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Gaelic family learning week hailed a success

Issued: 8 Aug 2007

A Gaelic learners course held at Sabhal Mor Ostaig on the Island of Skye this summer attracting families from throughout Scotland has been hailed as a success by members of the Community Learning and Development Gaelic Review Group (CLADGRG)

Both CLADGRG members and Sabhal Mor Ostaig welcomed the return of ~Families' Week~, which was first established in 2004.

The Families Week course has grown in popularity since it began four years ago and as Gaelic Medium Education increases in popularity the demand for Gaelic courses for non-Gaelic speaking parents also increases from year to year. Run in the first two weeks of July at the south Skye Gaelic College, Families' Week provides parents with the opportunity to learn Gaelic at a variety of levels suited to their individual needs.

Shelagh Parlane, one of the parents attending the course, said: "This is such a good opportunity for us, as parents, to come and learn the language and this course provides an affordable way of learning together as a family."

The Gaelic Families' Weeks are organised by CLADGRG in partnership with Sabhal Mor Ostaig. CLADGRG are the main funders of the project in addition to this Bord na Gaidhlig also supported the initiative, thus allowing families to have access to free Gaelic childcare at Fas Mor for children under the age of 4 years.

Miss Shona Paterson Highland Council's Gaelic Community Worker said "While the parents are learning, their children are enjoying a variety of Gaelic activities such as drama in the play scheme held at the local school."

Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chairman of Highland Councils Gaelic Committee said: "This kind of event is crucial for language learning within the family home; this is part of the Council's rationale as our research confirms the importance of re-establishing ~inter-generational transmission~ where the traditional process by which languages are passed on by parents to their children in the home."

He added: "The Council's draft Gaelic Plan which is presently available for public consultation and can be downloaded from the Highland Council's website http://www.highland.gov.uk/leisure/gaelic/gaeliclanguageplan sets out how it will encourage and assist parents and families to teach their children Gaelic in the home. I'm especially pleased that this is being organised and implemented through CLADGRD."

Mr Byrne from Sabhal Mor Ostaig added: "Everyone is very pleased with the success of the course again this year. It provides a really useful experience for both parents and children and we hope that it will help to create a Gaelic home and environment for the children. The funding the course receives from CLADGRD and Bord na Gaidhlig ensures that the course is affordable to all families."

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