Cànan - Language


Our latest newsletter

Cuairt-litir an t-earrach 2021

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Annual Report 2018/19

Aithisg Bhliadhnail | Annual Report 2018-19



Support for Parants

Support Materials

Because of Covid-19, we’re putting together more resources to help parents with GME at home. You’ll find these under the Covid-19 Resources tab on these pages.

Over the years, we have developed information and learning resources of our own and will put some of these online as we go on. 

Information Postcards

In these documents all web links are live…
just click on them to go to the pages you want.

A Guide to Using Gaelic in the Home

Using the Gaelic language at home will help your children in school! 

12 top tips and 10 games to play using Gaelic with your kids at home.

Download (PDF) - 2 pages A5

Language Immersion - Dos and Don’ts

How to work with your child to learn Gaelic in the home. Things to try and things to avoid.

Download (PDF) - 2 pages A6


A Guide to Who's Who in the Gaelic World

Links to the web sites of organisations who offer services and resources for Gaelic speakers and learners..

Download (PDF) - 2 pages A6


Useful Links

Useful links for parents with children in GME. Where to go for information, Gaelic learning, extra-curricular activities, as well as books and resources.

Download (PDF) - 2 pages A6

Picture and Word

10 A4 pages with Gaelic names for everyday objects you can stick to things  around the home.

Download PDF

Picture and Word

Picture and Word

10 A4 pages with Gaelic names (9 per page) for everyday objects you can stick to things  around the home.

Use as posters or cut out the labels to stick on the real thing. Subjects are Clothing, Food, Kitchen, Fruit and Vegetables, Bedroom, Bathroom, Sitting Room.

Download PDF

Increasing the use of Gaelic in the Home

For various reasons some parents do not decide to make Gaelic the language of the home until one of the children is of an age to attend nursery or even to start school. Often parents will enrol the child in Gaelic medium education and on seeing how effortlessly the child is acquiring Gaelic may be encouraged to consider making Gaelic the language of the home. 

If the language bond between parent and child is established in English it can be difficult to change but although you cannot suddenly stop speaking English you can increase the amount of Gaelic you use which will benefit your child enormously. The family could decide that they’ll try to speak Gaelic at certain times, for example, at mealtimes or bedtime. Thereafter this could increase by degrees as parents become more confident. 

Whatever decision is made it is important that both parents support it. It is advisable also to discuss the matter with the children if they are old enough to understand. After that the family must regard it as a process which will be implemented by degrees and come to an arrangement about the targets which they think they could attain. 

My child refuses to use her Gaelic. When she is spoken to in Gaelic she responds in English. How should we deal with this?

Even in Gaelic speaking homes, sometimes one child persists in speaking English. This may not last long and the parents may manage to persuade her back to speaking Gaelic, but there are instances where the refusal may last a long time. This issue has to be treated with sensitivity. There is no point in attempting to compel such children to speak Gaelic: that will only strengthen the resistance but gentle persuasion and asking them to repeat themselves in Gaelic is advisable. There will be a reason for the insistence on speaking English; the child herself may not understand why. Possible causes are: asserting her independence as a result of being overshadowed by an older brother or sister; rebellion because of too frequent correction of errors in her Gaelic; association of Gaelic with criticism and English with fun; embarrassment about being spoken to in Gaelic in the presence of her English speaking friends.

It is easy for parents to be worn down by this resistance and resort to English but you should try not to let it happen. You should continue speaking in Gaelic and even if your child replies in English his / her understanding of Gaelic is improving all the time.

My child speaks a mixture of Gaelic and English. What should I do about it?

Children who are exposed to two or more languages may take some time before they learn to distinguish between them and during this transition period it is not unusual for them to have a mixture of languages in one sentence. There is little to be gained by criticising or correcting children at this stage and overcorrecting may even impede their language development and result in a reluctance to engage in conversation. Note the English words and phrases they tend to use and incorporate the Gaelic equivalent into your own speech and make sure that you avoid using a mixture of Gaelic and English. 

Gaelic organisations

Bòrd na Gàidhlig

To ensure a sustainable future for the Gaelic language and culture in Scotland.



Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig -.

 They are charged with co-ordinating the production and the distribution of curriculum resources for Gaelic education.



MG Alba

The remit of MG ALBA (the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig or Gaelic Media Service) under the Communications Act 2003 is to ensure that high quality television programmes in Gaelic are made available to persons in Scotland.



Comunn na Gàidhlig -

“Ranging from international to community level, CnaG strengthens Gaelic in each area.”

They do this by organising different schemes (Graduate Placement Scheme, Student Placements Scheme, etc), youth camps, events etc.



Clì Gàidhlig

It's the main aim of CLI to help and support adult Gaelic learners to achieve oral fluency in the language.  To realise this aim, they may produce new learning materials, train tutors and act as an information service to the public to increase awareness and demand for the language.



An Comunn Gàidhealach

To support the language, culture and history of the Gael at local, national and international levels - The Royal National Mòd and the various local Mòds are their main projects.



Comann nam Pàrant

Comann nam Pàrant, or “Parents Organisation” represents the interest of parents whose children are educated through the medium of Gaelic at the various levels, from pre-school to secondary level.



Fèisean nan Gàidheal

It is a membership organisation that offers a range of services to its members including grant-aid, training, insurance, and instrument loans.


No Gaelic-speaking parent

No matter what your ability is in speaking Gaelic the best thing you can do to help your child is to have a positive and supportive attitude towards their use of the language. As well as following advice in the previous section on creating a Gaelic environment in your home, you may also want to encourage your children by learning as much Gaelic as you can and using it with them. Even if you are less fluent than your children it will benefit them if you listen to them read and show an interest in other schoolwork.

My partner and I are both Gaelic learners. We would like to make Gaelic the language of our home, but worry that it would be unnatural to do so as Gaelic is not our first language and there are no Gaelic speakers living near us.

Evidence shows that parents who have learned a second language can raise a family through the medium of that language. If parents speak Gaelic to the children from the beginning, they will not feel after a while that there is anything unnatural about it. Some parents who have learnt Gaelic feel that it is difficult to express affection for their new born baby in Gaelic and it is helpful if they can make contact with other parents who have Gaelic speaking children. Word lists and useful phrases are also available.



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