families and communities spoke nothing else, it was thought by some that belting a child into speaking only one tongue would set him up in the world. Surely in Scotland, in 2009, there is no excuse for leaving a child with only 'one window on the world'. Gaelic speaking kids even speak better English, if that's what matters to you.

In short, monoglots are in the minority in the world. Most people can speak more than one language. Many can speak 3 or more local tongues. The benefits have been documented by the likes of Chomsky, Colin Baker, Richard Johnstone and Sorace. It's been recognised in Wales and in the Basque Country for decades now.

Let's leave the old mindset behind. The full report on BBC Scotland can be read here.

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