Community-based Gaelic courses will be further developed by Ceòlas Uibhist in the coming years with the appointment of a new position.
Fionna Halliday, a secondary English teacher who recently completed the STREAP programme at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, will take up the position of Gaelic Curriculum Officer at the arts charity based in Dalabrog, Isle of South Uist. The position is funded for two years by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Scottish Government.
Since 2013, Ceòlas has steadily grown its Gaelic offer, running several weeks of Gaelic language immersion each year. For the past 4 years, it has also delivered the community-based immersion for the Gaelic Immersion for Teachers (GIfT) post-graduate diploma for Strathclyde University.
The position will be vital to Ceòlas’ broader development with the delivery of Gaelic language tuition becoming increasingly more central to the organisation’s work. As the construction of Cnoc Soilleir nears commencement, it is important that Ceòlas’ position as an educational provider is amplified and that the breadth of courses and tuition is widened to cater for a greater number of people.
The expansion of place-based Gaelic language course delivery within the community of South Uist, one of the strongest native populations of Gaelic speakers in the world, will assist of the overall shared aims of the National Gaelic Language Plan.
Ceòlas courses focus on vernacular language, as it is spoken within the community of Uist, in the Outer Hebrides. Course content relies heavily on traditional ecological knowledge and the cultural, heritage and linguistic resources of the Uist community.
Fionna Halliday commented: “I was thrilled to be awarded this job and am excited to start working with the Uist community which is so well-known for its richness of Gaelic language, music and culture.”
Mary Schmöller commented: “This position will be very interesting working with the Uist community to develop new courses and resources based on the traditional knowledge of the area, and I am sure Fionna will enjoy it. The work builds upon Ceòlas’ success of the past few years.”
Bòrd na Gàidhlig commented: “The primary aim of the National Gaelic Language Plan is to ensure that Gaelic is used more often, by more people and in more contexts and we recognise how important island communities are in giving those learning Gaelic an opportunity to become confident language users. This new position at Ceòlas will help hugely to fulfil this aim.”